Running is supposed to be a cheap sport. It can be. A couple of pairs of running shoes a year, free roads and trails, and away you go. Some even argue that real runners head out in 1980s trainers, a cheap white undershirt, high school gym shorts, and cotton socks from a dollar store 12-pack. I am not one of those runners.
As Cheaper than Therapy or Go, Tracy, Go (I can’t remember and I can’t find the post … ok, I didn’t even look) once wrote, many runners are draped in upwards of $1000 worth of unnecessary extras they deem to be essentials. I am not one of those runners either.
I’m somewhere in between the Wal-Mart tube-socks and running shoes trimmed in diamonds. Truthfully, somewhere closer to the diamonds than the tube socks.
I do not dare add up the total amount we spend on race entries (and associated travel costs) each year. I own gadgets and gizmos that count my heart beats, track my pace and mileage, and play me songs. I wear fancy high-tech clothes that wick away my sweat. I buy over-priced race memorabilia. My home library is filled with running books. I eat costly prepackaged “food” on the run instead of bulk bin raisins. I even made a wish list to aid folks who feel inclined to buy me stuff.
What can I say. I have no kids or so-called fur-baby substitutes to drain my bank account, so I dispose of my income on superfluous extras like running accessories and Cirque du Soleil tickets instead of organic baby food and dog costumes. I don’t need these things, I like them.
For the big spenders, my
Top 5 List of Expensive Running Wants Not Needs:
I’m in a love-hate relationship with Garmin 405, the 4th. Before I went high tech I used a classic Timex Ironman. I still use that old Timex in races. I love the Garmin for training, mostly because I’m really lazy and it autodownloads a record of my workout into a handy log and all I need to do is sit near my computer. Price: $200-400.
2. The 100% reflective Nike Vapor Jacket.
Because it is seriously amazing and will save my life in a city that ranks cars>bikes>runners. Price: $400.
My lackadaisical approach to eye wear has left me worse for wear. These are the only sunglasses I have ever worn that I don’t want to toss in a bush after 5K. Price: $225.
4. A race entry.
Plus travel, food, and accommodations, as required. Price: $100 for an average marathon (more for New York, Boston and anything promising bands every mile). Don’t add up the other race costs or you may never race again.
5. A Running Coach
Sometimes you need more than a book and an internet connection. Price: Depends on the coach. Priceless if you PB?
Title: Barenaked Ladies – If I Had a Million Dollars. 1993.