Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 306 - How to Pack your Running Gear, and Cheers from London

Thanks to my good friend Anonymous, we have a question:
I travel a lot and would like to run while I'm away from home. What's the best way to pack your running gear? Seems like I never have room for my running shoes. Different bag? Same bag and have your work clothes smell? Wear your shoes on the plane? Help!
Well, Anonymous... can I call you Anon? No, I don't mean "Can I give you a call soon", I mean... never mind.

Great question! First, Ku-f'in-dos for running when you're on the road. There's no better way to see a city than on foot. When I travel, I never fail to have an interesting and memorable experience while running the streets of whatever city I'm in.

So, how to pack... "Seems like I never have room for my running shoes." Well, there's your first problem. Your running shoes go in first. Say it with me... Pri-or-i-ties.

If your shoes smell bad, you'll want to put them in a plastic bag of some kind, like one of those hideous shopping bags we're forced to use now. Put the shoes together with the tops facing each other, nose to tail, 69 style*.

Smush them together and wrap the bag around them tight to keep them compressed, so they take up less space.

If your shoes really stink, put that wad into another bag. And maybe another, if we're talking "toxic waste" stink.

Put that wad in one of the bottom corners of the suitcase.

If your shoes don't stink, cram socks, underwear, whatever into the shoes to make use of the otherwise empty space. Then, put them in the suitcase with heels in the corners and the backs of the heels along what will be the bottom when the suitcase is rolling. Then pack everything else around them.

Easy peasy.

Or, you can do like your humble... Hey! Who chuckled back there... your humble blogger and try Vibram Five Fingers. They don't take much more room than a pair of socks. Or better yet, go full-metal-barefoot.

As for the rest of your gear, travel light. I run at least two runs in each outfit, as long as I have a day for the clothes to dry after a quick rinse in the shower. (On the return trip, snag the laundry bag from the hotel closet for your damp clothes.)

To make sure I don't forget any essentials, I have a running bag, one small track bag, the kind where the draw-strings double as back-pack straps, that has all of the essentials.

GPS watch, it's charging dock, Body Glide, Band-Aids and such in tiny first-aid kit, headlamp, and a small "fanny pack" to carry my phone and hotel key. If this stuff isn't being used, it's in the bag. So wherever I go, if I remember to pack this one bag, I'm good. I throw it into the suitcase right after the shoes and clothes.

As for the rest of your packables, you're on your own. Just be sure to get the running stuff in first.

So there you have it Anonymous. Hope that helps... lemme know. And thanks for playing along.

Also got some fun questions from my running buddy from across the pond, Marino:

Marino: What's been the most surprising thing about running every day?
Me: How fast the days have gone by. I can't believe it's been over 10 months. Second, how few days I haven't felt like running.

MarinoWhat are you going to do when (not if!) you make it to the end of the year? Anything to celebrate?
Me: That will be on December 31st, and I hear that there will be celebrations pretty much world-wide that evening. It's humbling, really...
Seriously, I don't know. I'd like to have a group run with as many of you folks out there as want to come, and end the run at the pub. First round'll be on me. And then I'll stretch and ice my heels.

Marino: Are you going to continue the streak next year or set a different goal?
Me: Something different, for sure. It'll be weird that first day I don't run, but I think I'll be ready for a new challenge. I have some ideas...

Marino: How's it going with the Ducati?
Me: How do you think it's going? It's a Ducati for crying out loud! It's awesome! So much fun. I really should have won one years ago. 

Marino: And lastly: we'll be in Indy in a couple of weeks. Are you up for a few runs? :)
Me: Of course! Slowest time at the Drumstick Dash buys the first round. Cheers, mate.

See, it's fun to play along...

Good running,

*Come on, you were thinking it, too.

Numbers: 3.0 miles, stopped to vote along the way.