What you need for speed, part 2

In the last post I specified what a person needs to get started running (not much), what she needs to run a 5K (not much more), and what she needs to run long distances (mostly ways to conquer the psychological challenges before her).

That doesn't mean that if you decide you need more than that for your run, you're a bad person. I have found plenty of running stuff that isn't necessary, exactly, but that makes my run more pleasant. Without further ado, I present to you ...

What I need to run long distances:
  • Shoes from a specialty running shop. It's a little bit of a luxury, but I swear I can tell the difference between the Sauconys a professional has lovingly selected for my personal running style and the Adidas I cheaply selected from the clearance rack at DSW. When you're a distance runner, your feet are literally everything to you. Take care of them.
  • Knee braces. I need 'em on both legs, for pretty much anything longer than a mile. Sigh.
  • A complete and total ban on cotton. I've seen people go out for long distances wearing cotton T-shirts, so I know it can be done. I just don't know why anyone would bother when tech shirts are $12 at Target. When eliminating cotton from your wardrobe, don't forget ...
    • Socks. I've never bought sports socks with any cotton in them, so I don't know what it's like to run in cotton socks. I'm comfortable with that ignorance. 
    • Underwear. Yes, special performance underpants for running! I used to think it was a scam, but there really is no point in gearing up the rest of your body and having the layer closest to your skin still be made of soggy cotton.
  • A visor. When it's sunny, it keeps the sun off your face. When it's rainy, guess what? It keeps the rain off your face! Way better than sunglasses, which steam up and get spattered with sweat and sunscreen. Speaking of which ...
  • All the sunscreen. It's easy to forget that running long distances means spending hours in the sun - especially when your run begins before sunrise. I can't afford to forget. I buy a spray bottle of SPF 30 and just coat myself from head to toe.
  • RoadID. This is so simple - just a little metal tag with emergency contact information that attaches to my shoe. I don't carry my wallet with me on runs, so it's just nice to know that if there's an emergency out on the course, people will have the info they need to take care of me.
  • My phone. When I run solo, this is another "in case of emergency" thing - but I am also one of those annoying people who tracks her run with an app and then broadcasts it for the entire world to see. (Hmm, that might be a whole post in itself.) This is why I'm actually against the trend of larger "tab-phones" or "phone-lets" or whatever they're called - because I need for my phone to fit into ...
  • A fanny pack! The '80s are back, in slimline neoprene form. Sometimes I call it a "utility belt" to make myself feel like Batman instead of an eighth-grader in an Esprit T-shirt and jorts visiting Kings Island for the day. But let's not kid ourselves. It's a fanny pack.
  • NEW FOR 2014! My Pebble. When I found myself with $100 in Best Buy credit this year, I used it to buy this smart watch. It lets me view emails, texts, caller ID and more - but the real reason I wanted it is because it syncs up with RunKeeper to let me see my time, distance, and pace while I'm on my run. I love living in the future.
So to recap, here's my gear for a long run:

So much stuff!

But here's all you really need to get started:

Not much stuff at all!

Have fun out there!

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