It was a struggle to get up, three times I decided not to. But the fourth alarm got me, how I now celebrate my genius of the night before. It must be noted however the multiple alarm method is not endorsed by my wife “Why don’t you just get up when the alarm goes off?!” – alas she’ll never understand the life of a lazy runner.
However I did arrive on time, if slightly later than planned, for the Tim’s Pub to Pub 16km at Slade Point. With the comfort of strong directions “If you don’t see two pubs, then you’re lost” and buoyed by the promise of a Bacon & Egg Magoffin, we were away. It was relatively cool, by Mackay standards, for the first 10km but then the heat really got up and each patch of shade was a welcome relief. Two of us came home for a sprint finish (don’t we look like we are going fast) which was a lot of hard work for 17th & 18th spot!
Whilst out there, labouring like only a heavy heel striker can, a bloke asked me whether the camel pack was worth the cost and the weight. My take on it is, the weight of the camel pack is justified as it serves a purpose whereas the weight of my gut is an anchor and where the real concern lies. Camel packs give me the confidence that I am not going to be the bloke rushed to hospital for not drinking enough, like visiting the toilet before a long run – it gives me one less thing to worry about.
His questions did get me thinking about how such a basic and wonderful pastime does involve a fair amount of kit. Trainers, shorts, tops, socks – in the various guises are pretty much the essentials (if you are a barefoot runner – feel free not to comment). Beyond these however there is an absolute arsenal of gear with which to do battle with bitumen, trail or fell.
Some of it has worked for me and some of it falls into the expensive experiment column. One thing I have learnt is if you find an issue when you first start out or much later in your running career, you are running in the footsteps of many others and the kit/cure is out there.
Top three major wins for me over the years have been:
Ever seen a thirsty camel, me neither. I’ve been using the Caribee Hydra 1.5ltr for about 3yrs and its been ideal. I hardly notice the weight and always feel more confident attacking a big run in hot weather with 1.5ltrs in reserve. Smart routing for headphones, from the back pocket if required, and enough space for keys, a few energy gels/bars and a mobile phone. I wish there was a bit more space sometimes but I’d probably end up carrying too much weight. Toyed with the idea of a hydration pack with bottles rather than a camel pack, sense they would be easier to refill, but if it ain’t broke…
Couple of things to remember/consider:
- I have fully tightened the pack and it fits my frame (6ft1) but it may be loose on smaller frames – check your sizing
- In warmer climates, make sure you put the bladder in the freezer, between runs, unless of course you want penicillin in your water.
INJINJI RUNNING SOCKS
After naively changing from Asics to Nike a mere two weeks before a marathon, I was absolutely hobbled after the event. Unwilling to stop running and with other big events on the horizon, I went to see the good folks at InTraining. They put me onto Injinji and from 5kms to 50kms, across road and trail, I have not had a blister since. Yes you can probably get 5 pairs of running socks from Big W for the same price as 1 pair of Injinjis but I put a higher price on the condition of my feet. Feeling a blister fill mid run is like drinking on a school night – you know you can’t stop despite the pain you know is ahead.
My only regret is that in a moment of misplaced generosity I donated a pair to my brother. Buy a pair and love your feet.
BUFF by BUFF
People will judge you, but only people who do not know the wonder of the Buff. I am a born again Buff lover, at first I was ashamed of my Buff and only used it on night runs. She was my guilty pleasure.
Truly the Buff is the most versatile running aid out there:
- Keeps your head warm
- Poor water on it – keeps your head cool
- Stops sweat running into your eyes
- Face cover in strong winds, particular on beaches
- Holds head-torches in place and prevents rubbing
- Emergency handkerchief (oh the shame of it)
- Emergency toilet roll (one use policy applies)(truly hope this desperate circumstance never occurs!)
The Buff is your friend and mine, just find a style that suits you – I’m no Ja Rule but I am living it up.
If anyone has any suggestions on good kit that has worked for them and supports their running please leave me a comment.
In other news Slade Point is exceptional on a clear sunny day, or what people in Mackay call ‘a day’.