Saturday, July 28, 2012

Casting call, pack muling, and the truth is out there

CARA recently announced an upcoming opportunity for runners to be cast in a film production:

"The marketing firm Culture22 is looking for runners for a Chicagoland video shoot.  The organization is recruiting male and female marathon runners of all ethnicities. Runners will be supplied with apparel, shoes and accessories and be paid $35 an hour.  Runners will be able to keep the apparel and shoes after the shoot."

To apply, you are asked to provide contact info, headshot, and 2-3 photos of you running, preferably in a past race.

HOT DOG!!!  I've always wanted to be an extra in a movie or music video.  This is also is one of the items on my life's to do list!  So I applied as fast as I could.  Now I am waiting to hear if I am fortunate enough to get selected.

It ended up being a much bigger challenge than anticipated to find good photos of myself running.  Case in point: I wear Cho-Pat knee straps on both of my knees when running.  I realized after looking through my race pictures that the double-knee-strap look is actually kind of dorky.

Urkel understands.

Aside from my fashionable knee straps (and the sexy knee-strap tan lines that come along with them), I have also had issue with my SPI belt (aka my runner's fanny pack).  The main problem is that the SPI belt is not big enough to hold everything I want to carry.  When you attempt to stuff it with
  1. GU packets in assorted flavors
  2. Mobile phone
  3. MP3 player and headphones
  4. Keys
  5. A wad of cash the size of your head.  (OK, OK, wishful thinking.  A wadded-up dollar bill or two.)
  6. A wad of Kleenex the size of your head
  7. ID
  8. Salt capsules
  9. My lucky black nylon spatula in the shape of Darth Vader's head
you end up with something like this:

Wearing something like this around your waist does NOT help you look stylish.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  ("Ladies, and gentlemen, welcome to our journey into uncharted Dorkdom...")

This got me thinking more about appearance.  One of my coworkers was telling me about how since he has a very lean build, people assume that he is a good athlete and runner.  He said that contrary to what appearance might dictate, he can barely run a mile.  Another coworker overhead this discussion and said, "Oh yeah, I'm the same way.  We're fat-skinny."  (Interesting description!)

My coworker then mentioned that he turns into such a sweaty calamity when he does run, that he tries to go running when nobody else is around to see him.  This made me realize that I have grown to care very little about what I look like when I run.  When I'm trying to knock out double-digit mileage in triple-digit temperatures with quadruple-digit humidity, practicality wins out above everything else.

Well, almost everything else.

In all seriousness, though, I can't do anything about the knee straps for awhile.  But I do want to upgrade the pack mule accessories.  Never mind appearance, the gaudy SPI belt monstrosity doesn't work very well for me.  When stuffed very full, it bounces and twists - plus it's hard to pull things out of it.  I fear that my keys will tear the pouch, and that my phone/MP3 player will get wet or scratched by my keys.  As a result, I always end up carrying my keys and my electronics by hand instead.

As far as upgrade alternatives, I've started doing some research and Irina had good things to say about the iFitness double-pouch.  I am thinking very strongly about giving it a go!

Now, back to the casting call.  In a valiant attempt to improve my odds of being selected, I strategically submitted photos that didn't show my knee straps, the SPI belt around my waist, or my usual look of sweat-ridden, windswept agony.  This took some creative selection combined with a little bit of photo cropping.  What do you think of the results?

Kidding, kidding.  I submitted photos above the knee in which the SPI belt wasn't visible, and didn't worry too much about facial expression.  After all, even the world-champion athletes don't smile when they are pushing themselves to their limits, right? 

For now, fingers crossed!

Although, I am sure that by being forthcoming here with this info that I have just ruined my miniature chances at being selected.  But that is okay.


  1. Oh my your SPI belt looks like it would cause some (some = ALOT) of annoyance while running! Everything you listed fit into my iFitness belt (except keys and headphones because I didn't have those at the time!). To be fair, I've only tried out the iFitness belt (double pouched one) once BUT I ran the entire 13.1 miles with it on (and it was the first time I ever wore it too) and it caused me zero annoyance or grief. Give it a try! I bought mine at the Expo but I'm sure you can find it at any local sports store. If you hate it you can always return it :)

    1. Irina, I went onto the iFitness website earlier this week and bought the double-pouch belt! I haven't run with it just yet. But based on just testing it out at home I am a huge fan! It is SO much more suited towards my needs than my SPI Belt. Thank you very much for your tips and recommendation, it was so helpful!!!

  2. The casting call opportunity sounds so cool! Why doesn't cool stuff like that happen around here?

    Does anyone look cool when they run? I sure don't. I rock a SPIbelt and knee strap myself. Although, let's be honest, it's not like I look cool when I'm not running either.*

    1. Thanks, Amy! The odds of me getting selected for the casting call are probably zero to zilch, though - so in the end I've probably just wasted a lot of time, LOL.

      I think you look like a completely natural runner. Your knee strap looks completely normal and I actually don't ever recall seeing your SPI belt in any of your pictures. I also think you look very approachable and down-to-earth when you are not running!

  3. I hope you get cast!!! I used to have so many things attached to the belt I wore when I ran! Now I just carry my handheld :)

    1. Thanks, Kim! What kind of belt did you previously use? I have a love-hate relationship with my handheld water bottle and its pockets. I do like having the convenience of water at my disposal at any given moment, but the weight of the bottle often starts feeling cumbersome after awhile. I'm trying to find that balance!

  4. I hope you get the gig! That would be so exciting! And the knee straps would certainly make you relatable and definitely a legit runner :)

    I hate my spi belt. I usually just put my phone in it and the darn thing bounces around so I end up stuffing it in my shorts. I used to love my Nathan marathon pack but I can't seem to find them anymore. Plus the stitching came undone... I'll have to check the brand of the other one I've been using. But I plan on just ditching the pack and only using the pockets in my new Lulu shorts for my next race and going pack free.

    1. Yay, thank you to Xaar for putting a positive spin on my knee straps!!! =)

      I SO hear you about how the SPI belt bounces around, it gets really irritating after awhile. Was your Nathan marathon pack one of those water backpacks or is it a belt?

      For some reason I have the darndest time finding running shorts with adequate pockets. You would think that pockets would be a very common feature on running shorts but they seem almost nonexistant!