The great thing about running is that you don’t have to worry about all the equipment that you do for other sports. No lugging around, gloves, or bats, or pads, or trying to remember to take both your arm warmers and your jacket just in case. Nope, with running, you just lace up your shoes (and if you have Yankz you don’t even need to do that!), step outside your door, take a deep breath, and you’re away.
I call bullshit.
At least its BS as far as going for long runs is concerned (and these days, a long run for me counts as anything over 10 miles). This is what my running day prep looks like for a long distance run.
First, the running day prep starts the night before. If I’m going long I use a mix of Sustain with gels as a supplement and/or backup. The night before, I mix the Sustain in bike bottles, mix up Endurox for a recovery drink afterward, and also fill any supplemental water bottles I might need (extras for the run if I am running loops like I did last Saturday, one for the drive home if it’s a particularly long way, etc.). I get out my fuel belt and fill one pouch with gels and the small key pouch in front with Endurolytes (I’m going to put in a plug for the Nathan belt here; I’m on to my second one and find it a lot more comfortable than the Fuel Belt brand, and the plastic cages work a lot better for a smooth release; particularly important for me since I tend to drop things). Then I can finally go to bed.
Then its up and at `em at some ridiculously early hour for a weekend (in truth, its been so long since I’ve slept in for any length of time on a weekend that I can’t even remember what it’s like!). I pour the Sustain into the belt bottles, then have a light snack. I’ve laid out my running clothes the night before so that they will sit there at the end of my bed mocking and taunting me until I get up. But getting dressed is just the beginning. There’s Body Glide to apply around my waist to stop chafing issues. There’s a light application of chamois butter to stop. . .well, chafing issues in other places. A couple of strips of low tack surgical tape for nipple protection (thanks to one of the other members of the PRR track group for this tip: much cheaper than buying the Nip Guards!). Sunscreen (if its a season where significant parts of my anatomy are uncovered). HR monitor. Watch. Hat. Socks and shoes. (Another plug here. Mary bought me home a pair of Belaga socks to try and they are awesome. Felt as if I wasn’t wearing anything at all, and after almost 4 hours of running my feet were almost completely dry).
If I’m running from home, I can finally get going. If I’m going somewhere else to run, there may be additional equipment. For example, I took a change of clothes on Saturday because of the chance of rain. And even though the heavens never even looked like opening it was a relief to change into a new set of clothes before driving home. However, after running 22 miles, changing your clothes is like an entire other sport. It’s a lot like college sex actually. A lot of good intentions, followed by some pathetic fumblings, a certain amount of falling down, and a general sense of relief when the whole thing is finally over.
Looking at what is involved for just this one sport, I’m definitely going to have to master the multi-bag system of organization that Mary perfected for her Ironman last year.