When I started running a year ago, I started to in part because 1. I lost a bet with the Narrator and 2. my doctors told me to get active again and 3. I thought running would be a cheap and easy way to fulfill #1 and #2. After all, you only need shorts, a tshirt, shoes and a road right?
After I got over the sticker shock of getting new shoes to accomodate the miles I was putting on my feet (finding a bunch of cute running clothes on clearance helped!) I began to realize that beyond the shoes, clothes and energy gels (necessary for most runs beyond 10 miles) there were some hidden costs to running.
1. Laundry. Runners go through a lot of clothes. It seems to be that once your body gets in the sweating mode, it just doesn’t want to stop. The other night, I ran a nice 5 miles, took a shower, and got into my pjs. By the time I was ready to go to bed, I was freezing. It was then that I realized that the back of my shirt was SOAKED. I had just taken a shower, and I was covered in sweat again. This phenomenon takes place not just after a run. It seems that once you open that floodgate of sweat, whether you have run that day or not, those pores just…pour! I guess I can’t get after my kids for changing clothes 3 times a day anymore.
2. Deodrant. So along with the pours, I mean pores and sweat comes the need for deodrant. No longer can the average deodrant take the case. I actually bought one called “marathon.” No lie. I don’t remember the brand, but it seems to help. A little. Just don’t take a close look at my pits if you see me. Not that you’d want to, but if you get curious….I warned you!
3. Advil. I should buy stock in advil. After a 10 miler the other night, my running partner said her knees were complaining and The Narrator offered her some advil, and as an afterthought asked, “Do you take advil?” She looked at him with a duh expression. Enough said.
4. Clothes. And by clothes I’m not talking about running clothes. I’m talking regular clothes, because when you run 20+ miles a week, the pounds naturally drop no matter HOW much chocolate you eat (insert hallelujah chorus here!). I learned once at a sewing seminar that for every 10 pounds you drop, that equals about 2 inches as well. So far, I believe that theory to be true, based on the size of my shorts.
5. Bandaids. I went through a phase this spring where I got blisters every time I ran. Fortunately, a new pair of shoes took care of the problem (I pity the sales man whose face I stuck my blistered feet into and said – please tell me what I need to not get these!). However, before the new shoes, I went through at least a dozen bandaids with every run. I had a blister on one foot that took 8 good size bandaids to cover. It was nasty! I think that spot will forever be scarred.
6. Food. The whole “carbing up” phrase is for real. It is possible to empty yourself completely of all energy you have consumed in the past 24 hours. Energy gels will keep you going until you finish your miles, but about an hour or two after a long run, boy am I HUNGRY! Give me some protein, and some pasta, and potatoes! Yeah! For someone who loves to eat, this may be the best thing about running. I can eat, and not worry about counting calories. Not that I ever really counted calories, but that’s besides the point. I use dailymile.com to track my training, and I love, love, love hitting that little arrow button that calculates how many calories I have burned. 1,100 calories on a 10 mile run? Bring on the pizza baby!
I am in love with running. I’m hooked, and I really can’t believe it. I love how I feel, I love the sense of accomplishment, and I love that it tones my arms just from swinging them back and forth. I. Love. To. Run. So much so, that I’m planning on running the Detroit full marathon this October, just because I’m crazy.