Yes, it's true, I went shopping yesterday! My shrink will say I have regressed but who cares. I needed running gear and I needed it pronto! I was feeling somewhat depressed and actually had some free time (a rare thing this week) so I decided to give into my addiction and put some running gear store owner's kids through college.
My first goal was to find some black running shorts. On my last 20 miler my outfit didn't exactly match. I had just bought some shorts with a neon-green stripe down the side for St. Paddy's day and wanted to wear them on the long run. I also wanted to wear my new Brooks H-Vac shirt with a zippered pocket so I could carry all my long run needs (Cell phone, Gel (which I forgot), and tissues). So what if the shirt was blue! OK so now I realize that neon green and blue don't exactly go together. Who cares after 20 miles! Actually no one said anything to me but I noticed the problem while looking at the pictures posted on the Landrunner's website a few days later. Not my best fashion day. So I went through my closet and noticed I don't have any plain black running shorts. Black matches everything so I figure I need to stock up on some to make my choices easier.
I hit The Runner first because that is the store that sponsors all of our weekend long runs. They come out early and put water and food along the course for us. I felt the need to support them since they do so much for us. I found a pair of Adidas short with a nice pocket in the back. They were $38 but I thought I would try them on anyway just to see how they looked. When I go them on in the dressing room I found out they had those tight compression underwear in them. Ohhhh! that felt nice! I had to have them. I also found a cool poster of "Pre" that I picked up to hang in my office. It's from Nike but I have always admired Pre so I got it anyway.
Next I hit OK Runner. They were having a sidewalk sale and some major discounts on running gear. Most of the discounted items were Small or X-Large so I didn't find any good bargains but I did find something I had been looking for a long time. The Race Ready shorts with the pockets in the back (see the picture below). I had seen these at The Runner but they only had the VERY short model which I don't have the dignity to wear outside a dressing room. Well, OK Runner had the 4" inseam model which fit good and kept my dignity intact so I bought a pair (black or course).
Support your local running store
I did control myself somewhat in that I didn't hit my main dealer, Elite Feet. I knew that if I went there I would end up looking at shoes and probably mortgaging my children's future on everything they sell. I felt a little guilty about not buying from my friends but I also felt the need to support the other running stores in Edmond. (WARNING Soap box speech follows!) It's not that I don't like the large, chain running stores. I just feel like the little guys need a chance also. Places like The Runner that go out of their way to get involved in local groups are important to me. I would rather pay more for something from them than save a couple bucks by going to a large, discount running store. Elite Feet has donated something to every running club here in the area and the owners are so nice and helpful. How could you not want to support them? A Fleet Feet has opened here in Edmond and I have been in the store and met the owner. He is very nice and helpful but I still feel loyalty to The Runner and Elite Feet. I made a deal with myself that I will only buy things from Fleet Feet that I can't find at the other stores. So far I haven't found anything that falls into that category. This is a bit of a quandary for me. I don't dislike the big guys, I just have a soft spot for underdogs. Enough of that.
Scraping the Gu off my shoes
I have been thinking that part of my problem with hydration may be from the Gu I usually use during marathons. I always knew that Gu had caffeine but I thought that I was drinking enough water to compensate.
After Disney, though, I have done some research on hydration and even experimented on some long runs. I have always had stomach problems during my runs so I am very careful about what I take in during a long run. Even water can irritate my stomach if I am not careful. I would like to be able to run a marathon without taking any Gel but after some experiments I believe it does help in those last miles. The thing I noticed, however, was that using the Gu gave me energy but I was still getting dehydrated and this negated any benefit from the energy. If I tried to drink more water, my stomach would ache and cause me more problems. So my decision was to stop taking the Gu and make every effort to stay somewhat hydrated hoping my training would make up for the lack of extra energy.
I discovered that I could run very well for 15-16 miles without any Gu and with my normal intake of water. After that my performance suffered. So what am I to do? Taking Gu means more water and more water means stomach trouble.
I found some Gel at The Runner that is NOT caffeinated. I bought a couple packs and will try them tomorrow. This may be my saving grace so I am really hoping they work well. I'll let you know.