Monthly Archives: March 2016

Packing for an Ultra-The Airplane Edition

Packing for an Ultra: The Airplane Edition

Drop Bags
This post is about flying to an ultra, which is a bit different than a car trip away from home.

Tip One: I don’t try and stuff everything into a carry on.

The Carry on Bag: should contain all the essentials for your race, the bare minimum that you need to complete the race. This would include my shoes (if you are not wearing them on the plane), Race day kit-the running bra, socks, underwear, shorts, shirt. Your light and hydration pack. In case your luggage is lost, you can still start your race.
I don’t put gels or nutrition in the carry on, FSA is too quirky with yay or nay in various airports, it’s not worth losing your supply along the plane route.
I have a list of what is going in various drop bags but I don’t pack the drop bags ahead of time. Why? Because TSA is going to go through your bags and rip them apart. I find it a better plan to do them after the flight.

Tip Two: Research Your Area

Research! An out of town race means some pre-scouting your destination, both where you are flying into and and your race destination.
For example, Silverton CO has a very basic and expensive grocery store. You would be better off to buy supplies in Durango or Montrose where there are big box stores with much more variety.
I flew into Charlotte NC for the Uwharrie 100.  Charlotte is a big city with more than one REI. That means I could pretty much buy new kit and food-like gels-if my suitcase is lost.
I also checked to see what stores I would pass on my way to the race hotel. I made sure to stop on the outskirts of Charlotte to buy my various food items. When flying I do not bring food items I can buy at my final destination.

What nutrition do I bring with me in the suitcase?
My gels. If I am not planning on stopping at an REI or running store.  My Ultragen. Yes I put a white powder in a plastic bag. I also took the Ultragen label off the big bottle and affixed that to the bag. I hope it passed TSA s ecuirty. IF not, well that would be a phone call to REI or a running store or bike store to see if they carry Ultragen or Recoverite.

Tip Three: Go Early

Go early to your race destination if you can. I like to show up one or better, two days prior to race. There is less stress if flights are delayed or cancelled, luggage lost, or rental cars not available.
Where are you staying? Hotel, cabin, camping? Check that out ahead of time. I didn’t bring instant coffee to my hotel in Zion, and didn’t realize any coffee/restaurants didn’t wake up as early as I did, so I was a bit coffee deficient. I did have a microwave, so I could have had coffee!

Tip Four: Think About the Plane Flight Home

Congratulations! You finished your race! Now you have to go home. Make sure you have comfortable clothes to sack out in, and a light carry on to make traveling back easier. Make sure you have shoes or sandals that will fit your poor overtaxed blistered feet. Make sure you get up to stretch and move those legs around on your flight home!


Have you flown to a running event? Any tips to add in the comments?




Living in Limbo Land

I have an appointment March 29 with a doctor at Ohio State. While I am happy getting a second opinion, *everything* is being put on hold. I am pretty sure I will be having surgery sooner than later, but it’s driving me batshit crazy not to be able to make any plans.

For example: Working Forget the PR Aid Station April 9, volunteering at Massanutten May 12, attending a ramps festival end of April, pacing a friend at Laurel Highlands in June.

I have been attempting to make a schedule of some sort for the next two weeks. I’ve been doing upper body work, and crunches and planks for the last two weeks. At least that is something. I’ve been working on Project 50 activities, such as my dog scrapbook and reading Sherlock Holmes.

I’ve not been on social media too much as it makes me sad. It’s hard to relate to everyone enjoying and nailing their runs. I’ve even been wistful driving along on the roads that I also run on.

I think I am in stage four of the five stages of grief: depression. But I know that. It’s okay. It’s just situational grief.

What I do have is FREE TIME and goodness, this is hard to deal with. I don’t have to get up three hours before work. I am getting more sleep. I’m trying to get projects done around here.

Anyone else impatient to get their injury diagnosed so they can move on?

Project 50: Eat a New Fruit

Time to cross off a Project 50-Eat a New Fruit!

What better place to find a new fruit (to me) than the iconic Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield, Ohio! We always make a JJ stop on our way home from the Cinti Wine Festival.

jungle jim's

I found three fruits instead of just one to try. Why not? I don’t go to many specialty grocery stores to locate an exotic fruit.


This is a strange looking small red hairy fruit. These are common snacks in Asia.  Rambutans funny exterior conceal a smooth sweet white fruit within. Based on my internet research on freshness, these rambutans are ready to eat.


I split the rambutan open with my nail. It peels open and boom! there is the white fruit. opened rambutan

It is very sweet. It does have a pear like flavor but sweeter. I like the texture better than a pear, it’s a bit more firm yet rubbery. I find this a tasty treat! I would eat this fruit again!

Florida Sapadilla

I had to wait a few days until the sapodilla turned soft enough to eat.


This is SWEET! I read it can be described as a pear that has been sopping in brown sugar. A good description. It tastes and has the consistency of a super sweet pear. Would I eat this again? Sure.

Black Sapote: Chocolate Pudding Fruit

black sapote fruit

My black sapote ripened quickly, turning a bit mushy and dark brown. Cutting it open, it did indeed look like dark chocolate pudding.

black sapote on spoon


It did not taste like chocolate pudding. It was rather tasteless, just bland, no sweetness to it. I guess you could use it like a tofu, where it will take on the flavorings. Would I retry this? No, not unless I was trying to experiment with a low-fat chocolate pudding or brownie.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Have you an exotic or lesser known fruit to recommend?



Speed versus Second Opinion

I’ve decided to get a second opinion on my torn meniscus. Well, the injury hasn’t changed, it’s still there and not going anywhere.

After some words from friends, I’ve decided to seek a second opinion. I’m going to see if I can see a sports medicine doctor at THEE Ohio State University-maybe even a runner doctor who understands my needs as a runner.

This will also take eons of time to get an appointment at, but I guess I am not running anywhere right now. I guess I have the time to spare.

Words No Runner Wants to Hear


I had been warned that the orthopedist doctor was a straight talker. I wasn’t quite expecting this.

” I have to tell you, you’re done with running ultras”  or something rather equivalent to this. I immediately teared up.

We looked at the XRay and MRI.  He pointed out the problems. The tear, the space were there was little cartilage. The start of bone spurs around well, some part of my knee.

The doctor really gave me doom and gloom. I told him I wanted my knee fixed. If I wasn’t able to run, I needed to be able to still HIKE, right? He didn’t seem too optimistic about that.  I got the feeling I was being handed some infirm lifestyle where I would get fat(er) and prattle on about the good old days when I used to run..and walk.

SO. I am going to have orthoscopic surgery sometime soon.  I will have surgery, and rehab the knee. Then I will get a second opinion about returning to running. I can’t foresee the end of running for me.

Ever had knee surgery?

Mommy is not a chew toy: Introducing Jules

We had dog changes in January. My beloved Condi-aka Weeza (real name was Condaleeza Rice, named after the Secretary of State.  We thought Weeza was going to be *really smart*.)


Weeza had renal failure for months, but she didn’t seem to get that memo.  She was energetic and exuberant until about the final day.


Alice, meanwhile, was bereft. We felt it was better to get a pup sooner than later.


I turned to the interwebs. To my surprise, there was a German Shepherd dog breeder just around the corner. I’ve literally ran by his place. We came home with a silver and black 9 week old puppy: Jules.


Jules has been a good fit and Alice is ectastic-and tired-with her new pup brother.  Tino, on the other hand,  has not been so welcoming.  But about seven weeks later, Tino is tolerating Jules and even playing with him a bit.

tino jules

Jules has a very strong personality and seems to be pretty smart. Except the falling through the ice on the pond. Mommy had to jump in the pond and throw the pup back out. (It was only about three feet deep.) Falling through the ice did not phase him.

I have hopes that Jules can be my running companion when I return to running!


Project 50 Revisions

Life is always about change. Due to my injury, I have to do some revisions to Project 50.

Project 50 Revisions

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ”

-from Way of the Peaceful Warrior


Umstead-breaking 24 hours at Umstead is removed. I am not running Umstead.

Activities that involve physical activity may be moved toward the back half of 2016 such as zip lining or white water rafting.

I may not be primed for a PR of any distance or able to run an obstacle race. That’s okay. I really just want to find out (that’s on Friday March 11) what I can do to get back to running again.

Revisiting my list, I need to add “grow a new vegetable” to the list. That will be brussel sprouts this summer.

I need a few more Project 50 ideas! Got any?