Helloooo boys and girls 🙂 I’m sure you’ve all been as busy as us this week preparing for the impending holidays! I have a pretty strict (READ: anal) approach to leaving for a vacation. My food purchasing / meal planning is like a science, complete with a complete refrigerator clean out the night before we leave. Today’s lunch features my classic “use it all up” salad, where I basically dump every leftover in the refrigerator on top of a bed of lettuce and call it a day. Today’s lunch includes romaine lettuce, yellow bell pepper, shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped celery, cherry tomato, chick peas, diced ham, and blue cheese… helloooo nurse. If only I had ANY sort of appetite this week 😦 ho hum. I also have to make a meticulous packing list / take my time or else I will most definitely forget something (I one time packed for an entire weekend in NYC with no bra… not a single bra).
We are traveling with the kitties this week too so we had to start mentally preparing them to get in the carriers. Little Mac is very intuitive, so if he senses we’re about to travel, he’ll just hide under the bed. Therefore, we have to get the carrier out days in advance and then snatch him when he is least expecting it. Fig has a carrier, but I also have a leash for him. Little Mac will hide under the bed, but once you pick him up, he basically submits to going into the carrier (he cries a lot though and it’s really sad). Fig, on the other hand, will fight you until the end. I actually cannot get him in the carrier alone. The last time I tried to put him in by myself, he drew blood. By the end, he was crying in the carrier, and I was sitting on the floor of my living room crying and bleeding from my hands. I decided to give the leash a try. He doesn’t walk on the leash, but he does let me pick him up and carry him to the car. I use the leash just as a back up in case he jumps out of my arms.
All in all… Christmas presents are wrapped, bags are packed, the refrigerator is empty of any perishable food, and Operation Trick the Kitties is well underway. Hopefully tonight goes smoothly (pray for us).
On the sickness front… the week started out abysmal and is ending on a relatively positive note! Mike was the worst I’ve seen him yet on Monday and Tuesday. It was truly heartbreaking to see someone who I love so much in so much pain. Luckily, he went to see his primary care physician on Tuesday afternoon and got a pretty aggressive course of steroids to help with his symptoms (he had such a bad sore throat / swollen tonsils and glands that the poor guy could barely eat, swallow, or sleep!) After only a couple days, he is like a different person! He’s still not 100% and is being careful to rest, hydrate, and get enough to eat. All in all… a lot of R&R at the POTR household this week.
I was on the verge of a total meltdown earlier this week about my potentially getting sick too (you remember by very dramatic Marathon Musings). I freaked out and went to an urgent care center near my office on Monday at lunch. Luckily, I got an awesome nurse practitioner (I fully support NPs… see them ALL the time and they are amazing) who is ALSO a marathon runner. She did oblige my request to give me a mono test, which, as of Monday, was negative. However, she cautioned me that this didn’t necessarily mean I wasn’t getting mono. She urged me to just relax and try to stay as healthy as possible. I’ve had no appetite this week, and I’ve actually been a little nauseous too. I’ve still been eating relatively normally (me? not eat? surely you jest) but I’m not really enjoying it (except last night we went out for pizza… I enjoyed that very much). I’ve also been pretty tired, so I’ve been budgeting in a little extra sleep every night (I normally sleep 7 hrs per night, this week I’ve been getting more like 8 – 10) I talked to her a lot about training for the marathon and she was very reassuring. Mike read this article that suggested that if you get a mono diagnosis, you shouldn’t run for 10 weeks! This had me TOTALLY freaking out. The NP suggested that I take it easy this week, to not put too much stress on my body. I’ve run some but not as much as my schedule called for. My muscles have been VERY fatigued (on Tuesday evening, I felt like I had just run a half marathon, not a 5 mile marathon tempo run) so I’ve been doing my best to listen to my body. I’m hoping that taking a little rest this week will allow me to come back to normal next week or the week after. She reminded me that I still have PLENTY of time, and encouraged me not to freak out just yet. Sometimes you just need a professional to say these things to you 🙂
Before I sign off… Mike and I exchanged Christmas presents last night! We like to do this privately before we join our families for the holidays. I got Mike this awesome plaque from the Philly Marathon with his finish line photo and his name / time, and I am making him a scrapbook with all of his race numbers. Right now we just have them piled in a drawer. I thought this would be a better way to store them / remember all of the races! Finally, I got him this SWEET camping chair with a footrest. Last year at Bonnaroo, some other people had one and we were all about it.
Mike came up big for me this year too … because he is wonderful and thoughtful and amazing. I LOVE coffee (as I mentioned earlier this week) and I wanted a french press to make better coffee at home. Well, Mike put on his researchers hat and did me one better! He got me a hand grinder for beans (and a bag of Starbucks Christmas blend whole bean coffee) and this AWESOME Aero Coffee Press. Apparently it’s even better than a french press and makes amazing quality coffee. I cannot wait to use it. I’m tempted to bring it with me for the holidays 🙂
Gifts or no gifts… I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Mike 🙂 But I LOVED this gift. It’s very me and I can’t wait to enjoy it. I’m going to bring my laptop with me on vacation, but I doubt I’ll be daily blogging. I am hoping to check in a couple times, but we’ll see how it goes 🙂 I am looking forward to some serious R&R, and quality family time.
If I don’t talk to you… MERRY CHRISTMAS! Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas… it’s a great day to go skiing!
That’s right folks… I am headed to Manchester TN to camp out in a field with Mike and his friends and attend one million concerts. Ok not one million… but close to that. Bonnaroo 2012… here I come! I have never been to Bonnaroo before, or anything like it. Luckily, Mike’s friends have all been before so they’ve been leading the group with their veteran Roo knowledge. I am placing my trust in them completely, because I have no idea what to expect. The only thing I know for certain is that I am going to be listening to some truly amazing music, and this will be a wholly and completely unique experience. It begins today but we are not arriving until tomorrow (Mike’s friends assured us that this is the ideal way to do it… and again, complete trust in their knowledge of Roo). Plus, we all have to work today (womp womp).
Anyways… as I mentioned when I was going to Nashville…. I hate packing. And once again, I waited until the last minute to do it (shocking… I know). I feel like I’ve been doing little things to get ready all week though. Monday night I went to Target after work to pick up a couple clothing items. I know it’s dumb to buy new stuff for an event where you will probably ruin everything you bring, but I wanted to buy junky stuff I wouldn’t mind getting ruined (and I like all my clothes so this was a problem). It’s going to be really hot too, so I wanted to make sure I had appropriately cool clothing. I got a couple pairs of shorts, a tank top, a sundress, and a pair of junky slip on style shoes (I wanted something cheap – $15 chyeaaa – that was light / airy without being a flip flop).
Tuesday night Mike and I were out in the suburbs so we hit up Walmart to get supplies. We got food to eat at the campsite and in the car (its about an 11 hour drive from DC to Bonnaroo. We are doing 4 hours tonight to meet up with Mike’s friends in Roanoke, and then the remaining 7 hours with them. Monday we are doing the whole haul… I am going to need snackage), water, Gatorade, some camping supplies (batteries for flashlights, a tarp, some rope, etc.), SUNSCREEN, and some hygiene stuff like baby wipes and hand sanitizer (to reduce the stank). Mike and I also spent a little time trying on ridiculous hats, which definitely made it more fun.
Then last night, when I couldn’t procrastinate any longer… I packed. I waited until too late, and now I am sleepy. Story of my life.
I’m not really bringing a lot of clothing. I don’t really care what I look like while I am there, and I’m going to get gross so there’s really no stopping it. I brought bandannas and headbands to cover up my hair because without a hairdryer and flat iron there’s not much I can do. I was much more concerned with other items… especially sunscreen. As a disclaimer – I do not regularly drink stuff like 5 Hour Energy. However, I get migraine headaches and those are a great quick fix if I start getting one. I got a migraine while attending the Preakness in 2007 and it was one of the top 10 worst days of my whole life. I would really like to avoid that happening this weekend, so I’m taking all necessary precautions.
I charged up all my electronics and loaded up my iPod with Podcasts to listen to in the car (Including but not limited to… The Adam Carrolla Show, Savage Love, and This American Life). I think I’m ready to go.
Prescheduled posts will appear on Friday and Monday while I am away, and I’ll be back Tuesday with updates from what will surely be an unforgettable experience!!! Since Amy didn’t get to see Fun. in Santa Fe last night, I’ll try and take a video on my phone during their set for her!
Also a big, big, big THANK YOU to my big bro for checking on Fig while I am away this weekend. He’s super excited to have time with Uncle Doug.
Get ready for it folks… I’m about to go negative. About packing that is (hehe almost got you there didn’t I? Look at me, cracking jokes). I really really really don’t like packing. I’m super Type A so it totally stresses me out! That and I, without exception, always wait until the last minute to do it. I inevitably forget some critical item too, every time! I one time spent an entire weekend in New York City with no bra (not a SINGLE one). This might have been something I should have considered when signing up for my first marathon in a city that is 700 miles away.
However, on a typical trip, if I forget something major it’s just an awesome excuse to go shopping! But I am traveling to my first marathon here. I need my “Tried-and-True, Nothing New” stuff with me!! I need MY STUFF not new stuff. There are also a lot of variables in play here that make packing tricky. What if it rains? Should I wear a baseball cap or a headband? How hot will it be? Tank Top or Technical Tee? What if my feet are in bad shape after the race? What if I just can’t face the thought of wearing pants? (Don’t laugh! I often feel this way after extended bouts of exercise) Will I look ridiculous if I bring my cow girl hat?? (Answer… Don’t care, it’s coming with me). Anyways, I thought I’d share my packing plan and some tips for traveling to an out of town race.
- If you are traveling to a race that requires you to get on an airplane, unless you have at least two days from when you arrive until the race, CARRY ON. This is like a Murphy’s Law thing. Don’t tempt fate! I don’t really enjoy carrying on that much (you have to lug all your stuff around, including to the bathroom, and then let’s not forget how there is like a black market for space in the overhead bins on airplanes now!) but I need to ensure I will have all my stuff in the right place.
- Make a super, super detailed list. Mine appears below with some pictures. People make fun of me all the time for my list-making but you know what? It’s awesome.
- Don’t forget the little stuff / accessories for running. If you listen to music make sure you bring iPod, charger, maybe even an extra set of headphones. Body Glide, water belt if you wear one, extra pairs of socks, Gels / Blocks / Beans whatever you use, running sunglasses, a hat, hair accessories, rain gear, maybe a pair of arm sleeves just in case, compression gear, band-aids, etc.
- Print out all your materials ahead of time. Chances are you won’t have easy access to a printer so save yourself the hassle and print out confirmation emails, race information, etc ahead of time. I travel with a folder filled with all my information for easy access. Boarding passes, passport, restaurant reservations, race info, parking, hotel info, all of it.
- Try to relax and have some fun 🙂