Like most athletes, I'm a little obsessive about my gear. Well, some of my gear. Other stuff I don't give a crap about. For instance, running shoes - don't really care. I'll run in any decent minimalist shoe. On the other hand, there is only one running bra I will even consider and that's the magically bounce eliminating Freya Underwire Running Bra. Underwire. I recommend that bra to women like it's my job.
I also have one pair of extra special socks that I save for my longest runs. I'd bet I've run 400 miles in those socks, probably more. I think I've worn them for every race I've run in the last 4 years. Today I had a 16 mile run on the calendar. Of course, I pulled out my fav socks. I wish - oh how I wish - I knew what brand and style of socks these are. These socks were actually a giveaway at a race expo a few years ago. For months I've watched them get progressively more threadbare and this morning I debated switching to a pair that wasn't about to fall apart, but decided they could make one more long run.
I was about halfway through my run when I realized the heel of my sock had disintegrated. I was on my way to one epic blister and 8 miles from my car. (How do you force yourself to run 16 miles? You don't. You force yourself to run 8 miles. The last 8 miles are a desperate attempt to get home.) I managed to stuff some paper towel inside my sock and it miraculously held up for the remainder of the run.
And I held up for 17 miles, overrunning my training goal by a mile.