Click away if you are averse to reading some extreme running gear dorkitude.
Ok...still reading? Here goes:
Most people involved in a sport will understand this to some degree. If you are cyclist you may lust after a particular model or color bike, but if the bicycle is not a good fit you realize that it's a wiser choice to go with a different machine, perhaps in a dull color or a color you dislike. It's a really sweet bonus if the bike of your dreams is also appealing to your eye. I know my hubby will admit to the right audience that he really loves his carbon-framed road bike, since it is a cool matte charcoal color with visible carbon, not painted-over (he likes a subtle bike...I think because so many of his JDRF cycling jerseys are make-your-eyes-bleed brightly-colored). A tri friend of mine has a pink and white tri bike with pink tape on the handlebars. To her eyes this is a very attractive bike and is a good fit for her, which is really the important factor--but the cosmetics of the bike were added value.
One thing I have been less than fond of with regard to the gear for my own sport is the overwhelming number of shoes that are white. Sure, they may have flashy accent colors, but the base of the shoe is still white--a color that looks totally "new year's resolution" day-glo noobish out-of-the box and gross for the last 3/4 of the shoe's life span (and with wide feet one is often not given a choice of colors, since most manufacturers only make the most boring color option in a variety of widths...usually white with blue for women. Ick).
I lucked-out with my previous 2 favorite shoe models. One came in 3 colors, including 2 on a gray base (which is awesome, since they always look the same from box to retirement) and the other in a garish neon aqua that also retained pretty much the same appearance at 0 miles as they did at 300.
Once my mileage started consistently falling in the 30-40 mile/week range my gaudy blue shoes were not giving me the medial support I needed and my right knee developed some issues. I managed to continue wearing this shoe with an OTC orthotic through my Fall marathon, but it wasn't long after that that I was basically forced to work my way back to a more structured shoe.
Now I'm back in a very nice, well-fitting, high-mileage, moderate stability trainer...but the color options are fairly dull. Gray with a sort of periwinkle blue or white with orange (love orange...would be killer on a gray shoe). I figure I will go through at least 2 pair in the next 4 months of marathon training.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I was reading on a running message board about the updates NB is making to their shoes between this Spring and Fall. They are not changing my current shoe (it only came out 2 months ago), but they are adding a new color...specifically a Race For The Cure model. But unlike most RFTC stuff in pale pink they are coming out with a garish hot pink version! And usually the intensely colored shoe models are reserved for flats or lightweight trainers (like my old blue shoes). It's nice that manufacturers are realizing that there's no reason to reserve the funky colors only for the lightweight models.
This update should be out in early April...just in time for me to order a pair and have ~50-100 miles on them on race day--perfectly broken-in!
Another thing to look forward to...tonite I'm hitting the gym treadmills with Heather, again. While I still prefer running outdoors, Heather's work schedule, the cold, and relatively early onset of darkness makes running together difficult without resorting to working out at the gym. Plus it's a good break from running on the snow. Yesterday I logged 8 miles and my knee was pretty irked for the remainder of the day. This AM I woke with a sore back, as well. More than a couple of miles on snow with Yaktrax really appear to be messing with my biomechanics more this year than in previous years. I'm sure the crazy amount of snow we had in Dec. had something to do with that. I have also been trying to log more miles/week than I have in previous Winters.
Next week should be a much better week for running outdoors. Looks like a lot of days will be above freezing, which means I can get my miles in sans Yaktrax, which always increases run quality and pace. Sunday's 5k trail run should still be pretty nuts, though. Sat. is predicted to be ~40, so the trail should be good and sloppy. :D