As a swimmer there aren't many things to smell in relation to your sport. Your suit smells like chlorine, your towel may smell like soap after a shower and your skin may stink of chlorine despite showers and lotion. So, let me amend that statement: pretty much everything, including you, smells like chlorine. Sometimes if things aren't hung up to dry properly, things can get kind of "mildewy," but after one stinky swimsuit, I was quite conscious about hanging things out to dry. It is not surprising then, that I was shocked when my running shoes and socks started stinking something fierce. I think I've written about this shock before, but I was reminded of it this morning when I went to pull my socks out of my runners from yesterday's trip to the gym.
Originally, I was under the impression that socks and shoes got really smelly from running outside and the shoes getting wet and then having to dry over and over again. Living in Scotland, I decided that I'd live with this, since my shoes were definitely going to get wet multiple times a week and then have to dry. My understanding of how your shoes became stinky was quite wrong.
Of course I understood that shoes get stinky from your feet sweating in them, but I thought the extra stinkiness came from the wet/dry process. I was very incorrect in this assumption.
The shoes that live in my gym bag have never been used outdoors. I have done that specifically so that they have a longer life and so that they won't get as stinky as my "outside" shoes. Perhaps I was on to something with extending their life, but I sure wasn't spot on with the not smelling part. The socks that I pulled out of the shoes this morning smelled so horribly, I threw them directly into the washing machine. I wasn't about to put those foul things into my hamper in my room to have them stink up my regular clothes or my bedroom.
Admittedly, I probably should have removed them from the shoes last night, but I was so hungry and sleepy that I forgot. I will never make that mistake again. I had balled the sweaty socks up after my workout and stuffed them into the shoes in order to keep them from stinking up my bag. In doing so, I think I inadvertently trapped the smell in and made it worse.
Now, after all of that, you are probably wondering why on earth I would dedicate a whole post to my stinky socks. Do I not have anything more significant to write about?
I actually had a post planned about the Paralympics coming to a close tonight and how inspiring these Games were for me in my own quest for a coveted spot on the Canadian team in 2016, but the intensity of the stench from my socks was so profound that I thought it was necessary to share it with all of you. Besides, this whole training thing is what it is and I am going to share everything with you, whether it is glamorous or not. Smelly socks are definitely not glamorous, but they certainly are a part of this training thing, as I had discovered and was so aggressively reminded of this morning.
So, lesson of the day: your shoes are going to stink no matter what you do, but leaving your smelly socks rolled up in them over night does not improve the situation. So, to all you newbie, or would be runners, out there, from this newbie...air out your socks!