I checked the balance on said Visa and was elated that I had $150 to spend on running gear I wanted. Yea, I said running gear. (I am doing good in the biking gear department) You are not going to believe this..... I am really enjoying the running thing. I have put in a lot of time pounding the pavement, have gone from running 10 minute miles to 7:30's on a good day, mostly a lot of 8 minute miles. With improvement like that, I figure I have earned/deserve awesome gear. It is much easier to run in a pair of shoes your feet love, even if it means spending more money... than to go the cheap route and hate nearly every minute in them. Be comfortable while you are pushing the limits.
I prefer to spread my money around. I like to support all my local bike shops and my fabulous sponsors, however, I also keep my eyes open for deals online. This Fall/Winter, I wanted to purchase some road running shoes, trail running shoes, winter running tights, and "the stik",which is a muscle massager. Can I get ALL of that with only $150? This is how it worked out.
|I know... the socks make the shoes look cool|
Road Running Shoes
I figured I would spend approx. $100 on a descent pair of road shoes. I went to Sports Authority, just to try some on and ended up scoring the perfect pair. They were $85. At the register, it turned out they were on sale for $65. Nice! I paid for them and left very happy. That lasted only until I got home and saw an email from Sports Authority offering 25% off any item. Are you kidding me? Tough luck? I returned to the store the next day and their customer service fella happily refunded $18.94 back to my card. Awesome. Shoes final cost... $46 Actually FREE since I paid with the Visa.
I researched many pairs of running tights before deciding what to purchase. I wanted warm, wind-proof, comfortable, slight compression, and quality. I had priced these pants from CW-X for $120. Well worth it, but I wasn't going to pay that. I called my local running stores and neither carried them. However, they both offered to order them for me. They would cost $120 plus tax and would take up to two weeks to come in. I searched for the exact product on Amazon.com. I found the tights as cheap as $50.47, for a size x-small, right up to the original price of $120. I scored a size Med for $60, with free shipping and bought them. They arrived within five days. Tights= $60, actually FREE
I tried one of these at Burnin' and had to have one. Gets a few muscles that the foam rollers can't. I looked for the stik online and checked at local running shops. The running stores wanted roughly $40. Online this product ranged from $27.99 with free shipping and handling, right up to $40. This was a no-brainer. I purchased the stik here and took advantage of the free shipping. The stik was delivered to my doorstep six days later. I love this thing. Stik=$28, actually FREE
* The stik and the trail shoes came the same day from different companies. Coincidence?
With about $10 left on my card..... I hang my head in failure. I was not able to buy everything I needed since I would NEVER find a pair of Salomons for $10.
Trail Running Shoes
I prefer trail running over road running any day of the week. The trail is quiet and filled with eye candy compared to honking cars and pavement. I had my first experience with Salomon trail shoes four years ago when I won a free pair in a race. After putting them on, I fell in lust immediately with Salomon XT Wings. They were comfortable from day one, excellent quality and highly durable. I won another pair the following year. I stepped away from the Salomons last year to try something new. Mistake! I learned my lesson, I will stay with what I know and like from now on.
I was employed by Backwoods for a short period of time and was able to score a bonus gift card for some writing and was able to use their employee discount. They had the exact shoes I wanted for $130. By using the gift card and the discount I got the shoes for $54! Not too shabby. Major savings and they over-nighted them to me.
At the end of the day.... I have $10 left on my Visa and I only spent $54 out of pocket for $375 of gear. I would call that a success. Wouldn't you?
If you are interested in the surveys, go here. I am not sure if they are accepting any new applications, but give it a whirl. You will not get rich taking surveys but, you could earn some free gear. I am all set for the winter season now. Yahooo