With my race less than two days away, I had better get packing. When I say packing, I’m referring to what I will carry with me during my race. A lot of people carry nothing other than their ipod and simply rely on aid stations for water, sports drinks, and nutrition. My mental comfort level doesn’t allow for this sort of reliance. My mentality is this: I’ve gotta have it when I want it (then, I usually don’t need it).
I think there is comfort in knowing that you have anything (well, most things) you may need at your finger tips. I realize this may sound cumbersome, but it works for me. That’s what is important. Also, I carry all of this junk around with me during my long runs so, I am used to having it all. It would be weird for me to run without my “security blanket” which I will now be calling my “security belt”. Plus, I can’t rely on aid stations to have GU or other food that suits me. What if I rolled up to a table full of spinach or licorice-flavored GU? Can you imagine the meltdown?? I just gagged. Also, some races like to “test” various sports drinks on you during the race. Surprise! Guava-plum electrolyte water! These are chances I can’t take. The only thing I grab at the aid stations is water (or Gatorade, if disclosed as such). I save the water I carry with me for emergency moments only.
This is the “security belt” itself:
You can buy this belt by clicking here. I love this belt. It is pretty small, but holds everything I need. It sits right in the small of my back and doesn’t move. Here are the specs:
• 20-ounce Hydraform Bottle
• Expandable stretch-mesh, with 2 quick-access angled side stretch pockets
• 2 zipper pockets and compression bungee for jacket, gloves and other essentials
• Fully-adjustable, comfort waist belt.
• Cool and vented AirFlow™ Mesh back panel
• 40% lower profile to minimize bounce and slosh
• Ergonomically sculpted to hug the lumbar
• Designed for easy retrieval and replacement of bottle
I also attach a small pouch to the strap so I can access power gels, Advil, and chap-stick ”on the fly”. I wear it toward the front of my belt.
So, what all do I tote around in the security belt (maybe go-go gadget belt would be better)?
Here is a list:
- A few tissues
- one band-aid
- my cell phone (I don’t know why – maybe I’ll get lost?)
- a little strip of moleskin (which, now that I think about it, I’d never be able to use it – how would I cut it? Maybe I should pack a knife too…)
- my watch (which I wear)
- my ipod (also wear that)
- sometimes gloves (not this weekend)
- my key (if applicable)
- 4 Stingers (I may or may not eat them all)
The last item is Stingers. This is what I eat. It is a little pouch of electrolytes, sometimes caffeine, potassium, and sugar all in an easy to eat gel. It’s natural.
I like the honey flavors because they taste clean and go down easy. Artificial or flavors that just try to hard (chocolate cappuccino or berry festival) are too much to get down the gullet when your in the middle of intense physical exertion. I actually know people that eat food during a race. I suppose it is good if you can do it, but I have never been able to manage. I can barely drink water while running. The gels work well for me.
What do you tote around while running and racing?