Heavy, man.

Like most runners in the ’70s, I went light, often in just shoes and shorts with a damp facecloth tucked into the back of the waistband. In those days, I knew pretty much everybody around here, and pretty much everybody knew me, so I never gave a thought to ID. Never gave a thought to cash, either. Or water. And in those days, the idea of listening to music during a run would have seemed bizarre. I did keep track of my pace, but I did it in the most basic way: I had an early digital watch, I knew my mile marks, and I just glanced at the time as I went through them, noted it, did the math in my head, and held the results in my memory for later transcription into a paper training diary. The whole deal was pretty stripped down.

Things are different now, and even in warm weather I often feel as encumbered as a lineman up a pole. The hearing aid, of course, without which I can’t even make out my own footfalls. And given the existence of the iPhone, an old man running without a communications is an idiot. I need something to carry the phone in, so I wear the flattish, unbouncy Amphipod waistpack, which also has ┬ájust enough room when I travel away from home for a credit card, hotel info, a few bills, and a room key or card. Since it’s nice to be able to recognize all this stuff, I also cram in the pair of glasses I never used to need.

Of course, if I croak by the side of the road, I’d like whoever shovels me up to be able to break the news to the family, so wearing a Road ID on one wrist is considerate. On the other is my Garmin gizmo which, if I can remember which buttons to push, tracks with ludicrous but wonderful accuracy route, distance, speed, cadence, temperature, weather, and the color of the hair of the guy who passed me 126.51 yards short of ┬áthe 3-mile mark.

Still don’t worry about water.



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