In Her Bag: My Race Day Running Kit and Bag
When it comes to life on the road, running is how I managed to stay sane and maintain fitness. Now, it’s my primary form of racing and the ultrarunning scene has been awesome. If you missed it before, the ‘What’s in Her Bag’ section is admittedly, my new favorite thing to both write and to chat about with the rad women who’ve taken part in it so far… Each week, I’m featuring the everyday/gym/race day/sport-specific/food bag of an athlete that I love, or sharing what’s in my own bag. This week, I’m looking in my running kit for race day.
What’s in my running bag?
(Before I start, I’ll note that I have actually paid for all of these things, so they’re absolutely 110% things I would recommend as worth the cost!)
I try to keep my running bag as light as possible, because on race morning I’d rather not have to search through a bag that’s super full, so I run it really lean.
Bluetooth headphones: I use one of these $20 earbuds so I can still hear what’s happening around me but I can also start to get in my own zone. I’ve had this set run through the wash, I’ve run in pouring rain, I’ve beat the crap out of them and they’re great. I don’t run with them in races, obviously, but it’s nice because they’re small and light and can just get jammed in my pack when I’m at the start line with a couple minutes to go.
Tracksmith Twilight Tank: I recently discovered Tracksmith and it’s been a gamechanger for me, as it’s a running brand that fits really well, holds up to a lot of washes, and comes in almost exclusively neutral colors, plus really cool retro details. The plain black twilight tank is just right.
Tracksmith Session Shorts: Plain black, silky shorts? Hell yes. No chafing hotspots on them, and they look awesome. Size down though—normally I’m a Small in most shorts but the XS in Tracksmith is better for performance running. That said, I also own a small pair of Session Shorts that I love for more casual runs or just hanging out.
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@nj_trail_series Wildcat Ridge race was THE MOST FUN and despite 50 kilometers of crazy racing this is how happy I looked at the finish. Won the race overall (!) in the 5th fastest time/fastest women’s time for that course. Met a Belgian living in NYC who could talk cyclocross with me for a few miles & a couple of other rad guys who chatted for the first lap. Awesome day on the trails and now I am going to go eat everything ever. #ultrarunning #trailrunning
Nike Terra Kiger 5’s: This is my current running shoe for trail races and I really like it. 5mm drop is just right! (And I highly recommend sizing half a size up if you’re getting a pair.) The color options are awesome—the black and grey with a grey sole is super badass, but the 80s style unicorn colors are SO GOOD. (Admission: Because I firmly believe that when you find good shoes, you should buy multiples since shoes rarely are available for more than a year at a time, I bought both colorways.)
Ciele cap: Mine is so faded that the logo came off but the cap itself is still perfect after 5 years of heavy use. Highly recommend. (I should get a new one just from an aesthetic perspective and I’m eyeing this one.) I was wearing a cycling cap for my first couple of races, but it was just too hot for summer, and I needed something a little more sweat-wicking.
CEP Socks: I love CEP for gentle compression, and wear their ankle or no-show socks for racing.
Body Glide: For underarms and upper thighs. Just trust me here.
Neutrogena Spray Sunscreen: I don’t love spray sunscreens, but at races where I’m usually alone, it’s way nicer to have a way to get sunscreen on fast. I’ve had some breakout issues with cheaper sunscreens lately, but this one seems to work super well!
Osprey Dyna Hydration Vest: I’ve talked ad nauseam about this and will continue to do so, but this vest fits and looks great AND they have a women’s version in black, which makes me so happy.
Tailwind Unflavored: I’ve found for 50K races, I prefer to drink most of my calories and I’d rather run with everything I need. Enter Tailwind: In the 1.5 liter pack, I can get 1000 calories in without too much sweetness, and it’s pretty ideal for my racing style.
Flip flops: I won’t wear them with the socks, obviously, but a lot of the time immediately post-race, I need to walk around but I cannot deal with wearing shoes.
Beach towel: For changing into something comfy post-run and for quick clean-ups
Camp shower: For $9, this 5-gallon camp shower is AMAZING. We’ve had it for a couple years and it’s awesome. It’s heavy black material that’s thus far managed to not get ripped despite being chucked in the van with bikes and other sharp pointy things. The black means you can leave it on top of your car and come back to a solar-heated hot shower situation, or you can leave it in the car to keep the water cool. It’s honestly the best thing I bring with me, because if you like hanging out post-race, it’s so nice to quickly use that to wipe the grime, sweat, spit, etc. off and do a quick cleanup. (And like my best tip for avoiding saddle sores and UTIs, get the hell out of your sweaty shorts!).
Shred Girls tank top: Because I need to represent! (I wear it with my Session shorts that are the small size, so a bit bigger and looser than what I race in, because the last thing I want to do is put on anything tight!)
Nuun in water bottles: I admit, I still am on the light end of food and drink during my races, so it’s good for me to start sipping electrolytes right after a race.
Vital Protein Collagen Peptides: I also mix this into a water bottle with the nuun to get 20 grams of protein immediately into my system.
CEP Compression Socks: Post-race, I’ll throw these on for a while while my poor feet and calves recover.
VivoBarefoot Primus Lites: I always have these in the car so I can eventually shift into my compression socks and still have plenty of room in my toebox. I want to feel like I’m not wearing shoes, and VivoBarefoots are perfect for that.
Let me know if you’re into these, and if you have an athlete you’d like to see featured. We just featured Lori Nedescu of Hungry For Results and badass triathlete Nicole Loher and I am STOKED!