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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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  • Reply Laina

    Ha! I had to carry one of my socks last week because it was making my foot crazy!!! It didn’t bother me so much, but I am going to go on a limb and say that I will never carry a water bottle! I can’t stand to hear the water swishing around with every step!! I put the water and gatorade out in stategic locations before I run and then I have “water stops” along the way.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Aj

    I cannot even manage my car key when I run. I have to shift it from hand to hand. I don’t mind my fuel belt and it allows me to take two types of beverages. I’ve been using coconut water for electrolytes and handling it much better than a sports drink. As I type this, and maybe it’s because it’s 10 to 5 on a Friday, I’m now thinking of a long run with 1 water and 1 beer in my fuel belt. I guess with the handheld it would have to be all beer!

    September 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm
  • Reply Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner

    I hate running with something in my hand so as much as I’d love to have water with me, I’m not sure I could do it.

    September 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Spike

    Sorry my friend, I’m still on the anti carry anything in my hand team. I just drop water off ever 5M. But it does limit my routes.

    September 11, 2010 at 7:51 am
  • Reply Susan

    I bought a Nathan Quick Draw last week and used it for my 18 mile run…it was glorious! I should have discovered it somewhere in my past 14 years of running…oops!

    I thought i’d be really bothered by holding something, but the water bottle I used was really comfortable and not too big.

    September 11, 2010 at 10:09 am
  • Reply Nicole

    i hate hate hate carrying stuff with me. sometimes i go with out when i should have stuff because i get so annoyed! i’m thankful races have water/Gatorade so i don’t have to worry about it! Do you know what LB is having!?

    September 12, 2010 at 8:08 am
    • Reply

      A jeśli by odgryzł? Coś by to dało? Ależ oczywiście. Dałoby. I to całkiem niemało. Przede wszystkim wywiązał się za zobowiązania, które sam na siebie zaciągnął. Okazałby się człowiekiem słownym. Ocaliłby swoje imię przed opinią krzywoprzysięzcy. Zachowałby swoją wiarygodność dziennikarską. Mógłby nadal wykonywać zawód dziennikarza ciesząc się takim samym zaufaniem odbiorców, jak dotąd.Pozdrawiam,

      May 31, 2017 at 10:53 am
  • Reply Christel

    I love my Nathan handheld!

    Did you rock that 18 miler? (you’re an experienced runner, so I’m pretty sure you did!)

    September 12, 2010 at 8:10 am
  • Reply StephanieC

    I have a hand held, a fuel belt and just got a camelbak – not to be used all at once – i hope! I ‘ve used my fuel belt only once and haven’t ran with the camelbak as really got it for hiking. But who knows. I don’t mind carrying stuff in my hands so like my Fuel hand held. No pockets though, but it was free so i can’t complain.

    Oh, and i ran my first half marathon today in Chicago. 2:10:44 and so HAPPY. I see many more in my future.

    September 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply A Soggy Sixteen « Blissful Runner

    […] in the bushes 3 miles in.  Taking inspiration from Danica’s recent post about learning to run with a handheld I grabbed one of the 8oz bottles that came with my new 4-bottle hydration […]

    September 13, 2010 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Missy

    I tried running with a small handheld bottle and I wasn’t a fan, I just don’t like having something in my hands, it seems to pull my attention there constantly but I haven’t tried a fuel belt yet either so I may change my mind who knows?! But maybe I’ll give the handheld another try…

    September 13, 2010 at 11:00 am
  • Reply Madison

    I’ve been using a hand held for a while but after 15+ miles, my arms are sore. Guess I need to pump some more weights. I love my iFitness belt, feels like I am not carrying anything at all. Amazing!

    September 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Laura Georgina

    I always run with a small water bottle (it’s way too hot not to!), and it doesn’t bother me unless I go longer than four miles. Then I start getting fed up of it. I’m definitely going to try one of those hand-held/strappy thingies–anything that makes me relax my grip is a good thing.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  • Reply In the Midst of a Running Shopping Spree | Run Little Legs!

    […] water bottle. I am hesitant to hold something on my runs, but Chic Runner blogged about actually liking carrying a water bottle with her on her runs, so I thought I’d try it out. I usually wear a fuel belt, which I […]

    September 22, 2010 at 6:38 am
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