I’m so excited to see questions coming in from all over North America. This week’s question comes from Orlando, although presumably not from Mickey himself.
It seems like I always forget something when I leave the house for a run. How do you guarantee that you always have the must-have stuff that you need?
– Orderly in Orlando
As you’ve probably noticed from my training posts, I don’t usually run from home. My Tuesday night Team track practice is at a high school, one town over, and our long Saturday runs can be anywhere in the Bay Area. At first, I tried to stash all of my goodies in my car, but then we started switching cars on the weekend (my husband takes the Tiny Kitchen Assistant to swim lessons while I run) and the swap got to be complicated. Something was always left behind in my SUV.
Enter the Bag of Running Junk.
Stashed in this bag is everything I need for a run or race:
- SPF 50 sunscreen spray (ignore the review; I can get a sunburn in a dark room, but this works for me)
- SPF 15 lip balm
- GU and Honey Stingers (energy before and during the run)
- Justin’s nut butter packs (for after my run)
- My race belt (holds my iPhone and GU)
- 4 safety pins (for race bibs)
- A long-sleeve shirt (for post-run chills)
- My ancient Garmin Forerunner 205
- Amphipod hand-held water bottle (filled the night before)
- Napkins from Peet’s*
- Antibacterial wet wipes*
This way, all I have to grab in the morning is the Bag of Running Junk, my phone, the car keys and a banana, and I’m out the door.
You’ll notice the * in the list. I have wet wipes instead of hand sanitizer because a) it works as hand sanitizer where there aren’t sinks; b) it doesn’t leak in the bag, like a gel often does; and c) wipes can be used to clean your filthy, dusty or mud-splattered legs after running on a trail. The napkins are also a multi-tool. They work as napkins (obviously), but are also effective as tissues for that unavoidable runny nose, or as TP when you’re stuck in a paperless porta-potty. (And yes, I still swear that I’ll one day write a rant about the indignities of pre-run potties, and worse, the lack of sinks.)
Because I keep everything together in one place, there’s much less likelihood that I’ll forget any of it. Or, if you’re a pessimist, the more likely that I’ll forget all of it.
How do you keep track of your running junk, particularly if your starting point is far from home?