Health & Fitness.

My first entry into Fleet Feet

Since I’m new to this whole “running” thing – I don’t have a lot of what other half-marathon trainers would consider to be necessities. Like cold-weather running gear, or a watch, or a way to hydrate as I train. But – I don’t really want to go out and spend money on that type of thing when I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stick with the program. It would be like me to spend $200 on gear and sit on my ass the rest of the year watching re-runs of Little House on the Prairie.

I have told myself that for every week I complete training, I can buy one running accessory. I completed week one last week with my 6 mile long run, so I was going to buy some running pants for my 5k today because it’s getting too cold to run in shorts.

I didn’t get around to doing it this week – so I went last night to Fleet Feet to buy a pair.

The second I walked in, I knew I was in trouble. First off? I was so insecure and felt so out-of-place. This is a store for runners, not for wannabes like me! I was afraid they could spot me as a novice from a mile away. There were t-shirts for 50Ks framed by the shoes (FIFTY KILOMETERS? ARE THEY CRAZY?) as well as posters signed by dread-locked trail runners (Brandon Sybrowsky) on the walls. They had a video/treadmill set-up so you could analyze your run. THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS. And I felt uncomfortable, to say the least.

Of course, it was all in my head because the guy that helped me was super nice and didn’t laugh at me when I said I need running pants for cold weather and asked about the one brand I had heard about on some poster. He politely suggested that I try something else because those were for really cold weather and that around here, I’d be good with something else.

He also didn’t mock me when my jaw dropped to the floor because those pants were SIXTY DOLLARS. WHAT THE HELL? And you know? They were the cheaper of the choices. Somehow, I spent $60 on the pants Sandy wore at the end of Grease. And in case you haven’t noticed, I do not have her same body.

Oddly enough, though, they don’t make me feel as self-conscious as I thought they would. If anything, I feel more like I’m wearing an actual runner’s uniform so that I don’t feel like I’ll stick out so bad at this race. And they are comfy. And my brother swore to me that they are a good investment. The cheaper once don’t hold up as well, evidently. We’ll see how they do today. It’s cold as hell right now, 37F, so if they keep me warm, it will be worth it.

I can not believe I now own skin-tight running pants. Who am I?


19 thoughts on “My first entry into Fleet Feet”


    Hahaha…. good luck today. You could put a blond wig on your head and run as Olivia Newton John…. right?

  2. You are a runner, my dear, and you are being hooked in…
    When I ran, there was nothing else that could make me feel as good. Being outdoors, hearing my own breath, feeling powerful… it was just way cool.
    I am so proud of you right now- it says a lot about you and you will get so many benefits from running- and not just physical.
    Good luck on your run!

  3. I got chills, they’re multiplying, and I’m losing control, ’cause the power you’re supplying…IT’S ELECTRIFYING!


    What, the cheap-ass running pants at Target aren’t good enough for you anymore? Alright, just be that way, you damn fit, healthy wench! *pouts*

  4. dude you are such a runner….And can I tell you that TARGEt has the best running clothes at the best prices. I hate to talk up Jon but he turned me on to it…they are really reasonable and I love them…Here is my secret. Ever since babies I have suffered from Rubbing Thigh Disease…ouch. So I buy the coolmax boxer briefs (mens department) to wear under my tights. My favorite shorts are the champions I just bought at Target for 16.99. The are like running in butter! I wear the coolmax under those too.

    I am a huge proponent of spending money shoes because you can really injure yourself otherwise but other than that…not so much.

    and double layer socks…to keep you blister free….
    run girl run

  5. I bought some running pants a while ago, but never wore them because i felt like a stuffed sausage. Then, one day i had to, because laundry was piling up.
    Now, i love them, because on the first run i noticed that they made running a whole lot easier, because the lack of excess fabric between the legs.

    So, now i love my running pants, i have to motivate myself to start running again!

  6. delurking to say that I was a beginning runner like you 4 years ago. What I found is that the running community is SO supportive and encouraging to newbie runners, more so I think than in other sports. So don’t EVER feel self conscious or like you don’t belong. You ARE a RUNNER!

  7. wow, I’m delurking to say that I experienced that very same “I don’t belong here” type feeling at Academy earlier this week… Walking through all the exercise clothes, I felt like a TOTAL fish out of water. Especially because I just wanted shorts for playing kickball! So yay for you for actually getting help from an actual sales person AND walking out of there with something.

    p.s. Love the blog. 🙂

  8. Excellent! Just FYI, there’s a general guideline about running temps called the 20 Degree rule. You should dress to run as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than the temp. outside. Of course it depends on how your body adjusts to temperatures, but that’s a general guideline that tends to hold up.

  9. Not a bad idea to prioritize your list. Gloves? High on the list, followed closely by one of the bands to cover your ears when they get cold. One long-sleeved technical shirt (trust me, a sweaty, cold cotton shirt is the worst) would be a good thing.

    If you thing to work from the extremities first – head, fingers, toes – you’ll be able to stick with it a lot longer. Good luck!

  10. You’ll be happy to know, Zoot that TARGET carries a great line of running clothes at reasonably prices. I buy most of my running shirts and lycra there. When the season changes? They go on clearance! Take a look, you’ll be happy.

    Hope your race went well!

  11. As someone who has been running in the novice dept since 2002, I understand the shock and awe of buying expensive running clothes. But, I figured that in the long run, running is for better than any therapist or drug and for that I don’t feel bad throwing down 50 bucks for nice running pants or 9 bucks for comfy socks….perspective.

  12. I know what you mean. I’ll wear an outfit to the office that I spent 15 bucks on at a yard sale (Hey, 10 for a silk Holt Renfrew sweater set and another 5 for black pants? I’ll take it!) but when I teach at the gym just my wrist bands and socks will have cost that much. It is worth it though to have good stuff that will last and not pill right away or show your underwear through it.

    Here’s a tip for good gear: some big time running events will have a sports expo (e.g. in Ottawa we have the national capital race weekend every May) and the clothes are way cheaper there than at the stores. If I need some gear I’ll wait and then stock up for the year in those items.

  13. I ran competitively in college and some after and the super tight pants are a good investment. Ontop of keeping you warmer, they keep any leg wiggle to a min and that actually helps you run better. Next summer you might want a short pair for the same reason. Once you find the brand you like, look online for deals.

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