Sometimes I am amazed when I pass a runner and see all the things she has with her: hat; drinks; snacks; music; phone; fancy watch; and more. I’m the opposite. I like to run with nothing: no phone; no water; no gels; no identification; and sometimes not even a watch. The watch thing I’m not so worried about, but the phone and the identification thing do leave traces of anxiety and guilt in my brain as I head out the door. I still do this even after almost passing out while pregnant alone on an isolated stretch of road three years ago, but the freedom of stepping out the door and just running wins out most of the time for me.
When I’m running I don’t want to care about all that other stuff; I want to just be. I don’t like to listen to podcasts or music outside. I can read and listen to messages when I get back. If I think I’ll get thirsty I run at the park where there are water fountains, but I don’t always run with nothing. If I’m marathon training or worried about bonking I might shove a gel in my bra on a long run. If my stomach is iffy, I’ll stash some tp somewhere just in case. I care about personal safety, but I’m not afraid. I bring my phone sometimes, like if I’m running on dark roads alone or if someone other than my husband is watching the kids. I do tell my husband where I’ll be. I’d never dream of running with pepper spray or any kind of weapon; kinda defeats the purpose if I’m running in that much fear that I need that stuff.
So there are those sherpas and there are those minimalists like me. I’m guessing most of you are somewhere in between. Tell us: what do you find necessary to bring on your runs?