Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What I Will Never Understand... A Post About Running Shoes and the General Weirdness of Runners

I cannot understand why people are so obsessed with having cute running shoes.  I know people who buy running shoes only because they like how they look, or they spend significantly more for the same shoe with a different color when they could get the same shoe on sale.  I guess I could understand if the shoe was really ugly (there are some that really do look ridiculous), but come on - functionality over looks here people!

Granted, this is coming from someone who has a running-shoe addiction, because I can never seem to find the PERFECT shoe, so finding good deals is essential to keeping up my addiction without sending myself broke (yay for RunningWarehouse.com and JoesNewBalanceOutlet.com for fueling my addiction!).  I thought I had (Saucony Grid Type A4), but I'm afraid they were too tight...  I think the tendinitis on the top of my foot was caused by that, and my toes got all bloody from them rubbing together (though that didn't really hurt), oh, and I can't wear them on trails because they have drainage holes in them, which also means rock holes (haha).  Oh well, they were made for roads not trails.  I should say that I'm not completely impervious to looks - if there are two identical pairs of shoes (minus the color) and I can choose from both of them in my size, and they are on sale, I will take the ones with the color I like best :)

Of course, I can understand buying a dress shoe for the purpose of looks.  Isn't that purpose of dress shoes - to look good?  This makes perfect sense to me, though if I'm out dancing or something, I still make sure that my shoes are comfortable enough I can stand in them for a couple of hours.  I can always walk back barefoot - as I have done before :)  But if you're someone who runs for long periods of time, functionality is really important!  If I could just pick up barefoot running, I think I would be best off, but I don't have the patience to start from scratch (which you pretty much have to do).  *Sigh*.  I do love my Vibram Five Fingers, but again, I always overdo it.  Speaking of not caring how my shoes look... those are pretty ridiculous, but functionality over looks here!  Which is why I don't understand why the military (well, Army) cares so much about them.   I guess a lot of people go out and do too much (*cough* guilty) and end up hurt but they can do that when they aren't in uniform, and they get hurt in regular shoes too.  I also dislike when people comment on bright colored shoes in uniform.  I know, for one, if I can get a good deal on a pair of running shoes I love, and they happen to be bright pink, I will wear them.  Not because I want to make a statement, but because they are good shoes that I got for a good deal!

In retrospect though, I am also the weirdo running chick who will walk around barefoot for a mile if my shoes become uncomfortable (got lots of weird looks when I did that).  Or run back and forth next to my building because there is an awesome, smooth straightaway of about 200 meters that nobody is allowed to drive on except emergency vehicles.  Great for end-of-run strides and some barefoot running :)  Everyone who lives here is used to me by now, so I've stopped getting weird looks when I walk out of my place with my purple running fanny pack (woohoo - stylin!) and my Camelbak-esque running pack (okay, I don't wear those together).  For those of us who aren't very fast, we need to bring lots of water on twenty mile runs, or we will dehydrate and die.  Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I do feel pretty crappy when I don't bring water since there are around zero drinking fountains in this place (I guess they figure it gets too cold here in the winter - or we can just put some snow in our mouths when we need water).

In the realm of runners, I'm really not strange at all, and I really don't run as much as everyone thinks I do, but in the realm of non-runner people (or military people who run when they have to and not on their spare time), I am the strange running chick, and that means wearing shoes that might be ugly, walking around barefoot, and running with random straps on to help prevent/heal injuries while still training.  "Why don't you just stop?"  is something I hear frequently, but my addiction fuels me to keep going... Even if there are weeks where I can only do short distances.  Or zero distances.  It's always about getting back, despite the pain of joints, muscles, blisters, all sorts of random chafing that I didn't even know was possible until I step into the shower after a long run.  For some reason, there is something addicting about putting myself through the misery.  

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