Ah, the halcyon days of yore. When prepping for a run was a one-step process: putting on whatever shoes you owned that weren't your "good" shoes. Socks: completely optional. Fast forward (more than) a few years. Prepping for a run became a multi tasking Olympic event. Jump ahead a couple more, and it's less intensive, but more than a single act. What happened? I think it's a combination of a couple of factors: 1. I'm no longer a kid, and my feet aren't quite as forgiving as running around in Chuck Taylor Cons or Keds all day, and 2. My runs are getting much longer than they were, resulting in needing more things along the way.
At the peak, my preparatory activities included:
- Get the correct base layer and any overwear — Will it possibly snow? How's the sun? Windy? Temps in the 20s? 90s?
- Get the additional accoutrements: Sunglasses, hat, Bandanna/Buff
- Fill Water pack
- Get/load on-trail food & Electrolyte Replacement & Ibuprofen
- Sport shield applied
- Correct shoes (trail or road)
- Correct socks (Injinji? Cold weather? Low? Mid?)
- Load the after-pack with a change of clothes (warm for cold runs, non-sweat soaked for hot weather), recovery drinks and maybe food.
- Combination low dye and ankle-roll stabilizing tape job on the left wheel.
- Make sure the brick-sized Garmin was charged and attached to the belt.
Things aren't as involved as they used to be, though. Thankfully, I no longer have to take the 15 minutes or so to tape up my feet and ankles, and the Garmin is much more forgiving and more speedily locates where in the world it is. However, I've added a heart-rate monitor to better alert me to impending cardiac infarction, and I've upped the tech level on my on-trail nutrition, which takes a bit of prep time. So, on balance, I guess the mornings before a long run still resemble an Everest Expedition.
That could be why I enjoy the short runs with my kids so much. I get to be (somewhat) a kid again, in that all I have to do is get shoes. And, since I am the dad,I get to bring water, sunscreen, car keys, money/wallet, camera to take snaps of the kids, phone for safety...
At least they get to run like kids.