There are many reasons people run. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s good for your body and mind. You can do it anywhere in the world. The thing that keeps me coming back day after day though is the pure simplicity of just putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t need any highly technical equipment or overly complicated tools to do it. All I really need is just some time in the day.

Well, time and a pair of shoes. There are the true minimalists out there who go barefoot, but I’m not one of them. Time and a pair of shoes is all I really need to get my run in.

And my Garmin, of course. If I don’t measure my run, then it never happened. But this is my everyday watch and I always have it on so it doesn’t really count. So a little time, my shoes, and Garmin and I’m good to go.

Oops, almost forgot my MP3 player. I’ve got to have my tunes. While I can technically go for a run without it, what’s the fun of listening to nature or the sounds of cars driving by?

Though if I’m going for a long run, I’ll need some fluids to keep me hydrated. Bottles make it convenient to carry the fluids so I’ll need a couple of them. And since my girly arms can’t run with bottles in my hands for more than a couple hundred yards, I’ll need my Nathan waist pack to carry them. So some time, shoes, Garmin, MP3, my bottles and waist belt are the very few things I need to get my run in.

I guess food needs to go on this short, simple list as well. I don’t need a buffet or anything. Just a couple gels and maybe an Ensure shake or two.

If this long run turns into an ultra race, I may need one or two more things. Just in case you understand. Lots of things can go wrong and it’s always good to be prepared. An extra pair of socks and shoes in case the first ones cause blisters. Though if I have blisters I’ll also need my blister kit with moleskin, scissors, tape, and safety pin. This is probably more than I can carry in my little waist belt so it’s probably best to get an extra (drop) bag or two to put this in.

So really the only thing I need to run is time, shoes, Garmin, MP3, bottles, waist belt, gels, Ensure shakes, extra pair of shoes and socks, blister kit with moleskin, scissors, tape, safety pin, and a couple drop bags.

Um, is this a hundred mile race? I don’t see very well in the dark, so I’ll need a headlamp with extra batteries.

Will it get cold at night? Probably need to add a long sleeve t-shirt, gloves, hat, and some hand warmers.

How much elevation gain did you say the course has? Then I’ll definitely need my trekking poles.

Wait, what am I doing asking you about the race profile?!?! You don’t just roll out of bed and knock out an ultra. I’ll need to spend some time (already on the list!) reading up on the race so I can develop a well thought out plan for running it.

And that’s it. Time, shoes, Garmin, MP3, bottles, waist belt, gels, Ensure shakes, extra pair of shoes and socks, blister kit with moleskin, scissors, tape, safety pin, a couple drop bags, headlamp with extra batteries, long sleeve t-shirt, gloves, hat, hand warmers, trekking poles, and a plan.

Simple really.

Though there was that time I chaffed pretty badly down there. Maybe I need body glide as well. . .

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