What’s in the pack?

Slow Burn
September 13, 2019

What’s in the pack?

For those of you still reading this blog, thank you! And, I do apologize for the lack of consistent posting these days. If you are ever in dire need of knowing “what Alyssa is up to” consider this your reminder that the IronWomen podcast goes out every Thursday and has a healthy dose of my life updates each week 🙂

But, I am doing my best to keep posting updates here. My next race, and last one of 2019, is the Trans-Pecos Ultra. I’m going to be running the 6 day event, where we cover ~164 miles over 5 stages + 1 neutral prologue. Being a self-supported event (water is provided, as are group tents each night), this is totally outside my comfort zone….and I’m excited about that! Part of the fun of this challenge has been figuring out what will go in my pack. Actually, before that, it’s been fun to think about naming my pack. I decided to crowd source it through my instagram followers with voting on my story, and it’s narrowed down to the final two options, with the last vote being today, so go vote! The options are:

Beezus. You may know that my dog is Ramona, named after the character of Ramona Quimby from Beverly Cleary books. 

Beatrice Ann “Beezus” Quimby is a character from the Henry Huggins and Ramona series of books by Beverly Cleary. She is the friend of Henry and Mary Jane, and the older sister of Ramona and Roberta. Beezus earned her nickname from Ramona, who had a hard time saying Beatrice as a toddler.

In the “Henry Huggins” series of books, Beezus is depicted as an intelligent neighboring girl and a close friend of Henry’s who is constantly pestered by her infuriating younger sister and best friend Ramona. The first and only book to shift to her viewpoint rather than that of Henry, Beezus and Ramona, chronicles the sibling rivalry between the two girls and the irritating stunts performed by Ramona that agitate her older sister. From then onward, after the series has completely jumped to centering on Ramona’s life, Beezus is depicted as an intelligent, studious girl and a typical elder sibling towards Ramona, taunting her and aggravating her. However, in Ramona and her Father, Beezus adopts a grouchier attåitude because of her father’s unemployment, albeit toward the ending of the book her mood is enlightened a bit as a result of her selection to portray the Blessed Virgin Mary in the upcoming Nativity play. She is usually kind, but teases Ramona nonetheless and agitates her with the sisterly wisdom she has to share, such as Ramona’s being forced to wear Beezus’s hand-me-downs and the fact that they have experienced similar dreams before in the past, leading Ramona to wonder if some dreams are inherited.

The second option is Junko, after Junko Tabei.

Junko Tabei (22 September 1939 – 20 October 2016) was a Japanese mountaineer. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, located between Nepal and China, and the first woman to ascend all the Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent.

I think we can all agree that the length of the intro paragraphs from the wikipedia pages I copy and pasted is not related to the depth of their contribution to society! If you care to vote, head to my instagram.

Back to packing the pack. The picture above is what it looked like today as I did another gear check, and the details are below. If you are reading this in hopes of finding some ultra light-weight tips….you probably won’t find much! I do have some lightweight aspects to what I am trying to do, but I know there is a lot I can improve upon. Hopefully this is just the first of many multi day events to come, and I’ll keep perfecting this as I go. I keep having small panics which include me adding and removing various items into the pack, but I think I’m just about finalized!

The mandatory items are:

In addition to the mandatory items, I’m bringing:

  • Flip flops
  • Sleeping mat
  • Pillow
  • Wet wipes
  • Injinji Compression socks (extra)
  • Extra pair of running shorts
  • Sunscreen/chapstick
  • Earplugs
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • iPod shuffle (though I do still need to confirm these are allowed!)
  • A coffee mug – for AM coffee and PM NUUN Rest!
  • And as the days pass here it’s becoming more obvious to me I’ll be packing tampons as well! 

Needless to say I didn’t ultimately keep myself to 3 luxury items that people suggest for these events….

The race also requires you to bring 14,000 calories…..I’m bringing 18,000. Again, this was a complete unknown for me as I have never been in a situation where my food intake for almost a week would be limited!! Even on the Long Trail, my crew was able to provide me any type of food under the sun at any moment (truly an impressive feat in Vermont). I’ve copied below what I will be bringing for food.

It will be interesting to see what the verdict is on all of this at the end!! Either way, I’m excited to head to Texas and see what this is about — my first race in Texas! I hear things are….big?

Follow me on social media where I’ll post info on the live tracking and updates when I know where you can find them! (links in the upper right)