Blerg (and the hidden cost of running)

ORN: Nothing for a couple of days now. I've been under the weather - not "confined to bed" sick, but a general malaise that, coupled with a bunch of minor aches and pains, has made getting out and being active pretty much a pipe dream. Anyway, on to the real topic:

A lot of people say that running is an incredibly cheap hobby, and, for the most part, this is basically true. After all, you can jog along in cheap sneakers, gym shorts and a cotton T-shirt, and many people, perhaps most, do. But, even though I am not competitive (in the sense that I am close to being ranked by age, gender or overall time), I still, like many others, buy the tech shirts, Gu, etc. I was thinking about this earlier today, when I made the trip to pick up Gu for the rest of my marathon training cycle, and enough for another possible race. So far, I think I have spent the following over the last year:

Shoes: $400 (4 or 5 pairs, at $80-$100 each. Sounds about right)
MP3 player: $150
Batteries for same: $20
Tech shirts, shorts, socks, etc - $200
Gu/Clif shots/fuel belt/etc - $130

Now, those costs are guesses, but probably pretty close. Some costs are basically one-shots - I don't need another MP3 player, and don't particularly want one. I'm perfectly happy with the one that I have now. Likewise, I really don't need another fuel belt, though I will confess that I wouldn't mind one with a larger water capacity. I'm pretty well fixed for clothes, though eventually I will have to replace the socks, and extra shirts means that I don't have to do laundry as often.

At any rate, I figure that, on average, a long run (anything over one hour outside, where I take along the fuel belt and Gu) costs me anywhere $4-5 (without considering wear & tear on the shoes) to $8-10 (including wear & tear). Without gym membership, the average week of short runs (anything under 1 hour), costs me about $6. So, each week, I spend, on average, probably $10-$20. Not bad, considering that I get about 6-8 hours of activity, and plenty of health benefits in the bargain. It's a much better deal than going to the movies.


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