Then winter rolled around. I live in the northeast and I have asthma so running in the cold just wasn't going to happen. So I moved indoors to the dreaded treadmill. I avoided it as long as I could, I had a few experiences on the treadmill with my personal trainer in college and hated every single time I was on the thing. But a friend convinced them it wasn't so bad because I was having trouble with my pacing in races and the treadmill forces you to stick to the same pace. The other awesome thing about the treadmill is that it has 2 magical cup holders so you can bring lots of liquids with you! And even if you run out, the water fountain is just a few steps away.
Then spring rolled around. And my aunt ran a marathon in March. The whole time she ran I checked the race website to track her status. It was exciting to keep up with her as she was going. I got nervous when she missed a check in point (I can only assume that the pouring rain she had to run through affected the electronics of the tracking system), and excited when she hit another check in marker. It was then that I decided I was going to run a full marathon.
My first step was to get back into half marathon training. As I've mentioned before, I run best when I have a goal, a race to train for. So I signed up for a half marathon in Virginia. It turns out I won't be running that race (note to self, only sign up for races within driving distance on the race day or close to family in the future...) but I started training anyway. As the weather got nicer, I started running outside more. I really enjoy running the long distances outside because I hate looking down at my distance on the treadmill and not making as much progress as I thought!
So now I have an issue. How do I stay hydrated? As I see it, I have a few options:
1. Run close enough to home for quick stops. This would mean running in circles of maybe a 0.75 mile loop because I live in a condo sandwiched between 2 busy roads so that kind of limits where I can run and not get run over.
2. Map out a loop goes past the houses of several friends and all them all before hand to make sure they'll be home or can leave me a bottle of water in the mailbox. This could work...I'll have to investigate.
3. Bring it with me. Waaah! This is heavy! I could wear a hydration belt. I asked for, and received one of these for Christmas but once I put it on I felt kinda goofy and I was 10 pounds lighter when I got it so now it's kinda tight...could be an option later this year when I'm running like a mad woman. I tried carrying a bottle the other day but I got annoyed with that...
4. Hide water along the route beforehand and hope no one messes with it before I get back to it. I feel weird doing this...who knows what could happen to my water not to mention what people might think if they see me hiding/retrieving it.
Last year when I was training for my first half I made the mistake of going for a long run and getting lost without a hydration plan in place. I did have a credit card with me but the only place I could find to buy something had a $5 min purchase to use a credit card. So, naturally I picked the lightest weight thing I could find to get my total up to $5, lottery tickets! But apparently you can't buy lottery tickets with a credit card, who knew? So yeah, that turned into a super awkward 10 minute break which ruined my tempo. That was my last outdoor long run...
So, question to the world out there, what do you do for hydration on long runs?