1. Altra running shoes. I had seen them advertised in running magazines. The advertisement features words to the effect of “large toe box” and “designed for runners’ feet.” The words spoke to me. I’ve always had trouble with finding shoes that don’t hurt after about seven miles. I’m pretty sure my friend Sue diagnosed my problem. I strike forefoot, so after pounding the pavement for a while my feet start to swell. If there’s no place for them to expand, they hurt.
Altras are designed for the way I run. The instruction card in the box even says so. I’ve run in mywww.altrarunning.com
2. Camelbak hydration vest. My decision to purchase the Camelbak Circuit hydration vest was actually driven by two separate events, one of which was not related to running. When I ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon last year, I felt great and had the lower altitude working in my favor, yet still finished two minutes slower than my PR. I attributed the lost time to having to slow way down and maneuver in and out of traffic at the water stops. Next time, I thought, I’m carrying water.
I already owned a water belt with a pouch and space for four small bottles, of which I usually carried two. When I upgraded my cell phone, the new phone wouldn’t fit in the pouch. I looked for a replacement pouch. They don’t make them. I looked at belts with large enough pouches to fit my cell phone. The water bottles interfered with my arm swing.
The vest is an ideal solution. The Camelbak Circuit is the smallest of the Camelbak vests. It holds 1.5 liters of water and has pouches for chapstick, tissues, Gus and Sport Beans, and yes, that huge cell phone. www.camelbak.com
3. My final “must have” running item is one I hope to never have to use. It’s called a Road ID, and its purpose is to speak for me if I can’t speak for myself. It’s a lightweight bracelet that gives my name, the year of my birth, and phone numbers for people to call if I’m found collapsed on the side of the road. Again, I hope to never have to use it, but the fact that I have it gives me a sense of security, especially when I’m running alone. www.roadid.com
Oh, and if you happen to find me collapsed on the side of the road, please pause my Garmin.