Every time I lock the door behind me to go for a long run, I get this feeling of excitement and mild fear, the excitement of going to do something I love, the fear of the unknown. Will something hurt? Will I be able to run the paces I want to run?
And then just a few minutes later, when I’m running with the music turned all the way up, when my legs start warming up and moving faster, I realize there is nothing to worry about, because this is going to be a great run, like every other.
We are having a beautiful day, and this morning was my first run in a short sleeve shirt and shorts (except for races), I know it was the first of many to come. 14C/57F degrees at 6:30 in the morning.
I was going for a 23KM/14.3M run, but somehow miscalculated one of my turns and ended up with 22.5KM/14M. Yeah, OK, OCD because I care. In miles it actually makes sense.
Long Run Essentials
Since I started running longer distances on a regular basis, I realized there are some things that I didn’t need on my shorter runs that I definitely need now. Running for 2 hours cannot be compared to running for 45 minutes. My must haves for long runs:
* Sun Protection: I don’t particularly like the feeling of sunscreen on my skin, but even as early as I run, the sun gets strong by the time I’m done with a long run. I put the cream sunscreen on my face, and the spray one on my arms and legs. I like these two because they aren’t sticky and they don’t melt on my skin when I sweat.
* Body Glide: Why risk it, right? I only put it on my thighs when I wear shorts, so far I haven’t needed it anywhere else.
* Music: I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without my music, but especially for long runs I must have my IPod with me.
* Sunglasses: I have sensitive eyes and if I’m running after 7:00 AM which on long runs I always am, I need eye protection.
* Compression Socks: Anything that helps my muscles during a long run is welcome in my book.
* Water: I don’t carry a bottle with me, and although I have some water fountains on my long run route I admit I don’t use them… however, I always have my water bottle with NUUN ready in my car so I can drink as soon as I finish running.
* Food: I’ve experimented with eating while running and mostly don’t need it for the runs I do (up to 25K/15.5M), but I keep an energy bar in my car and eat it within a few minutes of finishing my run. I’m starving after a long run, and I need to eat something before I drive home, shower, etc. and get a chance to eat again.
What do you take with you on long runs?