14 March 2012

Bling Ain't My Thing

It's dawning on me how weird I am.

I've had my suspicions for decades, but blogging has really brought it to my attention. Wait, let me specify...blogging about my running/fitness (or lack thereof at the moment) and reading other blogs about the same has shown me very clearly how different I am from the mainstream. Not at all better, mind you, just different.

First, I do not enjoy expos. I think as an athlete they are a complete waste of time...for the most part. They feel so pushy and grubby and congested...or empty. I've yet to have an expo experience rock my world...or remotely appeal. Yoo hoo... Race Director, can you please just send me my stuff? Without charging me $9.99?

Next weirdness... race t-shirts. Don't want 'em. If it's cotton, I might wear my race t-shirt to sleep in or when taking an ice bath. If it's a tech tee and it doesn't smell horribly like chemicals, it probably won't fit very well or will be itchy, and there is a minuscule chance I will ever wear it even if it's pretty nice. I like those races where they discount your entry fee if you wish to pass on the shirt. Check. That. Box.

My third point of oddness would be my preference for not racing very often. I relish the training. While I do enjoy checking my progress from time to time in a race setting, I really love the journey.

Which brings us to the grand-daddy bizarrity ... bling ain't my thing.

I do not need or really even want a finisher's medal. I totally understand why people like them, and races do go to some trouble to make interesting/attractive/desirable-looking medals. I know most people want a physical testament to the fact that they completed something...an object they can show people and show themselves as evidence of their accomplishment. For me personally, unless I won something, I'm not inclined to display it...and even then I probably won't. Case in point:  my rowing medals...

...in a box in my garage.

I find the satisfaction in the doing and not so much in the trappings. But that's just me...and I know it's weird.

How do you feel about these things...expos, race tees, races in and of themselves, and bling? Way into them? Some of them? Don't care? Somewhere in the middle? I'm really curious!



43 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of a tee shirt whore (I got 2 big quilts [and then some] out of my rowing shirts), and I love getting tech shirts from races. Though, I'm handy enough with a sewing machine I can fix any major fit problems.

    I haven't done any races that were big enough to have expos, so I don't know what to think there. I'm not a fan of huge groups of people just milling around (especially if they frequently stop and ogle booths from the MIDDLE OF THE AISLE! MOOVE PEOPLE!), but I guess it'd be nice to have all those vendors together.

    And my rowing medals? In a tin under my bed. They hung on my wall during high school, and then they went in a box when I was packing for college and haven't moved since.

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  2. I love everything that you do not! lol I love expos..all that running stuff that I really don't need some a great prices..yes please! Bling! I'm there! I love bling! Shirts..I have only gotten rid of one really really really ugly race shirt that I couldn't even bring myself to sleep in.

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  3. I like expos, but don't love them. I could live without race shirts too. Whenever there is a cheaper, opt-out, I always take it. However, I love love loves and the bling that goes along with it. I don't think you're that weird though :)

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  4. I'm so with you on just about all of those.

    The expos are too crowded, the shirt never fits right or is of that cheapo polyester that shows sweat REALLY BADLY, I actually prefer the cotton ones, but when I can opt out of the shirts, I definitely do.

    I've always been one that races like 5-6 times a year and this year I have done too much and HATED IT. I'm going back to my usual pattern--training well and doing well. No more of this half-assed racing for me. It's just a bummer. I'm more into the process of training than the glory behind running x number of races a year.

    More than half of the races I've done (of half marathon or longer, I don't ever expect anything from shorter races) didn't even give out medals. I like the itty bitty races, so they often come without them. That is fine with me. The ones I do have are displayed in my computer room. There's a wall with a photo collage of our trail runs and the medals are next to it.

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  5. Hello, my name is Pam, and I'm a bling whore. If there's not a medal, I probably won't run the race. Shallow? You betcha! haha

    I really do enjoy racing and do it quite a bit. This year is two (MAYBE three because the third one is local, is a great race, and I really want to support that one) spring half marathons, and one fall half. I ran a 5K in Feb, will run another one in April and a 10K in May. Well, now that I put it out there like that, seven races in a year doesn't sound unreasonable! :)

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  6. Feel very similarly. I've saved a lot of my awards but most of the ones that really matter to me (and even then don't matter so much) are the ones that are from placing. I do have my medals hanging up for the first time since I started my blog. They are in the garage and just serve as things to motivate and for me to focus on while I run on that dreadmill. But the plaque I won this past weekend...it will probably end up in the closet in a box. Shirts...always opt out if I can. waste of money. In fact, I probably won't get the Boston jacket either. Racing...eh, I could go either way. Probably won't be racing for awhile after this spring. I'm really not one that is all about gear and pretty outfits to run in or what hair band I have on, etc. Although my recent posts might make you feel differently...I've gotten kind of sucked into the whole Brooks gear...that has been fun. But for the most part...give me a pair of shorts and a bra and I'll wear the same dang thing daily until it stands up on its own. Expos can be fun but really, haven't been to too many. I will go to the one in Boston because...um, it's Boston. But otherwise...again, eh. So I guess AFTER starting a blog, I've become a middle of the roader but before my blog...almost identical to you.

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  7. I'm pretty much with you on all accounts. When everyone get s a medal, they aren't quite as special. One of my pet peeves with schools these days is everyone gets a medal which really promotes mediocrity, slacking off, and the attitude that things are owed to kids.....I digress.

    I'm really not a fan of racing either. Races stress me out, but I need to have a few on the schedule to keep me motivated to do the training that I enjoy.

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  8. I never wear the cotton race tees unless I get one too big and I sleep in it. Don't like the expos, love the medals. I like races because they help motivate me to get off the couch and workout. I don't want to show up on race day and suck:)

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  9. weird.weird? Maybe, but so cool that you just do it all for you!

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  10. Weird, but we might be running twins. I pretty much agree with everything you have above! I'm kind of ho-hum about expos, I do like seeing what they have there in terms of running celebrities and races, but that is about it. Though now that I am older I understand how it works - the races need sponsors to reduce the cost of entry, and the sponsors need to sell their products - so what better spot than at the race expo. And yea, it always pisses me off to pay $9.99 for Bay to Breakers to mail me my race number!

    Cotton race tshirts usually end up in the goodwill pile for me, unless it's a really nice tshirt and I'll wear it sometimes. Tech tshirts I actually wear on runs because usually they fit perfectly. They need to design tshirts for guys and girls that fit them both correctly!

    As for bling, I had never received a race medal since high school until 2009 when I did a half marathon. While I do like receiving them, I wouldn't mind if they didn't give them out.

    Maybe I'm cheap on all fronts, lol

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  11. Can I say 'hallelujah' and 'amen'? Though even though I consider myself a workout king,i still enjoy the feeling of a well-done race.

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  12. Who really is normal anyway? And why would you want to be that way? ?

    I've only been to one expo-I hate crowds-enough said.

    Races-I don't really like either-see above.

    Displaying bling? That's why I have a mud room. I figured I paid the money, I should put it someplace but don't want it over my fireplace.....

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  13. Expos are the only time i get to talk to people, because I'm shy. But for some reason i have no problem asking for free samples of "I run so I'm better than you" shoelaces or crappy energy drinks that will never be heard from again because they put their last $500 towards the booth rental.

    I love race shirts because I'm still trying to rebuild my self worth that I had stripped from me at my Senior prom 25 years ago. I wear them all the time. My favorite is from the 2010 Centerville YMCA Halloween Costume 5k. It's still stained with fake blood. Thats the year I dressed up as a cross dressing zombie, running skirt and everything.

    If bling aint your thing you should take up bowling. No race is complete until I've posted a picture on my blog of me holding up my medal and making a stupid face. This is usually part of a 27 part race report.

    Yeah, you are weird.

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  14. I actually like cotton t-shirts over the technical ones; I wear them all summer long with my Nike Tempo shorts - they're my everyday staple attire :). I do like the hardware; I like to hang my medals on my door and they remind me of the hard work (or lack thereof :)). Then at the end of the year, they go into a baggie to be retired until someday my kids will look at them when I'm gone and say, "Yeah, mom sure had a disease!!!" :) Expos are fun to see the cool things but I never have any money to buy anything anyway. Boston expo was pretty cool...it went on forever!

    I love how unique we all are and everyone's opinion :).

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  15. I do not run races, if I did I would TOTALLY be the chick who wants the shirt, and the metal. I would want the tshirt so I could wear it whenever I went on a jog, and everyone who passed by me would know I was hard core. But I'm not. So I have no shirts.... :(

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  16. I want the shirts and the bling!! Although my bling is in a box in the garage too.

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  17. My bling is in a box..also some in the playroom...and I think there's a few in my junk drawer...I could do without the medals. hate expos, avoid them if I can. T-shirts - check the no shirt option if it's available - but if they are tech shirts I'm happy to have them and do wear them for training. I do like races - but I mostly love the training that goes into them. The race is just what helps me stay motivated...

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  18. Expos...I dont care for them. If I stay 5 min that is long.
    I can do without them
    I do like the shirts usually. I have received nice tech ones recently, I actually wear them.

    the bling....the truth? I do like it. I like the 9 I have for my 9 half marathons. Reminds me of what I can do.

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  19. I've noticed that people who were at one time involved in a medal-bestowing sport in a fairly competitive way tend to feel more "meh" about finisher medals than people who weren't. I put mine in the same category as, say, souvenir key chains. They're kind of neat to have as mementos, but I don't really care if there's not one. I like the tech shirts because I'm cheap & the more I get at races, the fewer I have to buy, but at a certain point, how many do you really need? So I do like having the option to get, say, a $5 discount by opting out of the shirt. Cotton shirts are wack.

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  20. different is good!! expos drive me batty (i am heading to one today as a matter of fact). i pretty much have never met a race tee i like or wear - but they come in most handy as throw-away layers for the next race if it is chilly at the start. as for the medals, i am torn. i did turn a few of them into christmas ornaments and those are fun. the others are scattered around the house - some hanging in the kids' play room, some in the kitchen, some upstairs by my desk. i am not really into the whole display of race stuff - like you, the experience and memories and accomplishment are what matter most to me.

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  21. no to cotton tees, yes to tech tees or l/s tops-I wear them. I do wish more races would offer the NO THANKS option though...
    I am a medal WHORE but only for OA/AG wins ;) Love 'em

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  22. I can live without the medals and the shirts, I hate expos with a passion, and I am not a huge fan of races. That said, two races I have run gave socks as premiums. One was my first pair of tech socks, and that has changed my world. So I love it when races give socks or other unusual premium. Shirts? Not so much.

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    1. Unusual premiums... I could get behind that concept :)

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  23. After nearly 31 years of running I don't care about any bling or shirts anymore. There are one or two ultras with jackets I hope to add to my collection. These are races like the Namib desert ultra, Badwater, Leadville, Washie 100 and a list of world must do ultras. I prefer cotton shirts and don't like the tech material at all.

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    1. Agreed. Example: that Man Vs. Horse deal... I would definitely find the belt buckle pretty awesome :)

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  24. Truly laughing at all the folks that consider themselves "whores" of one variety or another. I have never been to a race big enough for a real expo. The tri last year had like 5 vendors - all local folks - did buy a nice neoprene timing chip holder for $4. LOL I'm kind of 50/50 on the shirts - some I want and some I don't. My daughter is a total shirt girl - so I paid the extra $5 for each of us to have matching ones come the 5K this weekend even though I would have normally opted out b/c I think they are cotton - eww. She loves when we match! The long sleeved ones from the Jingle Bell run were cute though and I wear it pretty regular when the weather is cool. I have yet to get a medal and have a feeling I'll turn into the "w" word the others mention.

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  25. Funny I do like getting a shirt and bling but I seldom wear the shirts! They really just take up space in my drawers!! I do love me a good expo but it has been a long while since I have been to a good one!

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  26. I'm kind of a sample whore and that is why I like expos. Plus I just like the pre race energy of getting pushed around. I don't care so much about the medal unless it's a race that has particular meaning to me. I mean, they all have meaning, but you know what I mean.

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  27. I'll hand the medals on my wall, but I've been known to not bother even grabbing one after I cross the finish line. Shirts - I save in my closet but rarely wear - I can always find something I like better to wear.

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  28. What if the bling was 14 carrot gold with 3 carot diamond on top? :P

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    Replies
    1. Tell me where this race is and I'll train my ass off to win that bling :)

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  29. Well I've only done one race, this will be my second (next weekend) and so far I've had the worst experience with race shirts. Why can't they have a sizing guide???? is that so hard?

    I love my first medal. If I had a whole whack like I see on quite a few blogs maybe they'd lose their special quality. I'm not sure. I have never stayed at a race expo - not enough money. To me those expos should be giving me FREE stuff ;) lol

    I am with you - I enjoy taking my time and training for a specific race. Although, I'm not going to lie.....I do wish I could race more. ;)

    ps I just got some tech tees made and I love them :) but I had a sizing chart

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  30. Bling ain't my thing either! This reminds me of all the medals my kids get in their sports. Trophies, too. Just dust collectors!

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  31. You are who you are, and there's nothing wrong with that. I like that you run for yourself, not for the "glory" or the bling or the praise of others. My ex rode bikes, not really racing, just long-distance stuff. Had to have a T shirt and the jersey for every ride. Hung the finishers' medals all over the bedroom. The training, which kept him away from his family for a couple hours every evening, was just for the centuries and double centuries in far-away places, which kept him away from his family for a couple days. Did I mention he's my ex? Anyway, just do your sport for yourself and not for the external trappings. Who needs that stuff?

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  32. I'm a fan of the bling, but I'm not sure why. I just like a visual representation of what I've accomplished. They are nice to look at when I am feeling down on myself. Plus some of them look pretty cool. I love your rowing medals!

    However, I am totally with you on the expo thing. I've never been to one that I've actually enjoyed. Usually I'm left wondering what the huff is all about!

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  33. I'm so so so with you on this M! My race medals are in a ziploc baggie in a drawer. I'm a minimalist, so less "stuff" the better.

    I like looking at expos but only for a short amount of time before I feel claustrophobic! I never thought about bling till blogging either!

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  34. Expos make me want to crawl under a Harry potter cloak of invisibility. I like running for fun more than racing. And medals are probably bad for the earth since they just end up in the trash. In other words, good post, I agree

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  35. Bling has changed so much in the 6 years I've been running. When i started there was no medal for a half and the full medal was smaller than those for most halfs today. I can take or leave an expo. I did love the Boston ones not for the stuff but for the connections I made with people ie: team Hoyt, Ryan Hall, etc. That was cool. Race shirts? I prefer cotton because they are my pjs.

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  36. Having fun could be easy but having fun and making yourself fit is much better than ever by just doing sports.Archery

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  37. I enjoyed this post. I usually prefer the cotton tees because I like to sleep in them and if they're really cool or I particularly enjoyed the race I'll wear them with jeans... if given the choice I don't splurge for tech fabric. I do, however have two tech tees that I'm loving right now because they're the only thing I can run in that will fit over my big pregnant belly. :D Medals, meh, I could do without them, although I do have a trophy that for a marathon I won that sits in the midst of all the books on our living room bookshelf. I got a cool mug once that I use almost daily and I've heard of races that give out unique beanies instead of shirts... I think I'd like that. I wasn't too impressed with the one expo I've been to. I'm a big fan of small, no-frills races.

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  38. Most of the expos I have been to are pretty underwhelming. I prefer races where I can pick up my bib the morning of the race. I did enjoy the Tinkerbell expo because there were so many people there I knew and it was a reunion of sorts. My kids came with me and were in heaven. I guess if an expo is done right, I can enjoy it, but most of them are a huge waste of time. The ones that really piss me off are the ones where I have to go and they don't even bother to have any interesting booths.

    I do run in race shirts if they are tech. I have a pile of cotton shirts that I don't know what do do with. I get super annoyed when a marathon or half marathon still gives cotton shirts. What a waste. I rarely find races that give you the option out of a shirt. I think at this point the only one I would check yes for are long sleeve. I ran a race recently where the shirt was a super cute hoodie. I loved it. Also, their medal was a necklace that said "athlete" that I love.

    I like medals, for the most part. I really only like the ones where they went to the trouble to design something cool. St. George gives you a piece of granite from nearby hills. Very cool. I HATE when they give cheap, generic medals just so they can say they give medals. Save the $2 and give me a cheaper entry.

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  39. I've never run a race (outside of high school cross country) but I always want the shirts! Hahaha. As if anyone would believe that I actually ran. But I do agree about the medals. What does one DO with them anyway?

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  40. I'm with you on the expos and the medals...but I DO love the shirts. I run in them. Except the tech shirts, I really hate how they feel.

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