I admit it – I am one of those runners. I need certain things to make my run good. I have been running for a long time and perfecting the runs over the years.. not the speed but the little things that drive me nuts on the runs..
Music – yes I run to music. I used to just use music on the treadmill to block out the sounds of the others around me, but since I have rid my life of any indoor running (sorry EMZ) I still use my Ipod outside. When I first got an Ipod Nano – I had an armband. This lasted less than a month. It slipped down my arm as I was running and drove me nuts. Next purchase was a case with a clip for my Ipod and I could clip it on my shorts. This lasted a little longer, until the Ipod stopped working because apparently you can’t run in the rain or sprinklers and expect the case to stay dry. Ipod #2 and new waterproof case – quite large and tacky came with an armband which I quickly discarded and ended up just carrying the case. I turned into Mix it up Lady Baha, and was constantly changing the music and not focusing on running and in the summer months I was carrying this in one hand and water in the other – something had to give. Then came the little Ipod shuffle…and finally I was at peace with my music. Just clip on my collar and attach to my Sennheiser headphones and let it roll..
Pace/Mileage tracker – I originally started tracking my mileage with the little Nike+ device that stuck to your shoe, and the attachment with your Nano. This was quite simple to use, but I would always leave one of the two pieces at home, and blew my running buzz from the start. I was constantly in online mileage challenges with Jason and if I couldn’t track it – it didn’t exist! I believe I WON several of the challenges with Jason but have no way of proving it now – and by the way, I was faster too- Nike+ told me so. I then upgraded to the Garmin 405 and while working with a coach to improve my runs, almost lost my mind with the continuous beeping when my heart rate went out of range. Eventually I think I had my coach convinced that the beeping on the Garmin alone or know it would beep at some point elevated my heart rate. Thankfully it died for good. Then came the Garmin 310xt- No chimes. Vibrating feature. I have trained myself not to look at my watch during runs (unless it’s a race) and at this point I only have it signal me at mile markers to let me know when to fuel, or stop. I am told by Jason – Rocky didn’t wear a Garmin – He just runs.
Clothing – Originally I had a small drawer for running clothes. Now I have three drawers, and an area in the laundry room for more clothes.. I am NOT addicted to running clothes, but I like to have options for my mood. I can’t grab a top and go, i need to find the blue shirt because it will make me run better today. Again – I am one of those runners – thankfully my sweet husband doesn’t say a word about the random piles of clothes or overflowing drawers.
Accessories – I have my share of fuel belts. There is one that holds just fuel and race number. This lasted one race when all my fuel popped out of the little elastic strips. Another belt had a pouch – I used this on my marathon and was not skilled enough to run, unzip and grab and almost fell, and lost several items on the ground. I have a water/fuel belt – this lasted less than 3 minutes. Bounce bounce bounce – out. I have found a belt I like, IF I need it, that will carry my gear, and when the weather gets hot I carry a handheld. I would actually prefer Jason set up water fuel stations for me during my long runs but I am not holding my breath on that one.
Buzzkill items – Keys bouncing in pocket- I could go nuts. Stray dogs – nothing like getting a spike in your heart rate from seeing a large dog coming your way, or a smaller dog with a killer bark. Crazy drivers… Yes I live where the roads are like the autobahn – they drive like madmen here and don’t care if you are out there – they have someplace to be and they will run your arse over. Of course the top buzzkill on my list – I gotta POOP! (you can relate Beth) – once I am finally out of the house and moving – AUUGHH– gotta go now!!
Over the years – I have found what works and what doesn’t for me on runs, and also let go of what I can’t control. When I start a run, for the first few miles I feel like I am ready to stop, then it kicks in and I am in the zone, on autopilot and it feels great. I do have days that nothing feels right, and I push through it and keep moving. Nothing feels better than finishing a run and knowing I moved today.