Saturday, February 13, 2016

What's In My Race Bag: Local Edition

If you've ever read blogs written by ladies with nice-looking toenails (lololol), there was a "What's In My Purse?" blog post meme going around a while back. In celebration of the fact that by the time you read this I'll probably (hopefully??) have my first race of 2016 under my belt, I'm playing the distance runner version: What's In My Race Day Bag?

Today's race is a 10K ~45 minutes or so away, so this is the local edition. (I think we can all agree that things get a bit more complex if you're overnighting in exoticccc landzzz.) Keep an eye out for a separate post as we get closer to Eugene!

  • Road ID. I finally broke down & got one of these a few years ago when I won a gift certificate in a local race. Honestly I've read/heard enough upsetting stories about unfortunate events related to running alone that I really should have done it a long time ago. WHAT'S STOPPING YOU? Seriously, go buy a Road ID or similar right now. They're actually super cheap & will give everyone in your life a little extra peace of mind.

  • Garmin. Like, duh. Except not, actually, given that I drove halfway to a 10-mile race last summer before I realized I'd forgotten a Garmin.

  • Albuterol inhaler. I have exercise-induced asthma, but these days as long as I use my inhaler before running, I almost never have problems. Every now and then, though, I have an attack while or after running, and that's definitely a situation where I absolutely do NOT want to get caught without the inhaler.

  • Body Glide. Also probably not surprising.

  • Sunscreen. No one likes skin cancer.

    Currently loving ThinkSport. SPF 50+, nice consistency, smells good, & free of all the nasty ingredients you often find in the bigger brands.

  • Toilet paper. TRUST NO PORT-A-POTTY! Last summer at that same 10-mile race, my spare roll of TP saved at least a dozen runners from certain disaster.

  • Sunglasses. I'd always rather have them and not need them than vice versa.

  • Cap. I usually throw a cap on if it's hot, sunny, or raining. Again--rather have and not need than vice versa.


  • Hair bands & clips. Never hurts to have extras!

  • Safety pins. Races nearly always have these available and I don't think I've ever actually needed to break into my stash, but it makes me feel better somehow to bring them.

  • Post-race clothes. At a local race, I usually don't really change after--just throw on a dry T-shirt if it's hot, or a warm-up jacket and maybe pants if it's cold. But, every now and then I've finished a race really desperate to get into fresh dry clothes (especially if it's not a quick drive home), so I'd definitely rather have them & not need them than vice versa. (If it's more than an hour home, I usually prefer to do future passengers in my car a solid & change instead of marinating in my stink while it seeps into the upholstery.)

  • Plastic bags. Like I said, sometimes wet, nasty things need to get off your body like NOW.

  • Hand towels. I like to be able to towel myself off after & one never knows what will be available for this purpose at the finish.

  • Flip flops. I like to have them handy in case I just cannot even with shoes post-race. Sorry not sorry. (Though actually, I almost never put them on.)

  • Lacrosse balls. Sometimes my legs get really angry post-race and I just know that getting in my car & sitting for a while isn't going to end well.

  • Kinesio Tape. Just in case!

  • Water bottle. Most races have water available in some form at the start, but not always, so I don't count on it.

  • Chemical ice packs. I started bringing ice packs to races after my first marathon when I finished desperate to ice my hip and there was like a 45 minute wait for ice packs in the med tent. I've never used one but I've also never worried about it.

  • Tylenol. Sometimes this is nice to have post-race. (Anti-inflammatories make tendons and ligaments weaker & stops muscles from getting stronger so things like Ibuprofen are maybe not the best choice for post-race or workout. Or, like, ever, if you're trying to get faster & stronger.)

  • Post-race snack. If I finish at, say, 10:00am and wait around say half an hour for the result and then drive say an hour back home, odds are good I might actually kill the first person I encounter in SF in a fit of hanger, so again, this is really all for the benefit of mankind in general. (Some races have post-race snacks which I definitely appreciate, but sometimes you don't know for sure or you don't know how you're going to feel about what they have.)

    Current favorite. I love these things & buy them by the crate!

What's in your bag when you're racing relatively close to home?


  1. I like to have extra safety pins, too - races have run out before! I always bring chapstick with me: my lips chap so easily while running, especially if it's cold or windy.

  2. Wow, I sound so unprepared compared to you! Clothes, shoes, Suunto watch, sunnies and I'm good to go.

    Oh actually I do normally bring a second pair of shoes for post race but otherwise it depends what mood I'm in whether I bring anything else or just travel light!

  3. You are so much more organised than I am. There is one thing that I never forget that you don't have - lacteese tablets. So I can indulge in a post race ice cream.

  4. Haha, oh man you are organized! I'm doing good if I remember to put all my clothes on. I usually have a gel or shotbloks in my bag, chapstick, and sunglasses.