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Becoming your own Sherpa

So sometimes you’re super lucky and you run in a place where there’s lovely water fountains. Or you run a race where there’s water stops every mile. Or you have an AMAZING friend who was your sherpa for the best race you’ve ever had. Either way, at some point during running there comes a moment when your going to have to schlep your own crap. I’ve learned with the farther distance I’m running, the more random junk I decide to take with me. On a short run, it’s only my iPod and pepper spray. Once I get up in mileage though we start throwing in the iPhone, the iFitness Belt, the fuel, the water, and before we know it I’ve got tons of crap to carry.

I never got used to the whole ‘fuel belt’ deal that most people resort to, so I usually either use water stops or a hand held. Now here is where things get a little interesting. When I first heard of people carrying hand helds I thought, ” These people gotta be CRAZY because I could NEVER run with anything in my hands. Ever. Period. End. Of. Story.” Well I realized I just had to train myself to get used to it and  now I swear by the old handheld! I love carrying it when I run and though I do not mind using water stops pending the drink won’t mess with my super sensitive stomach, I love just having my water with me.

You might ask yourself, well how do I ‘train’ myself to run with something. I started off with carrying something small on a shorter run. Try sunglasses, pepper spray, or a even a hair rubber band or something.

Anything to carry that is really small. It’s really easy to try to teach yourself to get in the habit. Once you’ve done that a few times, you can slowly move up to a water bottle. They have smaller ones to try to start with. You can keep working with smaller items until you are comfortable. Another weird part of carry your own water is the fact that you’ll hear the sloshing of the water. It does make it much easier to drink water and you can do it on your schedule, not when there is a water stop.  Then you can move up to a full on water bottle if you’d like! That’s what I prefer!

I actually have the GoLite Bottle and I love it! It works perfect and I can shove some extra stuff in the little pocket on the side. I also seem to have a weird thing about strapping it SUPER tight to my hand, so I have weird velcro indentations after my run. Strange, but I like it easier when I don’t have to grip it as tightly. I’m always scared it’s going to go flying, but I’ve yet to have that happen to me. Knock on wood.

Tomorrow, after running about 10 miles in the past three weeks, I’ve got an 18 miler on my plate. Should be interesting. I truly have no idea how how I’m going to run a full marathon in 24 days, but it will be fun. I just hope it’s not another LA Marathon Experience, even if it is, it’s okay. It’s my 6th marathon and I’m running it the weekend of my birthday and I’m running it for fun. All I’m sayin’ is DANG that medal better be awesome! :) I’m working Saturday all day after my long run and then Sunday, I’m heading up to the lake for one last little summer fling. I can’t believe that summer has already come and gone! I don’t know where the time goes, seriously!


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