Well, that's the $1,000,000 question, isn't it!
We've all heard running is a cheap sport. All we need is a pair of shoes, after all, and a willingness to lace up and get moving. But, those shoes do not come free, nor do any of the other "extras."
None the less, I do have a few favorites....
For starters, there's the shoes!
I wore off-the-rack shoes when I first started running, at least for the first couple of years. It wasn't until I trained for my first distance event (Dam to Dam 20K, May 2008) that I broke down and dropped a triple digit dollar amount for real running shoes (from a real running store). I have pretty high-maintenance feet (freakishly high arches and over-pronation like you wouldn't believe), so "new and improved" models aren't always a good fit for me. I have worn Nikey Structures, Mizuno Wave Inspires and Brooks Adrenaline GTS models because my feet (and my entire body LOL) need support and stability. Currently, I'm in the Brooks Adrenaline 18's, but the Mizuno Wave Inspire 13's have been a great sister shoe to them. In a perfect world, I'd have several pairs of these favorites on standby so I wouldn't have to risk the "improved" models not working for me.
|The Wave Inspire 8's have been my absolute favorite (but are no longer available)
I don't remember when I was introduced to arm warmers, but I am hopelessly in love with them. My running outfit of choice is a tank top with shorts, but on cooler mornings I often add the arm warmers. Yes, they look pretty, but they also add just enough warmth without the bulk of a long-sleeved top. Also, if you get too warm with them, all you have to do is roll them down and slide them off. I also use them as an extra layer on my arms in the winter, as a base layer. I'd love to have several more of these (in all kinds of funky colors and patterns).
|Even on a cool summer morning, arm warmers are a great option
Headbands are not a necessity, but they do come in handy (and also can add a touch of color). I have medium-length hair, and frequently many of those layers just will not stay in a pony tail without a fight. A headband keeps all the shorter whispies out of my face, as well as acting as a thin covering over my ears on a cool (or windy) day. One can never have too many fashion add-ons, right?
Although I consider myself more of a runner than a racer, I LOVE my races! And, even though I have had some sporadic age group wins, I can safely say I will never win a race. In other words, I am not racing for any potential financial gain. Granted, one can enjoy running without pinning on a race bib, but the excitement of the start line is pretty hard to simulate on your own.
In recent years, with my love of the marathon ignited, so has my number of distance races increased. Not only am I doing marathons on a yearly basis, I'm also doing more half marathons as well. Some marathon registrations start in the $80 range (with early bird pricing), and it's upward and onward from there. Half marathons, in my area, average around $50-$60, but that's also contingent on early registration for many of them.
|At the R'n'R Chicago in July
That's basically where I'd spend that bonus $1,000 if it were to come my way. As you can see, I'm all about the basics...I don't really have much interest in tech gadgets. I'm content with my Ipod Shuffle (although I may have to pay top dollar when the time comes to replace it, since it's been discontinued). I also have a very basic Garmin which serves me quite well, though I do not wear it every time I lace up.
I thought about including travel and lodging in this list, but even though they are a part of running (racecations, anyone?), they technically are their own entity. Often times, we book a vacation first and I find a race as an after thought (but, on occasion, the race comes first LOL).
How about YOU? Do you have some favorite running gear that you would splurge on if $1,000 magically landed on your running route? Would you stockpile the basics, or splurge on a few higher-dollar items? Any bucket list races?
**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.