Monday, June 23, 2008

I Need A Bud, Man

Dude, I need to score some buds.

Seriously, my ear buds are not fitting and I need some new ones. I find I'm spending the majority of my runs pressing the gently sliding sweat soaked ear buds back into my ear hole. I don't have this problem during winter. The Eskimo hat keeps 'em firmly in pace. Summer brings higher sweat viscosity and no hat. And lots of ear bud slippage.

It doesn't help that I have three genetic factors working against me:

1) Allergies. God love the trees, grass, and flowers. I love summer. But Nature and I don't get along. There's a continual battle taking place for control over my sinus cavities. If "nature" wasn't a large, omnipresent, undefinable presence, I'd choke the living shit out of it. When the allergies strike, the ear buds become that much more difficult to keep in place.

2) Abnormally small ear holes run in the Nitmos' family. It's true. My ear holes are maybe the size of a pencil eraser. It's like trying to cram a marshmallow into a straw. I've considered cosmetic surgery. Very embarrassing. Try growing up as "the kid with tiny era holes" and see how often you get beaten up. They don't make ear buds for people like me because most electronics companies are ear hole bigots.

3) Stupidity. Despite knowing the ear buds don't fit, I continue to try to use them. It's been two years now. A lesser dense person would have already given in and found a suitable alternative. Not this hombre. I press on pushing my finger into the side of my cranium every 20 seconds over countless miles. I'm sure my neighbors think I have Tourette's - something I don't discourage anyway as it keeps them at a safe distance. "Being neighborly" is about as repugnant to me as holding the door for a senior citizen.

Sunday, I finally gave up and pulled the buds out of my ear and tossed the mp3 back at home. I wasn't in the mood to fight with it. I had to suffer the sounds of a warm, breezy summer day. The annoying flaps of the butterfly wings. The soothing songs of the morning birds. And the gentle rustling of leaves skipping down the sidewalk. Ugh. My running soundtrack normally involves the tortured shrieks of an angst-ridden, anti-social rock band. I enjoy the hammering in my head which flows down into the angry pounding of the pavement through my legs. That's what running is supposed to be: anger management. Instead, Sunday, I was carried away on the soft billowy clouds of a majestic summer morn.

Puke.

I needs my rock.

I needs some quality ear buds.

Who has a recommendation?
_____________________________________

Sunday's ear budless 10 mile long run had 2 goals: Beat last week's time of 1:09:07 and run a negative half split (something I did not do last week).

Success!

10.0 miles
1:08:24 time
6:50 pace

First 5 = 34:30; Second 5 = 33:56.

5 x 800 (with 400m cool downs in between) on Tuesday. Then I need to pull back for a week or so on the pace. My old friend plantar fasciatis is starting to creep in again. He's about as welcome as Dick Cheney at a gun safety demonstration.

31 comments:

Kristina said...

you know what they say about men with small ear holes... they run a fast 10-miler. I did my 10 in 1:30 yesterday, you stinker.
How old are your earbuds? I have small ear holes, too, and always found the older buds really painful but the newer ones (in the last couple years) fit me ok. So you might just try a new pair if yours are more than 2 years old.

Xenia said...

Duct tape!!

Barring that, you might want to try regular headphones, though that would make you look very 80s.

Sarah said...

I have the opposite problem: giant cavernous ear canals in which bats reside. I have found only one headphone that works for me, the Sony MDR over-the-ear buds. They come with three different bud cap sizes so people with giant cavelike ear canals can use the bigger buds and people with tiny wormhole canals like yours could use the wee little buds. I love my Sony MDRs.

L*I*S*A said...

Um yeah, get the foamy pads that fit OVER your earbuds and they will stay put every time.

nwgdc said...

i just got some skull candy ear buds. they come with 3 different sized buds, and even worked for me (a fellow small ear hole sufferer). in fact, they worked so well, i didn't like them. it was like a vacuum was created in my ear and i couldn't hear anything but my music. i didn't feel all that safe...

Meg said...

I have a similar problem, but only with my right ear! I picked up some noise canceling ear buds from Best Buy last year that came with three different sized buds that were kind of like suction cups. They worked pretty well, but I kept losing the buds.
Maybe they were these?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8703414&st=ear+buds&lp=7&type=product&cp=1&id=1199496037667

Good luck!

RazZDoodle said...

I can't wear earbuds either. Especially the ones that comes with ipods. I've never had them stay in for more than 1/2 mile. I have the headphones that hook around your ear. Cheapo-deluxe pair from WalMart. They've served me well although I'd be interested to see other responses.

Vanilla said...

Choking "nature" and not holding the door for senior citizens is exactly how I picture you.

I use these Sony in-ear earbuds. They have 3 different size rubber pieces that fit on the end to accomodate everyone from the tiny ear-holed people to those of us who are larger. They also go inside your ear so they never fall out and they block out all those annoying nature sounds so you can focus on songs by artists who are made at their dads.

Vanilla said...

Ugh, I meant "artists who are mad at their dads," not made.

SJ Goody said...

I am insanely frustrated with ear buds. I've tried 3 variations in the last 3 months and am yet to find a winner. I currently use the Sony in-ear/over-ear buds (that Sarah mentions above) and I thought the over-ear factor would ease the falling out. It DOES work for shorter distances but once I sweat, there is NO help... they keep popping/slipping out. And, I've tried the 3 bud sizes - to no avail. My newest trick involves strategically positioning my visor over the over-ear pieces to add some extra support - like your winter cap routine. But, it still ends in me being insanely frustrated.

Jess said...

what about the kind that sort like slip over your ears...they work really well for me...i ditched those stupid ear buds after two runs...my neighbors don't think i have tourette's

Laura said...

I too have small ear holes. My strategy is to get the earbuds with the over the ear thing. Unfortunately, I also have small ears overall. The headphones are fine when I first buy them, but they seem to get stretched out when I use them so eventually I'm resorting to pushing them in every 10 seconds while I run. (I was SO mad one time when my boyfriend at the time borrowed them and stretched them out). Like SJ Goody, my latest trick involves more head stuff. I use a thin (ponytail holder size) headband in the summer, and a thick ear-covering thing in the winter.

Triseverance said...

Damn you are fast, I would look at Shure Earbuds. Not only are they nice they have different end attachments to fit any ear. I use the foam ones, comfy and cozy and they block out the outside noise allowing me to keep the volume low.

chia said...

These lay nicely on top of the ear but use that flappy doo to kind of lock them in place. I really like them because at a low enough volume I still get great sound quality and still can hear the traffic.

If I'm really planning on sweating something foul, I'll use these over the ear dealies. They stay on but don't bother the heck outta me!


Good luck. One thing about small holes is if you remove the whole complicated "insertion factor" you're way better off.

I'm laughing my ass off right now. brb.

Viper said...

epoxy resin would keep those bastards in place. you have to let it set for a few minutes though.

good luck.

Marcy said...

I'm with Xenia. Go with the 80's style ones. Fergie uses them. Don't you want to be just like her? :P Vanilla's got pics of her wearing them LOL

jen said...

I fourth/fifth the over ear jobbies. I have Sony ones. I never got the ear buds, they freaking hurt.

Good luck with the plantar fasciatis! :(

KimsRunning said...

I hate them all. I strap a Bose stereo system to my back and cause noise pollution. And I don't even care when people make fun of me when John Travolta's "Gonna Let Her In" comes on. There. I said it.

Ms. V. said...

I use the foamy things that you put over the iPod buds.

Prayers for your small ear bud community.

:)

The Laminator said...

I only wear headphones...yeah I know I look like a dork, so I only try it when no ones watching. When I have company, I go commando...earholes, not oh, get your mind out of the gutter! Haha!

sRod said...

If you find a good pair, let us know. I haven't been able to find a pair of headphones that lasts longer than a few months.

Scott said...

Earbuds and me don't mix. I think I have the same genetic disorders you describe.

Anonymous said...

You can go to your local audiologist and have custom-made earplugs that have an iPod adapter on them - the iPod buds snap into the adapter and the plug is made for your ear!

Anonymous said...

Nitmos,

Just run on a treadmill in your basement with your boom box set to 98.5 FM.

steers!

Lily on the Road said...

Stick with the nature runs, you'll get so frustrated with the gentle bat of butterfly wings, it will makes you run faster to get away from them!!!

LMAO!!!

Viv said...

You surely have gotten tons of info on the buds, but I will throw in my 2 cents in. I have the Appple in-ear buds. They stay in and I do a lot of bouncing around. Can't help that but I am trying. I stay bouncy at least 2 minutes after all motion has ceased. Anywho, hope the PF stays mostly at bay and backs off your foot.

Debbie said...

I think you should invest in this ear bling...

http://www.heyerdahl.no/?template=master;folderid=228

*aron* said...

i guess i am one of the lucky few that the ear buds that come in the ipod dont bother me one bit... never had a prob.

amazing job on the 10 miler! hope the PF goes away asap.

SLB said...

Regular good old standard iPod 'phones work well enough although they're prone to fading it they get damp' sweat water you knos running aural detris

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I have the same problem and the different sized buds don't help, my ears are tiny and end up aching and the damn things still fall out. The only thing that has worked for me are the Sony over the ear ones. I know you've gotten lots of advice but you know, everything I say is so important... :D

P.O.M. said...

Wow, there area alreayd 30 suggestions, but I'll give ya one more. I, too, have very small ear holes. Ha, that sounds creepy.

I am actaully very serious abotu this subject, as these are the ONLY ones that work for me:
Nike HJ030 Vapor Sport Bud Headphones

They just jacked up their prices, but I still buy them. I have gone through 3 pairs already. I tried about 10 other brands/styles to no avail.

Good luck.