This is everything I’m taking for my 48-hour event.
A lot of that is camping gear. That big duffle holds my tent and tarps and there’s the sleeping bag and mats. I may or may not use any of that because I also have a hotel nearby. But I want to be prepared just in case. Also, Nikki is going with me so she can nap if needed.
But most of it? Is not camping gear.
See…I chose A Race For The Ages (ARFTA) last year as my attempt for a 100-miler but failed in trained due to injury and timing. I’m trying again this year because – let’s be honest – 48 hours of a 1-mile loop is the only way I could ever get a 100-mile belt buckle. I like to be prepared for ALL issues and there are a lot of issues that can happen running 100 miles. Everything from boob chaffing to blisters to diarrhea. I have no desire to contemplate any of that happening in the middle of the woods somewhere, so I chose a 1-mile loop where any problem can be delt with in under a mile. BUT! That meant I have to prepare for every problem.
This is my packing list. I’m packing several changes of clothes and about 10 pairs of socks because clean/dry socks can be a lifesaver if you’re sweating non-stop and dealing with blisters. I wanted the changes of clothes in case things start chaffing or, if I just need a mood-lifter. After about 6 hours in the same outfit when you can smell yourself, a clean outfit can be the difference between misery and joy. So in that pile and in that list are at least a week’s worth of clothes.
And I’m putting as much in plastic containers as possible because – God Forbid – we get rain and then all of my clean/dry supplies get wet.
But then there’s the medical-type stuff.
This is all the stuff in my running tool box. That tool box goes with me to any race where I can provide my own aid. It also stays in my car through winter training because I do so many long runs in the winter and it’s good to have this stuff on hand. There’s salt and bandaids and VERY SHARP SCISSORS in case I need blister care and medical tape and Pepto and Tylenol and Excederin and Ibuprofen. This is basically how I tend to any illness or injury is in this box.
But then there’s the Chaffing/Blister prevention/treatment box. Consider the problems I’ve had training and sweating this summer? This box is the most important.
Prevention for me means mainly aquaphor everywhere, but if my feet are getting really slimey and wet and blistery, I’m prepared for the other alternative to: Powders. And then the diaper cream is if I’ve failed and start chaffing. That shit HURTS LIKE HELL when you put it on, but it does help expedite healing.
I’m also a little worried about heat (not as much now that we see the Highs are only in the 80s) so I have several options for cooling.
I have a tech bandana and a bandana with an ice pocket (Thanks Kara!). I have a towel and a headband that will get “cool” if you get it wet and then flip it. I have a head tie that has these foam things in there that will absorb water and be cool. And then, of course, I’ll just be sticking ice down my bra when I get hot. When we did our 50K in the 105 heat index? That was KEY in saving me. Boob ice. Don’t underestimate the power.
Now, this race will feed us real meals every 6 hours catered by Cracker Barrel. BUT! I’m not a “real food” kind of person in my ultras. My standards are Lara Bars, Chips, and gu packs with caffeine. So I’ll have that stuff on hand for me. Predicting how your stomach will behave is the hardest part of these things. You just never know. You treat it well days before with minimal challenges and you could still be a wreck because of anxiety and just the pressure of running for 48 hours. Nutrition is the hardest thing to prepare for. I’m hoping between their food and mine I’ll be okay.
All of this for a 48-hour run. My husband still hasn’t stopped laughing at me.