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Debating Necessity…


Thanks to the early onset of darkness, I haven’t been able to take the dogs running after work. They go a little stir crazy during the week so I try to take them out for several hours on the weekend.

Trouble has started to present itself on the hydration front. There are no water sources on the trails or in the parks.

Unfortunately, I’m limited on how much I can carry. Once I mix in my necessities (granola bar, house keys, and shimmer lip gloss), my hands are full. I’d carry a backpack but I get quickly overheated – and if you’ve ever run with a backpack, you know how awful it feels.

Instead, I hike or run a little, walk back to my house, drink water, and head out again. I figured it was something I’d have to live with. But then, while out on a trail, a girl ran past me with a water bottle belt with tiny little pockets for necessities.

I never dreamed I’d be ogling a glorified fanny pack.

I went to the sports store and found one just like it… for $19.99. It’s not a life changing amount – unless you’re dealing with unemployment. That $19.99 would look better as four meals than an optional piece of sports equipment.

I debated with myself for a good half hour then finally, the accountant in me won the battle and I left empty handed. As I kissed my runners fanny pack goodbye, I promised I’d be back as soon as my husband was gainfully employed.

In the mean time, I will stick close to home or… duct tape a water bottle to my arm.


  • Reply K |

    Although it would still cost money, another option to look into is to get a “backpack” for your dogs.. they’re more like saddle bags. We make our lab/shepherd mix carry his own water.. it tires him out faster too. You may be able to find a product like this used. Lots of people buy things for their pets and they are barely used because the pet doesn’t like them.

  • Reply Jennifer McKinney |

    I am a personal trainer and many of my clients have run into the same hydration problem. If you cannot hold enough to keep you hydrated you can plant a water bottle (or two) along your normal route. This way you will have water waiting for you. This can be a temporary fix until you get your fancy water bottle holder. Happy Training!

  • Reply Melanie |

    Have you looked at Wal Mart? I don’t know how you feel about the big box stores, but I’m pretty sure that Wal Mart has those…we also got our “Camelback” (read: Generic) water bladders there…in fact, you might just be able to buy one of those and stick it in your own backpack or something…dunno…I can’t remember, but it seemed like just the bladder/straw were less than $10.

    Dorky suggestion: get a knitter you know to knit you one of those super-dorky water bottle carriers. There are patterns for those out there, and they look like they would work pretty well. I’ve never tried one, though.

  • Reply Mysti |

    Good for you for showing restraint. Can you look for a coupon that might take a few bucks off, for when you are ready to get it?

  • Reply Dasha |

    Is anyone in your family planning on getting you Christmas presents? Maybe this is something to hint at? Only $20 for them and so much joy for you 🙂

  • Reply Kimberly |

    How big are your dogs? Have you considered getting them backpacks and have them carry water for themselves and possibly you, too? A lot of working class dogs will enjoy having a job to do.

    Of course, those cost money, too, so it will wait until you’re ready. But it’s an alternative to the fanny pack.

  • Reply jaye |

    I think there are a lot of unwanted fanny pack/water bottle carriers out there. You should check out thrift shops/Salvation Army/Ebay. I bet you can get one for next-to-nothing.

  • Reply Brenda |

    Howdy from Yucca, AZ!! I’m a big fan and love reading your blog. What you need is a Camelback! They usually sell them at sporting goods stores. It would be cheaper to find one at a good will or thrift store. It’s a lightweight low profile backpack for water with a long tube for sipping on the move. They’re great for hiking and backpacking and you can run without interference.

  • Reply Kate |

    Get your dogs a backpack! Mine carries his own food, water, water for me, and rocks for good measure. He’s a 90# golden lab, and can carry (easily 25-30#, per my vet’s instructions), and it WEARS HIM OUT. (That’s the best part, IMO.)

    Anyway, I have an extra one for large dogs (up to 90#). Send me your addy (or a PO box or something), and I’ll drop it into the mail for you. 🙂

    Merry Christmas! (Or Happy Holidays, if that’s your thing.) ‘Tis the season for GIVING! (And PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE let me do this for you… I was unemployed for 4 months earlier this year and people pulled through for me. I need to pay it forward.)

    (Oh, and so you don’t think I’m some sort of crazy person, search my email addy in facebook and you’ll get my profile. I’ll even add you so you can see my profile.) 🙂

  • Reply Kate |

    Oh, and here’s my dog on a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG hike, carrying his weight. 🙂


    My vet and trainer said this is important because when he has a backpack, that’s his signal that he’s “working.” He’s MUCH more well behaved when he’s “working.” 🙂

  • Reply Tara |

    You may have a friend that has an old pack too… I might send out a mass email just to see… I must admit, though, I did let out a little laugh when you said ‘$19.99 is 4 meals’- I think the exact same thing when I look at price tags!

  • Reply John DeFlumeri Jr |

    I have been a runner over 30 years. The solution is drink more than you want to before your run, and learn to pee in the woods, it’s simple. You won’t get thirsty and you’ll run longer.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  • Reply mv |

    Your necessities, as listed by you:

    * granola bar – Depending on the distance (not mentioned), it is a necessity, short runs shouldn’t require this, especially if you consume it shortly before the run.

    * house keys – yes, a necessity, tie the single house key to your shoe lace & tuck the end under the laces, resulting in one less item in your hand. Never lost a key doing this (double-knot helps)

    * shimmer lip gloss – is this really a necessity for running? If your getting dehydrated while you run, wouldn’t carrying water take precedence over lip gloss?

    No need to purchase a runners pack, although, I agree with the folks suggesting a doggie-pack. Let the pooches carry their supplies and get the extra exercise they don’t receive during the week.

  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    Please take Kate up on her offer! I am absolutely in the market for one of those doggie backpacks, as well. I have a aussie mix (or a border collie mix – not sure which), and he needs to work. 🙂

  • Reply Beks |

    Fabulous Advice!! I think I’ll see what I can jimmy rig on my dogs.

    Kate, I’d love to take you up on your offer but my dogs are 15 and 25 pounds (A terrier mix and a Boston Terrier) – unfortunately they are too small for your pack. Thank you for being so generous!!

So, what do you think ?