This week has just flown by and all of a sudden I’m in an airport lounge waiting for a flight to Seattle; well to Frankfurt and then Seattle. I don’t know where the time has gone. This week was full of goodbyes – at work, with friends – some lovely leaving cards (though I am coming back!) and lots of good luck messages. Also some more sponsorship donations via this site. Thank-you all!
I’ve also run a couple more marathons – Halstead & Essex (road) and Richmond Park (trail) which were both lovely, I’d recommend either if you’re looking for low-key, hilly, looped marathons.
I’ve not mentioned the logistics of this trip before but it has been epic in the preparation already. 80 nights of hotel bookings, all from a spreadsheet put together by Mike who’s also planned the route and organised so much besides.
Tonight I’ll be staying with my friend Maggie in Seattle then tomorrow getting a lift out from a fellow runner to Elma where we spend 3 nights, starting running from the coast on Wednesday and gradually making our way East. I’m looking forward to meeting up with the other runners (there’s just 4 of us I think) and their crews.
What I’m taking: Having packed and re-packed several times I’m pretty sure I’ve left everything important and useful at home and have just random crap with me. And some Soreen.
I have in no particular order (and yes I know the USA has much of this but I know what I like…):
6 pairs of trainers (3 x Hoka One Ones – 2 road, 1 trail, 3 x Saucony – 2 trail, 1 road)
One pair of flipflops (I think they rub me but they’re just for dodgy showers)
9bars (thank you Liz and Al!), Soreen, Refresher chews, Detrose lemon cake bars (thanks Serpies!), Twinnings Lady Grey teabags, Yorkshire teabags, Gu Brew sachets, Gu Orange chomps.
A lot of suncream.
A lot of zip-lock plastic freezer bags. I find these come in handy in a multitude of situations – though I also have a Ortlieb dry bag for keeping essentials dry.
Running clothes (some very sensible UV40 tops, lots of race t-shirts and lots of lycra) also running cap, though I hate running caps I might need to on very sunny days.
Normal clothes (not many of these – I live in running clothes most of the time anyway)
Underwear (all very practical, non-chafing)
More first-aid kit than is practicable or I am qualified to use including bandages I have no idea what to do with (Chemistdirect.com has a lot to answer for!), Sudacrem, compeed, painkillers (some prescription strength just in case), foam toe protector things (I’ve run several marathons with broken toes – the same toe broken several times – all thanks to this pink foam tubing), zinc oxide tape, 3Bs, syringes, scapels, Germaline, other antiseptics and lotions and potions.
180 pairs of contact lenses (should have checked how many were in the box – realised last night in hotel in Heathrow – 90 pairs are just coming for the trip and to go back home again!)
More cosmetics than I’ll use (inc red nail varnish to touch up my toe nails which might be optimistic)
2 x 2L camel packs; 2 x water bottles
Raidlight day bag – I’ve gotten so used to this I’ve actually forgotten I’ve been wearing it sometimes.
Head torch, reflective gear, torch (just in case but I hope not to be out in the dark at all)
Electricals: Netbook, iPhone, iPod (loaded up with audiobooks), extra iPhone battery, 2 Garmins (205 and 310xt), Garmin Ant stick I can’t use, WD passport 1GB, Motorola phone (might be unlocked for US Sim, might not be), travel kettle (thanks Mum!), camera (I must remember to use this!), cables and chargers for nearly everything – though I think there’s one missing…
Passport, US Dollars, Insurance details, have completed US visa online, credit cards, Serpie card.
Thank you also to the Lufthansa woman who ignored that one of my bags was actually 28kgs! I’d already paid for my extra bag and was relieved not to have to decide what to leave behind (though had already decided I’d start by eating a few 9bars!).
Items I already know I left at home: The Stick – a useful, often painful, self-massage tool (wherever it is in my flat it’s well hidden!), Hobnobs (they just wouldn’t survive the journey… it was what they would have wanted), any sensible non-running shoes (I have brought a pair of green flats – they go with nothing else I’ve packed), all-weather map case (definitely in a ‘safe place so I don’t forget it’ in my flat.
Also I’ve been thinking recently about everything I’m missing over the summer – not an exhaustive list but including friends’ summer weddings (Mark and Shona, Tim and Laura) and births (Louisa and Josh P due in August), Isabelle Ling’s Christening, some running club events (the summer party, Welsh Castles Relay, Summer league, etc) but then this adventure is worth missing one UK summer. I shan’t be upset to miss the Olympics as I think London will be a nightmare to live in through it, it would have been good to see the marathon and the cycling, and I’ve grown to detest the British footballing hype so missing the Euros is also a relief.
Injury count to date: 1 (stubbed toe on suitcase this morning; lucky I’ve got all that toe foam!).