I finally had my first long run this past weekend and in all sense I was as prepared as I could be for a 7 miles. It was also my first run this training season outside. I’ve done 10 miles on a treadmill before, but it felt longer than actually running outside. I think it was being in the same spot, looking at the same tv screen and reflections in the mirror that just bores me.
I usually pile my gear on my desk or small bookcase in my bedroom starting with my running clothes. I always wear my favorite pair of running leggings from Nike. I bought them a couple of years ago and only wear them one my outdoor long runs and the actual run event day. They have a zip up on the ankle allowing me to easily tug them on and off without the struggle. It especially helps when wearing compression knee-high socks or stripping naked in the back of your car. I only wear my compression socks when my milage start pushing 10+, but this time I decided to wear them. I think I’m going to have to get another pair to rotate them.
My other must wear (during colder days) is my Adidas cold weather running fleece jacket. My parents got it for me a couple a Christmas’ ago. Its great! It keeps me warm, the front zipper goes all the up enough to cover my mouth and nose if need; has the classic thumb holes in the sleeves; and the pockets zip up to keep everything in place. I’m not choosy about the shirt or tank I wear underneath, but definitely a high impact sports bra is necessary.
Good running shoes that are devoted to only running is another must have. I’ve alway wear Nikes. Doesn’t matter if it running, lifting or some other hardcore workout, Nikes are on my feet. I’ll probably have to replace these guys after my half-marathon since the mileage on these guys are increasing. I always wait until the local Nike outlet is having a sale or my gym is giving out “friend’s and family discount” coupons (one time I was able to get a coupon, I used it during one of their major sales and got my indoor training Nike Free for less than 60 bucks!).
All the other little things I carry make the run just a tad bit easier to bear. Always have my phone with a long running playlist to keep me motivated. Wireless headphones so the wire no longer gets stuck wrapped around my clothes. Running gloves to keep my finger warm. A little wallet to keep my ID, Medical Card and spare key hidden away on my body. A ID bracelet I got made when I started training my first half (the places I ran was very wooded and secluded). Sports Jelly Beans to keep my energy up and water bottle to keep my body hydrated. The newest edition is my Polar A300 fitness watch. I haven’t bought the heart rate monitor, but it works great on tracking my steps during the day and making me get up and walk around a bit when I’ve been sitting at my desk for long periods of time.
Along with getting the physical things ready, planning out a route is a must. I use MapMyRun on the computer to make out how many miles I’ve got to finished. Another thing I do, especially if it long, I send the route to my BFF in town and text her when I’m leaving and when I’ve return. This way, if something did happen, someone knows what I was doing, the route I was planning on taking and any other important information.
I enjoy the long run during my training season. Its an early morning run usually Saturdays just after the run has risen. Just me, some good music blaring though my headphones and the streets. And being prepared just make it easier to get through.