I am just back from my first shopping experience at what I would formerly have called a "snooty running store." I guess I'm a snoot because I totally loved it!
My running shoes are old...like years old, so I thought it was time to pick up some new kicks for the big show in May. Wow, there is a lot more to picking out running shoes than the color, which is my usual criteria for shoe selection. My only requirement going in was that they be purple. Alas, it turns out the best shoe for me is yellow, which the salesperson said made my feet look fast :)
I also picked up a hydration belt. I cannot believe it. I occasionally see runners in my neighborhood with their fancy-pants hydration belts and think, "Geez, they must be serious." When I mentioned this to the salesperson, he said, "Yeah, but you ARE serious, right?" It's true. Though I still have difficulty feeling like I am a "real runner," here I am at the snooty running store buying hydration belts and sensible shoes. This is serious, people. I am becoming that which I have always feared and never totally understood.