Thursday, December 8, 2016

Five running things I wish I could "un-purchase"



Ever have buyer's remorse..... as a runner?

It has not happened to me very much, thankfully. But, there have been a few things I wish I could "un-purchase."



For example:

Color Run registration
This was a new-on-the-scene event back in 2012, and was marketed (quite effectively) as a fun running venue. Myself and a couple friends from work decided to do the race together. We even formed a "team" to guarantee a spot for us at the Run. Race day arrives, and The Des Moines weather (late October) was none other than cold, damp, and windy (can you say, "triple whammy?").

The three of us were planning to meet there, and while en route, I got a text from one of the gals...bailing on the day. We arrived, and I found my other friend. She was going to run with her daughter (in a stroller), so she thought it best for her to line up towards the back of the pack. So, I was on my own...but I've done many races on my own. No big deal, right?

I don't know if they still do this, but back then we were assigned waves. The thing is, none of our bibs were pre-assigned, so they would have had no way of knowing if you seeded yourself in an earlier wave (unfortunately, I didn't have this epiphany until after I had finished).
image from www.runnersworld.de
Let me just say this....I am all for people getting out there and moving. I respect the walkers just as much as the runners. And, it was awesome that there were so many families (with so many kids) doing this race. But it was a flippin' circus. I was planning to "run," but I had to do so much weaving, dodging, and stopping that there was not much running happening on that cold, damp, windy day in Des Moines. This "color run" was more like a "crowded walk." Had I known it was going to be nothing like I'd expected, or if I would have had a few friends to run/walk the course with me, it would have been a much different experience. That's $40 I'll never get back, and the cheap cotton "keepsake" shirt is long gone (just like the "permanent" colors that faded out of it the first time I washed it). Bottom line, do a "race" like this with a group of friends, and do it for the fun.

Saucony Triumpth 11's
I acquired these in September of 2014, about six weeks prior to the IMT Des Moines Marathon (my second 26.2). I had been having a lot of issues with my left hamstring/glute, and went to a new-to-me running/bike store and had a gait analysis done. I have always worn stability shoes (for my crazy extreme over-pronating feet), but the guy convinced me I needed neutral shoes instead....and sent me home with these beauties. I knew Saucony was a reputable company, and I was excited to have some new shoes that would solve all of my problems.


Except, these pretty shoes didn't seem to work any magic on me (or my left hammy or glute). I don't think they made my issues any worse, but nothing was feeling any better and I had a big race happening soon. After a couple weeks of trying to break them in (ironically, just as I was approaching my taper), I made a command decision to just go with my tried-and-true Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's (even though they were well past their prime). Alas, all went for my marathon (I even PR'd!), and decided I'd wait until after I'd had a few weeks to recover before giving the new Saucony's another try. I rationalized that it would be better to take my time breaking them in during my off-season (through the winter). Well, long story short, they never worked out. And I never took them back....so any gal out there who wears a size 11 neutral running shoe, I might have a great deal on these for you. There's probably less than 50 total miles on them, and they still look (and feel) brand new. These are awesome shoes...but my over-pronating feet don't belong in them.

Low-waisted yoga pants
Oh my gosh. Whose great idea was this invention? I have several pairs of the traditional roll-waist yoga pants, and those are fabulous. But these? Every downward dog guarantees a "smile" to any (and every) one who glances my way.


Maybe it's just me? I am slender, and have a pretty small waist...but these pants refuse to stay up on me. Buying these was a fashion purchase fail.

An awkward hydration/fuel belt
In an effort to be better with hydrating (and fueling) while on the run, I purchased this belt at an expo. I loved the design (it has two big pockets on either side of the bottle sleeve), and the water bottle is big enough that I would not need any refills.


The thing is, going back to my waist (again), I have to wear this hiked up and tight at my natural waist to keep it from bouncing. I would love it if this (or any) belt would stay put on my hips, but everything works its way up to my waist within the first quarter mile or so. And that big bottle? It's pretty heavy when filled with water, not to mention the cap leaks a bit...so, yeah, there's that (#wetspots).

An infuser-type water bottle
I have never been much of a water drinker. Of course, I'll grab a water bottle after a hot run (or race) and gladly drink it. But to just drink water throughout the day? I have to add flavoring to it, no matter the source (bottled, filtered, tap, you name it).


I bought this bottle thinking I would instantly become an overnight water lover. I tried infusing lemons, but the flavor wasn't strong enough (and I was temped to add sugar in hopes of making it taste like lemonade). I tried cucumbers, but they got rather nasty-looking. I tried mixing different flavors together (lemon and mint leaves, for example). Granted, the infused water tasted better than plain water, but not enough for me to crave it and drink those recommended eight glasses every day. Spoiler alert...this bottle now sits in my cupboard with several other infuser bottles (that were swag items from races...so those, at least, were free).

So, there you have it. I really had a tough time coming up with five things I'd rather NOT have purchased because I love all of my running stuff. If I come across anything that doesn't work for me, I usually can find someone who has a need for it.

What are some things you bought that you never used? Any "great" gear that wasn't so great after all?

I'm linking up with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for their awesome Friday Five 2.0 link-up. Today's topic is all about things we wish we'd never bought. I invite you to check out their blogs, and drop by some of the linked blogs as well. Happy Reading!





36 comments:

  1. I haven't run in a while, but I don't have a buyer's-remorse story to tell - for running, anyway. My latest microwave, however, leaves a lot to be desired for workmanship in 2016. After three months, it's on the fritz!

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    1. Gosh, that would be frustrating! You'd think in these modern times, a microwave would have a little more life than three months!

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  2. I'm still not used to carrying my soft flask water bottle and don't use it often. I need a runner's yard sale to give away my unused running gear!

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    1. I have yet to find an ideal hydration "system" that works perfectly for me. Well, I guess the water stations at mile marks are fine for races...but they typically don't exist on my training runs LOL I endured 26.2 miles with a small handheld bottle recently, I just kept refilling it every 6-7 miles or so. Not ideal, but it sufficed. #stillsearching

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  3. I feel the same about that Hot Chocolate run as you do about the color run. What a cluster. No novelty races for me!

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    1. If it would have been a warm day (with some sunshine) and several friends to be crazy with....this would have been a much different experience. That said, I have ZERO interest in giving it a second chance at redemption. Once and done.

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  4. Like you, I went to a new running store in Glasgow for gait analysis after being told that's the best thing to do when you start running! Plus I was training for the London Marathon. Anyway , they recommended some cool looking asics for me which didn't feel like me but hey, the guy must know right? Well £110 spent and after a couple of weeks trying to break them in it just wasn't happening :( I developed shin splints whist running in them and went back to my Nikes 🙄
    No more shin pain since then. They now just look pretty in my wardrobe 😂

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    1. It's frustrating when the "experts" lead you in the wrong direction. This guy had me run barefoot on a treadmill...and within 15 seconds told me I had been wearing the wrong shoes. He really seemed like he knew what he was talking about, so I completely trusted him. Ha!

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  5. Ugh to leaky bottle caps. There are way too many of them out there and they suck. My Glo-Run was rained/lightninged out but I have a feeling it would have been a massive cluster as well. Just no.

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    1. I can see the appeal to new runners, or to people who are excited to do a "running" event (who have never pinned on a bib). But, they need to find a way to tactfully sanction the participants based on their pace, etc. A little pre-race instruction about "walkers stay to the right" would be helpful, too. ;-)

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  6. Oh the runner's buyer's remorse! The Color Run is definitely not my kind of event...so funny that I don't mind mud but the Color Run is way too chaotic for me!

    It sucks when you get the wrong shoes...I'm a neutral runner and was convinced to get stability shoes that ended up jacking up my arches and giving me PF (ugh!). I've never worn Saucony, too bad I'm a 10.5 haha!

    I have an infused water bottle and I've never even tried to infuse anything. I never thought that it would be too weak...

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    1. The water bottle was frustrating...maybe I didn't use enough fruit (?). Also, I didn't now how long I could keep the fruit slices in there before they'd need replacing. Kind of a bad science experiment LOL

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  7. Yea, those "fun runs" are not a quality course experience at all lol been there done that :)
    I have a few water belts that just don't work for me. A small handheld is so much easier, for short runs.

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    1. I'm not a fan of handhelds, but I have used them. I did get a hydration vest late in the summer and wore that for some of my longer runs....that worked better than I thought, though I felt like GI Joe on a rescue mission...

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  8. I just made an angry face at low-waisted Yoga pants. I'm not kidding. They drive me B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

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    1. Maybe I needed a smaller size or something, but these things would NOT stay up on me if I did the slightest hint of a bend-over move. It was so annoying!

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  9. Your right about having to dodge during color runs!!!! It's very annoying. And I don't like how others push into you etc. I always cut my shirts up so I like those and if it helps a lot of that money goes to charity so it's not a complete loss! I will never again do a run in the cold months tho because as you said waiting in the line/waves sucks when your not moving! Haha great post!! Haha I'd love to see more buyer remorse ones (:

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    1. Luckily, I have not had many cases of buyer's remorse, and most often it's not the product itself, but the fact that it just didn't work right for me.

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  10. I'm glad I'm not one of those things you would "un-purchase." That would have broken my heart! I bought a hydration belt, never used it, and sold it. I have a handheld, but I hate it, too. I hate sloshing!

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    1. Total agreement on the sloshing! And I feel like I have to keep switching the bottle back and forth between both hands to keep things "in balance." I need to just find an escort to pace me and be my personal water assistant. Problem solved ;-)

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    1. I don't mind low waisted pants in general...but these particular ones refused to stay in place. I had to keep pulling them up...which probably kept stretching them even more, compounding the problem. Total UGH.

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  12. You win the internet for best post today. I HAVE to agree about the Color Run. I registered once and didn't even run because it was pouring rain when we woke up that morning. But I've heard terrible things. It's so expensive for an untimed, cluster-f of people!

    I prefer low waisted pants. Sure, I get the muffin top. But when they're high waisted it hurts my bowels and makes my mom pouch poof out more than it already does. Lol! Good times. And I can't do hydration belts for this very reason. Hurts the belly. I love my OM vests, though. Once you go vest, you never go back! Or something like that...

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    1. As a rule, I prefer low-waisted pants, which is why I thought these yoga pants were a great find. Ha! Wrong! And the hydration belts...I honestly believe it's ME and not the belts being at fault (because the "riding up" thing happens with every make/model/style on me). I did acquire a vest in late summer, and used that for a lot of my longer runs. I liked it more than I thought I would.

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  13. You can send that water bottle my way..lol. I drink water all the time and have been wanting to try the diffuser thing but never got around to it.
    I feel ya on the shoe thing. I was in the wrong pair for a while and till this day I think it's what caused my ITBS!

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    1. If you're interested, PM your address and I'll send the bottle your way. I just use the drink enhancers (Mio, etc.) with my water....not 100% clean, but at least it helps me with my water intake.

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  14. I've heard a lot of that about colour runs... A lot of my friends who wanted to do their first race got sucked in and realized it was untimed and mostly walking after they had competed it. It's such a shame ):

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    1. I agree...it really is a shame. The race is marketed as a "race," but it's far too crowded for any kind of serious running. I'm not especially speedy, but I was hoping-EXPECTING-to do more running than walking. Frustrating!

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  15. I have a similar Saucony regret-except I regret buying the Zealot ISO model. Loved them for a 2-3 mile run (at least the first couple of runs) but after that they seemed to aggravate some hip issues, now they are collecting dust in my closet.

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    1. I've thought about listing them on ebay...but I haven't taken the time to do so. I've worn them a few times for walking the dog, but they are also a tad bit "long" for my feet as well. I'd love to hand them over to someone who could actually use them.

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  16. Good to know what to avoid. I definitely avoid gimmicky 5ks for the same reason or expect it NOT to be a run event.

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    1. This race was totally marketed as a "race" and I foolishly fell for it LOL I know a lot of friends who have done this race (or similar races) with a group of friends and they loved it. I was kind of stuck on my own and it was miserable. Lesson learned!

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  17. Ha, great post. I agree with the low waisted yoga pant dilemma and the color run. I actually did one for free but my friend had to pay and totally not worth the money, although we had fun...we didn't run much.

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    1. I agree...this kind of an event is not really a "run." And, it's a great event to get "non-runners" out there, possibly giving them a taste of the excitement of a start line. Just don't hope for a PR ;-)

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  18. I bought some long running pants, but I am short. so they bag around the ankles. And now that I have lost some inches around my waist they ride down so easy. And I have 3 pair. Nothing worse than running with running pants that don't stay up.

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  19. I was starting to feel that I was the only one who didn't like things she bought! Thanks!

    I did a color run with my fiancé and loved it ! so I invited my whole family to come with me and had a terrible time. Only one sister ran, and the rest of the family wanted to just go home. Haven't done one since.

    I saw your comment on my blog about races in the PA area. When do you want to race? There is a few options. Hershey PA has a 10K in April that is a big race. The same day, there is a 10 Miler in Harrisburg. both great races! Also in the summer there is the BIH half marathon that always attracts lots of people, it's staffed by Amish families, it's a fantastic race, except for it can be very hot, and later in the fall there is the Hershey Half Marathon and the Harrisburg Half Marathon as well. Let me know what months you have in mind and I'll tell you what are some good races around here.

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