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Running Up Quite the Bill

Credit: tangywolf

Credit: tangywolf

Now that I’m a couple of weeks into my marathon training, I’ve begun to notice a few things: 6 miles is now a “short run” to me, the days are getting insanely shorter (my 6:30 a.m. runs are no longer in the daylight—sad face) and my neighborhood is much, much more hilly than I ever realized.

Oh, and I’m broke. Broke. Broke. Broke.*

I know that running shoes are pricey. Heck, I bought two pairs for my half marathon. But I got them online and on sale. They fit, mostly. I rotated the two pairs for my thrice weekly runs and by the end of training had big calluses on both of my big toes, a toenail that feel off and MASSIVE blisters on the outer sides of both of my heels. Ew, I know. But it was all worth it because I ran 13.1 miles!

But now a 13.1-mile run is just a training run, and not even a long one at that. After all, I’ll be running double that come January 10. (I know that the difference of mileage between a half marathon and a full marathon is very simple, straightforward math, but some days my brain has a hard time comprehending the idea of running 26.2 miles at one time.) And there is no freakin’ way that my feet can endure another pair or two of shoes that fit me “okay.” I need perfect shoes with a perfect fit and a perfect support and a perfect cushion. I need absolute perfection.

Turns out perfection will run you $146.19 a pair with tax. Multiply that times two and you can see why my husband is now requesting that we remove the 60s neon daisy bedroom wallpaper ourselves instead of paying someone else to do the hellacious task. I haven’t told him about the $10 pouch to hold my Nike+ sensor (I got one pair of Nikes and one pair of Mizunos, so I needed the pouch for the non-Nike shoe), the $100+ entry fees to the Disney race or the $35 fuel belt that I’m planning to buy. Soon I’ll also have airfare to Orlando and hotel reservations, too. I guess the jig will be up now though if he’s reading, eh? Sorry, honey. Love you.

But unlike the dress at Target that I couldn’t resist or the bracelet at Forever 21 that just jumped in the cart, these are worthwhile purchases. Purchases that will give back and make my training more about training and less about being uncomfortable. Sure, I could have gotten cheaper shoes that were on sale, but I went to a running store, had a professional fit me and didn’t settle for anything but perfection. (I highly, highly recommend going to a running-specialty store if you can.)

And because I am prone to blistering (you should have seen my feet in high school from tennis…), I got two pairs to rotate. It was seriously one of the first times that I could care less about what my footwear looked like—although I lucked out that they are pretty cute and funky. When I started trying on shoe after shoe (literally like 20 pairs) and rejecting them on feeling instead of cuteness, my husband said, “Now I know that you’re really a runner.”

Now that’s a compliment worth running up a bill for.** —Jenn

*Said like Renee Zellweger in Jerry McGuire. And yes, I’ve seen that movie too many times.

**Now that I have two pairs of shoes that I know I love, I plan on buying these online and hopefully on sale once my current pairs hit the 500-mile mark.

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15 Comments
  1. Diane, Fit to the Finish says:

    YES! You must have great shoes, especially if you are running the kind of distances that you are.

    My Mom ran on bad shoes for a long time, and ended up with stress fractures. She didn't know it – just thought the pain was normal, and kept running.

    She ended up with surgery, and no more running. 🙁 So, the shoes are worth every dime!

    Congratulations by the way, on great training runs!

  2. Stephen says:

    I am about to break down and buy a pair of running shoes also. Although I'm just walking, my $20 tennis shoes are starting to rub my toes the wrong way.

    I've read that good running socks help also.

  3. jennifer york (jeepjenn) says:

    Would those special $20 socks available at the running room help you not get blisters? I skoffed at them at first…but now I am considering it…after all, the $130 shoes almost made me cry…why stop now?

  4. Rachel @ Shedding It says:

    Good shoes are CRUCIAL! And I got my new amazing Asics for cheaper than the Nikes that left me injured…so worth it! But yeah, the bills add up; the day I registered for Disney and my half was a sad day for my "save money" goal. Now I'm onto fuel belts and the Nike+.
    Really though, I think I'm doing the most damage at the iTunes store!!

  5. Metroknow says:

    I second the vote for the socks to save your feet. I swear by double layer thin socks, and for long runs adding Body Glide to the areas most prone to blistering. For me it really, really makes a huge difference. I ran a 9 mile training run with trail socks that weren't double layer and no body glide, and my feet were in hell by mile 7…

    So yeah – definitely spend more money. 😀

  6. Tish says:

    this is the part where i realize i need a sugar daddy…

  7. ctina says:

    Ditto on the SOCKS being key to blister free life. Also, Gold Bond aerosol foot spray — I use it every time I run, it coats your foot with a thin layer of powder– I never get blisters now.

    Can I ask what shoes you bought? I need a new pair too — my favorite brand just changed my model and the effects were disasterous!

  8. Jenn says:

    Ditto on investing in good socks! It's important to take care of those tootsies!

    Ctina: These are the shoes I bought: http://www.amazon.com/Nike-Zoom-Vomero-Yellow-Ladies/dp/B002GU33GK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=shoes&qid=1253544417&sr=8-3. Nike gets a bad rep in the running industry, but Nikes are seriously the shoes that fit my foot best!

  9. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    Shoes are so key! I wish I had two pair as much as I work out!!! My feet do not "fit well" due to flat, wide & bunions & every time I buy shoes, the previous pair are not working anymore so I do need to try them on each & every time.

    BUT, shoes are worth it to keep from injury especially with what you are doing!

  10. katgirl_9538 says:

    YAY!! best of luck with your training Jenn!! i just completed my first half marathon yesterday, and i must admit i still find the people who run the full to be a little off their rockers 🙂 but that's totally cool!!

    and i will second the remark about going to the specialty running store and spending a little extra cash. my husband wanted me to just go to foot locker and get "running shoes". i told him the extra money meant me not getting injured, and in my mind (and HIS!) should be worth it. the only blisters i got during training and the half were tiny little ones between my toes! 🙂 hehe

    best of luck with your training, i can't wait to read all about it!

  11. Kelly says:

    Good shoes are an absolute must. I always know it's time for new shoes when I get back from a run and my feet hurt. If you're going to run that far, you must by comfy!

    I always used to be a bit of a snob about the special running socks. I mean how good could they really be? But I got a pair in my stocking one year and never looked back. Now I can't believe I ever ran in cotton socks!

  12. Caroline says:

    Be careful about waiting too long before buying new shoes if you want the same model. I just bought the same model (or whatever the appropriate word would be) of an old beloved pair of Asics and I'm now having shin twinges that I'm praying won't develop into splints. I can't justify buying another pair until I have Christmas money to spend on them.

  13. Lori-pure2raw says:

    Shoes and socks are very important when running long distance, I agree! I can be prone to blisters as well. Not fun! I am so excited to hear that you are doing the Disney races in January. I am too! You will have a blast, it is a lot of fun.

  14. AllieBoBallie says:

    If you were running the race with, say, Leukemia and Lymphoma's Team in Training, you wouldn't have airfare, hotel, or entry costs. Sure, you'd have to beg money for a good cause, which can be time consuming, but the race experience would be free. Oh, and you'd get discounts on all of your running equipment.

  15. Jamie says:

    AWESOME!!! Love the committment – that rocks!!!!

    Go to your local running store and have them fit you for shoes ASAP!!! You can't go wrong – they watch you walk, check our what you've been running in, make you run, etc. If they don't – leave! And then, once you're in the right shoes and socks, they'll even take them back if they aren't perfect after a few runs. Seriously. Go do it.

    You've committed to run 26.2 amazing miles – suck it up and get the right shoes – it's worth all of the pennies – trust me!!