Nerd in running shoes

This blog is in participation with Runner’s Lounge Take It and Run Thursday:

Hi… My name is Bob… and I’m a running geek… *sigh*

Now… before I get started on myself here, understand that I currently have NO running gadgets.  No Garmins, no high tech fabrics outside of Drymax shirts, no $20 socks… nothing.  This is all about one word…



First, let’s talk about favorites. 

I totally agree with Betsy that about shoes.  I have found “my” shoes and have a mancrush on them.  I will never buy another pair of anything but Asics Gell 2120s (9 1/2 4E).  You really only need one piece of “equipment” to run.  Once you find “the shoe”, buy the store out of them.

My Oakley M Frame Sunglasses.  Yes, they were $125.  NO… I don’t regret that ONE. BIT…!  You can wear them after dark and STILL see better than everybody else.  I’ve been told, however, that they make me look disturbingly like a cop…  cool!

My only other high tech gear is my trusty Timex Ironman.  $49.95 worth of bomb proof reliability.  I cannot (and, blessedly, will not) begin to describe where this watch has gone to and come back from in one piece.  I have a permanent tan line from mine that is so defined people have recognized the brand of watch when I wasn’t wearing it…. *sigh*  Why this particular brand?  Because the frickin’ numbers on the face are actually BIG ENOUGH that I can read them in the bleary eyed delirium of my runs.  That and the numbers can be read in full sun so it is easy for me to see how slow I am going.  And it’s lighter than a sun dial…

I resisted buying “running” gear because I don’t exactly have the body for it.  But running in homeboy pants and cotton shirts started to “chafe” after a while, so I succumbed to the evils of Drymax and the like.  The good news:  This crap is as comfortable as it comes.  The bad news: Even the expensive stuff develops a case of the funkies after about 3 months of regular use and needs to be attacked with Febreze in order to be tolerable to you and your friends.  Even if you wash it diligently immediately after use.  Oh… and shorts with liners so you don’t have to wear cotton chafers?  The bomb…

Since I run early in the morning with a group, I noticed early on that most of them wore these ridiculous looking headlamps, which I wrote off as gadgets… until I stepped on a walnut and rolled my ankle… *sigh*.  Some type of a light is critical for night running.  Even if it makes me feel like I should strap a bell on or yell “jing jing!” every time I pass somebody.  Mine only cost about $15 dollars and the savings in surgeries and physical therapy visits MORE than paid for it…

I did invest in a good pair of gloves …and a skull cap for runners, mostly because it covered my ears.  These two things made a huge difference in how cold I can run.  They extended my outside running season by several months.

On the nerd side of things, I use run tracking software to monitor mileage and shoe wear, websites like Mapmyrun to find and measure new routes and found both of my running clubs through Google…  If that doesn’t establish me as the dominant nerd in the neighborhood… I don’t know what would….

Now… Let’s talk about that whole WANT thing…

Anybody that tells you they don’t want a Garmin is a lying rat bastard.  Or they do like the rest of us and stalk runners with Garmin’s so they can hear the mileage alarms go off…

Anybody that tells you they don’t want and iPod either already has one or is a closet communist.  “I don’t like music… I’m more of a talk radio person”.  Ever heard of PODCASTS???  Sorry… don’t “dis” the nerd’s tech…  I WILL have an iPod… SOON…

Heart monitors are an enigma to me…  I’m certain they work very well and I’m certain they are a great training tool.  I just don’t know if I want one more thing to monitor on my runs.  I still want one though…

Stupid stuff you should never buy:

These:  Look… I suffer from flaming nipples syndrome just like the next guy.  But I can buy a box of those little “dot” bandaids for 2 bucks.  And they got me through marathon training just fine.

$20 socks.  …nuff said.

This.  Even I’M not THAT big a nerd…

I guess, in the end, the greatest attraction to distance running for me was its simplicity.  You don’t “NEED” anything more than a good pair of shoes.  Unlike my second love, mountain biking, which requires THOUSANDS of dollars of “stuff” in order to do routinely and comfortably… *sigh*.  Do I “WANT” the cool goodies and gadgets?  I wouldn’t be a geek if I didn’t… 😉  Do I “need” them?  No.  It’s just one more thing to manage, or forget, or lose, or forget to charge, etc.  I have a tough enough time keeping track of my shoes…


5 Responses to Nerd in running shoes

  1. Nat says:

    Too funny. I like my toys. I”m not sure about the HRM either. I think I might need to keep somethings mysterious.

  2. Betsy says:

    I’m an Asics devotte myself. They’re the best!

  3. Rob says:

    A sea jogger just crazy. I have to admit I don’t need all the gear I have but I do like it. Although, you have me beat on the head lamp thing.

  4. Shelah says:

    I definitely agree. But some of those wants sure seem like needs some days.

  5. Amy says:

    I love this post – well, I love all your posts.

    I don’t know about the Garmin thing. Part of me wants to try one – but then it will only reinforce how slow I really am.


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