It's easy to think of running as a cheap sport or activity. All you need are shoes and clothes and a water bottle, right?
The water bottle is indeed cheap. I bring my Nalgene with me to the treadmill, and when the weather is warm again, I will take it outside. I like that it doesn't give the water that weird plastic-y taste. I'll save the cheap bottles for stuff like Tang, when I start running longer distances.
Clothes. I run with T-shirts I've gotten as gifts or won for free. One of my favorite ones I got for free in a self-defense class with Coach Denney, who is the wrestling coach of a winning team. ( I believe they were the winningest team at my undergrad, until the athletic director had the stupidest idea to fire Coach Denney over the phone because he wanted to replace wrestling and football with brand new sports--golf and soccer. Idiot. Thank goodness another university picked up pretty much the entire wrestling team because they wanted to add wrestling to their lineup. But that's a long story.) I like wearing that shirt.
And I wear knit shorts I wore in high school. They don't fit so well anymore, since I've, uh, gained weight. Who cares, though? My shirt is long enough to cover that. I also have two running shorts I got on deep clearance from a sports store. They were something like $4 each. Cheap.
I have only two well-fitting bras that I wear day-to-day. One is in the wash while I wear the other, basically, so I can't wear these while running, otherwise it makes me smell bad when I'm not running. Sweat can do that to them. So, I wear my small bras, ones I got early in undergrad. Before I gained weight, and had to go up a size or two, that is. They mash my boobs together and cut into me, but if I make the straps really short, it keeps my boobs from being overly bouncy. And I have three of them, which works great for the three times a week that I run. I just get bra rash, but that's not a problem. They work, until I can afford sports bras.
It's the shoes that are the problem. I bought a pair of Nike walking shoes on sale at Kohl's years ago. Probably early on in my undergrad. It was a splurge at $40. I mostly wore them for exercising in, to keep them in good shape for exercise. And they worked. I think they caused shin splints my first time I was training (for Race to Wrigley) but I adjusted my gait and pacing to accommodate it, and managed just fine. The shoes got soaked thanks to the rain and the puddles on race day, but I dried them out and even waited on running again until they were totally dry, so that they won't stink too bad.But over the summer I just was too busy with summer classes and work. (Word to the wise, don't take two summer classes.)
So, I haven't worn them until I started running again not long ago. I don't know how shoes work--did getting soaked ruin them? Who knows. But I'm having horrible shin splints, and I deduced it was the shoes. It's time to get proper running shoes. I knew it would be expensive, but it would be a good splurge this weekend. I was planning on going to a store, probably Fleet Feet, to get my feet and gait measured to be properly fitted with shoes.
But then my cat, Joe, got sick. (Missy is here, giving him a bath). He was sort of lethargic on Sunday, and all day Monday he wouldn't eat or drink, and he kept hurking up clear liquids or white foam. (I was home all day yesterday because I wasn't feeling so great myself.) My husband scheduled a vet visit for Joe, and took him in yesterday afternoon. They ran a bunch of tests, took an X-ray, and he had inflamed intestines. We don't know what caused it, but at least we know how to treat it, and Jeff carried home a bunch of meds for him--anti-nausea, appetite stimulate, pain meds, and so on.
This morning he is back to 80% of himself. (This is an old pic, but he still looks like this). He came to investigate when my alarm went off. He is eating again (we're spoiling him with kitten kibble and treats--he just needs some food in him), and he was even starting to be his troublemaker self by jumping up on stuff and knocking things over. He probably thought I was an idiot for praising him when he ate, and for being so happy when he started knocking things over. But I don't care--our kitty is feeling better!
The bill was a bit of a shock, though. It's actually quite reasonable for everything they did to test him, and it's cheap compared to people care, since insurance hasn't caused artificial price inflation for pet care. It's little over $700, but it was so worth it for Joe to feel better. We have savings, thank God, and for that we are blessed. The money we managed to save over summer was to go toward a down payment for our condo, but we used it for Joe instead.
Since my husband lost his job several weeks ago, we've been doing reasonably well with just my income. Not much wiggle room, but we do have savings to cover any gaps while he looks for work. He's been applying to everything he qualifies for, from full time university jobs to part time jobs at stores.We've been careful with our money, but everyone is having trouble in this economy. We are the fortunate ones.
So, those two things together means that we simply can't buy me new running shoes right now, so my running is on hold. As much as I like running, I'm not going to risk a stress fracture from continual shin splints. And I'm not going to dip into our emergency savings just for shoes, when they're unnecessary.
We have a plan though. Jeff had bought some stocks when we were saving money, but they're mostly stagnant. So, he is planning on selling them. That should hopefully be enough for shoes. There's also a pen he had bought cheap with the intent of selling it for what it's worth, so that's also an option. I do have some books that *might* be worth something, that I don't really need to own.
So, there are options, and we're availing ourselves of them, just so I can keep on track with running, hopefully. We'll see how it goes.