Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recycled Foot Traffic

Running has always been therapeutic for me.  Just me and my iPhone on the go.  When I run all I hear is my music.  No cars, no people and no kids tattling on each other. Nothing! Ive been running for many years now just as a way to relax and enjoy the weather.  It wasn't until 2010 that I decided to run in a race.  I quickly signed up at a gym and started my training.  After a few weeks my feet started to bother me so I bought a good pair of shoe's (not naming names but it started with an N).  This quickly started to add up to too much money out of my pocket. Then I needed some clothes to train in. You see where this is going? Running can be expensive.

As I trained I would visit my mom and dad often.  Dad was going through chemo from cancer so I would visit them often.  He was proud of me and I was excited to tell him how far I ran that day.  After months of training I was ready for my race.  Here I am with my running buddy and good friend Michele.  Look how cocky I look. I was here to race. Bring it world!

After a few miles I started to get crazy.  It was hot...muggy....and I started to run behind people to draft behind elderly people.  The whole time I was thinking to myself "If they can do it then I can".  Two hours and forty five minutes later I crossed the finish line crying like a baby. I did it. I did it by myself and for myself.  My legs were killing me and I could barely drive my car home.  Why? You see my friend I trained in the gym 100%.  And if you ask any racer they will tell you to train outside along with the gym.  Streets are much tougher on your legs than a treadmill.  Lesson learned.
Total Expenses
Race cost-$65
Shoe's-$80 (that was half price too)
Gym 4 months-$120
Total cost-$285

Since I was feeling pretty sure of myself I decided to sign up for another race.  This time it was only 6.5 miles.  No training in the gym and once again I dragged my buddy Michele with me. 

At my last race I saw people wearing cute outfits and funky socks.  This time I was going to do the same.  So we went old school and were ready to rock. 
Can you tell I was excited? I'm afraid of bridges and was scared to do this race.  There was beer and pasta at the finish line......bring it on!!!!  I used my same running shoe's but did purchase a few things.

Race cost-$39
Head/wrist bands-$20
Funky socks-$18
Total cost-$77

The following year was a rough one.  My father passed away in November 2010.  My grandfather and grandmother also passed away that year. I was a mess and couldn't concentrate on training at all.  Music I loved so much would bring up memories and I would cry uncontrollably while running.  After a few months I decided I would run anyways. This time I would run for my father. Team Songster! Songster was my dad's last name and he needed to be represented! You see my dad isn't my DNA dad.  My mother married him while I was in high school.  Her 3rd time around finally paid off. He was a keeper.  My DNA father was in and out of my life and not around when I needed him. I was what you call baggage. Around enough to call me "daughter" but not enough to be my "father". Alcohol and cigarettes were his children. My father John was everything to me. He was and will always be my father. DNA or not! Love him and miss him more and more every day that goes by.

The night before the race I almost cut the tip of my thumb off. I should of gone in for stitches but it was late and I didn't want to go in.  So I tapped that sucker up and kept my head focused on the race.

And of course I dragged someone else with me. This is my friend Tanya and as you can see she is just as crazy as me. Here we are at mile 6.5. 

Run cost-$65
Total cost-$125
No gym membership this year because I trained in the streets! Guess who wasn't sore this year? ME!! I literally could of ran home after the race. I was feeling that good! Plus I live within 10 minutes of this race lol. 

You might be asking yourself why do we run. Why?

Well there area a few reason's why we run.  I run for the love of running.  Oh and good food is also a motivational tool.  Beer also works.
These are pretty damn cool.  I have two of these pretty things that I hang on a mirror I look into each day. Just a friendly reminder that I can do anything I set my sights on.I also run to help others.  All the races raise money for different charities.  That feels so good knowing my race money is helping others. 

Here are a few tips and tricks I have come up with along the way.

Buy used training clothes. Instead of going out and purchasing expensive training clothes, why not look in thrift shops? I found SO MANY running clothes for a fraction of the cost if I would of bought them new.  If you can't find what your looking for how about asking friends and family if you can borrow theirs? If that doesn't work then look for good sales or outlet shops.  There are so many ways to save money on clothes. All my clothes you see in those pictures? Yep they were bought second hand!

Sign up for races early. Most races offer a discount if you sign up early in advance.  So keep your eyes peeled for this!

Train outside. You set the time, distance and go anywhere you want and when you want.  This is completely FREE!  Or have a friend with a work out room? Run with them!  Just make sure to train on real streets so you can get your body ready.  Trust me on this one.

There's an app for that.   There are so many apps for routing your runs.  Keeps track of time, distance, minutes per mile and even song selections.  My personal favorite are  MapMyRUN and Nike+GPS.  Both are completely free!

Get a buddy. Running with someone makes your time go by faster and you focus less on how much you hurt.  It's my favorite way to train.  Love my running dates with my girls.

Shoe's shoe's shoe's. I cannot stress enough how important the right pair of training shoes are to a race.  My first race I assumed you needed name brand mainstream shoes. NOT!!!! (yes Nike I'm talking to you).  The second year I decided to head into Portland Running Company. I learned that I run on my sides of my feet which is why I hurt the first year I raced.  To correct it they suggested a different brand and style of shoes that would correct this. OMG were they right.  My feet have been thanking them ever since. 
From their web site-
"Bring your old running shoes if you have any. We will check your wear pattern and watch you walk or run to check for foot motion (overpronation/underpronation or rolling of the foot in or out), which can lead to injury."
You will feel a bit goofy running in front of people but get over it and go get yourself the correct shoes for your feet.  Be sure to check out any Eco friendly options too! They have them all!

H2O. You don't need energy drinks, fancy colored "hydrating" drinks or anything along those lines. Just good plain water will do ya.  I did invest in a BPA free hydration belt.  This way I can run as long as I want and not have to worry where the nearest water fountain is.  Plus I can keep my iPhone in there for my music addiction and ID in case I get hurt along the way.  Or coffee/snack money for my stop at my favorite coffee joint Black Rock Coffee which is along my running route.

If you live in the Portland Oregon area and want to try out a race just send me a email.  I'm always looking for running partners.  Running can be expensive or frugal.  Just get out there and have fun with it.  And always TREAD LIGHTLY!!!!


Anonymous said...

I love the socks! I'm a runner and after all these years of running I have never had a pair of funky socks. Added to my list.

I run for many of the same reasons as you. One more reason to run: for others. Running for a charity is incredibly inspirational and has kept me motivated at times when I was ready to throw in the towel.

Finding the right shoes took me years, but so worth it! When you're pounding on your little feet it makes such a difference.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Love your tips and pictures especially about the used clothing. Running to you is like gardening for me. It feeds my soul. Keeping running.