Yesterday I went running for the first time since the Winterman half-marathon. It was sunny, -15, and there was a sharp wind. The wind was severe enough that, very shortly after my run, I went and bought myself a brand new neck-warmer.
My run yesterday made me think about all the gear I own as a runner. It is a ridiculous amount of equipment, and I never expected that I would be stocking up on so much stuff when I started this new hobby.
When I started running, I imagined that it would be an inexpensive hobby, a cheap way to pass the time and stay in shape! I started running with little more than a pair of shoes, shorts, and a T-shirt. What more could a runner possibly need? I was so naïve.
I did not just go buy equipment willy-nilly, however. Being a bit of a spendthrift (actually, I prefer the term ‘fiscal conservative’), I only bought equipment when I actually needed it. Like yesterday, I only bought my neck-warmer after a windy run that was particularly punishing on my exposed neck.
In fact, all the equipment, clothing, or gear I own represents some sort of painful experience that immediately preceded the purchasing of said equipment. Each piece of running gear that I put on my person represents a painful running episode that I would rather forget.
- My neck-warmer represents my regret at having run head-first into -21 windchill.
- My double-layered athletic socks represent a particularly nasty set of blisters.
- My thermal toque represents a head cold that I would rather forget.
- My jogging pants remind me of the time that my legs seized up most uncomfortably.
- I wear gloves so that the time I was unable to hold a pen for a day and a half is never repeated.
- My thermal shirt and wind-proof shell represent a state of being that, if it wasn’t hypothermia, was dastardly close.
- My anti-chafing product is a direct legacy of some serious pain that I first experienced during the back half of the Festival City 10K.
- And my thermal undershorts are a reminder of one winter run where the name “Crawford” almost disappeared from the face of the earth.
The point is, I have spent a lot of money on getting the appropriate running gear. I do not regret a single penny of it.