Fitness

Betty Says: My Running Must-Haves

The Bag of Running Junk. I never leave home without sunscreen.

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.

Hi Betty,

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

Hi Orderly,

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:

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?

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4 Responses

  1. AJ says:

    We live out in the sticks, so if I’m not on the treadmill, my runs/races are always far (or at least a drive) from home. I keep my running junk in a basket in a cupboard by the door, my shoes are in a drawer in the same cupboard (if things aren’t near each other and/or by the exit I lose my mind finding them).

    I usually take more care to organize beforehand for races, in which case I’ll pack a bag as you do. Garmin, sunblock, keys, fuel/hydration (only for longer races)…

    WIPES! I keep these in my car. They are the ultimate multi-taskers. Double bonus is that now that I have a kid I pretty much have wipes on my person or very near me at all times. 🙂

    And port-a-potties. Yeah. For some reason the ones at races are worse than any other. Actually I know the reason. It still doesn’t make them any nicer. Many I’ve encountered here, though, have at least had hand sanitizer installed…

  2. Alisa says:

    A weird and little-known fact about baby wipes: they are the best cleaners known to mankind. Seriously. You have old, raggedy, filthy patio furniture? Clean it with wipes. Those things cut through all kinds of grease and grime. My kid is almost 5 and I still keep wipes around the house for cleaning.

  3. gigi kennedy says:

    ok…totally going to try that handheld hydration bottle that you posted. it has been SO hot & sunny i’m not really doing my best on my runs. thanks for the tip!
    happy miles!!
    gigi

  4. Alisa says:

    It’s absolutely worth it!

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