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hell or glory: the endless mile 48 hour race

2020.10.26 12:40 cPharoah hell or glory: the endless mile 48 hour race

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A don't quit early, do the full 48 Yes
B 100 miles Yes
C 110 miles Yes
D 116.3 miles (top 10 leaderboard) No
E podium No

Splits

Hour Mileage
1 6.5 miles
2 6.2 miles
3 5.9 miles
4 5.4 miles
5 4.9 miles
6 4.5 miles
7 4.1 miles
8 3.5 miles
9 3.7 miles
10 3.5 miles
11 3.5 miles
12 3.1 miles
13 2.1 miles
14 1.1 miles
15 3.1 miles
16 3.5 miles
17 4.3 miles
18 0 miles
19 2.8 miles
20 1.4 miles
21 2.8 miles
22 2.8 miles
23 3.2 miles
24 3 miles
25 3.2 miles
26 2 miles
27 2.8 miles
28 1.4 miles
29 2.4 miles
30 2.4 miles
31 1.6 miles
32 2.6 miles
33 2.4 miles
34 0 miles
35 0 miles
36 0 miles
37 0 miles
38 0 miles
39 0 miles
40 0 miles
41 0 miles
42 0 miles
43 0 miles
44 0 miles
45 0 miles
46 1.4 miles
47 3.8 miles
48 5.7 miles

Training

Ok, so, first of all: I did not train for this. I’ve been running all summer, but that’s not the same as training for a multiday ultra. If you’re interested in the raw numbers, check out my strava training log and see for yourself (https://www.strava.com/athletes/15875698/training/log). I’ll also provide a short summary of just how much I fucked myself going into this. In my defense, I didn’t plan to do this race, and only signed up about 3-4 weeks out from race day because I was bored. Please do not repeat my mistakes.
Okay, let’s rewind to, say, June. I’m in Pennsylvania living at my parent’s house for a month while I try to put my life back together. I’m doing the GVRAT (Laz’s virtual race, ~635 miles in 3 months). I’m just trying to maintain a base at around 40-50 mpw. June passed fairly uneventfully running-wise, with weekly mileage of 55 mi, 41 mi, 55 mi, 55 mi and a few walks/hikes sprinkled in. I was doing 1 workout per week (just kinda whatever I felt like that morning, fartleks or tempos usually). Long runs were around 13-14 miles with some quality sections here and there.
In early July, I drove back to Colorado, moved out of my old apartment that I had shared with my ex, and moved into a new place on my own. My running stayed about the same as before, but my daily walking skyrocketed. My monthly running mileage was 51 mi, 34 mi (moving week), 55 mi, 53 mi, 55 mi. When you add in walks (which I think count when you’re doing a race that will be a LOT of walking), my weekly mileage in July went 51 mi, 34 mi, 80 mi, 80 mi, 81 mi. As you can see, I was adding about an extra ~25 mi per week from walking every day after work. I had a lot more free time and while I kinda wanted to use that time to do doubles every day and bump my mileage up a lot, I knew that it maybe wasn’t the smartest option, so I settled for walking. My long runs were still around 13-15 mi (and no back-to-back long runs, let me be clear. The run the day after my long run was around 6 miles). I was still doing a weekly workout of whatever felt fun that day.
August was both a “big” month (when you count walking) and a shit month (if you look at just running). Running mileage was 47 mi, 44 mi, 40 mi, 31 mi. With walks, it was 72 mi, 74 mi, 58 mi, 68 mi. Long runs dropped a bit, to about 10-12 miles, still with zero back-to-backs. I was beginning to feel the effects of covid-seclusion-brain as well as dealing with the emotional fallout of the past few months. On the plus side, I started going to a weekly track workout with my boss and some coworkers, which helped make me feel human at least once a week.
September continued in the same vein as August, but with less walking. So, not much running AND not much walking. Truly, great training for a multiday ultra in October. But again, I wasn’t planning on running any races for the rest of 2020 so I wasn’t too bothered. Weekly mileage for September went 35 mi, 47 mi, 47 mi, 56 mi. With walks added in, it was 49 mi, 51 mi, 61 mi, 62 mi. Long runs were around 13-14 mi, and for two memorable weeks it was only 8-9 mi. Sometime in the last week of September I decided to say “fuck it” and sign up for a 48 hour race. I knew I wasn’t prepared AT ALL, but I really missed the pain cave of an ultra. This particular race also has a lot of personal meaning to me. My first ultra was a 12 hour at this race, back in 2017. For years now I’ve talked about wanting to go back and try the 24 hour or the 48 hour, and for the first time in years, I could actually do whatever race I wanted to do.
October (or at least October 1-15th) was my taper. If you can call it a taper when you’ve basically been tapering for an entire month beforehand. Weekly mileage went from 56 mi to 46 mi to 37 mi. The taper was honestly fun as hell. I felt so fit, but in more of a 5k-half marathon way. I knew I didn’t have the endurance for this dumb race, but I felt fitter than I’ve ever felt before in my life, and I was hoping that it would help at least a tiny bit.

Pre-race

So I packed and re-packed for this race approximately 26 times. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to change clothes, or socks, or shoes, or whatever. So I brought everything I could think of. I even brought a beanie and gloves, on the off chance that it got chilly for a bit overnight (note: this is what the experts call foreshadowing).
I was crashing with a friend before and after the race, which made things easier (and cheaper). Now, this next part may be gross for any men reading but I am a firm believer that A. get over it, it’s normal and B. it is important to know if you want to get the full picture of my race. So, because I am an incredibly lucky person, I managed to start my period on race morning. While this is good hormonally (women tend to get a bit of a performance boost from the drop in hormone levels), it added a nice extra layer of complexity to my next 48 hours. Yay! pre-race 'fit in my sweet artc singlet
Anyway, after that lovely realization, I drove over to the race start and started prepping my stuff. A friend of mine was coming down from Georgia that day to hang out and camp and then run the 24 hour the next day. I knew I could use his tent and setup once he got there, so I just kinda dumped my stuff on the ground and vaguely organized it so that I could see everything easily. Visual proof of the poorly organized aid pile I put on my windbreaker (it was drizzling and mid-50 degrees F at the start) and waited around until 8:55 am. With 5 minutes to go before race start, I meandered over to the start line to hear the race instructions and size up my competition (LOL). I knew from stalking ultrasignup that there were a few women with a lot of multiday/48 hour experience, including one woman twice my age who had just done ~140+ miles at a 48 hour in February. I was absolutely expecting her to kick my ass. I’m fairly used to getting my butt handed to me by people twice my age or older in ultras. It gives me warm fuzzies, and a hope that when I’m their age I can be that person. I also saw Ed Ettinghausen (a legend in multiday racing… you may know him as the guy who always dresses up like a jester) and Ray Krolewicz (another legend in ultrarunning, at least in my opinion). Ray had been at this race back in 2017 when I ran it for the first time. I wasn’t sure if he remembered chatting with me briefly while I was running the 12 hour. But I remembered. He called me out in the first hour, asking why I was running so fast when I was doing the 12 hour and telling me to slow down before I destroyed my legs. And after the race, he told me I needed to keep doing ultras because I had some talent (which obviously stuck with me, if I remember it three years later). I crossed my fingers that we’d get some “walk and talk” time later in the race, because I distinctly remembered him being hilarious and great at getting me out of a shitty mood and I figured I’d definitely need that at some point.

Race

How does one distill 48 hours into text? Let’s find out. I left myself voice memo’s at various points of the race, because I knew it would all begin to blend together in my head afterwards. Some of them are funny and some of them are a bit sad. But that’s life, I guess. The concept of running 100 miles in 24 hours has sometimes been referred to as “life in a day”. I’d say 48 hours follows that idea, but more like two lives in two days. There are peaks and valleys. You’ll feel like you may never be happy again, or you’re done running for the rest of the race. But it never always gets worse, and sometimes it even gets better and suddenly you’re running sub-10 minute pace at hour 46 and you don’t really know what’s happening but you’re definitely not going to question it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hours 1-6: (9 am - 3 pm)
So, at 9 am sharp, the gun goes off and we all start to shuffle across the line. No one is going very fast, which makes a lot of sense when you remember that we have to keep going for two days straight. One girl gaps everyone by quite a bit by about half a mile in, and my dumb competitive side starts to kick in. I had conveniently forgotten that there were relay teams in the race, and it never even crossed my mind that she might be a relay runner who only had to run for a few hours. This was mistake #1 (of many!). While trying to make sure I kept this girl in sight, I completely abandoned my tentative plan to run no faster than 10 min/mile in the first few hours, and blazed through the first ~4ish hours at sub-10 pace, including pauses at the aid stations and my personal aid pile. At this point, I was already starting to feel my lack of long runs in training. Huge shocker, I know. It was a little terrifying to think that I still had 44 hours to go. So I just tried to stop thinking about it, and focus on the hour I was currently in. At one point, I texted a friend to ask what % of critical power I should aim for during a 48 hour race, partially as a joke. He told me no matter what, don’t go over 80%. Oops. I had definitely been routinely going over 80%, and only barely averaging below it for lap power. I was beginning to slightly regret not actually making any sort of pacing plan before the race started.
Hours 5 & 6 were where I really started making more of an effort to walk. The course has 4 “hills” (which have maybe a combined elevation gain of ~25 ft), and I used them as my walk cues. Some people do a very structured walk/run (25 minute run/5 minute walk, 4 minute run/1 minute walk, etc), but I prefer to just do everything by feel. Doing it based on course landmarks seemed easier to keep track of, instead of having to constantly look at my watch and do math, or having to program intervals into the watch ahead of time. I averaged about 13 min/mile for these hours, and about 11 min/mile for the first six hours altogether.
Hours 6-12: (3 pm - 9 pm)
This 6 hour block progressed much like hours 5 & 6. At around the 9 hour mark, I began recording periodic voice memos to myself as a way to try to remember how I felt at different points of the race. I knew it would all start to blend together in my mind, so I wanted to have a concrete record of how I felt, especially the bad sections. I have a tendency to forget all the shitty parts of the race afterwards, which I think is a survival mechanism in my dumb brain that lets me keep doing these races. In my first voice memo, recorded at about 9.5 hours in, I talked about how I was doing a lot of walking because my legs felt dead and my adductor longus was screaming bloody murder at me. A woman who had been consistently about one lap behind me the entire race was putting forth a concentrated effort to catch up and pass me. She was doing a lot more running than I was at that point, and basically had her own personal pacer (a guy who was also doing the 48 hour who spent the entire race running right ahead of her or beside her and giving her encouragement). In the voice memo, I make it very clear that I do not care at all if she catches me or passes me, because there are 38 hours left in the race at this point and there’s still so much that can happen or go wrong for either of us. The real race probably hasn’t even started yet! At around 8:30 pm, I chatted on the phone with my mom and dad briefly, catching them up on how I was feeling and how the race was going. It was beginning to get a little chilly now that the sun was down. These six hours passed at a 17 min/mile pace, which tells you that I wasn’t kidding when I said I was doing a lot of walking at this point.
Hours 12-18: (9 pm - 3 am)
This is about when things begin to get a little blurry. I remember starting to get cold and putting on all the layers I had (a sweatshirt, sweatpants, beanie, gloves, and buff). At around 9 pm, I recorded another voice memo, where I said that I had been exclusively walking for awhile and had taken a quick nap earlier. I remember this nap, because it was another huge mistake. I had planned to just nap on the ground, with an inflatable pillow and small microfiber towel I had brought with me. This was dumb. Turns out, lying on the cold dirt while feeling very cold will just make you feel even more cold. After lying on the ground, shaking uncontrollably from the cold and getting zero sleep, I eventually got up and kept walking. Hour 12.5 face I tried to warm myself up with a cup of hot chicken soup but that only helped while I was drinking it. Once my tiny cup ran out, I started getting cold again.
At 16.5 hours, I recorded another voice memo to myself. I explained that in the hours between 9 pm and 1 am, I had gone through a huge rough patch of being very cold and having a hard time moving forward at any sort of respectable walking pace. I finally had a burst of inspiration and went to my rental car, turned it on, blasted the heat for 15 minutes to warm up, and started moving again, feeling much better than before. After I warmed up, I ran into Ray K. If you’ve done any fixed time race, especially on the east coast, and you dont know who Ray is, you might live under a rock. As he loved telling me, he’s been doing ultras “since before you were born”. According to ultrasignup, his ultrarunning history predates my birth by about 25 years. I walked with him for probably about an hour or two, and it honestly saved my entire night. For one, his walking speed is a lot faster than mine, so he helped get my butt moving faster than I would have if I was on my own. More importantly, he is one of the chattiest people I’ve ever met, and he kept me entertained the entire time by telling me stories about Yiannis Kouros and Bruce Fordyce, about how he kind of snuck into Western States one time, and about his adventures doing Vol State and Heart of the South in the same summer.
After getting to around the 16 hou100k mark and parting ways with Ray for a bit, I decided to try to jog at least 30 seconds or so each lap to try to break up the monotony. After that first spurt of jogging, I realized that my legs felt great running. Suddenly, I was spending most of the lap running. I even started throwing in some surges of faster running to loosen my legs up. I shed a lot of my warm layers because the extra exertion was making me start to sweat. I made it about an hour or so at about 12 min/mile pace (including my stops at the aid station… I was beginning to get the nickname of “Hot Chocolate Girl” because I kept getting cups of hot chocolate to keep myself warm). After this sudden burst of energy dropped off, I decided to take another ~30 minute nap in my warm car. These six hours passed at an average pace of 25 min/mile, which includes my periodic ~30 minute naps where I was blissfully moving at a 0 mph pace.
Hours 18-24: (3 am - 9 am) After getting up from my latest nap, things began to get a little pathetic. There’s a handful of voice memos recorded that are just muffled crying noises intermixed with exclamations of “I’m just so cold” and “I feel like I’ll never be warm again”. I honestly don’t remember many details from about 3 am until 6ish. It all blends together into an overwhelming feeling of cold and misery. At around 6 am, I recorded yet another crying voice memo about how the sun was finally coming up and how happy it makes me (which sounds slightly odd, as I’m audibly crying while saying that).
Luckily for my morale, once the sun started to rise, two things happened: I remembered that hot food exists, and my friends and family started to wake up. I started grabbing bacon every few laps, and had a religious experience with the best fried egg I’ve ever eaten in my entire life (and which I ate with my hands, to try to avoid carrying a paper plate and fork with me for an entire lap). The hot food (and calories!) helped bring me back from the deep pit I was in. Turns out, trying to subsist on hot chocolate and the occasional handful of skittles isn’t enough calories and can lead to grumpiness.
At around 7:30, my lovely friend Katie called me and we talked on the phone for an hour while she did her morning run and caught me up on things I was missing in the group chat and I gave her all the ridiculous details of my disaster of a dating life. It was an amazing pick-me-up and helped get my morning off to a good start. Day two, here we come!
At the end of the first 24 hours, I had somewhere between 82 and 84 miles, depending on how much you trust my GPS (I don’t have access to the detailed lap splits yet, so the actual mileage is still unknown). I didn’t realize it at the time, because my watch had reset & saved my first activity somewhere around hour 17 while I was in my car warming up and charging my watch. Thanks garmin! I was convinced I was around ~80 miles, which was a disappointment. I had reached 82 miles in my last 24 hour (which took place during a mild blizzard and I had been similarly undertrained for), and I had kinda been hoping to at least match that mileage during this race, as stupid and ill-advised as that sounds. These 6 hours passed at an average pace of 23 min/mile, which is honestly surprising because I could have sworn I was moving as slowly or slower than the 6 hours preceding.
Hours 24-30: (9 am - 3 pm, 2nd day)
At 9 am, the 24 hour, 12 hour, and 6 hour races started. At first, I thought maybe the addition of more runners beyond the ~40 or so 48 hour runners would be energizing. Instead, it just kind of annoyed me. Getting passed by so many people and almost getting shoved off the path by the wave of runners made me even grumpier. I was also feeling quite jealous that other people could physically run while I was stuck in a painful shuffle. On the plus side, a few friends had started their races, so I got to see some new friendly faces out there while they were lapping me.
Beyond the addition of the new runners, these hours are mostly a blur of pain and more misery, just less cold than the nighttime hours. At around 26.5 hours, I recorded another voice memo to myself. I was stuck moving at a slow shuffling walk because my legs hurt so bad I couldn’t muster up any gumption to try to move faster. I also made a plea to my future self to PLEASE pack warm clothes next time, no matter what the weather forecast said. It’s easy to get stuck in the running mindset of “oh well 50 degrees is warm, that’s shorts and tshirt weather”. Which is true when you’re running, but less so when you’re walking slowly in the dark. I was able to talk to my sister at around noon, and my parents at around 1:30. Those conversations weren’t quite as helpful as my earlier chat with Katie. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I talk to my family or extremely close friends during a race, it can actually fuck up my headspace even more because I feel like I can dump all my shitty feelings into our conversation and cry and complain so much that it just ends up making me even grumpier. I was yet again moving at a blistering 26 min/mile pace thanks to my dead legs and a few quick car naps here and there. I had noticed that taking a quick 15-30 minute nap had the tendency to cut some of my grumpiness and bad mood, at least temporarily.
Hours 30-36: (3 pm - 9 pm, 2nd day)
At around hour 30, I recorded my last voice memo, again complaining about not being able to move well and being reduced to a painful shuffle. I desperately wanted to be able to move faster because I had promised myself that once I hit 100 miles I could take a longer break. I had figured out that at my current pace, I’d reach 100 miles at around sunset and I really wanted to not have to be out in the cold again if I could help it. I knew it would go poorly for me. I was having some big issues with thermoregulation already, and the falling temperatures would likely make it worse. I have a distinct memory of walking along the path, shivering and cold with goosebumps on my arms, while in full direct sunlight and 70 degree temperatures. If I was cold in those conditions, nighttime was going to be hell.
Mile 95 face, very thrilled to be alive At around mile 95, my friend Kelly started walking with me to keep me company. She had originally signed up for the 6 hour race, but switched up to the 12 hour mid-race. I felt bad that she was walking with me (because I was moving so slowly) while she was technically racing and could probably be moving a lot faster if she was on her own. Walking with her for the 5 miles to reach 100 was so so helpful. At first I was kind of resistant, because I tend to like to be on my own when I’m feeling shitty, but about halfway through I realized just how nice and distracting it was to have someone to talk to. I think I finally get why people like having a pacer during races. I know, I’m a genius. After I finally hit 100 miles (in my donut compression socks, Hoka slides, and Javelina sweatshirt… really looking like an athlete), Ray told me I had to do at least one more mile before taking my long break. He told me that just in case I never got out on the course again, I’d at least be ahead of all the people who quit after reaching 100 miles.
Mile 100 (with Ray)!
Right after getting my buckle
With Kelly
So, Kelly and I did one more painful lap and then parted ways. I headed to my car to finally change my clothes a bit (tracksmith shorts to BOA poop emoji shorts) and just chill for a moment. I got in the car at about 7:30 pm and stayed there for the rest of this 6 hour block.
Hours 36-42: (9 pm - 3 am, 2nd day)
I spent pretty much the entire 6 hours in my car, huddled up and hiding from the cold. I was semi-traumatized from the night before, when I felt like I would never be warm again. I was just so terrified about it hitting me even harder the second night, after feeling cold and getting goosebumps while walking in direct sunlight in 70 degree F weather. I settled into a routine of starting the car, blasting the heat for 5 minutes to get the entire car nice and warm, stretching out on the reclined front drivers seat, trying to sleep for 45 minutes, waking up, and restarting the cycle again. It was miserable. I bargained with myself, berated myself for being such a wimp, and alternated back and forth between deciding to quit with 101 miles or deciding to get back out on the course once the sun came up and gutting out a few more hours.
Hours 42-48: (3 am - 9 am, 2nd day)
At around 6:30 am, with the sun peeking over the trees, I told myself to buck the fuck up and opened my car door. I started shuffling around the course again after grabbing some more bacon and eggs and reassuring the aid station cook that I was indeed still in the race after he hadn’t seen me all night long. I had 2.5 hours to go, and I started trying to do mental math to figure out how many more miles I could get. I figured I was moving at just over 2 mph, so 110 miles was likely out of reach. I had pretty much entirely given up on running anymore, to the point that I was walking around sockless in my Hoka recovery slides. Pro tip: don't run in slides During that first hour, I noticed my walking speed was getting faster and my legs were starting to feel… not normal, but way better than they had yesterday afternoon. I began to throw in little 30 second bursts of slow jogging. Those bursts started getting longer and longer, and suddenly I was almost fully running around the course in my slides. After a lap or two like that, I made a brief pit stop to change back into running shoes and set off again. Somehow grinning like a psychopath again
I jogged a lap with the aid station cook after he chased me down while drinking a beer, and we traded stories for a bit until we got back to the start finish area. As I noticed the clock turning over to the final hour, I resolved to push myself and give whatever I had left. During my first ultra, one of the volunteers told me that it’s important to always save something for the last hour. While that may have been more practical for a shorter fixed time race, I took it to heart and was determined to use whatever I had saved. I ran almost every single step of that last hour, averaging ~10:30 min/mile. I didn’t know what was happening. My legs felt so great. I was the only 48 hour runner who was actually running, and I was passing people left and right. Once we were down to about 15 minutes left, I grabbed my blue flag that I’d use to mark my last partial lap. I switched my watch face to just show the current time, because I knew I wanted to really empty the tank in the last few minutes. With about 5 minutes to go, I started to really push. My last mile ended up being at 8:40 pace, and with about a minute to go I started sprinting and was flying by the 48 hour shufflers at 6:00 min/mile pace. As I was dying in these last seconds, the airhorn blew and I skidded to a stop and stuck my flag in the dirt. I knew I had managed to hit at least 110 miles, and maybe 111 depending on the distance of that last partial lap.

Post-race

After the race officially finished and I checked my preliminary mileage (somehow they had me at 111 laps!), I chatted with Ray again while the RD’s congratulated the podium (I just missed out, placing 4th F and 9th overall). I told him how I was already planning my next 48 hour, and that I had a list of things to change for next time. He told me that I had a gift and a lot of potential to do well in the sport based on how he saw me running during the first night and at the end, and how I came back out to keep going after my long break on the second night. I honest to god almost started crying while I was standing there talking to him. He didn’t remember, but he said something extremely similar to me the last time we were at a race together. To have someone who I respect so much and who has such a long history and a lot of experience in the sport, tell me that I have potential and can do well… it meant so much. It’s easy to brush that stuff off when it comes from my friends or family, especially when they don’t really know anything about ultrarunning, but hearing it come from someone like Ray is different.
After recovering from that moment, I shuffled back to my car and drove an hour to my friends apartment, where I proceeded to crash on the couch for several hours, wake up briefly to eat an entire pizza and watch The Addams Family (because I learned he’d NEVER SEEN IT), eat a giant bowl of pasta, and then fall asleep for the night. I napped on and off all morning on Monday before heading home. While I had definitely been shuffling around like a grandma with a fresh hip replacement on Sunday, by Monday morning I felt surprisingly good. I didn’t have any blisters, my toenails all seemed to be in decent shape, and while my legs felt a little sore, they didn’t feel anywhere near as dead as I was expecting. I even did a test jog to and from my car while getting my bag to pack up and it felt….. kinda good? Upon arriving home, I was able to walk up the three flights of stairs to my apartment with zero issues. I went back to work on Tuesday like normal. I also started running again on Tuesday, just a short 20 minute shakeout on a flat loop near my apartment. I’ve had a few people tell me i’m being an idiot for running again so soon, and plenty of other people who are just shocked that I’d even want to run this soon. All I know is that my legs feel amazing, I don’t feel very fatigued, and my body just wants to run. So I want to listen to it. I don’t have any blisters, my gait is completely normal, and I don’t have any lasting muscle fatigue (that I can tell). I’m restricting myself to nothing longer than an hour for this first week back at least. I might throw in some hill strides and a short tempo next week if I’m still feeling great.
My running “superpower” has always been twofold: not getting injured (which Ray tells me isn’t JUST because I’m young, thank you) and recovering fast. I eat a lot of food and sleep a lot, especially after a race. My BMI is nowhere near the “underweight” range (and yes, I know it’s a flawed measurement) and I’ve never lost my period or had a bone stress injury. I may not be the fastest, but I like to think I can outlast my competition, both in training (by not having to take time off for injury) and in a race setting. I’ve historically had no issues doing the occasional Super Week where I double my weekly mileage (or more). After my first ultra, I remember feeling pretty creaky and hobbling out some 10-12 minute miles in the following days (I was run streaking at the time). With each subsequent “big effort”, I’ve found my recovery is faster and I feel normal again a lot quicker. I know there is likely still some residual stuff my body is dealing with even though I feel great, so I’m trying really hard to not do too much too soon. It’s hard!!
As far as the future goes, I’m signed up for two 2021 races so far: a 24 hour in April (that was a deferral roll-over from 2020), and Western States in June (which was also a 2020 roll-over). I’m also going to be rolling over my 2020 Quad Rock 50 miler registration, which will be in May. Right now, my tentative plan is to do some 10k-focused training until the end of January, at which point I’ll start lengthening my long runs again in prep for Western training. I still haven’t decided if I want to try hiring a coach again. Western is really important to me, and I want to make sure I give it the best I possibly can, but I just don’t know if I’m really a “coachable athlete”. As much as I want to see if I can get to 100 miles in the 24 hour, I realize it probably wouldn’t be the smartest choice if I’m going to really try to nail Western States two months later. So I’ll probably use that as a tuneup (maybe 50k-50mi) along with Quad Rock. I’d really like to get a faster Boston qualifier under my belt (I think I could go at least sub-3:25,and Ray thinks I could probably run about 3:20 if I actually did my long runs), but I don’t think I’ll have time for a full training cycle + race next year with Western in the middle.
With regards to future multiday races… I already know I want to give the 48 hour another shot to see if I can fix my mistakes and start getting into some real mileage. With how great my legs felt at the end and in the middle of the night randomly, I think I’d definitely like to try some even longer multiday races and stage races. I know everyone says to save the multiday stuff until you’re “older”, but I feel so drawn to it in the same way I feel drawn to races like Hardrock and Western States. I just want to see what I can do at something very stupid and hard, and I especially want to see what I can do now that I know a bit more of what to expect. There’s no glory in multiday races, which honestly is part of the appeal. Almost no one knows what a “good” result is for a 48 hr, a 72 hr, a 144 hr race. No one cares. It’s wonderful knowing that no one cares or knows if you did well or can measure you in any way. I also love the sense of camaraderie in these races, especially the small looped courses. You’re able to interact with everyone if you want to, while in a normal race setting you might not be able to (because they’re either way ahead or way behind you). I’ve gotten shit before for not being a “real” ultrarunner because I don’t only run trail races, and been told that these short loop timed races aren’t the same or they’re somehow “lesser”, which I think is bullshit. I personally believe this type of race could absolutely break a good trail ultrarunner, and they shouldn’t be underestimated or dismissed just because they’re “road races” or because they don’t traverse grand mountain ranges. I love mountain running, but I also love being able to absolutely shut out the outside stimuli that can distract you from the pain and just be present in the moment without having to worry about tripping on a root or making a wrong turn or getting lost or being eaten by a bear.
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2020.10.26 12:29 cPharoah hell or glory: the endless mile 48 hour race

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A don't quit early, do the full 48 Yes
B 100 miles Yes
C 110 miles Yes
D 116.3 miles (top 10 leaderboard) No
E podium No

Splits

Hour Mileage
1 6.5 miles
2 6.2 miles
3 5.9 miles
4 5.4 miles
5 4.9 miles
6 4.5 miles
7 4.1 miles
8 3.5 miles
9 3.7 miles
10 3.5 miles
11 3.5 miles
12 3.1 miles
13 2.1 miles
14 1.1 miles
15 3.1 miles
16 3.5 miles
17 4.3 miles
18 0 miles
19 2.8 miles
20 1.4 miles
21 2.8 miles
22 2.8 miles
23 3.2 miles
24 3 miles
25 3.2 miles
26 2 miles
27 2.8 miles
28 1.4 miles
29 2.4 miles
30 2.4 miles
31 1.6 miles
32 2.6 miles
33 2.4 miles
34 0 miles
35 0 miles
36 0 miles
37 0 miles
38 0 miles
39 0 miles
40 0 miles
41 0 miles
42 0 miles
43 0 miles
44 0 miles
45 0 miles
46 1.4 miles
47 3.8 miles
48 5.7 miles

Training

Ok, so, first of all: I did not train for this. I’ve been running all summer, but that’s not the same as training for a multiday ultra. If you’re interested in the raw numbers, check out my strava training log and see for yourself (https://www.strava.com/athletes/15875698/training/log). I’ll also provide a short summary of just how much I fucked myself going into this. In my defense, I didn’t plan to do this race, and only signed up about 3-4 weeks out from race day because I was bored. Please do not repeat my mistakes.
Okay, let’s rewind to, say, June. I’m in Pennsylvania living at my parent’s house for a month while I try to put my life back together. I’m doing the GVRAT (Laz’s virtual race, ~635 miles in 3 months). I’m just trying to maintain a base at around 40-50 mpw. June passed fairly uneventfully running-wise, with weekly mileage of 55 mi, 41 mi, 55 mi, 55 mi and a few walks/hikes sprinkled in. I was doing 1 workout per week (just kinda whatever I felt like that morning, fartleks or tempos usually). Long runs were around 13-14 miles with some quality sections here and there.
In early July, I drove back to Colorado, moved out of my old apartment that I had shared with my ex, and moved into a new place on my own. My running stayed about the same as before, but my daily walking skyrocketed. My monthly running mileage was 51 mi, 34 mi (moving week), 55 mi, 53 mi, 55 mi. When you add in walks (which I think count when you’re doing a race that will be a LOT of walking), my weekly mileage in July went 51 mi, 34 mi, 80 mi, 80 mi, 81 mi. As you can see, I was adding about an extra ~25 mi per week from walking every day after work. I had a lot more free time and while I kinda wanted to use that time to do doubles every day and bump my mileage up a lot, I knew that it maybe wasn’t the smartest option, so I settled for walking. My long runs were still around 13-15 mi (and no back-to-back long runs, let me be clear. The run the day after my long run was around 6 miles). I was still doing a weekly workout of whatever felt fun that day.
August was both a “big” month (when you count walking) and a shit month (if you look at just running). Running mileage was 47 mi, 44 mi, 40 mi, 31 mi. With walks, it was 72 mi, 74 mi, 58 mi, 68 mi. Long runs dropped a bit, to about 10-12 miles, still with zero back-to-backs. I was beginning to feel the effects of covid-seclusion-brain as well as dealing with the emotional fallout of the past few months. On the plus side, I started going to a weekly track workout with my boss and some coworkers, which helped make me feel human at least once a week.
September continued in the same vein as August, but with less walking. So, not much running AND not much walking. Truly, great training for a multiday ultra in October. But again, I wasn’t planning on running any races for the rest of 2020 so I wasn’t too bothered. Weekly mileage for September went 35 mi, 47 mi, 47 mi, 56 mi. With walks added in, it was 49 mi, 51 mi, 61 mi, 62 mi. Long runs were around 13-14 mi, and for two memorable weeks it was only 8-9 mi. Sometime in the last week of September I decided to say “fuck it” and sign up for a 48 hour race. I knew I wasn’t prepared AT ALL, but I really missed the pain cave of an ultra. This particular race also has a lot of personal meaning to me. My first ultra was a 12 hour at this race, back in 2017. For years now I’ve talked about wanting to go back and try the 24 hour or the 48 hour, and for the first time in years, I could actually do whatever race I wanted to do.
October (or at least October 1-15th) was my taper. If you can call it a taper when you’ve basically been tapering for an entire month beforehand. Weekly mileage went from 56 mi to 46 mi to 37 mi. The taper was honestly fun as hell. I felt so fit, but in more of a 5k-half marathon way. I knew I didn’t have the endurance for this dumb race, but I felt fitter than I’ve ever felt before in my life, and I was hoping that it would help at least a tiny bit.

Pre-race

So I packed and re-packed for this race approximately 26 times. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to change clothes, or socks, or shoes, or whatever. So I brought everything I could think of. I even brought a beanie and gloves, on the off chance that it got chilly for a bit overnight (note: this is what the experts call foreshadowing).
I was crashing with a friend before and after the race, which made things easier (and cheaper). Now, this next part may be gross for any men reading but I am a firm believer that A. get over it, it’s normal and B. it is important to know if you want to get the full picture of my race. So, because I am an incredibly lucky person, I managed to start my period on race morning. While this is good hormonally (women tend to get a bit of a performance boost from the drop in hormone levels), it added a nice extra layer of complexity to my next 48 hours. Yay! pre-race 'fit in my sweet artc singlet
Anyway, after that lovely realization, I drove over to the race start and started prepping my stuff. A friend of mine was coming down from Georgia that day to hang out and camp and then run the 24 hour the next day. I knew I could use his tent and setup once he got there, so I just kinda dumped my stuff on the ground and vaguely organized it so that I could see everything easily. Visual proof of the poorly organized aid pile I put on my windbreaker (it was drizzling and mid-50 degrees F at the start) and waited around until 8:55 am. With 5 minutes to go before race start, I meandered over to the start line to hear the race instructions and size up my competition (LOL). I knew from stalking ultrasignup that there were a few women with a lot of multiday/48 hour experience, including one woman twice my age who had just done ~140+ miles at a 48 hour in February. I was absolutely expecting her to kick my ass. I’m fairly used to getting my butt handed to me by people twice my age or older in ultras. It gives me warm fuzzies, and a hope that when I’m their age I can be that person. I also saw Ed Ettinghausen (a legend in multiday racing… you may know him as the guy who always dresses up like a jester) and Ray Krolewicz (another legend in ultrarunning, at least in my opinion). Ray had been at this race back in 2017 when I ran it for the first time. I wasn’t sure if he remembered chatting with me briefly while I was running the 12 hour. But I remembered. He called me out in the first hour, asking why I was running so fast when I was doing the 12 hour and telling me to slow down before I destroyed my legs. And after the race, he told me I needed to keep doing ultras because I had some talent (which obviously stuck with me, if I remember it three years later). I crossed my fingers that we’d get some “walk and talk” time later in the race, because I distinctly remembered him being hilarious and great at getting me out of a shitty mood and I figured I’d definitely need that at some point.

Race

How does one distill 48 hours into text? Let’s find out. I left myself voice memo’s at various points of the race, because I knew it would all begin to blend together in my head afterwards. Some of them are funny and some of them are a bit sad. But that’s life, I guess. The concept of running 100 miles in 24 hours has sometimes been referred to as “life in a day”. I’d say 48 hours follows that idea, but more like two lives in two days. There are peaks and valleys. You’ll feel like you may never be happy again, or you’re done running for the rest of the race. But it never always gets worse, and sometimes it even gets better and suddenly you’re running sub-10 minute pace at hour 46 and you don’t really know what’s happening but you’re definitely not going to question it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hours 1-6: (9 am - 3 pm)
So, at 9 am sharp, the gun goes off and we all start to shuffle across the line. No one is going very fast, which makes a lot of sense when you remember that we have to keep going for two days straight. One girl gaps everyone by quite a bit by about half a mile in, and my dumb competitive side starts to kick in. I had conveniently forgotten that there were relay teams in the race, and it never even crossed my mind that she might be a relay runner who only had to run for a few hours. This was mistake #1 (of many!). While trying to make sure I kept this girl in sight, I completely abandoned my tentative plan to run no faster than 10 min/mile in the first few hours, and blazed through the first ~4ish hours at sub-10 pace, including pauses at the aid stations and my personal aid pile. At this point, I was already starting to feel my lack of long runs in training. Huge shocker, I know. It was a little terrifying to think that I still had 44 hours to go. So I just tried to stop thinking about it, and focus on the hour I was currently in. At one point, I texted a friend to ask what % of critical power I should aim for during a 48 hour race, partially as a joke. He told me no matter what, don’t go over 80%. Oops. I had definitely been routinely going over 80%, and only barely averaging below it for lap power. I was beginning to slightly regret not actually making any sort of pacing plan before the race started.
Hours 5 & 6 were where I really started making more of an effort to walk. The course has 4 “hills” (which have maybe a combined elevation gain of ~25 ft), and I used them as my walk cues. Some people do a very structured walk/run (25 minute run/5 minute walk, 4 minute run/1 minute walk, etc), but I prefer to just do everything by feel. Doing it based on course landmarks seemed easier to keep track of, instead of having to constantly look at my watch and do math, or having to program intervals into the watch ahead of time. I averaged about 13 min/mile for these hours, and about 11 min/mile for the first six hours altogether.
Hours 6-12: (3 pm - 9 pm)
This 6 hour block progressed much like hours 5 & 6. At around the 9 hour mark, I began recording periodic voice memos to myself as a way to try to remember how I felt at different points of the race. I knew it would all start to blend together in my mind, so I wanted to have a concrete record of how I felt, especially the bad sections. I have a tendency to forget all the shitty parts of the race afterwards, which I think is a survival mechanism in my dumb brain that lets me keep doing these races. In my first voice memo, recorded at about 9.5 hours in, I talked about how I was doing a lot of walking because my legs felt dead and my adductor longus was screaming bloody murder at me. A woman who had been consistently about one lap behind me the entire race was putting forth a concentrated effort to catch up and pass me. She was doing a lot more running than I was at that point, and basically had her own personal pacer (a guy who was also doing the 48 hour who spent the entire race running right ahead of her or beside her and giving her encouragement). In the voice memo, I make it very clear that I do not care at all if she catches me or passes me, because there are 38 hours left in the race at this point and there’s still so much that can happen or go wrong for either of us. The real race probably hasn’t even started yet! At around 8:30 pm, I chatted on the phone with my mom and dad briefly, catching them up on how I was feeling and how the race was going. It was beginning to get a little chilly now that the sun was down. These six hours passed at a 17 min/mile pace, which tells you that I wasn’t kidding when I said I was doing a lot of walking at this point.
Hours 12-18: (9 pm - 3 am)
This is about when things begin to get a little blurry. I remember starting to get cold and putting on all the layers I had (a sweatshirt, sweatpants, beanie, gloves, and buff). At around 9 pm, I recorded another voice memo, where I said that I had been exclusively walking for awhile and had taken a quick nap earlier. I remember this nap, because it was another huge mistake. I had planned to just nap on the ground, with an inflatable pillow and small microfiber towel I had brought with me. This was dumb. Turns out, lying on the cold dirt while feeling very cold will just make you feel even more cold. After lying on the ground, shaking uncontrollably from the cold and getting zero sleep, I eventually got up and kept walking. Hour 12.5 face I tried to warm myself up with a cup of hot chicken soup but that only helped while I was drinking it. Once my tiny cup ran out, I started getting cold again.
At 16.5 hours, I recorded another voice memo to myself. I explained that in the hours between 9 pm and 1 am, I had gone through a huge rough patch of being very cold and having a hard time moving forward at any sort of respectable walking pace. I finally had a burst of inspiration and went to my rental car, turned it on, blasted the heat for 15 minutes to warm up, and started moving again, feeling much better than before. After I warmed up, I ran into Ray K. If you’ve done any fixed time race, especially on the east coast, and you dont know who Ray is, you might live under a rock. As he loved telling me, he’s been doing ultras “since before you were born”. According to ultrasignup, his ultrarunning history predates my birth by about 25 years. I walked with him for probably about an hour or two, and it honestly saved my entire night. For one, his walking speed is a lot faster than mine, so he helped get my butt moving faster than I would have if I was on my own. More importantly, he is one of the chattiest people I’ve ever met, and he kept me entertained the entire time by telling me stories about Yiannis Kouros and Bruce Fordyce, about how he kind of snuck into Western States one time, and about his adventures doing Vol State and Heart of the South in the same summer.
After getting to around the 16 hou100k mark and parting ways with Ray for a bit, I decided to try to jog at least 30 seconds or so each lap to try to break up the monotony. After that first spurt of jogging, I realized that my legs felt great running. Suddenly, I was spending most of the lap running. I even started throwing in some surges of faster running to loosen my legs up. I shed a lot of my warm layers because the extra exertion was making me start to sweat. I made it about an hour or so at about 12 min/mile pace (including my stops at the aid station… I was beginning to get the nickname of “Hot Chocolate Girl” because I kept getting cups of hot chocolate to keep myself warm). After this sudden burst of energy dropped off, I decided to take another ~30 minute nap in my warm car. These six hours passed at an average pace of 25 min/mile, which includes my periodic ~30 minute naps where I was blissfully moving at a 0 mph pace.
Hours 18-24: (3 am - 9 am) After getting up from my latest nap, things began to get a little pathetic. There’s a handful of voice memos recorded that are just muffled crying noises intermixed with exclamations of “I’m just so cold” and “I feel like I’ll never be warm again”. I honestly don’t remember many details from about 3 am until 6ish. It all blends together into an overwhelming feeling of cold and misery. At around 6 am, I recorded yet another crying voice memo about how the sun was finally coming up and how happy it makes me (which sounds slightly odd, as I’m audibly crying while saying that).
Luckily for my morale, once the sun started to rise, two things happened: I remembered that hot food exists, and my friends and family started to wake up. I started grabbing bacon every few laps, and had a religious experience with the best fried egg I’ve ever eaten in my entire life (and which I ate with my hands, to try to avoid carrying a paper plate and fork with me for an entire lap). The hot food (and calories!) helped bring me back from the deep pit I was in. Turns out, trying to subsist on hot chocolate and the occasional handful of skittles isn’t enough calories and can lead to grumpiness.
At around 7:30, my lovely friend Katie called me and we talked on the phone for an hour while she did her morning run and caught me up on things I was missing in the group chat and I gave her all the ridiculous details of my disaster of a dating life. It was an amazing pick-me-up and helped get my morning off to a good start. Day two, here we come!
At the end of the first 24 hours, I had somewhere between 82 and 84 miles, depending on how much you trust my GPS (I don’t have access to the detailed lap splits yet, so the actual mileage is still unknown). I didn’t realize it at the time, because my watch had reset & saved my first activity somewhere around hour 17 while I was in my car warming up and charging my watch. Thanks garmin! I was convinced I was around ~80 miles, which was a disappointment. I had reached 82 miles in my last 24 hour (which took place during a mild blizzard and I had been similarly undertrained for), and I had kinda been hoping to at least match that mileage during this race, as stupid and ill-advised as that sounds. These 6 hours passed at an average pace of 23 min/mile, which is honestly surprising because I could have sworn I was moving as slowly or slower than the 6 hours preceding.
Hours 24-30: (9 am - 3 pm, 2nd day)
At 9 am, the 24 hour, 12 hour, and 6 hour races started. At first, I thought maybe the addition of more runners beyond the ~40 or so 48 hour runners would be energizing. Instead, it just kind of annoyed me. Getting passed by so many people and almost getting shoved off the path by the wave of runners made me even grumpier. I was also feeling quite jealous that other people could physically run while I was stuck in a painful shuffle. On the plus side, a few friends had started their races, so I got to see some new friendly faces out there while they were lapping me.
Beyond the addition of the new runners, these hours are mostly a blur of pain and more misery, just less cold than the nighttime hours. At around 26.5 hours, I recorded another voice memo to myself. I was stuck moving at a slow shuffling walk because my legs hurt so bad I couldn’t muster up any gumption to try to move faster. I also made a plea to my future self to PLEASE pack warm clothes next time, no matter what the weather forecast said. It’s easy to get stuck in the running mindset of “oh well 50 degrees is warm, that’s shorts and tshirt weather”. Which is true when you’re running, but less so when you’re walking slowly in the dark. I was able to talk to my sister at around noon, and my parents at around 1:30. Those conversations weren’t quite as helpful as my earlier chat with Katie. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I talk to my family or extremely close friends during a race, it can actually fuck up my headspace even more because I feel like I can dump all my shitty feelings into our conversation and cry and complain so much that it just ends up making me even grumpier. I was yet again moving at a blistering 26 min/mile pace thanks to my dead legs and a few quick car naps here and there. I had noticed that taking a quick 15-30 minute nap had the tendency to cut some of my grumpiness and bad mood, at least temporarily.
Hours 30-36: (3 pm - 9 pm, 2nd day)
At around hour 30, I recorded my last voice memo, again complaining about not being able to move well and being reduced to a painful shuffle. I desperately wanted to be able to move faster because I had promised myself that once I hit 100 miles I could take a longer break. I had figured out that at my current pace, I’d reach 100 miles at around sunset and I really wanted to not have to be out in the cold again if I could help it. I knew it would go poorly for me. I was having some big issues with thermoregulation already, and the falling temperatures would likely make it worse. I have a distinct memory of walking along the path, shivering and cold with goosebumps on my arms, while in full direct sunlight and 70 degree temperatures. If I was cold in those conditions, nighttime was going to be hell.
Mile 95 face, very thrilled to be alive At around mile 95, my friend Kelly started walking with me to keep me company. She had originally signed up for the 6 hour race, but switched up to the 12 hour mid-race. I felt bad that she was walking with me (because I was moving so slowly) while she was technically racing and could probably be moving a lot faster if she was on her own. Walking with her for the 5 miles to reach 100 was so so helpful. At first I was kind of resistant, because I tend to like to be on my own when I’m feeling shitty, but about halfway through I realized just how nice and distracting it was to have someone to talk to. I think I finally get why people like having a pacer during races. I know, I’m a genius. After I finally hit 100 miles (in my donut compression socks, Hoka slides, and Javelina sweatshirt… really looking like an athlete), Ray told me I had to do at least one more mile before taking my long break. He told me that just in case I never got out on the course again, I’d at least be ahead of all the people who quit after reaching 100 miles.
Mile 100 (with Ray)!
Right after getting my buckle
With Kelly
So, Kelly and I did one more painful lap and then parted ways. I headed to my car to finally change my clothes a bit (tracksmith shorts to BOA poop emoji shorts) and just chill for a moment. I got in the car at about 7:30 pm and stayed there for the rest of this 6 hour block.
Hours 36-42: (9 pm - 3 am, 2nd day)
I spent pretty much the entire 6 hours in my car, huddled up and hiding from the cold. I was semi-traumatized from the night before, when I felt like I would never be warm again. I was just so terrified about it hitting me even harder the second night, after feeling cold and getting goosebumps while walking in direct sunlight in 70 degree F weather. I settled into a routine of starting the car, blasting the heat for 5 minutes to get the entire car nice and warm, stretching out on the reclined front drivers seat, trying to sleep for 45 minutes, waking up, and restarting the cycle again. It was miserable. I bargained with myself, berated myself for being such a wimp, and alternated back and forth between deciding to quit with 101 miles or deciding to get back out on the course once the sun came up and gutting out a few more hours.
Hours 42-48: (3 am - 9 am, 2nd day)
At around 6:30 am, with the sun peeking over the trees, I told myself to buck the fuck up and opened my car door. I started shuffling around the course again after grabbing some more bacon and eggs and reassuring the aid station cook that I was indeed still in the race after he hadn’t seen me all night long. I had 2.5 hours to go, and I started trying to do mental math to figure out how many more miles I could get. I figured I was moving at just over 2 mph, so 110 miles was likely out of reach. I had pretty much entirely given up on running anymore, to the point that I was walking around sockless in my Hoka recovery slides. Pro tip: don't run in slides During that first hour, I noticed my walking speed was getting faster and my legs were starting to feel… not normal, but way better than they had yesterday afternoon. I began to throw in little 30 second bursts of slow jogging. Those bursts started getting longer and longer, and suddenly I was almost fully running around the course in my slides. After a lap or two like that, I made a brief pit stop to change back into running shoes and set off again. Somehow grinning like a psychopath again
I jogged a lap with the aid station cook after he chased me down while drinking a beer, and we traded stories for a bit until we got back to the start finish area. As I noticed the clock turning over to the final hour, I resolved to push myself and give whatever I had left. During my first ultra, one of the volunteers told me that it’s important to always save something for the last hour. While that may have been more practical for a shorter fixed time race, I took it to heart and was determined to use whatever I had saved. I ran almost every single step of that last hour, averaging ~10:30 min/mile. I didn’t know what was happening. My legs felt so great. I was the only 48 hour runner who was actually running, and I was passing people left and right. Once we were down to about 15 minutes left, I grabbed my blue flag that I’d use to mark my last partial lap. I switched my watch face to just show the current time, because I knew I wanted to really empty the tank in the last few minutes. With about 5 minutes to go, I started to really push. My last mile ended up being at 8:40 pace, and with about a minute to go I started sprinting and was flying by the 48 hour shufflers at 6:00 min/mile pace. As I was dying in these last seconds, the airhorn blew and I skidded to a stop and stuck my flag in the dirt. I knew I had managed to hit at least 110 miles, and maybe 111 depending on the distance of that last partial lap.

Post-race

After the race officially finished and I checked my preliminary mileage (somehow they had me at 111 laps!), I chatted with Ray again while the RD’s congratulated the podium (I just missed out, placing 4th F and 9th overall). I told him how I was already planning my next 48 hour, and that I had a list of things to change for next time. He told me that I had a gift and a lot of potential to do well in the sport based on how he saw me running during the first night and at the end, and how I came back out to keep going after my long break on the second night. I honest to god almost started crying while I was standing there talking to him. He didn’t remember, but he said something extremely similar to me the last time we were at a race together. To have someone who I respect so much and who has such a long history and a lot of experience in the sport, tell me that I have potential and can do well… it meant so much. It’s easy to brush that stuff off when it comes from my friends or family, especially when they don’t really know anything about ultrarunning, but hearing it come from someone like Ray is different.
After recovering from that moment, I shuffled back to my car and drove an hour to my friends apartment, where I proceeded to crash on the couch for several hours, wake up briefly to eat an entire pizza and watch The Addams Family (because I learned he’d NEVER SEEN IT), eat a giant bowl of pasta, and then fall asleep for the night. I napped on and off all morning on Monday before heading home. While I had definitely been shuffling around like a grandma with a fresh hip replacement on Sunday, by Monday morning I felt surprisingly good. I didn’t have any blisters, my toenails all seemed to be in decent shape, and while my legs felt a little sore, they didn’t feel anywhere near as dead as I was expecting. I even did a test jog to and from my car while getting my bag to pack up and it felt….. kinda good? Upon arriving home, I was able to walk up the three flights of stairs to my apartment with zero issues. I went back to work on Tuesday like normal. I also started running again on Tuesday, just a short 20 minute shakeout on a flat loop near my apartment. I’ve had a few people tell me i’m being an idiot for running again so soon, and plenty of other people who are just shocked that I’d even want to run this soon. All I know is that my legs feel amazing, I don’t feel very fatigued, and my body just wants to run. So I want to listen to it. I don’t have any blisters, my gait is completely normal, and I don’t have any lasting muscle fatigue (that I can tell). I’m restricting myself to nothing longer than an hour for this first week back at least. I might throw in some hill strides and a short tempo next week if I’m still feeling great.
My running “superpower” has always been twofold: not getting injured (which Ray tells me isn’t JUST because I’m young, thank you) and recovering fast. I eat a lot of food and sleep a lot, especially after a race. My BMI is nowhere near the “underweight” range (and yes, I know it’s a flawed measurement) and I’ve never lost my period or had a bone stress injury. I may not be the fastest, but I like to think I can outlast my competition, both in training (by not having to take time off for injury) and in a race setting. I’ve historically had no issues doing the occasional Super Week where I double my weekly mileage (or more). After my first ultra, I remember feeling pretty creaky and hobbling out some 10-12 minute miles in the following days (I was run streaking at the time). With each subsequent “big effort”, I’ve found my recovery is faster and I feel normal again a lot quicker. I know there is likely still some residual stuff my body is dealing with even though I feel great, so I’m trying really hard to not do too much too soon. It’s hard!!
As far as the future goes, I’m signed up for two 2021 races so far: a 24 hour in April (that was a deferral roll-over from 2020), and Western States in June (which was also a 2020 roll-over). I’m also going to be rolling over my 2020 Quad Rock 50 miler registration, which will be in May. Right now, my tentative plan is to do some 10k-focused training until the end of January, at which point I’ll start lengthening my long runs again in prep for Western training. I still haven’t decided if I want to try hiring a coach again. Western is really important to me, and I want to make sure I give it the best I possibly can, but I just don’t know if I’m really a “coachable athlete”. As much as I want to see if I can get to 100 miles in the 24 hour, I realize it probably wouldn’t be the smartest choice if I’m going to really try to nail Western States two months later. So I’ll probably use that as a tuneup (maybe 50k-50mi) along with Quad Rock. I’d really like to get a faster Boston qualifier under my belt (I think I could go at least sub-3:25,and Ray thinks I could probably run about 3:20 if I actually did my long runs), but I don’t think I’ll have time for a full training cycle + race next year with Western in the middle.
With regards to future multiday races… I already know I want to give the 48 hour another shot to see if I can fix my mistakes and start getting into some real mileage. With how great my legs felt at the end and in the middle of the night randomly, I think I’d definitely like to try some even longer multiday races and stage races. I know everyone says to save the multiday stuff until you’re “older”, but I feel so drawn to it in the same way I feel drawn to races like Hardrock and Western States. I just want to see what I can do at something very stupid and hard, and I especially want to see what I can do now that I know a bit more of what to expect. There’s no glory in multiday races, which honestly is part of the appeal. Almost no one knows what a “good” result is for a 48 hr, a 72 hr, a 144 hr race. No one cares. It’s wonderful knowing that no one cares or knows if you did well or can measure you in any way. I also love the sense of camaraderie in these races, especially the small looped courses. You’re able to interact with everyone if you want to, while in a normal race setting you might not be able to (because they’re either way ahead or way behind you). I’ve gotten shit before for not being a “real” ultrarunner because I don’t only run trail races, and been told that these short loop timed races aren’t the same or they’re somehow “lesser”, which I think is bullshit. I personally believe this type of race could absolutely break a good trail ultrarunner, and they shouldn’t be underestimated or dismissed just because they’re “road races” or because they don’t traverse grand mountain ranges. I love mountain running, but I also love being able to absolutely shut out the outside stimuli that can distract you from the pain and just be present in the moment without having to worry about tripping on a root or making a wrong turn or getting lost or being eaten by a bear.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
submitted by cPharoah to artc [link] [comments]


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In this article, we will show you the TOP 5 hockey goalie gloves that we find to be available. Your goalie hockey glove is one of the essential equipment you need to hold your puck away from the back of the net. Hardly anything feels the same as flashing your leather and robbing anyone to take care of you, and you must have the right catcher.
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While cost is an essential factor when deciding what glove to choose, your fitness, comfort, safeguards, reliability, and flexibility should be taken into consideration.
You can not only pick pucks with it, but could even be in the wrong end of slicing sticks and even the rare edge for skating.
Warrior Ritual G4 Pro Hockey Goalie Glove
Warrior Sports is brand new for 2018, announcing the fourth version of the Ritual line that dates back to the 2012 Ritual G1. Building on the massive G3 success, the G4 is designed to provide the lightest equipment on the market with the best performance, feature, and durability.
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The G4 glove features HyperComp upgrades across the glove, starting centrally, to provide an even higher level of palm security but still protecting the snapshot. Warrior has managed to keep the AxyFlex system throughout the T of the glove that is tucked deep into the boundary of the thumb and finger side of the glove, as part of the closure of the glove.
With the T structure staying the same, the T was always slightly cut down on the perimeter and even improved along the Spine to give Warrior the overall best shape and visual presentation. Moving to the back of his glove, the backhand design was changed by Warrior to look similar to a GT contact.
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This helps the target to make more internal and external changes. Yet you find a cleaner look, with further changes in the back of your hand and fingertips, when you remove your glove.
The G4 gloves still come with removable palms that have adjustable breaks and degrees, but the technical courses between the palm and the back of the handle has been increased.
The G4 Pro has upgraded internal foams like HyperComp, similar to the Warrior Ritual G4 Senior glove. The Warrior Ritual G4 Pro Sénior is the glove for you, if you’re a goalie who looks for the lightest glove on the market with a ready-to-use feel and handheld palm.
HyperComp’s improved center provides elite safety while helping to weight the entire glove. The inside of your glove can be opened and adjusted to make this glove your perfect style! The Ritual G4 has a stock liner of 75°, but can be exchanged for a coating of 60 or 90° according to your preferences.
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Hockey Goalie Glove Vaughn Velocity VE8 Pro Carbon XP

Vaughn’s Velocity VE8 XP Pro Carbon glove is an entirely improved pace glove that goalies have never before enjoyed. This glove packs a punch with a single-part mango style, break angles, split double pockets, and carbon fiber safety.
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The latest graphic is clean, bright and provides a wide range of custom colored areas. The glove diameter is 45 “long and wide for the shooter.
The NHL is the highest legal. The wide-open glove offers full coverage of the large circular shape. In combination with a free mango pattern, this provides the shooter with an optimum angle and presentation.
Despite slip grip and glove protection inside the handle, you can feel maximum grip within your palm. The strap includes adjustments to fingertips, backhand and wrist with a bracelet that has a padded neoprene to comfort and to refrigerate.
The latest design has reduced weight to provide a very light feel at the level of efficiency. In the palm-and-thumb-base, the VAS high impact foam padding ensures the pro palm protection with a game-ready sensation. For many Vaughn high-end goods, it is possible to heat up for a custom fit and fast break in the increased carbon efficiency.

First 2 Glove of the CCM

The classic CCM Premier has all the features that are common and adds double tea bags to help you keep track of the puck. You get full security and coverage with a one-piece cuff and thumb, and D30 security provides a more protective layer for your hands.
A revised hand-cutting technology provides the fit during the last Premier Glove, providing you with a fast and painless machine split and a glove in the toughest games.
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It is a classic and popular CCM thumb for finger 60° break that’s tested and true and performs very well with Premier II. Double Tea Layout also lets you track the puck and gives you high visibility in a large pocket.
CCM’s patented protective foam on pads and trousers is added to the Premier II, providing compact but excellent hand and wrist protection.
CCM’s Premier II Pro grab glove is the perfect mix of familiar sensations and advanced technology. The most powerful feeling and opening glove is a well tested and proven breaking angle with a revamped strap system.
The glove for the 590 corner split is well established. The Premier II handkerchief with a familiar feeling continues this tradition, over the years over many goaltenders.
An all-new friction system complements the great feel with the back of the handle, which enhances agility and comfort with a fast snap and introduces D3O technology to the palm to improve stinger safety.
On the last 2 CCM gloves, we saw the D30, and it has proven to be one of the best and most convenient security available. This handle also has a double pocket for enhanced pocket visibility and superior pad tracking.

2X Goalkeeper Catcher Bauer Vapor

Bauer’s Vapor 2X catcher has a 60-degree break for full hand closure, while the pocket depth is built without bounces or pop-outs for ease of catching. It stays here while the ruck is in the glove.
The handle has been reduced so that the wrist is moving more, and the rebound control is successful. For protection, durability, and stability, Bauer uses its famous lightweight but stiff Curv Composite material in the glove.
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The composite design also helps to maintain the shape of the handle year after year. The singlet pocket is very flexible and ready to play while the nash palm is an additional bonus.
The wrist strap is quick to adjust and comes with extra padding, which gives it additional protection and mobility. With the quick Velcro strap, your palm can be maintained securely, and the interior Thermo Max Liner works well to absorb water and sweat.
The Bauer 2X catcher is a pro-level glove appropriate for any age and level of competence. It is very comfy and flexible. Although it is a lightweight glove, it provides the highest protection. The caught is cheap and one of the best offers on the market.

G4 Goalie Catcher Warrior Ritual

Warrior’s G4 Catcher Ritual has been built for safety and efficiency, a beautiful, lightweight model. It’s an adjustable glove that can shift the corner and the fitness.
You can also easily change the handle, finger holes, and backhand area to wear it as loosely or firmly as you want. The glove also comes with a removable pad when adjusting the angle of separation.
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The 75-degree liner is supplied, but if you want, you can opt to go with 60 or 90 degrees. Pucks can easily be caught in the grave, full pocket of the glove, without flashing, and its shape is well maintained. The reinforced structure of a catcher provides more than adequate protection to withstand a puck and stick and provides a lot of versatility and moveability.
The Warrior Ritual G4 is available in different colors, offering performance, durability, and protection for all objectives, irrespective of the level of competition. It’s medium-priced, well known.

Will you need a regular or full right goalie?

You just have to determine what hand you’re supposed to catch to learn what. Naturally, because you know already what side you are feeling the most comfortable with, this isn’t a big concern, but it is information you need to supply when purchasing a goalie.
So, if you want to catch with your right hand, and hold the goalie to the right, go to the goalie’s usual captors, while people who find with the right hand carry the goalie’s stick to their left have a full right goalie glove.

Which size do I need a goalie catcher?

The sizes of a catching glove are various in four categories: older, intermediate, younger and younger. Next, calculate the hand length from the heel to the center of the palm, followed by the following diagram as a size guide.

Will I have to buy a used catcher or another goalie?

The response is not only for trapped but for other ice hockey goalie masks (such as blockers, leg pads, goalie helmets, chest guards, leg guards…). There is a false explanation for this case. There are a lot of high-quality goalie gloves out there if money is not a problem for you. When you are on a budget, then you can still go for a new one. However, you can pick from it to do a similar job on the ice.

Conclusion

Goalie equipment is a highly individual option. One or two tees? Stretches or boa to lock your hand? What amount of shutdown do you want? Both of them are individually tailored, and we hope our article has helped you to find a glove to avoid your rucks. We don’t think that you can go wrong choosing this list with so many elite gloves currently available.
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2020.08.26 17:41 daviesdog IM Amherst: A failed attempt

Race information

This race was my first Ironman. My friends and I were all supposed to Mont Tremblant on the same day. We got bumped to Lake Placid and then eventually Chattanooga. We're now deferred back to Tremblant for next year. We put countless hours into training so we decided to do a DIY ironman in our college town (Amherst, Massachusetts). 2 of us ended up doing this race and our other friend is doing his own DIY in New Hampshire in <3 weeks.
Training
I hired my friend as a coach and I have never been more fit. Official training started December 23rd, 2019. Training went well for the most part. We peaked at 18 hours per week. Longest ride was 115 miles followed by a 4.5 mile run. Longest run was 17.5 miles. To date I've worked out probably 400 hours.
Pre-race
Got up at 3:10 am, ate a yogurt, brewed coffee, and had a banana. I had to drive to the start (Lake Wyola) which was an hour from me. I hydrated along the way. I got to the venue at 5am and set up transition, fertilized the woods nearby, and drank some scratch. Got the wetsuit on at 5:45 and floated until the race start. It was a gorgeous morning. The sun rose at 6:04am, the sky was the perfect shade of pink/orange and there was a light fog coming off the water.

Swim: 01:44/100yds (1:14 total)
Swim training didn't go according to plan this year. Luckily I have Walden Pond nearby and still manged to get a lot of swims in this summer. I mostly just zone out when I swim. It's zen. With only one other person in Lake Wyola with my I was alone for most of it. Focused on form and just relaxed.
T1: 07:32
I went for comfort. I switched into bib shorts and a bike jersey. I threw all my crap in the car and headed out. Some lady from the local masters swim club saw my pasty butt though when my towel slipped off as I was changing :/
Bike: 5:55 (19 mph) moving time, 6:15 elapsed time (18mph)
My wife and a small support crew were out on the course for my friend and I. I had three rest stops for sun screen, water, and scratch. Everything went according to plan. The heat rose from 68 degrees to 94 degrees over the course of the bike. There wasn't much shade unfortunately. I took in as much fluid as i could including 8 bottles of Scratch and 2 bottles of water. I consumed 1 cliff bar and 4 Gu's. In total I had about 1900 calories.
I kept the HR around 150 and stayed in my aerobars as long as humanly possible. If you ever get the chance to bike in the Pioneer Valley I highly recommend it. The last 5 miles were all uphill so it was pretty hard mentally. I just really wanted to get off the bike.

T2: 14:30
Back at Wyola i threw my bike back on the car and changed into run shorts and a singlet. I grabbed an osprey bag as well and put ice in it. The temperature during T2 was 88
Run: DNF (13 miles in 2:49)
The first 6 miles were a gradual downhill. I thought it couldn't be so bad but boy was I wrong! It was still hot and I had clearly overheated on the bike. For some reason my osprey bag did not want to work so it took my 5 minutes to figure out what the issue was. The second mile was actually okay. By mile 3 I knew I had to adopt a run walk strategy, i tried 4 minutes run, 1 minute walk. I met my family at mile 4.5 and I just stood still for a second and everything hit me all at once. It was an eye opener. That 3am wakeup call felt like 2 days ago. My body temp was high. I added more ice to the osprey bag and took some shot blocks.
At the bottom of the downhill there is a gradual uphill to Amherst with zero shade. It was rough. My garmin recorded a 100 degree temperature at this intersection. I just began to walk. I got word at mile 11 that my friend had dropped out at mile 14. He was an hour ahead of me at this point and I was bummed. But i felt okay so trudged along. Walking the next mile focused on just finishing. I ran out of water at mile 12.5 and called my wife. She met me at mile 13 with a bottle. I sat down to drink it and I could not physically get back up. I felt terrible. The temps were in the mid 90's in the shade and I asked her to run and get the car. I was afraid I'd black out.

I wish I had added more water at my last aid station (mile 11) but it's hard to tell how much you have in those bladders when they're on your back. Caffeine would have helped as well. Ultimately the heat was too much for me.

Finish time: 10:30:15
Post-race
Just straight back home. No celebrating. I was cooked. I weighed myself before showering and I was down nearly 11 lbs.
What's next?
I don't know if I want to dedicate a lot of time to another Ironman next year. Who knows if it will even happen? Hopefully a half-iron or two.

Thoughts: Anyone have any strategy for the marathon? Or hot weather? I thought I did everything right and I still coudln't get through this.
submitted by daviesdog to triathlon [link] [comments]


2020.07.22 10:05 triffidsprophet Got there in the end lads

Last year before top surgery I was fully restricted in everything I did outside of my room because binding was causing too much physical and psychological pain. I could only handle 2-3 hours of binding at a time after five years of wearing a binder every day.
I could only exercise if I forced myself to wear a sports bra and this stupid windbreaker that hid my chest sufficiently. I missed out on pretty much everything in life that was happening, no one knew how distressed I was, and I ended up in acute psych because of the pain, isolation, and frustration.
After being on the public waitlist for just over a year while still being months off any potential date, a cancellation popped up and they called me. I got top surgery six days later.
Someone told me that the post-op chest never gets old. He was right. I'm 9 months post op now and it's still so freaking amazing. I can run again. I can swim. I can bike. I can go tramping. I can walk anywhere I want. I can go to lectures. Three hour labs are a breeze. I just have to touch my chest and my day is immediately better.
I can do whatever the hell I want and I never have to wear a horrible fucking helltrap of a binder ever again. Even if I think about how I had to wear a binder to do anything, or how I wore it for so long, I start to feel physically sick.
The changes from testosterone are awesome too. Today I went out and bought THREE pairs of shorts. Last month I bought four T-shirts. Everything fits and looks right. I don't have to hunt through ten shops just to find one thing that might fit on a good day.
I'm not like some living cartoon character with one outfit anymore. Last year I genuinely wore the same shorts, same two (identical) singlets and same jersey, every single fucking day to uni.
Posting this because I would've appreciated knowing someone had gone through what I had, when I was where I was last year and the year before and all the years before that.
Getting to where I am today took six horrible years and if I think about it too much I'm astounded that I'm still alive, but now that I've got to where I am it's fucking incredible to be alive.
submitted by triffidsprophet to FTMMen [link] [comments]


2020.07.08 14:33 -screamin- [SPOILERS FOR ALL S01] In-depth breakdown and commentary - S01E07 "The Day That Was"

S01E01 - We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals breakdown
S01E02 - Run Boy Run breakdown
S01E03 - Extra Ordinary breakdown
S01E04 - Man on the Moon breakdown
S01E05 - Number Five breakdown
S01E06 - The Day That Wasn't breakdown
Hello, I'm back with another analysis! Unmarked spoilers for all of S01 follow, so last chance to back out. Please, no untagged spoilers for the comics if you have read them - I would like to read them after the show has run its course. Also, now that we're getting more S02 information, please spoiler tag this as well if you are posting about it below.
Once again, I'm posting this for discussion, so if you have any insights, corrections, comments, feedback, etc. please post it below! Breakdown for S01E08 will be up on the 15th July, around noon GMT.
Thanks for taking part!
S01E07 - The Day That Was
  • Title meta: So this is the episode where we see how Five's return to 2019 affected the timeline; the events of "The Day That Wasn't" have ceased to exist. Some things remain the same, but many things have changed.
  • Pogo returns to voice over the sequence explaining Harold/Leonard's childhood, just like he narrated RH gathering his adopted children. However, although I can see Pogo knowing of the events of the children's birth and procurement, there's no real reason for Pogo to know about Harold Jenkins's past. Maybe he did some research of his own after Five brought back that Commission directive? Or maybe RH ordered Pogo to have a sticky beak in response to Harold speaking to RH outside the Academy? Or is this part of the weird, long-running implication that RH knows way more about the future and the events of the Apocalypse than anyone else?
  • Lol, all of that machine beeping when Harold's mum codes must have been added in post. The nurses and doctors should have reacted far quicker to the beeping.
  • The Jenkins family home is Leonard's house in the present. Explains why a dude with a woodworking shop that hardly seems open or particularly successful has a pretty big house not too far from the city. It's kinda horrific he can even bear to live here, with the abuse his father inflicted on him, and this being where his dad met his end. Anyway, this goes some way to explain why he's apparently comfortable with stashing Helen's body in his own attic (S01E05) - after all, he bumped dearest daddy off just downstairs!
  • I assume Dr. Terminal wasn't just a baddie from the comics little Harold was reading, but an actual nemesis for the Umbrella Academy gang in their heyday? Either way, in little Harold's fantasies, he's saving the Umbrella Academy kids from him, knocking them out (pretty violently, with "Bang!" vocal side-effects!) with the figure that represents himself. A microcosm of what he eventually does for Vanya.
  • Can I just say, the casting for the kid versions of the characters is fantastic? They totally look like they de-aged the adult actors to play them.
  • Aha, the Hargreeves figurine that he'd always wanted as a kid, advertised on the back of this comic. Look at the figurine bases in the picture - it's a white disc with an umbrella on it. When adult Harold/Leonard pinches RH's figurine from the Academy, it's got an umbrella base. But Harold's figures don't have this disc, as you can clearly see when they're piled on the kitchen table, and later on, when they're displayed on the little purple paper mat up in the attic. I think he might have made his own figurines like he made one of Vanya.
  • Harold's dad seemed loving and well-adjusted in his first scene - it seems that he crawled into a bottle to cope with the death of his wife and his son being a reminder of what he'd lost.
  • Little dude's cosplay is pretty amazing for his age and for accuracy. He's even taken a dark jumper and sewn coloured diamonds onto it to mimic the diamond pattern on the UA kids' woollen jumpers. And he wears the cardboard mask to cover his blackening eye where his dad backhanded him.
  • Hermes the Rolls-Royce makes another appearance.
  • Luther riding shotgun next to RH, as Number One. Didn't think RH drove himself anywhere; I always thought he'd have a chauffeur.
  • Can four kids buckle up in the back seat of a Rolls? (Five isn't in this scene, seems he's already gone at this point.) Sounds a bit implausible. We saw the Rolls before in S01E05, when Klaus flipped Hazel the bird from the back seat as they drove off; seemed like only three adults would fit in the back. Doubt RH cares if the kids buckle up anyway.
  • It seems Luther was very popular, with a lot of fans having crushes on him, judging by all the posters and the hearts on them. There's a magazine in S01E01 showing Luther with a space helmet, so I assume one of their earlier missions involved Luther going to space and that's why he's called Spaceboy. Also explains why RH sent him to the moon as an adult - he may have wanted to evoke the times when Luther was young and wildly successful. However, adult Luther's realisation that the four-year space mission was a bust in S01E06/7 probably undermined these earlier missions in Luther's perception as well.
  • Aww, little Harold has a suitcase! He thought RH would take him in. Too bad he didn't know RH is an unrelenting dickhead.
  • Of course the UA member of whom Harold is their "biggest fan" is Allison. I'm sure he's wished a billion times for the ability to rumour his dad into not drinking or abusing him. edit: must have taken him everything he had to act casual around Allison as an adult.
  • And of course Luther's the one who steps in when little Harold grabs Allison's wrist.
  • The actors for the UA kids look older and bigger than little Harold's actor, despite them all being the same age in-universe - possible that this is on purpose, to make Harold look smaller at the same age. (Possible implication that little Harold was not being fed as well as he should have been? On the other hand, adult Harold is kinda short himself, only a little taller than Vanya, whereas Luther and Allison are both taller as adults.)
  • "You have no power. You never will have power. Now, go home... A little word of advice, my boy. Not everyone in this world can have power. Chasing something unattainable is a recipe for a lifetime of disappointment and resentment." - RH's words to little Harold. Fuck, what terrible things to say to anyone, let alone a kid being horribly abused by the one person who should be his biggest support. And Harold/Leonard, as well as Vanya, do go on to experience a shit-ton of disappointment and resentment. Enough to kick-start the apocalypse. I also want to point out the difference in words between little Vanya and little Harold - in S01E01, he tells Vanya, "I'm afraid there's nothing special about you," when she asks why she can't play with the others, but doesn't outright say that she doesn't have any power, like he tells Harold. edit: The other thing is, Harold did end up having power, although he didn't go about it in a nice way at all. (Did he have a choice as a kid, though? As an adult, however, he is entirely responsible.) He never really grew up from that kid who managed to stop his own abuse by killing his dad. When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. Bang!
  • Ew, RH only puts his hand on Harold's shoulder to later grab him and bodily eject him from his property. Now there's at least two adults in this kid's life who were physically abusive.
  • Funny, the hammer's already on the kitchen table. Weird place for a hammer.
  • So as you hear the blows and Harold's dad's legs jerk, look behind the head of the chair he's lying in. There's noone behind it. Kinda darkly funny imagining the actor casually acting out some death throes on his own.
  • Harold's uniform with gore on it reminds me a little of Ben in the bank robbery mission (S01E01). The two kids have entirely opposite reactions to it though.
  • So Harold got twelve years. Assuming he's slightly older than Five at this point, maybe closer to 14? He'd get out of prison at about 25-26 years of age. Also, isn't twelve years a long sentence for a little kid who killed his abuser?
  • Harold's still obsessed with the Umbrella Academy - he still reads the comics and has his cardboard mask. (Surely not the same one he was wearing when he killed his dad.)
  • Despite the immediate cut to a copy of the March 24th newspaper, identical to the one Five looks at when he lands in 2019 (S01E01), three or four years have passed since he got out of prison. Harold seems to have also made the pilgrimage to the Academy block, like the siblings did, either in response to what he's read in the paper, or because he has a habit of lurking around near the Academy.
  • Let's read this new page from RH's book:
#00.04 Conjuring Incident 06/16/01 (note: Klaus would have been eleven years old.)
I found that number four was simply not progressing in his abilities to conjure the non-living. He seems to not want to embrace this power. I sped up that ability tonight by locking him in the mausoleum overnight. Hypothetically he is seeing gore and death, but to be effective he must become desensitised to this.
Notes from [unreadable]
  • Klaus resistant
  • More fearful than I've ever seen him
  • Trying to squeeze himself through gated bars. Appears to be seeing if he has another super power he doesn't know about. (note: a very dark lol)
  • 00:36 Appears to have made first contact with dead spirits
[unreadable] into exercise, #00.04 seems [unreadable] with dead spirits [unreadable]
  • This page seems to be describing Klaus' mausoleum flashback we saw in S01E04, but from RH's perspective. The adjacent page seems to be ranking Number Four's (I assume) tendencies and qualities.
  • And here's our title card, the inside cover page with an old-timey candle and an old-fashioned umbrella logo, with the words "Ex Libris Reginald Hargreeves" underneath. (Means "From the library of (or "property of") Reginald Hargreeves". Harold/Leonard must have felt like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once.)
  • And back to the present day, Wednesday 29th March, just past 8:15am.
  • It's only because Five makes the meeting and they start gabbing about "Harold Jenkins" that Leonard gets spooked and whisks himself and Vanya far away to his granny's cabin. She never even gets the chance to change her clothes from the morning - she is wearing the same shirt, coat and scarf when Leonard's beating triggers her powers later this episode.
  • We see Vanya's little street-side temper tantrum again. Five landing doesn't change that because he doesn't arrive at the Academy until after she leaves.
  • I'm gonna assume Five caught the shrapnel wound from the grenade that blew up the suitcase storage room. He was behind a brick wall for the one that blew up the Handler in the pneumatic tube room.
  • How the shit does Five know Allison's kid's name? I wonder if he checked out some of those celebrity magazines sometime over the last few days. Either way, his little speech is the turning point for the new timeline. Instead of going their seperate ways, he gets Diego and Allison on board by giving each of them what they want. Luther was on board already, although he's focused on RH and the Moon mission, Diego wants to hunt down Hazel and Cha-Cha and Five's just explained that the Harold Jenkins directive was originally supposed to be sent to Hazel and Cha-Cha and that they're trying to maintain the apocalypse in the timeline - best way to find them then is to find Jenkins, and kick them in the teeth by stopping the apocalypse from happening. Five's also offered Allison the chance to save her daughter as well as billions of others from the apocalypse.
  • "Klaus, you're with me." Aww. Since Klaus saved his bacon in S01E05, Diego's surprisingly okay with Klaus being his point man. Start of the season, he was rolling his eyes and sighing when Klaus tags along.
  • Piano music from the cubby house flashback scene last episode comes back as Allison looks back at Luther.
  • I find it very annoying that the suitcase Five brings back with him is never seen or discussed again. He could have brought this with him to the final showdown in S01E10 and not have to risk de-aging his brothers and sisters during time-travel.
  • It kind of frustrates me that Hazel's and Cha-Cha's story is no different despite the time skip, unlike everyone else's story. And strange, because whereas the siblings' actions are changed by the events that Five went through, Hazel and Cha-Cha's timelines do not change significantly despite Five being the one to send them their contracts and meddle with their timeline. (Before you say that it's because he programmed the pneumatic system to send it forward in time to them, there's still a timeline, before they get those orders, where Hazel and Cha-Cha have not been ordered to take each other out yet and they're still working against Five.) To me it feels like there was a missed opportunity here, perhaps to explore in a bit more detail what exactly Cha-Cha's deal is re: Hazel (Was she holding a torch for him? If so, it comes a little out of nowhere to me...)
  • We know that Five has sent the messages back in time using the pneumatic system to Hazel and Cha-Cha respectively - we see Cha-Cha receive her orders in the motel room in S01E06 and Hazel gets his at the same time from the vending machine in S01E07. Cha-Cha thinks Hazel has no idea, and Hazel thinks Cha-Cha has no idea. Is this what Five was planning? Did he know they would receive it at the same time when the other was not in ear-shot? (Maybe the system recognises whose name you send it under, makes sure no-one else is around when you get the message?)
  • Check out Five wincing in the car. An extra reason to quickly blink in and out with Jenkins' file.
  • When he says he "literally just did this yesterday", I think he means the grenades from the Handler's office? Or has Five tried this day before, royally fucked up, and used the briefcase to try again? Perhaps he's literally been in the precinct before. Would explain how he knows Claire's name. Getting lots of Edge of Tomorrow vibes here. Fantastic movie by the way, highly recommend. Don't google it, you'll ruin it for yourself, just watch it and thank me later.
  • Just noticed Diego isn't in his vigilante get-up. That thing needs to be taken outside and burnt. It has clung to existence for far longer than any normal set of clothes should. End its suffering, I beg you.
  • Seriously, cool blue jacket, Diego. Matches your sling.
  • Here's Allison leaving the message Vanya will only hear in S01E09, another new thing that didn't happen in S01E06's timeline. Five leaning against the wall in the background, crossing his arms and surreptitiously supporting his gut wound.
  • Luther back at the Academy, finding out RH never looked at any of his moon reports. This scene is slightly different to that in S01E06, in that he pulls out a pack that says "Day 575 - Day 599". Pogo is still present but Allison is no longer there to pull him out of his funk, and he starts drinking instead.
  • edit: When Luther finds the Moon mission material, still sealed, it rocks his whole world. For so long, he's been hanging on to the idea that RH saved his life for a reason, that as deformed as he is, he has a future purpose. Finding those reports blows that out of the water. If RH didn't want to see him anymore, why didn't he just let Luther die instead of saving him so he could never look at him again? That's the conclusion Luther reaches in this timeline, without Allison to balance him out a bit and help him look forwards instead of backwards.
  • Klaus ends up asking Luther, the only other siblings in the house, to tie him up, since Diego is out.
  • Lol, Klaus talking of RH in the present tense, saying he'll be so pissed Luther's broken into his liquor cabinet. Death doesn't mean much to Klaus.
  • Klaus trying to motivate Luther, what a reversal. Bet Klaus has never seen Luther so fucked up.
  • Klaus has probably looked up to him his whole life, seen him as a leader, been bossed about by Luther countless times, wished he had Luther's powers instead of the terrifying ones he has. Klaus would choose to be Luther, massive ape body or not, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And this dude is now crying like a little child on his shoulder.
  • Klaus is so fucking empathetic though. This dude has just tried to choke him. And as soon as Luther reveals how broken he is, how much he detests himself, how much he thinks his dad detests him - Klaus is suddenly angry on his behalf at RH.
  • Very much here for actively-withdrawing Klaus encouraging Luther to put away the drink, and refusing to procure drugs for him. Not that that stops Luther going out to try and get them anyway.
  • We return to Hazel and Cha-Cha's scene in the forest, but from Hazel's perspective. The earlier dialogue in the S01E06 scene is repeated as a voiceover. Turns out Hazel was not trying his shoe, but surreptitiously loading his gun. He was thinking about taking her out as well, doing what the Commission told him, but really, he doesn't want to be extracted, he wants to stay here in this time with Agnes. Cha-Cha thinks he's talking about running away with her, but he's actually talking himself out of killing Cha-Cha and running away from the Commission with Agnes.
  • Cha-Cha thinks his pileated woodpecker analogy "the male will bring his partner food to show he can provide" is about her, which is why she lets him go get dinner and probably why she goes to get something for him as well!
  • Diego, Allison and Five at Leonard's place. Fuck, he's still wearing his vigilante pants. Wear something else, buddy! Give those poor pants a chance in the washing machine with a whole lot of washing liquid and probably some antiseptic. And check out Five's right sided limp! Gallagher's such a good actor...
  • Five subtly pulls himself up the front stairs using the railing, not putting too much weight on that right side.
  • I can't believe Diego just busts in the front door like that. Vigilante brain fart. Allison did a better job in S01E04.
  • Vanya and Leonard have left for the cabin by now, they're not in the house.
  • Diego finds a flyer for Vanya's concert on the fridge.
The ICARUS THEATRE presents
ST. PLUVIUM CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
A wildly anticipated Chamber Music Performance featuring the City's most acclaimed musicians
Introducing Principal Violin
VANYA HARGREEVES
All concerts will be held at the Icarus Theatre, Borough 4
For more information, please call the Icarus Theatre Box Office on 555-0192, or visit us in person 10am to 4pm daily.
General Admission: $25 per Attendee
  • A picture of Vanya in her orchestra tails, holding her violin completes the flyer. She looks happier than the picture of her on the back of her memoir. And it's probably, what, the third picture of her possibly ever taken?
  • Looks like the concert on the 1st April was to be the first in a run of performances in the Icarus Theatre. Still, dumb that the flyer doesn't mention a range of dates.
  • St. Pluvium. Funny name, huh? Well, I had a theory about this that I posted to theumbrellaacademy. The motto for the Umbrella Academy is Ut Malum Pluvia (which is supposed to mean "When Evil Rains", the implication being that the Umbrella Academy have you covered). Pluvium and pluvia are just forms of the same Latin root for 'rain'. Wouldn't put it past filthy rich, dear old Papa to sponsor the local orchestra to take Vanya on, ensure she wouldn't move too far away and he could keep an eye on her, make sure she's filling those scripts... I also wonder if RH noticed that rain often accompanies Vanya's use of her powers? And possibly even more far-fetchedly, did RH consider her at least part of the 'evil' (malum) that the Academy motto refers to, that the Academy is supposed to protect others against?
  • Diego, Allison and Five conclude that Harold Jenkins is after the members of the Umbrella Academy, and that it was never about Vanya at all. Hoooo boy. You're right and you're bloody wrong in the same breath. Unfortunately, he took RH's book with him to the cabin, so they don't find it at his place.
  • Leonard and Vanya at the cabin. Looks like Harold's dad kept his abuse under wraps at Grammy's place. That is such an uncomfortable photo though.
  • "You spend your life trying to forget about the crap you went through as a kid, and then the second you step back in, you feel just as insignificant." This is Leonard playing Vanya like she plays her violin. Vanya relates entirely to this. Her family have just excluded her, again, just as she tries to include them in her life. She thinks Leonard is dredging up bad memories by walking back into this cabin. But Leonard, right now, he's aware, based on what the Umbrella Academy guys were saying while he swiped that RH figure, that Harold fucking Jenkins has something to do with the apocalypse, but they don't know who he is. They said his real name. Him. The Umbrella Academy are worried about him. He's feeling mighty important right now, and probably even more committed to turning Vanya into an unstable angry bomb that he can lob at the Umbrella Academy. If he can't be a hero with them, he'll become their nemesis and goddamn destroy them.
  • "I can't even say it. I can't even wrap my head around it. There's-" I wonder if Vanya's next words were "it's like there's a block in my head" or words to that effect. Wonder if that's Allison's rumour working away.
  • And the pan out reveal that they're in the middle of bloody nowhere, some kind of forest near a lake. Note the sounds as they zoom out, the trees, the birds, the windchimes. Is this Vanya's absurdly sharp hearing/sense of soundwaves manifesting? We see later in S01E08 that she can somehow hear the cabin's windchimes from deep in the forest.
  • Here's Hazel laying it all out for Agnes. And amazingly she takes him at face-value. What a wonderful person.
  • The thing that sent Hazel rogue was the Commission ordering him to kill his partner. Even if he may not like Cha-Cha the same way he does Agnes, he still cares for her.
  • Aww, Hazel and Agnes are so cute together! Unfortunately, Cha-Cha is watching from around the corner.
  • Klaus has ditched his coat because he's overheated and sweaty from the withdrawal. Note everyone else outside walking past being in coats and the like. It's not an obviously warm night. Klaus is also scratching at his arms.
  • Ben's appeared for some moral support!
  • So judging by Klaus' apologies immediately after he says it, apparently Ben's death was caused by not being prepared for "the real world". I dunno, maybe I'm taking it too literally, but we know basically jack shit about Ben's death... I'm taking this as a tiny clue, okay?
  • Allison and Diego hauling Five home between them. And Grace appears once more. I like the reversal of Grace now walking through the atrium and Diego seeing her in the living room, as opposed to how it was in S01E06.
  • There's a nice revolving shot around Klaus here as he enters the rave - Ben can't be seen from the back as he walks in, but as the camera rotates to Klaus' front, you see Ben next to him.
  • Man, after Vietnam, a rave with its thumping, reverberating beats and bright flashes of light must be the last place Klaus wants to be, and even more so because he's withdrawing hard.
  • Lol, the simultaneous 'holy shit' from Klaus and Ben on seeing shirtless Luther dancing his butt off. Remember Klaus (and Ben by extension) hasn't yet seen what he looks like under all the layers; he was high and then kidnapped away by Hazel in S01E03.
  • Wow, high Luther. He's a happy carefree guy. Also, "Brother!!" That's a meme, right?
  • Lo and behold, Klaus' battle PTSD kicks in. And he commando crawls after the E he just flung away (because he didn't want Luther to take it!) to try and get it to stop.
  • Can I just say, if they really truly want to recast Jack Sparrow, I think the only one who could maybe pull it off might be Robert Sheehan. I could probably come to terms with that at some point.
  • Perfect timing for Klaus' (and Dave's?) dog tags to fall out of his singlet. So sad that the only way Klaus sees Dave in this timeline is in a hallucination. I think he's got the E in his hand, but he thinks it's Dave. In a roundabout way, his desire to see Dave is stopping him from taking the pill.
  • Allison must have checked Vanya's apartment and got no response. Also, her music school says she bunked off her lessons today. I have no idea how Leonard convinced Vanya to do that, although she was very angry after seeing her siblings, maybe her redirected that into leaving everything behind for a few days and getting away from it all. Maybe offered his cabin as a practice area for the concert? Wish she brought it up later on, the fact that he made her miss her classes.
  • Lol, Diego and Luther both said the other was right about leaving/not leaving the Academy (their argument in Five's room, continued in the library in S01E04) in the space of a single episode.
  • "Vanya needs you." Wow. That's the first time Diego admits Vanya is in some serious fucking shit. Aaaaand it's the last time anyone other than Allison expresses concern about Vanya being with a murderer with a grudge against the Umbrella Academy, before she returns to the Academy in S01E09.
  • So Beeman's first name is Chuck, huh? Charles Beeman.
  • Some weird ass light blue cop cars there.
  • Vanya and Leonard at the lake. "Vanya, you've seen what people with power can do. They can stand up for those who can't defend themselves." Makes me think of RH's words to young Harold about power. It also reminds me that Leonard's planning for some guys to beat him up later on, setting up for Vanya to save him with her power.
  • "What am I supposed to do, like, stare really hard? Am I supposed to point my fingers-" Oh my god, she's taking the mickey, look at that fucking smirk. I swear Magurro nearly cracks a smile too, look at him purse his lips and look down.
  • I'm getting some "Luke at Dagobah trying to lift his x-wing" vibes from this scene - at least until Vanya starts fucking giggling. First time we actually see her laugh properly.
  • Leonard knows that the Umbrella Academy are looking for him and Vanya and that he doesn't have much time to enact his revenge. This explains why he's suddenly so frustrated by Vanya not being very motivated to find her power, and why he kicks the plan up a gear by organising for him to be bashed up.
  • Lol, Hazel's trying to write an explanatory letter to Cha-Cha as to why he's gonna run away that night. It might run something like "Dear Cha-Cha, I love Agnes. It's not you, it's me. I wish you all the best in life. Yours, Hazel."
  • Another nice revolving shot, with Hazel disappearing behind the motel window curtain as Cha-Cha strides in, silenced pistol in hand. And I like how the rave thumping restarts with Hazel knocking Cha-Cha out with the butt of his pistol.
  • Don't worry, Klaus only kissed the E tablet when he picked it up, he never ate it. He noticed that dude coming for Luther with a bat... is that his new tactical awareness coming to the fore? Old Klaus missed the Academy getting raided right in front of him in S01E03.
  • And Klaus hits the concrete head first. Apparently mediums don't become ghosts, they just go straight to meet god. Why is his shirt of all things the only thing that's not black and white here?
  • "I need you so I can pick and choose." What the fuck does this mean, god?? Either way, all the conversations in this afterlife sequence have a vague, dreamlike quality to them. It feels like an actual dream, where you only think about how ridiculous something is afterwards.
  • Lol, Klaus has some ideas for creation. God doesn't want to know.
  • "Nite Owl" is a weird name for a barbershop.
  • There are six pictures on the wall behind Klaus as he sits in the chair. At first, the assumption is that these are the six members of the Umbrella Academy. At first we get a closer look at the first three: and it's Luther, Diego and then RH. Okay, so it's the other five UA members and RH. Then you see the fourth picture - it's Dave. I can make out a tie on the fifth picture, I believe it's Five, and I'm going to guess that the sixth one is Ben. I think that since this is a barbershop, only the males' pictures are on the walls.
  • Klaus sitting in the chair reminds me of the umbrella gang getting their tattoos.
  • The whole barbershop thing seems to me like a reflection of how RH sees his role with the kids - he was grooming them, shaping them, polishing them. He sees this as caring for them. However, the kids slowly came to the realisation that he wasn't really a dad to them, more a clinical presence who moulded them as he saw fit. He had the straight razor, he could help you and hurt you in the same breath, and you were at his mercy. He roughly shoves Klaus around as he shaves him. RH is like a barber who makes you look good, but your relationship with him is only as deep as your hair, it's certainly not emotional. And you're a wreck underneath the superficial perfection he's forced on you.
  • RH's suggestion that there's more to his power gets to Klaus. From the page that we see when Leonard is holding RH's book in the dumpster, earlier this episode, we see that he has wished and apparently attempted to manifest other powers. And now RH tells him he's only scratched the surface?
  • Klaus says that RH locked him in the mausoleum at thirteen. But RH's book says that Klaus was eleven at the time of the exercise. Problem is, little Klaus in the mausoleum and Klaus in, say, the bank robbery in S01E01, are played by two different child actors, with mausoleum!Klaus looking younger than bank robbery!Klaus. My theory is that Klaus has had to suffer this multiple times at different ages, and the first instance of RH doing so may have been younger than even eleven. We know Klaus has been on drugs of one kind or another since he was at least thirteen (if not younger), it's possible Klaus' recall of events is a little hazy.
  • Klaus manages to castigate RH for his treatment of Luther. Fuck, I think Klaus would have punched him if he knew what RH had done to Vanya.
  • "Is he okay?" RH sounds genuinely vulnerable as he asks this. Fucking idiot. I hate these kinds of fuckers, well-intentioned extremists. Fuck RH.
  • RH subtly draws his razor across his neck as Klaus comes to the realisation that he killed himself to reunite the Umbrella Academy.
  • Finally, first-hand evidence that RH knew that the apocalypse was coming. Certain implications throughout the season, though, suggest that he knew more than just the date of the apocalypse, but how it was going to happen...
  • Arrrgh, why can't dead people get to the point?? Was RH gonna tell Klaus about Vanya??
  • Lol, the bouncers kicked Luther out. And the lady from S01E01 and S01E04 is back! She doesn't have her glasses here.
  • Right, this scene and the scene where Vanya recalls the bashing and grimly admits to herself that she's got powers... probably some of my favourite scenes in the whole season. They pulled out the CGI stops here. (I mean, still a bit hinky but leaps and bounds better than normal TV CGI.)
  • Leonard and Vanya walk out of the restaurant, arms around each other. She's much happier now Leonard's not forcing her to investigate her powers. Note her scarf draped loosely around her neck.
  • When the guy says "we'll trade you the car for the girl", Vanya speaks up. "Get off the car and leave us alone." She would never have done this a couple of days ago. Remember her talking to Helen?
  • Note the rain starts almost immediately after that one guy slaps her ass, and just before Leonard gets hit. Jesus Christ, the rain has to be fucking linked to her powers.
  • Increasing thunder coincides with Vanya's screams of "Leonard!" and "Stop it!!" as the guys beat him up, and the rain is suddenly furiously pelting down. (Fuck, it must have been fucking freezing out there filming this. Page and Magurro and those actors playing the thugs must have been sopping wet, bone-cold and pissed off when this scene wrapped. Thanks, guys.)
  • Vanya changes tack and starts screaming for help. And instantly we hear that high-pitched tuning fork noise. The guy who was restraining her before is now helping the others kick the living shit out of Leonard.
  • The way she steps forward... she doesn't rush forward and directly attack the guys. It's like everything's faded away and she was running forward to check on Leonard (the thugs have stopped whaling on him for a second) when she almost as an afterthought releases this burst of energy that sends two guys into nearby cars and the other straight into a brick wall. Also, her scarf is flung from her neck and flies towards the right of the screen. From S01E08, we know this lands high up on the restaurant sign and Allison ends up finding it. As soon as the energy burst has left her, she resumes her movement towards Leonard.
  • It was kinda nice of Leonard to ask those dudes to bash him up instead of Vanya, to get her powers to come out. Maybe his initial plan was to get her to attack the Academy when the umbrella gang hurt/killed Leonard? Perhaps the restaurant stunt was a pale copy of that, for Leonard to see if this would work? Perhaps this is how the apocalypse came about in Five's bleak future experience, with Luther dead with Harold/Leonard's gory eye in his fist. If this theory is correct, the restaurant attack was a success, because not only is Vanya now aware she is powerful enough to kill others, she'll be serious about discovering more about her powers. And Leonard has also established that she's not so uncontrolled that she'll attack him - as unintended as the energy burst in the carpark might have been, she managed to not touch Leonard at all despite killing two guys and putting the last in the hospital. (Unfortunately he didn't bank on Vanya finding RH's book in his things.)
  • Also, Page plays "absol-fucking-utely terrified" very well. Good job.
  • I must say, the whole season was pretty engrossing, but I think after Hazel knocked out Cha-Cha, I was just glued to my screen. The last bit of this episode and the remaining ones are just fantastic.
  • Cha-Cha is handcuffed to the radiator, glaring daggers at Hazel as he pleads his case. She's still convinced, even though she's seen him with Agnes and he says he's done with the job (and she already knows he's kinda sick of the job anyway) and he loves Agnes, that she can convince him to go back to how it was before, travelling the world and killing people, by finding the briefcase. The only issue is that she still has no reason to believe that the Commission will let both of them back. Even if Hazel goes back to how it was before, one of them will still have to kill the other according to the directives they received. So either she's lying to get him to free her, or she's got some serious cognitive dissonance going on.
  • She's also very, very personal about Hazel being with Agnes. She's never been this emotional or sweary before. She seems as close to tears as she could ever be. All I can think of is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." To me, all of this suggests she's got at least a decent squish, if not an outright crush, on Hazel.
  • Hazel still can't shoot her, even though she's threatened to make him watch his girlfriend die slow before she kills him. Cha-Cha has got to know his heart isn't in the right place for this line of work any more.
  • Hazel takes her gun before he leaves the motel - he gives both his and her guns to Five in S01E08, to prove to Diego that Cha-Cha killed Patch and nothim.
  • "Exit Music (for a Film)" by Radiohead. This has gotta be a trope by now, I think a few other shows have used it as well. I think it's pretty effective here, since the peak is Vanya's understanding that she has powers and used them to hurt others really badly (it wasn't entirely unconscious, she was aware of it), and Leonard revealing that his right eye is gone, and that he's the owner of the prosthetic Five has been carrying for more than forty years (in fact, we see a quick shot of said eye on Five's bedside table during this very montage... he's still carrying it, even though he knows it can't help him reach its owner.).
  • Luther kisses the furryphile girl who's also been kicked out. We know they end up hooking up overnight, from the beginning of S01E08. (Hope sex ed was part of the curriculum at the Umbrella Academy!)
  • Allison drives unknowingly through the rain (possibly the same storm Vanya caused?) towards her sister, once again trying to save her from Leonard.
  • Why the fuck does Ben have a shadow? Ghosts in this universe are so fucking confusing. Either way, Ben is present and Klaus is still scratching at his arms, a good indication he is still stone-cold sober. That's a massive achievement.
  • Diego stuck in the precinct holding cell, sitting on the seat there, gives me a bunch of The Dark Knight feels. It feels like a tiny shoutout, but it's also showing Diego's frustration at being caged up when he has just about two days to find Hazel and Cha-Cha and make them pay for Patch. Oh, and stop the apocalypse. And find his other sister, who is apparently dating the guy who Five says will cause the apocalypse.
Got any comments/theories/discussion/suggestions? I'd love it if you could leave em below!
Breakdown for S01E08 will be up on the 15th July, around noon GMT. Thanks for taking part!
S01E08 - I Heard A Rumour breakdown
submitted by -screamin- to UmbrellaAcademy [link] [comments]


2020.05.29 12:10 leontrotskitty Trip report: O-Trek February 2020

Well, with being back home a couple months early and nothing to do, I decided to write up a trip report as a reference for anyone planning either of the major treks in TdP - feel free to ask me any questions as well.
I hiked the O from 22nd Feb to 28th Feb 2020 staying at Seron —> Dixon —> Los Perros —> Grey —> Frances —> Chileno; that’s 7 (sunny! legit no rain except for a slight drizzle one morning) days 6 nights which is about a day or two less than it is normally done (the missing campsites are Paso [which many people skip] and Paine Grande [between Grey and Frances/Italiano/Cuernos]. For reference I’m 24, female, weighing about 50kg, and a decent hiker - I hiked the O solo carrying all my gear and food (except for one day) which clocked in at around 10kg.
Preparation: other than booking your campsites and getting your gear sorted, there's not much else you need to do. Gear rental if you're renting in PN can be sorted out in a day - there's heaps of rental shops so you don't need to worry about not being able to find things you need. If you're being thrifty, bring food from home, but otherwise you can find all you need in town. Transport to TdP can be bought the day before and it is possible to buy an open return ticket for the bus back from TdP to PN. Permits and whatnot are organised on the day at the park. BRING CASH, you need it to pay for your permit and for a shuttle between where the bus drops you off (to get your permit) and the start of the hike.
Gear:
Clothes:
  • Hiking and camp clothes: I had one set of hiking clothes (long-sleeve top + tights + sports bra + hiking socks + trail runners) and one set of camp clothes (singlet + separate pair of tights + bra + thongs). I personally wash and hung my hiking clothes 2-3 times, but it wasn't uncommon for people to have only one set of hiking clothes they did not wash - tbh you don't really notice, the important thing is just that you have that one set of relatively clean camp clothes to change into once you get to camp. I bought shorts and a second singlet to change into while hiking in case it got hot enough.. it never really got hot enough to bother. Bring a cap, keeps the sun and the rain off your face. A buff would've been nice at the JG pass - it gets really cold and windy.
  • Cold-weather gear: I also brought with me gloves, a windbreaker, a jumper, and a down jacket - this last one I only would only wear at camp, you basically want at least one warm outer layer that is guaranteed dry for when you get to camp so you need an additional outer layer over the (essential - because it gets fcking windy) windbreaker you're bringing. It did get cold enough for me to warrant wearing a jumper under my windbreaker once during the day while hiking (the JG pass - it was VERY cold here, gloves are ESSENTIAL) and some nights were also very cold - Dixon in particular was a cold ass camp site, as was Los Perros. If you're waking up for sunrises, you'll also need a jumper + windbreaker + gloves combo. At the TdP sunrise, I highly regretted not bringing my sleeping bag with me like some others did as it was a miserable wait in the cold. BRING GLOVES.
  • Shoes: trail runners are so fine, no need for hiking boots IMO. If you have boots and you enjoy hiking in them, by all means bring them along, I'm just saying that if you're like me and do all your regular hiking in trail runners and have been reading things online about how boots are essential, do not fret because they aren't - none of the terrain made me regret going in just runners. Side note, it didn't rain during my trek but I've been on another multi-day trek where I've stepped through straight up rivers and IMO you're much better off in trail runners over boots because runners will dry way faster, meaning you're less likely to have a wet shoe the next day.
Camping gear: I rented all my gear from Rental Natales in Puerto Natales because I didn’t want to carry it around for the next 8 months of travelling. It gets spenny though - all of this for 7 days cost me 122,000 CLP. I didn’t bother checking out other rental places but I’m sure the prices would be roughly comparable.
  • 1P tent (make sure it isn't too flimsy - the wind can be fierce), sleeping mat (you want this not for comfort but because it gets cold), sleeping bag (mine was rated -7; I guess depending on the weather and how warm you like to be you might want something better. I was cold at Dixon and El Passo and had to wear my down jacket in the sleeping bag to be comfortable)
  • Poles: I do a lot of hiking and never use poles. Whether they are actually necessary for this hike is still debatable IMO. I didn’t use mine at all until the John Garner Pass - at that point they are useful, not for support but for the wind if it is windy (which it probably will be) and also because there’s quite a long steep downhill which will wreck your knees. There were also parts I walked in the W which were windy as. A couple of people didn’t have poles and were fine - I feel like if you don't normally use poles you'll be fine without them assuming you're a big dude, but as a small-ish female carrying a big pack, there were some parts that were lowkey unwalkable without poles just because the wind was strong enough to straight up knock me over.
  • Cooking equipment: assuming you are bringing a stove, you only need one small can of gas, even if hiking the O. The reason is that there is free gas at almost every campsite, particularly along the W because people leave their unused gas behind which is nice. For reference at Seron there was little area for people to dump canisters and if you checked enough you’d find one that wasn’t empty. Didn’t see any at Dixon (but they sold them at the store), at Los Perros there were 3 near full ones lying in the kitchen, at Frances there was a whole stack. Bring your own spork or just buy one - I didn’t realise until after I looked at the prices of all the stuff I rented how much of a rip it was. Cost 500 pesos a day which adds up to 35k, you might as well buy your own and just dump it after the trek or leave them in a hostel. I rented 2 pots, one small one and a slightly bigger one, with the small one doubling as a mug for tea.
Food: below is a list of all my food for the 7 days save for my night at Grey where I prepurchased dinner as I knew that would be a likely shitty day with the JG pass. I also bought 3 eggs at Dixon for 1k CLP and a packet of Parmesan at Los Perros for 1k CLP. I bought everything in Australia just because I was getting to PN just the day before the hike and was worried I wouldn’t be able to get everything done - no issues at customs. Also keep in mind I am 50kg and female so very likely you may need more - there were times when I wanted more food but not enough to drop the money in the camp stores unless it wasn’t too exxy, like the eggs and the cheese. In total food weighed about 2.2kg. Water can be found very easily so you don't need anything more than 1L (if even that) - just drink from the streams, no filter required.
  • 6 x instant oats (breakfast; “big” serving size, only needed to add water and cook it on the stove for like 2 mins)
  • 8 x tortilla wraps (lunch; thin - 200g all up, took 8 because there were 8 in there anyways so I just made a second lunch for the day of the JG pass, in a handy resealable bag)
  • 1x 375g jar peanut butter (lunch; for the wraps - yes it was a shit lunch but what can you do. Would recommend bringing little packets of honey to make it less sad. For the Los Perros day I cut up a boiled egg to put in there too and it was glorious. Also, would recommend making these in the morning of each day so you can then mix in your PB spoon into your porridge)
  • 2x dehydrated camping meals (dinner; so good because they actually taste like things and you can get a variety and they’re only 100g each. But they are spenny, hence I only had two)
  • 3x instant flavoured risotto (dinner; not as good as the dehydrated meals of course but they’ll do on alternate nights. They only needed to be put in boiling water and simmered for 15mins and were 115g each and way cheaper. Downside is the taste/fulfilment and the fact that bringing water to boil and then waiting another 15mins with the stove on uses a lot of gas)
  • 2x instant soup (dinner; to eat on nights with risotto - yes I forgot to pack a third and it was sad realisation at camp)
  • 8x bliss balls (snacks; in a handy resealable bag. And good because portion sizes for each day are obvious)
  • 8x muesli bars (snacks; again good for portioning. I brought these instead of trail mix as trail mix would be too heavy for me)
  • 8x mini kinder bueno chocolate bars (snacks; usually had this at camp at night)
  • 6x tea bags
  • Mini salt/sugapepper packets I grabbed from a Maccas
Misc:
  • Toiletries, towel, laundry stuff: I brought a 5L dry bag for laundry - very useful as you’re not allowed to wash clothes in the sinks at the camps. Just fill past your clothes with water and add detergent (can just use dish detergent which you'll need to bring anyway to wash your pots after cooking) and press away. Twine and mini pegs to hang things up. I also had half a roll of TP but never needed it as I never went on the trail and all the campsites had ample TP. Bring thongs for camp showers. Kind of wish I had brought mozzie repellant along at some points but not super necessary. Sunscreen is a must.
  • Passport, cash, documents: you need your passport for checking in at campsites, super important. You also need the reservation info of where you're staying for checkin as well as ranger checkpoints - you can just have this on your phone but physical copies are good in case your phone shits itself or you lose it. Cash is always good for snacks and beers - your tolerance for paying $4 for a mars bar goes way up after hiking for days and eating shitty camp stove food. You could pay with card at most places as well but I would bring cash just in case.
  • Electronics: phone - I used this as my camera. Bring your charger and adapter - from memory you could basically charge your phone at all campsites. The only exception I can think of is Frances. At Dixon I was able to charge mine for free but for some reason some other campers got charged. Also bring a portable charger just in case - I rarely needed to use mine though as I could always charge at camp. Ear phones for them sweet tunes.
  • Other: don't bring a book, it's dead weight. Yeh, you get to campsites pretty early on in the day but you just end up meeting people on the O and spending your time hanging out with them so there's no point. Cards are really handy as you'll have a lot of spare time with others. BRING A HEAD LAMP/SOME SORT OF TORCH. In total honesty I was very underprepared brought one of those mini LED torches you get from a dollar store and that was actually fine for those sunrise hikes but not heaps ideal. Bring a trash bag, at some campsites you cannot leave any trash at all so keep that in mind. Trash bags are also good to wrap all your stuff in as well as line the inside of your bag to keep things dry - a rain cover for your pack is useless because it'll be blown away. Bring extra trash bags in case they start to break - having wet stuff when it's cold will be miserable. First aid kit of course, along with cold tablets - some poor soul got sick on their third day and looked miserable hiking.
Campsites: these are run by CONAF (these are free), Fantastico Sur, and Vertice. You need to stay at a campsite each night you're in the park (with proof of reservation) with either your own tent, a tent set up by whoever owns the campsite, in a refugio. Note that I booked way in advance but I met a couple people who booked only a week or so before they hiked - they just rocked up to PN and went up to the offices and waited around until dates matched up for them. This is risky though as you aren't guaranteed anything - a friend I made could only hike the upper portion of the O (ending at Grey) as the W part of the O was booked out. I didn't come across any rats or foxes but have heard these could be a problem. Wifi available at all campsites but you need to pay. I'll go into more detail about each of the sites below.
Seron: decent campsite with plenty of flat ground but not much shelter from the wind (and it got VERY windy at night). Showers were your standard camp showers, basic but warm water available. Flushable toilets with TP. Not much going on at the camp store - you could buy drinks (including alcohol) and pizza, don't think there was much else. Kitchen area is a picnic table outside or inside of this big tent (that had no lighting inside but offered you protection from the wind). You can hand your electronics to the guys at reception to charge (they charged mine for free but charged others I met). There's a little river area nearby you can explore but there's really not much going on here - you'll probably spend your time chatting at the picnic tables with your new found O-trek buddies.
Dixon: my favourite campsite - flat ground, some trees and elevated parts offer shelter depending on where you set up. Showers and bathrooms were GLORIOUS for camp standards - new, clean, warm, just really nice. A little more on offer at the camp store than Seron with little shelves set up with some snacks like chips and cookies, also EGGS. You could get milkshakes here from memory (along with other drinks including beers and wine). There are two powerpoints in the store/reception area for you to charge your electronics. Indoor kitchen area to cook and a little balco/porch area with picnic tables to eat. Super scenic campsite and there's a little pebble beach area you can walk to.
Los Perros: plenty of flat ground and surrounded by trees, you're essentially camping in a forest. It's very cold here. Showers were cold water only but still, flushable toilets and TP so decent for a campsite. Less going on at the campstore here than Dixon, and once again you can charge your electronics in the store/reception at the two powerpoints. Kitchen area is indoors. It was so cold here we basically spent the entire time in the kitchen so not sure if there's anything to see around the campsite. You have to take your trash here.
Grey: the first non O exclusive campsite and man is it bougie as. Lots of flat ground, no shelter from wind. Find somewhere that isn't dusty or make sure you have a good tent - I got royally fcked here, dust kept blowing through my inner mesh layer the whole night and there was nothing I could do about it. I was absolutely coated in the morning along with all my stuff :(. Bathrooms as glorious as Dixon and the camp store is pretty well set up for snacks. Indoor cooking area and porch where you can sit to eat. There's also a proper bar here. You can once again charge your electronics both in the store and at the second reception where the bar is. Not much to explore around - walking down from JG to Grey you would've passed where all the day hikers go.
Frances: not a fan. It's platforms only here - on the plus side it's a comfortable sleep as you're on flat, smooth ground, on the down side it's platforms because the campsite is on a massive incline which is not fun to walk up and down if your legs and knees have been destroyed by the JG pass. Campstore close to camp grounds is slim pickings (though I saw dehydrated meals here for sale) though supposedly there is a second one 300m away where the refugio is. Bathrooms are decent and showers are plentiful. Absolute shit cooking area - it's an open face space right outside the bathrooms and you can fit maybe 5 people around the edges at a time which means a lot of people had to wait around for space and for people to finish eating. Didn't charge my phone here but I assume you could ask the guys at reception. You have to take your trash here. No real area to explore around.
Chileno: also platforms only - some are very annoying to get to if you've changed out of your hiking shoes and are trying to navigate in thongs as everything is once again on a slant. You can't cook here but you can get hot water from the cooks so bring a dehydrated meal or treat yourself to a pizza (though note it's like $30AUD for a pizza). Not many packaged snacks you can buy here but there are more 'fresh' foods you can get like toasties, wraps, and burgers alongside the ever present pizza you can get at basically every campsite. You can charge your phone at reception. Bathrooms are a bit dirty but the shower is warm. Not much to explore around but it is nice to sit outside in the sun with plenty of picnic tables. Important: I highly recommend staying here instead of Central because this way you can see the towers at sunrise. Bring your sleeping bag to sunrise, it gets really cold just waiting there. Also, it's the best way to see the towers period - there aren't too many people at sunrise so it's nice to hang around and see them without a lot of people. On my way down from Chileno to Central was a shit fest - I passed by bus loads of people walking up in a sad line to the towers. Would've been miserable and near impossible to get around people going at a slow pace.
The actual walking: The W can be hiked going either direction, the O can only be hiked counter clockwise - most people start the O from Seron but there's nothing stopping you from starting it at a random point like Grey (you should plan to start at Seron if you can though, it makes the most logistical sense). For the purposes of the O, I recommend going Seron --> Dixon --> Los Perros --> Grey --> Paine Grande --> Frances (or Italiano) --> Chileno. I skipped Paine Grande and that was a FAT mistake for two reasons: it threw me out of sync with all the friends I made on the O as almost everyone will stop at PG after Grey, the distance between Grey and Frances is short but you need to account for the fact that you'll want to stop off at Italiano to go up and down the Britannico view point (the bit that makes the middle of the W) which is an extra 13kms. Don't stay at Paso - almost no one does. It's a long day but just push through to make it to Grey as you'll end up at a much nicer campsite (Paso is free but has almost no amenities as a result).
DO THE O - it is so much more worth it than the W. You'll make friends on the O portion very easily because you're walking and camping with the same people every day as you can only go in one direction in that section and the numbers are capped depending on how many people fit at the smallest campsite. It's awesome. Also you get to see Glacier Grey coming down from the JG pass and that hands down the most stunning of a very stunning hike. ALSO, you get the trails mostly to yourself on the O side (passing and getting passed by only people you've come to know at the campsites) and there's no one walking in the opposite direction. The hiking is not particularly tough and is generally breezy (apart from having to haul a fat pack on your back), though the JG pass can be rough if you have terrible weather - it's a long uphill slog. Coming down from JG pass is also brutal - it'll destroy your knees, there are some seriously hefty drops and this is probably where you will be glad to have poles.
Ok that's all I can think of for now - I may edit and add to this later. Feel free to ask me questions as well!
submitted by leontrotskitty to Patagonia [link] [comments]


2020.05.20 15:44 WhereBadThingsHappen My best friend drowned in an 'empty' water tank...now I'm going back

Part 1
I tried not to stare as I saw Emily get out of her car and walk towards the entrance of the small cafe I was sitting in.
It had been more than a decade since I had seen her, even longer since we’d actually had a proper conversation.
Like I mentioned in my previous entry, witnessing Jeremy’s death drove a wedge between us. After the water tank incident we barely spoke and only saw each other in court or the Sheriff's office.
But when she contacted me out of the blue last week, asking me to come back to Parsky and help her dig into the mystery around Jeremy’s death, I knew I couldn’t refuse.
There were still questions neither of us had the answer to.
As Emily opened the cafe’s front door, the small bell hung above it signalling her arrival, I couldn’t help but feel slightly anxious.
I didn’t know how much she would feel comfortable talking about Jeremy, given that the last time I spoke to her she still blamed herself.
For a brief second Emily scanned the room, before her eyes fell on me. I met her gaze, giving her a little wave. She gave me a small smile and walked over.
Her hair had been dyed red and cut short, but her outfit still reminded me of the Emily I remembered. She wore grey skinny jeans, a black Killswitch Engage tee, and a pair of white Vans.
She also had a laptop bag slung over her shoulder and a to-go coffee cup already in her hand.
I awkwardly stood up as she approached the table, not really decided on whether to go in for a hug or not.
“Hey Ty,” she said nonchalantly, slinging the laptop bag off her shoulder and onto the empty seat across from me.
“Long time no see,” I said, deciding to just sit down and avoid any more awkwardness.
“Thanks for coming...I know it was short notice,” Emily said as she took her seat.
“Oh no I jumped at the chance to come back to the town where everyone hates me.”
That seemed to break the ice somewhat as Emily chuckled. Maybe humor really was the answer to all of life’s problems.
“How’ve you been?” she asked.
Honestly life hadn’t been too bad since leaving Parsky, I’d finished my schooling, got into a good college and made some headway on my degree - a physics one that I was actually really enjoying.
I’d met some great people at my college, though I wasn’t really sure the lifestyle was for me.
I was never really a big drinker.
“To be honest it’s been going well, I’ve been studying for a physics degree in Missouri,” I said.
“That sounds like you, still a nerd to this day.”
“Guilty as charged.”
Emily grinned, just as the waiter came over to take her order. Emily ordered a coffee while I sipped on mine.
“So how about you, what have you been doing for the past 10 years?” I asked.
“My family moved to Santa Monica after everything here finished up. After Senior Year I got into a music degree at UCLA, which has been a lot of fun,” she replied.
“You play guitar?” I said, trying to remember exactly what instrument it was she played.
“Bass.”
“Ah, I was close.”
I took a moment to sip on my coffee, and it was at that point that Emily decided to get straight down to business.
“Look I’m not going to bullshit you, Ty. I still think about him, every single day,” Emily said, looking me straight in the eye.
“When I heard about this new case...well I felt like we had to do something..”
Emily had sent me the news article about the death of 14-year-old Timothy Parker shortly after she had contacted me.
The description of what happened certainly echoed Jeremy’s plight, though there were a few differences.
The boy had been found in the water tank by police after his family reported him missing the previous night. Unlike Jeremy, this time the tank was full, and his body was found at the bottom.
According to the article, local police were investigating the death, but so far had no strong leads as there were no witnesses. Official cause of death was drowning.
What was interesting were the quotes given by Tim’s parents, who noted that the roof of the tank had been locked shut at the time and stressed there was no way a small boy could have lifted it off, climbed inside and closed it again all on his own.
“I read that article, surely there’s no way it was suicide or something,” I said, keeping my voice low to not alert any of the other customers.
“Ya think?” Emily responded, “I think that same woman is responsible, and I’ve got something that I think proves it.”
She reached over and slid her laptop out of the bag next to her. It was covered in a variety of different band stickers, only a few of which I actually recognised.
Biting her lip, Emily tapped away on her mousepad for a few moments before flipping the laptop around so I could see.
On the screen was a photo taken from the air of the top of the water tank. It looked like it had been taken by a drone.
For a moment I thought it was completely unremarkable, but then I noticed some letters etched into it.
My blood ran cold as Emily scrolled to the next picture, which was a close-up of the words carved vertically into the metal.
“MY
BOY
CAME
HOME”
The message conjured images of the old woman’s grotesque face in my mind.
First Jeremy, now she had claimed the life of a second innocent boy - even leaving a message. This had to stop. Someone had to believe us now.
I looked up from the screen at Emily.
“Have the police or the news not seen this?” I said, wondering why it wasn’t included in the previous article.
She shook her head, “I guess not, I downloaded these from a Facebook post that was from this guy who I think is one of Tim’s relatives.”
Emily scrolled to the next photo, which was a screenshot of the beginning of the post. The photos were posted by a John Parker, who had simply written ‘wat tha police don’t want u 2 kno’.
“I mean his syntax needs some work but I would say that’s accurate,” I said.
“Ty, focus,” Emily said, closing the laptop.
“This could be our ‘in’, we just need to track this guy down.”
“Did you try and message him already?”
“I did, but he never responded,” Emily said.
“So how do we find him? Do we even know where to look?”
Emily nodded, her eyes gleaming, and began to furrow around in the side pocket of her laptop bag.
“I stalked his Facebook profile and found this,” she said, producing a photo she had printed out onto a piece of paper.
The photo showed a family of three celebrating in front of a real estate sign which was emblazoned with the traditional red SOLD! banner.
The father, presumably John Parker, was holding a baby boy in his arms while his partner held up a thumbs-up.
I know it’s kind of rude to say, but he looked like some kind of hillbilly. He wore a white singlet with ripped jeans, and was missing a few teeth.
But what was more important, was that the address was clearly visible on the sign.
103 Peach Street.
**
The whole drive over to John’s home I couldn’t stop thinking about the police.
After Jeremy's death I understood why they were skeptical of us - the story was far fetched, even if we did have injuries as some kind of proof.
But now surely they had to see that we were telling the truth. That message scratched into the water tank’s roof was more than proof of that.
However, if they were willingly turning a blind eye, then there was something more sinister going on.
“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” Emily asked, pulling me out of my thoughts.
I looked back at her, “Whose side do you think the police are on in this?”
“Definitely not fuckin’ ours,” she responded without hesitation.
“Wouldn’t believe us about Jeremy, so they won’t believe us about this kid. They aren’t interested in the truth, they’re interested in what’s the easiest to believe.”
I nodded, “But not all of them are bad though.”
Emily gave me a ‘you’re kidding’ look, which surprised me, because I actually really liked the FBI Agent who had interviewed us after Jeremy died.
Agent Peter Garrison had, at least in my eyes, been the most understanding of all the suits we had discussed the incident with.
He was one of the few who treated us like we weren’t crazy.
“What about Garrison?” I asked as Emily turned a corner.
“He still didn’t do anything with our story. He listened, sure, but he never did anything with it,” Emily said.
“We needed action if we were ever going to get justice for Jeremy.”
“Maybe we can get justice this time.”
“Maybe...hey I think this is it here, Peach Street.”
Emily guided her car down a narrow corner, the tyres crunching over the loose gravel. Peach Street was in an area of Parsky which had appeared to have fallen apart over time.
The road itself was falling apart, and the thick vegetation on its sides was overgrown, slowly attempting to reclaim the bitumen from the sidewalk.
Houses were few and far in between, and when they did appear, they were falling apart at the seams - broken windows and front yards filled with junk.
How long ago was that photo of the smiling family taken? And were they still happy with their choice of moving into this dilapidated neighbourhood?
“This place looks like shit,” Emily said as she slowed the car.
“Has Parsky just fallen apart since we were here?” I said, “I don’t remember this area being this bad.”
“Neither.”
We passed a few more crappy properties before we reached what a wonky mailbox declared was number 103. It barely resembled the home from the Facebook photo, now falling apart like most of the neighbourhood.
The flora in the front yard was now completely overgrown, with bushes fighting one another for what space there was left. The front windows had been boarded up and the paint on the door was peeling.
“Alright well I’m just gonna say this - I fucked up,” Emily said.
“I didn’t check the date on that Facebook photo.”
I rolled my eyes, “So there could be no one here at all?”
“Well if there isn’t, just think of it as character-building, kay?”
With that, Emily opened her door and climbed out. I followed her into the front yard of 103 Peach Street, hopeful that we weren’t barking up the wrong tree.
As we reached the front door, Emily turned to me.
“Let me do the talking, you’ll probably make some stupid joke and get us killed,” she remarked, giving me a stern face.
“No arguments here.”
“Good.”
Emily turned back to the door and took a breath, preparing herself for whatever was on the other side.
Then she raised her hand, and knocked.
Silence.
We waited.
More silence.
Emily gave me a worried look, and I began to wonder if this had all been for nought. We waited for a few more moments, still, nothing.
“Maybe they aren’t home,” I reasoned, trying to peer through some of the boarded-up windows.
“There’s a car in the garage,” Emily said.
I looked over as Emily knocked again on the door. She waited, and then put her ear to the wood, listening in.
After a few moments her face lit up, and she motioned to me to come over.
“I hear someone coming,” she whispered as I walked over to her.
My spirits lifted, maybe we would be rewarded for coming to a neighbourhood straight out of a horror story.
The sound of multiple locks being undone confirmed my suspicions. Emily and I waited excitedly as the occupant continued to remove what must have been an extensive lock system.
Finally, the door opened a few inches, and a man peered out at us. He was bald, with spotty facial hair and bloodshot eyes.
Despite looking like he was on the bad end of a three-day bender, it was still clearly the same guy from the photo Emily had shown me.
He eyed us up and down before pausing and saying, “Can I help you?”
John spoke with a Southern accent, unusual for these parts.
“That depends, are you John Parker?” Emily asked.
John paused, eyeing us up and down for a moment.
“Who’s askin?” he practically slurred.
At this point I began to wonder whether John was drunk, drugged up, or both, and whether he’d actually be any help to us.
“We saw your Facebook post, about the tank, and we wanted to ask you a few questions,” Emily said.
John’s eyes lit up at Emily’s mention of the tank, but he still seemed suspicious of why two random strangers wanted to chat to him about it.
“And just why should I talk to ya’ll?”
“Uh…” Emily said, stumbling at the first hurdle.
“We’re journalists,” I blurted out.
“We work for ABC News and we want to interview you for our, um, story.”
Emily shot me a look that said ‘what the hell are you doing?’, but fortunately for us, the unsuspecting and potentially intoxicated John completely bought it.
“Give me a sec, I gotta put some pants on!”
The door slammed shut and John’s footsteps receded as he yelled, “Hey Hannah, you seen my good pants?! I’m gonna be on TV!”
Emily nudged me, “I thought you said I was going to do the talking?”
“Well you lost your way, so I helped you out. Plus, it worked, didn’t it?” I said, shrugging.
“I guess, but we aren’t journalists.”
“No duh. Guy’s probably two beers away from a fainting episode, I think he’ll believe anything we tell him.”
Soon, John’s footsteps returned, followed by the sound of even more locks being undone.
Finally, the door opened, and before us stood a thankfully fully-clothed John Parker.
“Come in, I’ve got a LOT to tell ya’ll,” he said, grinning to reveal a mouth missing several teeth.
Emily and I followed him inside, and the first thing that hit us was the smell. It was a gross combination of alcohol, sweat, and weed.
Regardless of how stoned or drunk John might have been, Emily’s mention of the water tank seemed to have re-energised him, because he excitedly babbled about it as he led us through a white hallway.
“I got a whole lot to tell ya, I reckon they got a god-darn monster in that thing,” he said, as we followed him past a brown-walled kitchen and into their living room.
The room itself was overrun with beer bottles, which completely covered the small table between the TV and the couch, and discarded takeaway bags that littered the carpet.
Laying on the couch in a pair of denim shorts that were so short they didn’t leave much to the imagination and a tiny crop top was a blonde woman.
“This here’s ma wife Hannah, say hello to the reporters darlin’,” John said as he took a seat next to her.
“Hi,” she mumbled, appearing to be transfixed by the TV, which was playing some kind of reality show.
“Babe could you be a darl and go grab me a beer, I gotta talk to the TV people,” John said, leaning over and kissing Hannah on the cheek.
“I’m watchin’ ma show,” she responded defiantly, still not tearing her eyes away from the screen.
They proceeded to engage in what I could only describe as a semi-heated argument, before Hannah stood up and stormed out of the room, leaving Emily and I standing there awkwardly.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” John said, “Now where do you want me?”
I froze for a moment, having completely forgotten that he was expecting us to film him, despite the fact that we didn’t have a single piece of camera or audio equipment on us.
“We’re just going to do a brief sit-down interview before we go and get all the equipment,” Emily made the save just in time.
“Oh sure then, I’ll get some seats,” John said.
As he went to walk out of the room he bumped into Hannah, who handed him a beer. She gave him a nasty look before storming off from where she came.
John proceeded to venture into another room, returning with two wooden chairs. He set them down opposite the couch and motioned for us to sit down.
Emily and I took our seats as he plonked down onto the couch.
“Make sure you get my good side...oh wait ya’ll aren’t filming yet,” John said with a hearty chuckle.
At this point I began to pray that we could get any information at all out of this guy, he didn’t seem like the brightest bulb in the box.
This time I sat back and actually did let Emily do the talking.
“So to begin, what was your relation to Tim Parker?” Emily kicked off the ‘interview’ with the most obvious question.
John’s cheery demeanour hardened.
“He’s ma cousin...or I ‘spose you’d say was...should I start over?” He asked, seeming genuinely concerned he’d lost his seven seconds of fame.
“No, it’s fine,” said Emily, waving him off.
“How well did you know him?”
“I was close to him, ya know, like real close. We had a bond.”
I wasn’t really sure if I bought that, given the way John seemed to be vague on the details, but I kept my mouth shut.
“Was he the type of kid to go off on his own at night? Did he like exploring places alone?”
“To be honest with ya, he was kind of a loner. I ain’t never seen him hangin’ out with other kids much.”
“So going off to the water tank on his own, without friends, that makes some kind of sense?”
“I got no idea what he was doin’ down there to be honest. ‘Specially without tellin’ his ol’ cousin John bout it.”
I couldn’t tell whether John was legitimately torn up about his cousin’s death or whether he was putting on some melodramatic face for the non-existent cameras.
“So by your account, he was there alone that night,” Emily continued.
“Yup.”
“Police have listed the official cause of death as drowning, and currently have no suspects or witnesses to the incident. But you found something that suggests someone else was there that night,” Emily said, pulling the copy of John’s Facebook post out of her laptop bag.
John took the photo in his hand, “Damn right, you ain’t seen this on the news,” he said.
“I reckon the government’s got some monster down there. Took poor Timmy. The police don’t want no one to know about it cos it’s gotta feed or it will come for the rest of us.”
“Feed it?” I blurted out.
“Yeah, y'all remember when that boy, ‘bout Timmy’s age, drowned in there?
My heart jumped at the words left his mouth.
“...Yeah,” Emily answered carefully.
“Well, that was 10 years ago. That was when this thing showed up. And now its gotta feed every decade, so in another 10 years another boy is gonna end up dead.”
“What do you mean feed? These boys were drowned,” I said, surprising myself with how defensive that sounded.
I didn’t mean to try and batter him, but something inside me stirred listening to him. The woman never tried to ‘feed’ on Jeremy, he drowned because he couldn’t get out.
Because I couldn’t save him.
“It sucks the life out of em. Course they’re left lookin’ like they drowned for the feds, so they can then sweep it under the rug,” John said, shaking his head.
Then Emily said something I didn’t expect.
“Actually, we knew the kid who drowned in the tank 10 years ago.”
Taken aback, I couldn’t help but hold my breath. We didn’t really have a plan, but if we did, this certainly wasn’t part of it!
“Huh, y'all friends with him or what?”
“Yeah, we-
Before Emily could continue, she was interrupted by the sound of Hannah marching into the room.
“There’s someone here ta see ya hubby, he sounds important,” she said.
That was an understatement.
Because standing next to her, holding his FBI badge in the air.
Was Special Agent Peter Garrison.
**
Emily and I sat on the front porch of John Parker’s home in silence.
After our cover was blown, John had blown up at us, accusing us of manipulating the ‘family of the grievin’’.
He might have actually attacked us if Garrison hadn’t herded us out of the building.
The Special Agent himself didn’t look too happy to see that we had been meddling in an active investigation.
He had told us to wait outside while he conducted an interview with John. He’d also let us know that it was a felony to interfere with an investigation.
The whole thing kind of made me feel dumb for taking things in my own hands, even if it sounded good at the time.
Maybe this wasn’t the best way to go about things, maybe we had to trust that people like Agent Garrison would get to the bottom of this.
Maybe I should go back to Missouri.
“Well that went well,” I said, glancing over at Emily.
She let out a loud sigh, “I was hoping we could at least get a phone number for one of Tim’s immediate family.”
“The silver lining is that Garrison being here is evidence they’re taking this seriously - maybe he’ll look into that message on the tank’s roof,” I said.
“Maybe.”
We sat in silence once again, the only sound being the low hum of insects in the nearby bushes.
I knew what I was about to say next sounded crazy, but it was a question that had been burning in the back of my mind since we finished our mini ‘interview’.
“Do you think his theory holds any water?” I asked Emily, who looked back at me in alarm.
“About the woman feeding on kids? Every 10 years?” She said.
I nodded.
“Seems a bit far-fetched...I mean the guy is trying to tell us that the police know it ‘needs’ to get fed every decade, but Jeremy was the first one to…
She trailed off, turning her head and staring off into the distance.
I felt it too.
The weight that pressed down on us every time we mentioned his name.
That guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach that opened up whenever I talked about him.
His panicked face struggling for air as the water level began to rise.
“Tell mum...I’m sorry.”
The sound of the door opening behind us interrupted my train of thought. I looked back to see Agent Garrison walking out with an audio recorder in his hand.
Garrison was a tall man, who had worn black glasses every time I’d seen him - whether they were prescription or not I had no idea.
He had jet black hair that was slicked back, and a clean shaven face. He wore a black suit with a red tie, and usually had an air of optimism about him.
Garrison was a good man, but he didn’t look like he was in the mood to chat with us today.
“You two, with me,” he said motioning for us to join him as he made his way to his car - a black SUV that was parked on the side of the road.
Unsure if I was actually being arrested or just being taken for a joyride, I obeyed and walked over to the vehicle.
I climbed in the front passenger seat while Emily begrudgingly hopped in the rear.
I was surprised by how normal the inside of the vehicle looked, though it was likely to help fit in and not arouse suspicion.
Without a word, Garrison started the car and began to drive. I anticipated that we’d be going to the police station, but that wasn’t where he took us.
Instead he began heading in the direction of a place I knew all too well. He was heading to the outskirts of town.
He was heading to the tank.
**
My skin prickled in anticipation, and. I could feel my heart begin to race inside my chest as Garrison turned down the road leading to the industrial estate.
I hadn’t been back to the tank since the incident, in fact I’d made a concerted effort to stay the hell away from Parsky for the last 10 years.
Now I was being taken straight to the place that had claimed the life of my best friend.
“W-why are you taking us here?” I managed to get out, as the tank loomed in the distance.
I glared at Garrison, but he kept his eyes on the road.
“I’m going to show you some proof.”
“Can’t you just tell us?” Emily asked from the back.
“With the way you two have been acting, I feel like I’ll only get you to understand if I show you firsthand,” Garrison replied, before pressing the brake and stopping the car with a jolt.
“Of course the alternative is I could just take you to the police station,” he said, making eye contact with both of us.
It was a tough choice. Go back to the place where a zombie woman attacked us and killed our friend, or be incarcerated.
Neither was that appealing, but I was definitely interested in what Garrison had to show us...and staying out of jail.
I looked at Emily, who gave a little nod of approval - the first time she was deferring to me in a long time.
“Well I’d like to stay out of jail,” I said, returning my eyes to Garrison.
“Good choice.”
Garrison stepped on the gas and we were off.
Slowly but surely, the tank came into better view. It was much the same as I remembered it, a rusted, hulking monolith that stood out like a sore thumb, but now it evoked a strong feeling of dread within me.
The dread mixed with a primal fear that cut through me like a knife, and before long I noticed that my palms were covered in a cold sweat.
The space between the water tank and the barbed-wire fencing on its perimeter was cordoned off with police tape, and there were a few officers hanging around.
We ascended the small hill that led to the tank’s entrance, and Garrison parked the car next to a couple of police cruisers.
I shivered as I exited Garrison’s car, the cold wind whipping over the exposed hillside. I couldn’t help but be somewhat mesmerised by the tank.
The creaky stairs that we had ascended that night. The top of the tank that looked over the city. The path Emily and I had staggered back home to tell our parents the unthinkable.
The mystery that had plagued us since that night - who was that woman?
We followed Garrison past the police officers, who seemed to be confused as to why we were being allowed inside, but they didn’t question him.
Garrison led us to the zig-zagging stairs that spider-webbed up the side of the tank.
“Follow me,” he said, beginning to climb them.
“No way,” Emily stood rooted to her spot, “I’m not going up there again.”
Emily had crossed her arms and was giving Garrison a stare that could make a sunflower wilt.
“If you don’t see for yourself, you won’t believe me,” Garrison said, “I understand this is hard for you to do, but it’s very important that you see this.”
At that point I realised the message scrawled by the woman should be directly above us, on the roof of the tank.
Did he know about it? Was that why he was at John’s house?
Was that what he was taking us to see?
“Those stairs aren’t safe, Jeremy fell through them when we were here,” Emily continued her protests.
The moment flashed in my mind, the crashing sound as the step beneath Jeremy gave way, the desperation in his eyes as he clung to the metal.
The feeling of my heart sinking as he was cruelly ripped from my grip.
“They’ve been fixed, reinforced,” Garrison responded, breaking me from my thoughts.
He walked over to Emily, putting an arm on her shoulder and making eye contact as he spoke.
“I know it’s hard, but sometimes to accept what’s happened in the past you need to make peace with the demons that plague you,” Garrison said.
He turned to look at me, “Now I’m not going to force either of you to go up there, but I believe it would be beneficial for the both of you...even if you can’t see why right now.”
Though a big part of me wanted to turn around and sprint right out of Parsky, never to return to this shitty water tank ever again, Garrison’s message did resonate with me.
And we were supposed to be investigating this thing for God’s sake. We couldn’t run away.
Jeremy didn’t run away.
“I’ll go,” I said, giving Garrison a slight nod.
“Emily?”
Being caught in the middle, Emily looked at Garrison, then back to me, and then back to Garrison, before letting out a loud sigh.
“For Jeremy.”
The three of us made our way up the now reinforced stairs, the wind howling at our backs.
By the time we had made it to the top the sun had begun to set. I had to admit it was as nice a place as any to catch a stunning sunset, but that wasn’t what we were here for.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Garrison said, peering out at the horizon.
“We’ve seen the writing on the roof,” Emily said without warning, “We know she left a message.”
“If that’s what you’ve brought us here to see, we’re way ahead of you.”
Garrison seemed to consider himself for a moment, before turning around.
“That’s the problem, Emily,” he said, giving her a sorrowful look.
“There is no message.”
I did a swift double-take.
“Uh, what?” I stammered, staring at Garrison, who continued to look as if he was a policeman knocking on a door to give bad news.
Garrison gestured to the top of the tank, imploring us to climb upon it.
“Look for yourselves.”
Emily and I looked at each other, and then at the cone-shaped roof of the tank.
“You’re lying,” she said, quickly making her way over to the side of the roof, “Ty, give me a boost.”
Praying Garrison was wrong and that we hadn’t somehow been fooled by John, I crouched down and helped Emily climb on top of the roof. She pulled me up, and together we laid our eyes upon the tank’s roof.
It was bare.
Completely bare.
A few rusty spots there, a couple of damp patches there, but no message. We checked all sides, but there was nothing.
This whole time, we had been trying to use evidence that didn’t even exist. This was the proof Garrison wanted to show us.
Proof we were wrong.
Proof we had interfered in an investigation with no real idea what we were doing, or no real plan.
“No, that can’t be right,” Emily said, continuing to search the roof in the now fading light, “It has to be here somewhere.”
“It’s not,” I heard Garrison say.
He was looking up at us from the main platform.
“John played a cruel trick on you.”
Emily was still on her knees, but she had stopped looking around. Now she was just kneeling there, motionless.
It hurt me to see her in pain, but I felt it too. The scumbag ‘cousin’ had fooled us, and for what. To feel like he was important for five minutes? To pin this on the police?
I knelt down next to Emily, who was looking straight down at the roof. Tears were beginning to well up in her eyes.
“That was a pretty shitty thing to do,” I said.
It felt weird to be comforting someone who I hadn’t seen for 10 years, who I didn’t really know any more, but we were in this together.
“Yeah,” she said, tears now streaming down her cheeks.
“I just...I just want some validation...I want it so fucking badly.”
I put my arm around Emily, and she began to softly sob into my jacket.
We stayed there, just her and I, neither of us saying a word.
The only sounds came from the wind, which had begun to pick up, and the tank, which emitted low groans every few minutes.
It was cold, but the warmth I felt from Emily managed to keep me from shivering.
The moment was interrupted by Garrison, who was called up to us from the lower platform.
“I appreciate the healing you’re both undertaking, but I can’t really let you stay up there any longer.”
Sighing, I helped Emily to her feet. As I made my way over to the edge of the roof, I felt her arm on mine.
“Hey, thanks for coming down,” she said, rubbing her eyes with the back of her sleeve.
“Even if it’s been a gigantic waste of time.”
While I knew she was right about our ‘investigation’, I didn’t feel that the trip had been a waste.
The truth was I had missed Emily, and even if our journey for justice had an underwhelming end, at least I got to see her again.
“It was worth it,” I said.
A small smile crept across Emily’s lips, her green eyes lighting up in the shadows. She tugged on my shirt sleeve, pulling me towards the edge of the roof.
“Well let’s get out of here, I’m fucking freezing.”
**
Garrison agreed to take me back to my hotel room and drop Emily off at a relative’s house.
We weren’t going to be charged with anything, but he sternly reminded us that if we interfered in the investigation again, he would have no choice but to turn us in.
As Garrison drove us back into town, I began to replay the events of the past day in my mind.
The meeting with Emily at the cafe, the so-called message she had shown me in the old woman’s words, the interview with Tim’s relative and our encounter with Garrison.
My mind was boggled by the amount of twists and turns that had transpired over the past 12 or so hours.
I honestly could have done with a nice hot shower and no more adventuring.
But Emily had other ideas.
“Um, Agent Garrison?” she asked from the backseat.
“Yes Emily?” he answered from the front.
“Could you take us to the cemetery?”
The Parsky Cemetery I remembered was rundown and frequently vandalised, rarely a place you wanted to be visiting a night.
But it was also where Jeremy was buried. I’d never visited his grave, in fact it was something that I may have subconsciously avoided because of the guilt.
I guess now it was finally time to pay my respects.
“If it’s in the name of further spiritual healing, then I’m happy to oblige,” he said, looking back at us through the rear-vision mirror.
I glanced over at Emily. Underneath the shadows I could see the fire in her eyes - she looked like she was more determined than ever to make peace with her demons.
I could definitely get behind that.
“It is,” I responded.
After passing through the cemetery gates, Garrison parked and Emily and I made our way to the directory.
We scanned the map for Jeremy’s name - the sign was lit up in the darkness by a number of LED lights spread around the cemetery.
My heart skipped a beat when I found it.
“There,” I said, pointing to the name ‘Jeremy Williams’ which was followed by a string of numbers that corresponded to a section of the cemetery.
“Are you ready to do this?” Emily said as I turned back to her.
I took a deep breath, trying to quell the guilt that had once again begun to build in my gut.
“Yeah.”
As we made our way to section ‘D’ of the cemetery, I couldn’t shake the (very cliche) feeling that we were being watched from the shadows.
The lights I mentioned before kept the main pathways of the graveyard lit up, but past the end of the path was grass that led to a forest.
There was something about that forest that made me feel uneasy, even if I had been to the cemetery before when I lived here.
Soon a sign with the letter D in black print let us know we were in the right place. I took another deep breath, and then led Emily to where I’d seen Jeremy’s grave marked on the map.
The grave itself was covered in flowers, and featured a photo of Jeremy in his school uniform. I immediately recognised it as being from the school photos we got done in our Freshman year.
Upon seeing Jeremy’s face I felt a wave of sadness rush through me. Not guilt, not anger, just pure sadness.
At that moment I realised I’d spent so much time blaming myself for what happened, feeling guilty for not being able to keep him from dying, fighting legal battles and avoiding anything to do with Parsky that I hadn’t allowed myself to actually grieve.
So I let it all out.
I fell to my knees and began bawling, the floodgates bursting open. I cried for what felt like ages as Jeremy’s eyes stared into my soul.
“Oh Ty,” I heard Emily say.
I felt her wrap her arms around me as I wept, my face becoming a gross combination of moisture and snot.
“Sorry,” I said, raising my arm to wipe my eyes.
“Don’t you dare say sorry, I’m just glad I’m not the only one crying anymore.”
I let out a chuckle - which actually felt really good to do, even if I was in a cemetery. Once I managed to clear the tears from my eyes, I looked at the inscription on his tombstone.
Here lies Jeremy Williams.
Our beloved boy, taken too soon.
The words were written in gold cursive below his photo. It took me a few moments to realise something else had been scratched into the stone below the traditional memoriam.
I leaned in closer, the text being so tiny that I had to squint to make it out. It wasn’t written in the same font and looked like it had just been carved using some small tool.
He now belongs to the Children of the Tank.
I blinked, quickly wiping my eyes and opening them again, sure that I was seeing things.
But the message was still there.
“Emily look at this,” I said, pointing a trembling finger at the words.
She leaned in, her eyes scanning the tombstone before landing on what I was highlighting.
“What...what the fuck?” Emily exclaimed, recoiling in shock.
I played the message over in my head, feeling sick to my stomach as I did so. But yet, beneath that, I couldn’t help but feel like this was some sort of clue.
“It’s probably just some dumbass kid messing with us,” Emily said dismissively, getting to her feet, “Come on, we should go.”
It was certainly possible that we were just getting trolled, but I felt like there was some significance to it.
Jeremy.
Tim.
The Children of the Tank.
Before I could ponder the meaning of the message any longer, my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a twig snapping to my right.
I turned my head to the direction of the sound, my eyes scanning the dark for its source.
“Hello?” I called out, my mind screaming for me to run but my body rooted in place by fear.
“Garrison?” Emily shouted, the fear evident in her voice.
The sound of footsteps, starting softly but then growing louder, came from the direction of the forest. They were slow, shuffling, as if the person moving was injured.
A shadowy figure slowly came into view. It was an elderly woman hunched over a walking stick, making her way towards us.
“A poor boy,” she said, her face now illuminated by the LED lights.
The most striking aspect of her appearance was the black eyepatch that covered her right eye. She wore a woollen shawl, and her hands wobbled as she leaned on the wooden walking stick.
“What do you want?” Emily asked, gradually moving away as the woman moved forward.
“I’ve seen you,” she said, raising a crooked finger at us, “I know who you are.”
I felt Emily grab my hand, trying to pull me away, but I wasn’t ready to leave just yet.
Mustering up some courage, I spoke to her.
“Who are you?” I asked, “How do you know us?”
“I see anything that she sees.”
“Anything that who sees?”
She stopped in her tracks, the question prompting a look of sadness on her face. She took a breath, and then looked up at me with her one eye.
“You want to know more about the woman in the tank, yes?”
I nodded slowly as Emily stopped trying to pull me away.
“Then meet me at the library, tomorrow, 9am.”
“I will tell you all you need to know.”
Part 3
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2020.05.17 21:32 halpinator [Race Report] Solo Half Marathon

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description
A Sub 1:20
B Sub 1:21 (Qualify for NYC)
C Sub 1:21:57 (PR)

Splits

Mile Time
1 5:55
2 6:05
3 6:00
4 6:01
5 6:01
6 6:01
7 6:01
8 6:04
9 6:08
10 6:06
11 6:06
12 6:11
13 6:07
13.15 0:51 (5:40)
First Half 39:33
Second Half 40:11

Preamble

2019 was an up-and-down year for my running. I entered 2019 preparing for the Boston Marathon – but didn’t have a very good training cycle, didn’t do enough base training and was generally burnt out and ended up running Boston entirely unprepared and I paid for it, stumbling to a 3:35 finish, far under my expectations of low 2:50s. Recovery from Boston was rough as well, and I spent much of 2019 dealing with hip and groin issues while still trying to maintain my fitness and race. I ran a 19:00 5k in June, at which point it became quite apparent that I needed a break, as I was blowing off runs and grimacing through workouts. I took 6 weeks of sub 20 mile weeks through the summer, ending with a 43:52 10k in July and from that point began the process of very gradually building up my fitness again. By September I was still dealing with hip pain but it would only bother me after long runs. In October I PRd a half marathon in 1:21:57 and that was a big confidence boost for me.
Following my October half, I decided this was my perfect opportunity to focus on the fundamentals and rebuilding a solid base to train from. Two race-heavy years and the constant taperecoveries had eroded my base away to nothing and I think that was what was responsible for my nagging hip problems. I dedicated the winter to just base training, spending November-December-January at mid 30’s mileage, no workouts, just easy paced runs. Gradually my hip started to feel better and by February it wasn’t bothering me anymore. I had set a few goals for myself for the upcoming years: in the spring I wanted to qualify for the NYC Marathon by running a sub 1:21 half at the end of May. Then I was signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October 2020 where I was hoping to PR with a sub 2:53 (and also take another crack at a NYC qualifying time if I didn’t do it in my half marathon).
Unfortunately, while my training was coming along great, the world was falling apart around me. Coronavirus hit and all the races I had planned for the year started to cancel. First the March tune up race I was signed up for cancelled, then my May race I was training for cancelled. There goes my June 5k, and my August 14k…and October races looking pretty precarious too. So what do you do when your training is going awesome but you have no races to run? You say screw it, I’m going to train for them anyway and run a damn solo time trial if I have to. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I picked May 17 as it fits into a virtual race event and it’s within 2 weeks of the race I was originally going to run.

Training

I created my own plan for this training cycle. I split my training block into essentially 3 phases: Recovery/base building, endurance, and sharpening. Within each phase, I like to follow a 4 week cycle: 2 medium volume weeks, one high volume week, one recovery week. Within each week, I tended to follow the pattern of a workout on Tue/Wed , a long run on Fri/Sat/Sun, and strides on 2 other days of the week, the rest of the runs easy. I find that I do best when I run more frequently, so I transitioned from 5-6 days from Nov-Dec, to 7 days a week in January.
Recovery/Transition phase - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
Oct 7 32.9 8.5
Oct 14 34.8 9.1
Oct 21 28.5 10.2
Oct 28 27.1 11
Nov 4 36.1 10
Nov 11 37.8 13.2
Nov 18 36.2 13.1
Nov 25 35.8 13.3
Dec 2 28.2 7.8
Dec 9 35.8 13.1
Dec 16 26 8
Dec 23 33.9 7.1
Dec 30 30.6 14
Jan 6 38.3 13.1
Jan 13 37.3 13.2
Jan 20 40.7 12
Jan 27 35 13.1
Feb 3 43 13.4
Feb 10 46 13.4
Feb 17 50 14
During this phase, it was all about easy runs, sometimes doubles. Occasionally I would do a few LT intervals or strides on the treadmill but not with any real purpose other than feeling out the effort.

Endurance Phase

Endurance Phase - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
Feb 24 45.1 11
March 2 52 14.2
March 9 54.1 14
March 16 61.4 18
March 23 55 13.1
March 30 61.1 14.2
April 6 63 16
April 13 69 18
In this 8 week phase, my goal was to start introducing workouts while increasing my weekly mileage up from 50 to 65 miles. Along the way I ran a few shorter time trials to see how my fitness was progressing (as well as some Crow League events featuring shorter race efforts from 100-1600m, just for fun). I continued to follow the pattern of Tues/Wednesday workout, weekend long run, and a couple sessions of strides. I also lengthened my long runs now that my hip was feeling better, doing some 16 and 18 mile runs without any issue.
*Notable runs:

Sharpening Phase

Sharpening Phase- - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
April 20 58.5 14
April 27 62.2 16
May 4 58.2 14
May 11 47 13.1
In the final 4 weeks, I stopped increasing my mileage, introduced a third quality day, and started doing faster, shorter workout intervals with the goal of increasing top speed and leg turnover. My long runs got a bit shorter, but a lot faster, with a focus on big negative splits.
I decided to do a shorter, more abrupt 2 week taper. For the first week of taper, I did a couple tough workouts followed by a hard long run the day after workout #2, to give my body a bit of a shock of fatigue, with a sharper dropoff in volume and intensity on race week with a focus on maximum recovery.
*Notable Runs:
A note on weight
Weight control has always been a challenge for me, and seems to correlate pretty strongly with my race performance. When I set my marathon PR in 2018, I weighed 170 lbs. When I bombed in Boston in 2019, I was at 179. In October that year when I PRd my half marathon, I was at 172.
Following my half, I took a break from calorie tracking and let my weight slowly creep back up again. When I tried to restart in January, I struggled a bit. I got up to 184 by the end of January before I really was able to break out of my habits of overeating and snacking and start to chip away at the excess weight. 15 weeks later I weighed in at 168, which is just under my race weight goal of 170, and well on my way to 160 which is what I think is pretty close to my ideal racing weight. If anything I think the social distancing measures worked to my favour in that regard, because I really cut down on the social drinking and eating.

Pre-race

My pre-race routine began on Friday, when I began to carb load, and did a dress rehearsal run consisting of a few strides and a mile at race pace. Saturday was another fairly chill day, just an easy shakeout run. I spent the rest of the day nervously eating, thinking about my race strategy, plotting out the race course, and checking the weather. The forecast called for decent weather, a little bit of overnight rain then temperatures bottoming out at about 10C (50F) and climbing up to 23C (73F) by mid afternoon, with light cloud cover. The past few days had been a bit gusty, so I wanted to get out early before the wind really picked up and the cloud cover broke, so I picked 8 AM for a race time.
On race day, my daughter was up at 6:00 AM so I didn’t even need an alarm clock. I had a breakfast of Cheerios and a carrot muffin with some cold brew. I topped up with a double shot of espresso about 20 minutes before race time for good measure, because I seem to race well when I’m tweeked on caffeine.
Course: Another fun part of a time trial is designing the course. I picked a route that was nice and flat, and also one that provided a bit of tree cover to protect from the wind. It was a series of two out-and-backs on a couple roads at the edge of town. Fully paved, low traffic, and minimal chance of having to stop at an intersection. Two 180 turnarounds but that might only cost me a couple seconds and I was okay with that. I programmed a 13.15 mile workout into my watch, and would use this interval as my official time, to account for GPS accuracy and the fact that races are always a little bit long.
My race kit consisted of my ultralight ARTC singlet and Tracksmith VC 4’’ split shorts. I decided to go with my Mizuno Wave Riders as they were the shoes I PRd with in my last race in the fall. Sunglasses, chest HR, Garmin FR 635m, and Stryd (more just for data collection rather than a power target this time around). I opted to race with music to make up for lack of crowd support, so I preloaded a playlist onto my watch and brought my headphones along.
My race strategy: My main goal was to get under 1:20 which if I was running even splits would require about 6:06/mile pace. However in the weeks preceding this race I received nothing but encouragement and positive feedback from running buddies, leading me to believe I was capable of maybe going even lower. Given my penchant for running negative splits, I decided to strike a compromise and start out with 6:00 splits for the first mile or two, and give myself the option of sustaining that or dropping to 6:05 depending on how it felt.
There’s an open track conveniently located right next to my starting line, so I did my warmup on the track – 1.5 miles and a few strides. Then I drank a bottle of water, took a Gu, and walked to the “start line”. Did a countdown in my head and took off at around 8:30.

Race

First 3.1
I came out of the gate feeling jittery and nervous, my legs felt a bit heavy and I was worried that I was coming out too slow. Then I looked at my watch and I was rocking a 5:55 pace. Alright, that’s good news but I cautioned myself about being TOO optimistic and dialed back the effort just a touch. My second split was 6:05 so I adjusted again and found the 6:00 pace to lock onto. My breathing was easy, and the heavy feeling in my legs subsided. I was feeling good. I hit the 5k mark around 18:45 and decided to keep up with that 6:00 and see how far I could take it. Worst case scenario if I couldn’t maintain it, I was banking time for the second half.
3.1-8.1
The next few miles just clicked away. I tried to visualize somebody running 10m in front of me and tried to keep pace with him. I had a pleasant crosswind that sometimes was at my back, the weather was warm but comfortable, and I was still feeling good. Occasionally I would feel my pace start to drop and would urge myself to pick it up but at this point it was all just mental effort, not physical strain. I passed the halfway mark at around 39:33 and thought to myself, great, I’ve got a nice 30 second buffer for the second half and maybe if I push the pace a little I can sneak under 1:19. But just after the 7 mile mark I felt the first warning sign: a stitch under my rib that made it hard to take a deep breath. That’s usually my body’s warning that I’m starting to redline and I need to be very careful not to push it too hard and make it worse.
8.1-finish
I hit the turnaround just after the 8 mile mark, and now it was just a straightaway to the finish line. Holding a 6:00 pace was near impossible and even my 6:06 was a challenge. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking at my Stryd numbers I was dealing with a bit more wind resistance on the way back which was probably accounting for the drop in pace despite trying so hard to maintain effort. After logging a 6:09 I started to worry a bit because I was losing some of those seconds I banked in the first half. At least the stitch in my side wasn’t getting any worse. The last few miles became a game of checking my mile splits and trying to to let them drop too much past my goal pace of 6:06. Each mile I was losing valuable seconds, and I was starting to worry that I was going to blow it in the final 2 or 3 miles. My quads were really start to feel it as I passed 10 miles and into the final 5k. I started urging myself on, using the old tricks and self talk like “You’ve been training for 3 months for this moment, don’t let up now” etc etc. One mile to go and I had just under 6 and a half minutes – I can do this! Stopped looking at my watch and just poured whatever I had left – which wasn’t much – into the final stretch. Arms tingling, legs tightening, breath in ragged gasps, but I could see the finish line and I was going to make it! My watch beeped at 1:19:44 and I gasped with relief as I stood on the side of the road with my hands on my knees trying to stay on my feet.

Post-race

Mission accomplished. Man, it feels good to stare down a goal for so long and then finally achieve it. Looking at my race today, I think I came quite close to 100% effort. I ran a 37 second positive split although the last 5 miles were into a headwind and my Stryd says my power output was actually higher in the second half. All in all I think the strategy worked out well for me. It’s something to consider for future half marathons, because I have a tendency to run big negative splits which probably indicates I’m leaving some time on the table. Not so today. I doubt I could have run that race any faster today.
Now I’m going to take a couple of rest weeks. Tentatively my next few weeks will be 30, 40, then 50 miles with no workouts other than some strides, and only after a few days once my legs stop hurting. I can tell I’ll be a bit beat up from this, my right arch is quite tender and a bit swollen, and my calves and quads feel like they’re on the verge of cramping. My next planned race (a marathon, in October if it isn’t cancelled) is quite a ways away and I don’t feel any pressure to start training hard again until I’m fully recovered. Staying healthy is my priority right now.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
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2020.05.17 21:07 halpinator [Race Report] Solo Half Marathon Time Trial AKA The Laugh Marathon

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description
A Sub 1:20
B Sub 1:21 (Qualify for NYC)
C Sub 1:21:57 (PR)

Splits

Mile Time
1 5:55
2 6:05
3 6:00
4 6:01
5 6:01
6 6:01
7 6:01
8 6:04
9 6:08
10 6:06
11 6:06
12 6:11
13 6:07
13.15 0:51 (5:40)
First Half 39:33
Second Half 40:11

Preamble

2019 was an up-and-down year for my running. I entered 2019 preparing for the Boston Marathon – but didn’t have a very good training cycle, didn’t do enough base training and was generally burnt out and ended up running Boston entirely unprepared and I paid for it, stumbling to a 3:35 finish, far under my expectations of low 2:50s. Recovery from Boston was rough as well, and I spent much of 2019 dealing with hip and groin issues while still trying to maintain my fitness and race. I ran a 19:00 5k in June, at which point it became quite apparent that I needed a break, as I was blowing off runs and grimacing through workouts. I took 6 weeks of sub 20 mile weeks through the summer, ending with a 43:52 10k in July and from that point began the process of very gradually building up my fitness again. By September I was still dealing with hip pain but it would only bother me after long runs. In October I PRd a half marathon in 1:21:57 and that was a big confidence boost for me.
Following my October half, I decided this was my perfect opportunity to focus on the fundamentals and rebuilding a solid base to train from. Two race-heavy years and the constant taperecoveries had eroded my base away to nothing and I think that was what was responsible for my nagging hip problems. I dedicated the winter to just base training, spending November-December-January at mid 30’s mileage, no workouts, just easy paced runs. Gradually my hip started to feel better and by February it wasn’t bothering me anymore. I had set a few goals for myself for the upcoming years: in the spring I wanted to qualify for the NYC Marathon by running a sub 1:21 half at the end of May. Then I was signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October 2020 where I was hoping to PR with a sub 2:53 (and also take another crack at a NYC qualifying time if I didn’t do it in my half marathon).
Unfortunately, while my training was coming along great, the world was falling apart around me. Coronavirus hit and all the races I had planned for the year started to cancel. First the March tune up race I was signed up for cancelled, then my May race I was training for cancelled. There goes my June 5k, and my August 14k…and October races looking pretty precarious too. So what do you do when your training is going awesome but you have no races to run? You say screw it, I’m going to train for them anyway and run a damn solo time trial if I have to. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I picked May 17 as it fits into the Crow League event and it’s within 2 weeks of the race I was originally going to run.

Training

I created my own plan for this training cycle. I split my training block into essentially 3 phases: Recovery/base building, endurance, and sharpening. Within each phase, I like to follow a 4 week cycle: 2 medium volume weeks, one high volume week, one recovery week. Within each week, I tended to follow the pattern of a workout on Tue/Wed , a long run on Fri/Sat/Sun, and strides on 2 other days of the week, the rest of the runs easy. I find that I do best when I run more frequently, so I transitioned from 5-6 days from Nov-Dec, to 7 days a week in January.
Recovery/Transition phase - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
Oct 7 32.9 8.5
Oct 14 34.8 9.1
Oct 21 28.5 10.2
Oct 28 27.1 11
Nov 4 36.1 10
Nov 11 37.8 13.2
Nov 18 36.2 13.1
Nov 25 35.8 13.3
Dec 2 28.2 7.8
Dec 9 35.8 13.1
Dec 16 26 8
Dec 23 33.9 7.1
Dec 30 30.6 14
Jan 6 38.3 13.1
Jan 13 37.3 13.2
Jan 20 40.7 12
Jan 27 35 13.1
Feb 3 43 13.4
Feb 10 46 13.4
Feb 17 50 14
During this phase, it was all about easy runs, sometimes doubles. Occasionally I would do a few LT intervals or strides on the treadmill but not with any real purpose other than feeling out the effort.

Endurance Phase

Endurance Phase - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
Feb 24 45.1 11
March 2 52 14.2
March 9 54.1 14
March 16 61.4 18
March 23 55 13.1
March 30 61.1 14.2
April 6 63 16
April 13 69 18
In this 8 week phase, my goal was to start introducing workouts while increasing my weekly mileage up from 50 to 65 miles. Along the way I ran a few shorter time trials to see how my fitness was progressing (as well as some Crow League events featuring shorter race efforts from 100-1600m, just for fun). I continued to follow the pattern of Tues/Wednesday workout, weekend long run, and a couple sessions of strides. I also lengthened my long runs now that my hip was feeling better, doing some 16 and 18 mile runs without any issue.
*Notable runs:

Sharpening Phase

Sharpening Phase - -
Date Weekly Mileage Long Run Distance
April 20 58.5 14
April 27 62.2 16
May 4 58.2 14
May 11 47 13.1
In the final 4 weeks, I stopped increasing my mileage, introduced a third quality day, and started doing faster, shorter workout intervals with the goal of increasing top speed and leg turnover. My long runs got a bit shorter, but a lot faster, with a focus on big negative splits.
I decided to do a shorter, more abrupt 2 week taper. For the first week of taper, I did a couple tough workouts followed by a hard long run the day after workout #2, to give my body a bit of a shock of fatigue, with a sharper dropoff in volume and intensity on race week with a focus on maximum recovery.
*Notable Runs:
A note on weight
Weight control has always been a challenge for me, and seems to correlate pretty strongly with my race performance. When I set my marathon PR in 2018, I weighed 170 lbs. When I bombed in Boston in 2019, I was at 179. In October that year when I PRd my half marathon, I was at 172.
Following my half, I took a break from calorie tracking and let my weight slowly creep back up again. When I tried to restart in January, I struggled a bit. I got up to 184 by the end of January before I really was able to break out of my habits of overeating and snacking and start to chip away at the excess weight. 15 weeks later I weighed in at 168, which is just under my race weight goal of 170, and well on my way to 160 which is what I think is pretty close to my ideal racing weight. If anything I think the social distancing measures worked to my favour in that regard, because I really cut down on the social drinking and eating.

Pre-race

My pre-race routine began on Friday, when I began to carb load, and did a dress rehearsal run consisting of a few strides and a mile at race pace. Saturday was another fairly chill day, just an easy shakeout run. I spent the rest of the day nervously eating, thinking about my race strategy, plotting out the race course, and checking the weather. The forecast called for decent weather, a little bit of overnight rain then temperatures bottoming out at about 10C (50F) and climbing up to 23C (73F) by mid afternoon, with light cloud cover. The past few days had been a bit gusty, so I wanted to get out early before the wind really picked up and the cloud cover broke, so I picked 8 AM for a race time.
On race day, my daughter was up at 6:00 AM so I didn’t even need an alarm clock. I had a breakfast of Cheerios and a carrot muffin with some cold brew. I topped up with a double shot of espresso about 20 minutes before race time for good measure, because I seem to race well when I’m tweeked on caffeine.
Course: Another fun part of a time trial is designing the course. I picked a route that was nice and flat, and also one that provided a bit of tree cover to protect from the wind. It was a series of two out-and-backs on a couple roads at the edge of town. Fully paved, low traffic, and minimal chance of having to stop at an intersection. Two 180 turnarounds but that might only cost me a couple seconds and I was okay with that. I programmed a 13.15 mile workout into my watch, and would use this interval as my official time, to account for GPS accuracy and the fact that races are always a little bit long.
My race kit consisted of my ultralight ARTC singlet and Tracksmith VC 4’’ split shorts. I decided to go with my Mizuno Wave Riders as they were the shoes I PRd with in my last race in the fall. Sunglasses, chest HR, Garmin FR 635m, and Stryd (more just for data collection rather than a power target this time around). I opted to race with music to make up for lack of crowd support, so I preloaded a playlist onto my watch and brought my headphones along.
My race strategy: My main goal was to get under 1:20 which if I was running even splits would require about 6:06/mile pace. However in the weeks preceding this race I received nothing but encouragement and positive feedback, leading me to believe I was capable of maybe going even lower. Given my penchant for running negative splits, I decided to strike a compromise and start out with 6:00 splits for the first mile or two, and give myself the option of sustaining that or dropping to 6:05 depending on how it felt.
There’s an open track conveniently located right next to my starting line, so I did my warmup on the track – 1.5 miles and a few strides. Then I drank a bottle of water, took a Gu, and walked to the “start line”. Did a countdown in my head and took off at around 8:30.

Race

First 3.1
I came out of the gate feeling jittery and nervous, my legs felt a bit heavy and I was worried that I was coming out too slow. Then I looked at my watch and I was rocking a 5:55 pace. Alright, that’s good news but I cautioned myself about being TOO optimistic and dialed back the effort just a touch. My second split was 6:05 so I adjusted again and found the 6:00 pace to lock onto. My breathing was easy, and the heavy feeling in my legs subsided. I was feeling good. I hit the 5k mark around 18:45 and decided to keep up with that 6:00 and see how far I could take it. Worst case scenario if I couldn’t maintain it, I was banking time for the second half.
3.1-8.1
The next few miles just clicked away. I tried to visualize somebody running 10m in front of me and tried to keep pace with him. I had a pleasant crosswind that sometimes was at my back, the weather was warm but comfortable, and I was still feeling good. Occasionally I would feel my pace start to drop and would urge myself to pick it up but at this point it was all just mental effort, not physical strain. I passed the halfway mark at around 39:33 and thought to myself, great, I’ve got a nice 30 second buffer for the second half and maybe if I push the pace a little I can sneak under 1:19. But just after the 7 mile mark I felt the first warning sign: a stitch under my rib that made it hard to take a deep breath. That’s usually my body’s warning that I’m starting to redline and I need to be very careful not to push it too hard and make it worse.
8.1-finish
I hit the turnaround just after the 8 mile mark, and now it was just a straightaway to the finish line. Holding a 6:00 pace was near impossible and even my 6:06 was a challenge. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking at my Stryd numbers I was dealing with a bit more wind resistance on the way back which was probably accounting for the drop in pace despite trying so hard to maintain effort. After logging a 6:09 I started to worry a bit because I was losing some of those seconds I banked in the first half. At least the stitch in my side wasn’t getting any worse. The last few miles became a game of checking my mile splits and trying to to let them drop too much past my goal pace of 6:06. Each mile I was losing valuable seconds, and I was starting to worry that I was going to blow it in the final 2 or 3 miles. My quads were really start to feel it as I passed 10 miles and into the final 5k. I started urging myself on, using the old tricks and self talk like “You’ve been training for 3 months for this moment, don’t let up now” etc etc. One mile to go and I had just under 6 and a half minutes – I can do this! Stopped looking at my watch and just poured whatever I had left – which wasn’t much – into the final stretch. Arms tingling, legs tightening, breath in ragged gasps, but I could see the finish line and I was going to make it! My watch beeped at 1:19:44 and I gasped with relief as I stood on the side of the road with my hands on my knees trying to stay on my feet.

Post-race

Mission accomplished. Man, it feels good to stare down a goal for so long and then finally achieve it. Looking at my race today, I think I came quite close to 100% effort. I ran a 37 second positive split although the last 5 miles were into a headwind and my Stryd says my power output was actually higher in the second half. All in all I think the strategy worked out well for me. It’s something to consider for future half marathons, because I have a tendency to run big negative splits which probably indicates I’m leaving some time on the table. Not so today. I doubt I could have run that race any faster today.
Now I’m going to take a couple of rest weeks. Tentatively my next few weeks will be 30, 40, then 50 miles with no workouts other than some strides, and only after a few days once my legs stop hurting. I can tell I’ll be a bit beat up from this, my right arch is quite tender and a bit swollen, and my calves and quads feel like they’re on the verge of cramping. My next planned race (a marathon, in October if it isn’t cancelled) is quite a ways away and I don’t feel any pressure to start training hard again until I’m fully recovered. Staying healthy is my priority right now.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
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2020.05.15 14:22 Jed_s Indefinite travel: 125 items, 24L, <8kg (CPL24 loadout follow-up packing list)

Indefinite travel: 125 items, 24L, <8kg (CPL24 loadout follow-up packing list)
This is a follow-up to my Evergoods CPL24 indefinite travel loadout. Thought I'd jot down a quick packing list for anyone interested.
Notes:
  • This list is designed to take me down to freezing temps.
  • There are a few items on this list that I don't own yet, but they have still been factored into what I will be able to fit in the bag.
  • This is 125 unique items (e.g. 5 band-aids count as 1 item)

Total weighed weight (bag + sling) is almost 8kg. I'd like to be closer to 7kg, but I'll be able to get under 7kg if I wear my jacket with some things in the pockets, hold my water bottle, etc.

Includes worn items. \"Accessories\" are personal effects such as wallet/watch/sunglasses (classified under \"other\" below). No real surprises here.

Bags

  • Backpack: Evergoods CPL 24 1035g/36.51oz
    • With framesheet and aluminium stay removed (might end up putting the stay back in if I feel I can spare 47g). Haven't travelled with this bag before, but I think it will work well.
  • Sling: Crumpler Stash Sling 234g/8.25oz
    • Expands from 2.3 to 4.6L with a zipper, but doesn't have as much organisation as I'd like. Fits perfectly in the CPL24 (although I'll often wear it separately when travelling which would free up more space in the CPL24).

Clothing

  • Packing cube: Funny Fancy Packing cube med 39g/1.38oz
    • Cheap set of packing cubes I got off Ebay years ago. Mesh top, clamshell zip. It's holding up well!
  • T-shirt: Cori Super Tee - Grey (worn) 150g/5.29oz
    • Backed these on Kickstarter (or maybe Indiegogo) but yet to receive them. Unless they're obviously poor quality or don't fit, I'll give these a go on my next trip. And report back here, of course!
  • T-shirt: Cori Super Tee - White 150g/5.29oz
  • T-shirt - active/swim: B2B Poly running shirt, white 116g/4.09oz
    • A lightweight poly tee for working out, hiking, etc. Could also wear it swimming if I wanted extra sun protection during the middle of the day. This is just one that I got from a fun run, so nothing special.
  • Singlet: Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Tank 116g/4.09oz
    • Mostly for sitting around/working from my accommodation, so that I'm not stinking up the pits of one of my other shirts. Could also be worn for workouts depending on UV, or as an undershirt in cold temps. Don't actually own the Cap Cool, so might opt for something different (also looking at cotton/poly blends).
  • Polo: Patagonia Cap Cool Trail Polo 190g/6.7oz
    • Still debating long-sleeve vs polo shirt for my "fancier" option, but I feel like the Polo might win out. Don't yet own one that is good for travel, so I'll probably pick up this or the Lululemon Evolution polo.
  • Shorts: Billabong Sumbersibles, black 225g/7.94oz
    • Picked these up in Mexico and they seem to tick all of the boxes for travel shorts. The black is starting to fade, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled for alternatives.
  • Shorts - active/swim: Generic Swim shorts 120g/4.23oz
    • Also looking to replace these with something a little smarter so that I can more easily wear them around town. Something with belt loops would be nice, so that I can use my capture clip.
  • Long pants: Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Skinny Fit Jeans (worn) 475g/16.76oz
    • Picked these up in Japan after a blowing the crotch on the previous $15 jeans I'd travelled with for over a year. Happy with these pants, very comfy due to the stretch and soft material.
  • Shoes: Vivobarefoot Gobi II Desert Boots (worn) 620g/21.87oz
    • These should have at least another year of life left in them. Still haven't found a better shoe for my needs (having wide feet rules out quite a few options, though). Relatively competent in most areas: hiking, walking around town, going out to clubs etc.
  • Sandals: Shamma Warrior LE Sandals 240g/8.47oz
    • I'm yet to pull the trigger on these, but I think I'll have to as regular flipflops won't might not fit in my bag. I've avoided travelling with sandals like these up until now even though I prefer minimalist footware to avoid that backpacker look.
  • Underwear: Uniqlo Airism Boxer Briefs, mesh x2 76g/2.68oz
    • Super light weight, wash them in the shower each night. Used two pair of the non-mesh in rotation for over a year of travel and they held up, but the elastic went crazy when I threw them in the washing machine at home. Hopefully the elastic on the mesh versions is improved.
  • Underwear: Uniqlo Airism Boxer Briefs, mesh (worn) 38g/1.34oz
  • Socks: Teko Merino Socks (worn) 41g/1.45oz
    • Pity I can't seem to find the same version of these socks anymore, these have held up great. Don't have the same anti-odor abilities when compared to higher-percentage Merino socks, but not too bad.
  • Socks: Kathmandu No-show Merino Socks x2 48g/1.69oz
    • These are extremely thin and lightweight. Not sure how they'll hold up over the long term, but looking good so far.
  • Light jacket: Patagonia Houdini jacket 104g/3.67oz
    • Super-compact jacket that I can probably keep in my sling at all times. Perfect for those days where it's windy, but not actually that cold. Can also layer this on top of the down jacket for a bit more protection from the elements. I do miss having pockets, but I think the portability makes the sacrifice worthwhile.
  • Warm jacket: Uniqlo Ultralight Down jacket 218g/7.69oz
    • This is starting to lose down through the seams (a friend has one of these that is essentially just a nylon shell by this point), but should have a few years of travel left given I don't tend to use it that much. Perfect warmth/weight ratio.
  • Beanie: Kathmandu Merino Beanie 35g/1.23oz
    • Very small, but can be used underneath my cap if needed. Had a Kathmandu voucher and didn't know what else to buy.
  • Buff: Ebay Fleece Neck Warmer 37g/1.31oz
    • Probably my favourite cold-weather item. There's just something comforting about wearing a scarf, and this gives the same feeling and most of the warmth at a fraction of the bulk. Can also double as an eyemask, but it's not ideal.
  • Gloves: Alpaca Fingerless Gloves 23g/0.81oz
    • Some gloves I picked up in Bolivia when I underestimated (overestimated?) the temps on my first onebagging trip! I like to have my fingers free to use a camera, phone, zipper, etc.
  • Leg warmers: Modetro Sports Calf Compression Sleeves 53g/1.87oz
    • I've been experimenting with leg/arm warmers for some time, and I've decided to take these in place of normal thermal leggings. The advantage of these is that they can be taken off without stripping down, and can also be rolled down like socks. These are basically long socks that don't cover your feet. They're tight enough that I should be able to get jeans on over them without any issues.
  • Hat: Ecko Cap, black/orange (worn) 92g/3.25oz
    • Another item I picked up in Mexico. I just buy these as I go when the previous one gets too ratty or can no longer be cleaned to look presentable. Must have mesh for airflow.
  • Belt: Ban Coppel Adjustable Belt (worn) 106g/3.74oz
    • OK so a lot of my packing list was purchased on the road in Mexico it seems. This is just a standard adjustable webbing-like belt with the flat buckle/clasp.

Tech

  • Phone: HTC U11 EYEs (worn) 187g/6.6oz
    • Solid battery, passable camera (that I no longer use), water resistant, dual sim, cheap. But for some reason that I can't figure out, Google Maps runs extremely slow on this phone (it's got an older SoC, but everything else runs OK). Looking to upgrade, maybe OnePlus 7T if I can find a good deal.
  • Phone case: Ebay Phone Case (worn) 30g/1.06oz
    • Extra padding on just the corners. Offers enough protection and makes the phone look more generic (not that it's an expensive phone anyway). Usually keep some backup cash inside.
  • Laptop: Lenovo Yoga 720 13" 1253g/44.2oz
    • Bought this refurbished at a very good price for the specs (7th gen i7, 16GB, 256GB). Enough for my work needs (software dev), but could use a bit more grunt when dealing with 24MP RAW files (especially stacking!). Active digitiser is great for random sketches/designs (one of the things that keeps me away from a MBP despite my hate for windows).
  • Laptop stand: Richer-R Laptop Stand 83g/2.93oz
    • This stand is good, but I'll definitely keep my eyes open for alternatives that pack down a little neater. I type on the laptop directly on the stand which I find works fairly well (no external keyboard needed).
  • Tech pouch: Zoomlite Tech Pouch 78g/2.75oz
    • Pretty nice tech pouch with just enough organisation. I liked the dedicated tech pocket on the Bellroy Transit, but I think a pouch is a better approach, as I can avoid scattering various dongles/cables over my desk/bed when wanting to edit photos.
  • Active stylus: Wacom Bamboo Ink 19g/0.67oz
    • While I love sketching things in onenote, I actually don't like or recommend this particular product (I dropped and broke the pen that came with the laptop unfortunately). The buttons are really hard to locate and are mushy, battery seems to drain randomly, and AAAA are a hassle to get on the road.
  • Stylus battery: Energizer AAAA Battery 5g/0.18oz
    • Pretty much explained above, these are a PITA to source on the road if you can't wait for online delivery.
  • Mouse: Lenovo Yoga Mouse 60g/2.12oz
    • A really awesome design with a somewhat disappointing execution. The touch scroll wheel is so bad that I just use my laptop trackpad with my other hand, and the Bluetooth connection randomly drops out for a second every now and then. It does come with a 2.4ghz dongle, but I'd rather keep my only USB-A port free for charging. Otherwise, it's extremely slim packed down and is passably comfy to use.
  • USB-C charger: Lenovo 45W USB-C Charger 171g/6.03oz
    • Charges laptop, phone, powerbank. There are more compact chargers out there, but the integrated cable management on this one makes it very easy to use (and it isn't that big or heavy to start with)
  • Charger Adapter: IEC C5 (3pin) male to type A, right angle 16g/0.56oz
    • Plugs into the USB-C charger so that I can plug it directly into the wall (originally had an extension cable, but I don't need the extra reach). Specifically avoided a grounded version so that I don't run into issues with un-grounded plugs (common in Japan, and have seem then in other countries).
  • Power Adapter US - EU: Power Adapter US - EU 7g/0.25oz
    • Simple two-prong adapter
  • Power Adapter US - AU: Power Adapter US - AU 6g/0.21oz
    • Simple two-prong adapter, nests nicely plugged into the other one.
  • Cable - multi: Samsung USB-A to USB-Micro/Type-C, 20cm 8g/0.28oz
    • Came with my powerbank, good short length and tethered Micro to Type-C adapter.
  • Cable - multi: inCharge 6 (Type-C, Micro, Lightning) 25g/0.88oz
    • Bit heavier than I'd like (and could have been way lighter if made from high-quality plastic), but useful gadget and gives me a lightning cable which might be helpful to other travellers.
  • Headphones: Lypertek Tevi Bluetooth headphones 66g/2.33oz
    • Downsized from my Bose Soundlink Micro to these. Mostly will be used when working from my accom, but also on flights/bus rides to listen to audio books and while working out. Claimed battery life of 70 hours is really handy, and the sound quality seems good with the foam tips.
  • Torch: Petz Bindi Headtorch 35g/1.23oz
    • Definitely a luxury, but at 35g I'll let myself indulge. Has a red light so that if I need to find something while in a dorm, it won't disturb others as much.
  • Backup light: USB LED Chip 3g/0.11oz
    • This is a tiny PCB that inserts into the USB plug of a powerbank. Intensity of light is controlled with a touch-sensitive pad on the back. The only reason I could see myself using this would be if I needed extra light to photograph something (it's quite a warm light). At 3g it surely can't hurt?
  • Power bank: Samsung Powerbank 5,100mAh 154g/5.43oz
    • This powerbank is kind of big and heavy for its capacity, but good options in the 4,000-8,000 range aren't plentiful. And it was quite cheap.
  • USB drive: Lexar Flash Drive, 16GB 2g/0.07oz
    • Used this for playing around with Linux live images, but could come in handy for other purposes. Extremely small.
  • Micro SD card: Sandisk Micro SD Card 64GB 1g/0.04oz
    • Could use this to expand my phone storage. Unfortunately my camera doesn't like Sandisk cards, so can't use it as a backup there.
  • SD card adapter: SD Micro-Full Adapter 1g/0.04oz
    • Can use this to read the card with my full-size SD reader.

Camera

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T20 (worn) 339g/11.96oz
    • Excellent compact interchangeable-lens travel camera. There are some frustrating issues with the UI, but it does everything I need. Bought this second-hand so that I don't have to worry about protecting it from every bump/scratch.
  • Lens - Zoom: Fujfilm XF18-135 530g/18.7oz
    • Love the flexibility of this lens. Find myself shooting at 135 quite often! This is my daytime walk-around lens. Quite heavy and bulky for onebagging, but I'd really miss the range if I went with the 18-55 and the 16-80 isn't that much lightesmaller.
  • Lens - Night: Fujifilm XF35 f/1.4 187g/6.6oz
    • I currently have a 7artisans 35mm f/1.2, but the IQ isn't fantastic and manual focus is a bit slow, especially when travelling with other (non-photogapher) people. The idea is to have a fast, reasonably compact lens to use at night or indoors. Another option I'm looking at is the 18mm f/2, with its slightly more indoors-friendly focal length. Something like Canon's 22mm f/2 would be perfect here.
  • Lens - Pancake: Fujifilm XF28 f/2.8 90g/3.17oz
    • The sole purpose of this lens is to be small, and fit in my pocket with the body if I'm just going out to get some food and don't want to take the sling or wear my camera on the capture clip. If I decide on the XF18 over the XF35, this pancake might be redundant (though the XF18 is still not a slim as this)
  • ND filter: GOBE ND32 67mm 30g/1.06oz
    • Cut down the number of frames I need to median stack when doing long exposure. Can also be used with OIS on sunny days to slow down water (though I'm a bit over this effect TBH).
  • ND filter storage: GOBE filter end caps, 67mm 20g/0.71oz
    • These screw onto the front and back of the ND filter for protection.
  • Battery: Fujifilm NPW126S (worn) 47g/1.66oz
    • Original Fuji battery that came with the camera.
  • Battery: BetterBatt NPW126S x2 94g/3.32oz
    • Three batteries total should be plenty for my needs (can also charge via Micro USB with my powerbank in a pinch). These BetterBatt versions seem good.
  • Battery charger: Nitecore FX1 Battery Charger 58g/2.05oz
    • Perfect travel option for Fuji batteries. Only gripe is the integrated cable is awkward and unncessesary.
  • Extension tubes: Meike 16mm Extension Tube 30g/1.06oz
    • The 18-135 seems to give a decent reproduction ratio (usually at 135 for compression), so I wouldn't use this much, but you never know when you might really want to get up in the face of some bug or leaf.
  • Tripod: Pedco Ultrapod Grip 104g/3.67oz
    • I used the smaller version of this tripod with a Fuji X70 and loved it, but I don't love this larger version as much. The legs are wobblier than the smaller version, and it doesn't cope that well with the 18-135. Not sure if I can find a better mini tripod in the weight range though (this one can be wrapped around trees/poles).
  • ARCA Tripod mount: Neewer Arca Tripod Mount 51g/1.8oz
    • Because I use the capture clip, this makes setting up the tripod much more bearable. Still, it's a decent chunk of weight for a luxury, and I don't use the tripod that much anyway... (even less with the stabilised 18-135). If my experiments with a new carry system to replace the capture clip go well, I won't bring this.
  • Camera belt clip base: Peak Design Capture Clip Base (worn) 73g/2.58oz
    • I've quite enjoyed using the capture clip to keep my camera at the ready. May not be the best solution in parts of the world where I want to be careful showing off my wares, but it certainly beats a standard neck strap, especially if I'm also carrying a sling. The fact that it covers the batter door and that the 18-135 slowly extends because it's pointing directly downwards are not idea, and I'm currently investigating other alternatives.
  • ARCA plate: Peak Design Capture Clip Plate (worn) 14g/0.49oz
    • The capture clip plate is also ARCA-compatible.
  • Lens blower: VSGO Lens blower 24g/0.85oz
    • Keep the dust out of my camera gear. Will probably just take the lens brush with me in my sling and use this to blow out lenses when I get back to the accom.
  • Lens brush: Hakuba Lens Brush Mini Pro 8g/0.28oz
    • Tiny retractable soft brush that I picked up from BIC Camera. The other end has a kind of scrubbing pad thing that looks like it would be good for stubborn spots on a lens.
  • Lens brush refill: Hakuba Lens Brush Pad Refill 3g/0.11oz
    • Replacement for the (soft) scrubbing pad mentioned above. No idea how often this would need to be replaced.
  • Lens cloth: Neewer Lens Cloth 3g/0.11oz
    • Sure beats an oolder lens cloth.
  • SD card, primary: Kingston Canvas React 64GB SDXC x2 (worn) 2g/0.07oz
    • This is generally enough for a full day of heavy shooting or multiple days of light shooting. Might still like to get a 128 or another 64 for some extra peace of mind (since not all card brands work in my camera, having a backup would be good)

Hygiene/Grooming

  • Toiletries bag: Zoomlite Toiletry Bag 93g/3.28oz
    • Stands upright, small footprint, enough organisation, good size (can even fit my towel and soap in there) and wasn't very expensive.
  • Towel: Speedo Swimmer's Towel 34g/1.2oz
    • The advantage of the swimmer's towel (essentially a chamois for your body) is that you never need to let it dry out (in fact it's better not to). Can also be used to absorb a bit of extra water from washed clothes. Surprisingly this never really smells, even if I don't rinse it for days.
  • Soap: Any Bar of Soap 85g/3oz
    • I am partial to the Dove soaps, but any soap will do, and if it's free, even better.
  • Soap case: Matador FlatPak Soap Bar Case 11g/0.39oz
    • Inline with the main advantage of the swimmer's towel, this should allow me to seal up my soap, toss it in the bag and forget about it. Particularly handy for showering right before I check out of my accommodations.
  • Deodorant: Nuud Deodorant, 20ml x2 46g/1.62oz
    • This is an interesting deodorant. It's definitely effective, but won't cover up any existing odor. I'll have to replace this with whatever I can find when it runs out.
  • Trimmer: Wahl Pocket Pro Trimmer 72g/2.54oz
    • Includes two guards and a small brush, runs off a single AA battery. I've had this for quite a few years and it's held up really well.
  • Battery: ZNTER AA Battery, USB-rechargable x2 34g/1.2oz
    • Lower capacity than my ENELOOP Pro rechargeables (1250 vs 2450mAh), but these have a micro-USB port for charging, so I don't need to bring a separate charger. Bring two in case one conks out mid-shave.
  • Razors: Razor head x2 4g/0.14oz
    • I don't shave with razors very often (and only just the neck), so these heads work fine. Best to find the ones with a tiny bit to grab onto.
  • Tweezers: Delfin Tweezers 7g/0.25oz
    • Tweezers I bought in Cusco when I thought I forgot to pack my others (I later found them in my shaving kit).
  • Nail clippers: Generic Nail Clippers 21g/0.74oz
    • Similar story to the tweezers. These ended up being better than the other ones I couldn't find.
  • Toothbrush: Any Toothbrush 15g/0.53oz
    • No point getting fancy here for indefinite travel, as I'll just pick up whatever brush I can find on the road.
  • Tooth paste: Any Toothpaste 80g/2.82oz
    • Best to keep it under 100ml so I don't need to throw it out before plane travel, otherwise any will do.
  • Floss: Dental-Bright Flossing Brush 0.8g/0.03oz
    • Little bit of floss in a tiny plastic stick/brush, these make flossing way easier and quicker. This is the best brand I've ever tried, and I've tried plenty (because I really hate flossing with just the string).

Laundry

  • Laundry soap: Small cotton bag 5g/0.18oz
    • Might not handle moisture well, but I'm usually able to let laundry soap dry out after use.
  • Laundry soap bag: ZOTE Laundry bar, per gram x60 60g/2.12oz
    • A nice citronella-scented laundry bar I picked up in Mexico, seems like a common option there. Usually rub this directly into the pits and other stains before throwing the clothes into the drybag for a wash.
  • Dry bag: Sea-to-Summit Ultrasil Drybag 32g/1.13oz
    • Still amazed that this thing hasn't sprung a leak, given its weight. I fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full with water + clothes, and shake it back and forth. I've heard that soaking can also be effective.
  • Alcohol spray: Dr Bronner's Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer 73g/2.58oz
    • Used to use cheap vodka in a head lice spray bottle (the only one I could find!), but this adds a nice scent. I use this to keep garments as fresh as possible between washes, but with lavender it can also mask odors somewhat. My tests indicate that it's somewhat effective, but not a game-changer. Can also be used as hand-sanitiser, but outside of global pandemics, I don't use it.

Health

  • First Aid Kit (bag): Vaultz mesh bag, small 10g/0.35oz
    • This bag is actually quite awkward to use with the diagonal zipper, but I don't need to access it much.
  • Paracetemol: Any paracetamol 15g/0.53oz
    • Don't tend to need this much when travelling, so any type will do.
  • TD meds antibiotic: Fluxacord Ciprofloxacino 21g/0.74oz
    • I avoid taking antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary, but this (in conjunction with the loperamide) works wonders.
  • TD meds "stopper": Stop-It loperamide 5g/0.18oz
    • Most effective when used with the antibiotic, but can take it alone if I just need a quick fix quite in transport.
  • Band-aids: Any band-aid x5 2.5g/0.09oz
    • Yes I know that they're available everywhere you travel, but that's not much good when you're bleeding all over the place and not right next to a pharmacy, is it.

Other

  • Passport: Passport (worn) 37g/1.31oz
    • Apparently this is "property of the Australian Government". Nice of them to loan it to me.
  • Passport holder: Ebay Passport Holder (worn) 19g/0.67oz
    • Looking to replace this with a simple zippered pouch, but I'm yet to find one with the correct dimensions (that is easy to get hold of in Australia—like the Muji double-zipper one otherwise).
  • Cards: Various cards x4 (worn) 20g/0.71oz
    • Driver's licence, bank card 1, bank card 2, credit card.
  • Immunisation book: Yellow Immunisation Book (worn) 8g/0.28oz
    • This is (or used to be) required to show Yellow Fever vaccination for some countries, but also had details about my rabies pre-shot thing that I would otherwise forget about.
  • Sunglasses: ROAV Lennox Sunglasses (worn) 20g/0.71oz
    • Definitely one of the MVPs on this list. I've had the same pair for over two years now and they're still going strong. Wouldn't consider getting a different brand once these ones do finally die. Can stick these in the coin pocket of my jeans when I go out just in case.
  • Sunglasses Case: ROAV Sunglasses Pouch (worn) 17g/0.6oz
    • The pouch hasn't held up quite as well at the sunglasses themselves (they've since updated it to a silicone version which should last longer). ROAV also make a fake leather pouch that I would love to upgrade to, but it's a bit price-prohibitive at this point (and I'm holding out for more colour options).
  • Watch: Casio GA-2100-1A1 (worn) 51g/1.8oz
    • Can barely read the time on it and the band is not very comfortable, but still love it. I need to figure out a way to get a NATO/nylon strap on here for comfort (especially when working on my laptop—yeh I know, the lamest reason ever to use a NATO-style strap).
  • Wallet: Undivided Wallet (worn) 26g/0.92oz
    • Good wallet, but is a little bit short for taller bils, e.g., Japanese. I'm also over folding my bills in general, but I haven't yet seen a design that stores unfolded bills and also handles coins well. Considering swapping this for the Topo Micro Accessories Pouch if I can get one at a decent price.
  • Lock: Zoomlite Carabiner Combination Lock 38g/1.34oz
    • Yet to test it out on the road, but this allows me to anchor the zipper pulls of the CP24 to one section of the carry handle, preventing the the zippers from being moved to cover up a forced entry into the bag. With some effort I can also include the laptop zipper, but this is kind of difficult so I might just end up transferring the laptop to the main compartment. Of course this comes in handy at hostels.
  • Umbrella: Kathmandu Mini Umbrella 136g/4.8oz
    • Does the job. I've never understood why people would choose a rain coat over an umbrella for general travel.
  • Umbrella sleeve: Kathmandu Umbrella sleeve 6g/0.21oz
    • Isn't really necessary but does let me hang the umbrella from my bag, sling or even a belt loop.
  • Umbrella carabiner: Kathmandu Carabiner 8g/0.28oz
    • Carabiner to hang umbrella as previously mentioned.
  • Coin pouch: Market Coin Pouch, Peru 16g/0.56oz
    • I try to collect one of each type of coin from the countries I visit.
  • Water bottle: 360 Degrees Stainless Steel Bottle, 1L 185g/6.53oz
    • Old faithful. Since this is going inside my pack, I need a dependable leak-proof bottle, such as this one. I usually drink 1L when I work out, and this also works well with the Steripen (which is rated to treat 700ml in a single zap, but I figure I can stretch that a bit with reflective walls).
  • Water bottle - packable: Hydrapak Stow Waterbottle 500ml 39g/1.38oz
    • Used to supplement the capacity of my main bottle for longer hikes, or to carry in the back pocket for shorter trips walking around town etc. This is more enjoyable to use than the Vapur I had previously, though a tiny bit heavier.
  • Water purification: Steripen Pure+ 70g/2.47oz
    • Great concept, dated technology and design. This is the rechargeable version, and doesn't need to be charged that often. I use filtered water whenever it's available, as this doesn't do anything to overcome the (sometimes unbearable) taste of local water. Looked at LARQ and CrazyCap as alternatives, but neither really fits the bill.
  • Coffee cup: Keep Cup Reusable Cup 98g/3.46oz
    • This is my number one tool for getting work done while on the road (closely followed by my laptop). Won/stole this at a work "Maliscious Christmas", and glad I did.
  • Cutlery set: Daiso Collapsible Cutlery (fork, spoon, chopsticks) 23g/0.81oz
    • Love this little set I stumbled across in Daiso. Has fork/spoon heads, and two chopstick ends, that can be attached to the main handles.
  • Pen: Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen 12g/0.42oz
    • This pen is awesome, just hope I don't lose it since it's so small.
  • Pen refills: Zebra ink refill 4C-0.7 x2 2g/0.07oz
    • The pen is small and it seems like an unusual refil, so might as well take a few with me.
  • Earplugs: Radians Ear Plugs, Custom 15g/0.53oz
    • These come as putty that you mix and smush into your ears while it sets to create a custom fit. The resulting earplugs are comfortable and durable (I've had mine for years).
  • Plastic carabiners: Plastic Carabiner, Large 8g/0.28oz
    • Have used this to hang my water bottle, cap, umbrella etc from my sling.
  • Hanging hook: Heroclip Mini 20g/0.71oz
    • This could come in handy for hanging my toiletries bag, and maybe for hanging my main bag in bathrooms etc. Might even be able to replace the large plastic carabiner for use on my sling.
  • Clothes line: Homemade clothesline, 1.2-2.4m 4g/0.14oz
    • This is just a piece of mason line with two tiny plastic hooks and a prusik knot for tensioning. I've actually never used it, but it can't hurt to have.
  • Shopping bag: Nanobag Large 18g/0.63oz
    • Great shopping/general bag. Lightweight and super strong (I've carried 20L water jugs in it). This can stay in the sling permanently because it's so compact.
  • Produce bag: Produce Bag 11g/0.39oz
    • I don't generally do a tonne of cooking or grocery shopping while travelling, but I still think it's worthwhile to bring this bag since I use them at home.
  • "3-1-1" bag: Narita airport clear bag 1g/0.04oz
    • Nothing fancy, just need to remember to move my liquids into this bag before heading to the airport. Airport staff were kind enough to give me this bag after my friends cologne leaked in my other one.
  • Sundries bag: Electronic component bag, silveclear, small 2g/0.07oz
    • Just happens to be a good size durable bag with a clear side for storing odds and ends.
  • Zip ties: Mini zip-tie x5 1g/0.04oz
    • Not sure why I'd need these but they could probably come in handy to hold something together in a pinch.
  • Sewing kit: Sewing kit, homemade 1g/0.04oz
    • Needle and thread wrapped around a piece of cardboard, few safety pins. I'd probably only use this to repair a button, and even that's unlikely and I could probably find someone to do it locally and do a decent job.
  • Sim tool: Sim tool, sim cards in case 6g/0.21oz
    • Maybe I should collect sim cards instead of coins? Definitely weighs less. Not sure if any of these sim cards will ever work again if I revisit those countries, but the sim tool is good to have.
  • Mini sharpie: Sharpie Mini 6g/0.21oz
    • Could use this for writing name/date on food in communal fridge. Could also use it to make a sign for hitch-hiking if my travel budget runs dry.
  • Keychain/split ring: Big Idea Design Titanium Split Ring (worn) 1g/0.04oz
    • Stupidly unnecessary, but it came with the Pocket Bit mini tool. I must admit it does exude an air of exclusivity.
  • Key clip: Mini S-biner, black (worn) 2g/0.07oz
    • So that I can quickly clip accom keys to my keyring.
  • House key: House Key (worn) 7g/0.25oz
    • To get back in the house. Depending on living situation prior to setting off, this might not be necessary.
  • Multitool - Screwdriver: Big Idea Design Titanium Pocket Bit (worn) 2g/0.07oz
    • Now I can have a Philips and flat head screw driver with me at all times. Occasionally I might want to tighten up (or partially dismantle) furniture at an Airbnb to suit my needs.
  • Measuring tool: Daiso Mini tape measure, 1m 16g/0.56oz
    • Now I can know the dimensions of anything, at any time, anywhere. I'll miss not having my kitchen scales (if that wasn't obvious by now!), but one(bagger) must make sacrifices.
  • Multitool - Hex 4mm: Axiom 4mm Hex Bit (worn) 7g/0.25oz
    • Need a 4mm Allen bit to take off the capture clip (which I need to do frequently because it blocks the battery door—thanks a lot for that fantastic design Fuji). I took this off a mini bike tool the "Axiom Tweak" and added it to my keyring a la the Pocket Bit. The Tweak would actually be an awesome multitool for travel if the Phillips driver were a bit larger.
Thanks for reading. I know it's a bit light on detail, so let me know if you need any clarification. Questions, comments, suggestions, etc appreciated.
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2020.03.21 12:40 Punitshukla123 Dress to impress, Aussie style

Australian menswear has come an extended way since King Gee shorts and VB singlets reigned supreme at the local pub. And while rugged and relaxed will always have a seat at the bar when it involves our daily wardrobe, there are brands that are lifting the bar in men's fashion while retaining a semblance of Aussie heritage. I have resolved to 'buy more local', a task that has seen me getting up before the sun on weekends to urge the simplest of the bunch at various farmers' markets. I've even had a discussion about the way to procure one's own cow for future BBQs. I've also hunted down what I feel are a number of the simplest Australian clothing brands for men. the standards were simple – be Australian owned and designed, with attention on quality without costing half my wages. premium tuxedos Australia Denim Aside from an honest suit, the staple of any man's wardrobe should be a pair of well-fitting jeans. Several even, if you do not like keeping your, ahem, eggs beat one basket. Par Lundqvist, creative director of Australian denim label Neuw, owns upwards of 3000 pairs of original vintage jeans, some dating back to the very earliest days of denim and complete with oil and rust stains. This rich resource provides Par with the blueprints to make one among the simplest selections of shape and designs in men's denim available in Australia today. Other great options for denim include the Melbourne-based Nobody or the luxe-casual Bassike. bespoke suits Australia Weekend wear The family behind Whillas and Gunn features a long history of providing the Australian explorer with hard-wearing clothing designed to outlast conditions within the outback. Now they need to release a set of clothing for men that, while maintaining its hardwearing nature, is more suited to urban adventures. the sweetness of this brand is that it keeps the planning details at a minimum, supplying you with an excellent no-fuss label for guys who don't need the trims of excessive fashion. Another great option for well-made basics is that the aptly named Bassike which features a great selection of cotton tees and shorts. Smart casual I've mentioned previously my inherent mistrust of the 'smart casual' code (seriously - is it business or is it leisure?) but the effortless threads at Jac+Jack make things such a lot easier. the gathering of straightforward, clean and incredibly comfortable-yet-casual clothing may be a great choice for Friday drinks or maybe that beach wedding. the merchandise of choice is Jac+Jack's cashmere jumper, ideal for Australian winters. Other options to think about are Brent Wilson and therefore the svelte London. Out of the standard Claude Maus from Melbourne is Australia's answer to Rick Owens. Offering a variety of draping t-shirts and drop-crotched pants, the range comes during a thousand reminders black and gray and is that the perfect choice when you are looking for something outside your temperature (the irony being these are a number of the foremost comfortable clothes you'll ever wear). Expect to seek out tailored tracksuits, oversized or layered t-shirts, mesh shorts, and raw denim shirts. Not your standard fare for each day within the office maybe, but definitely something to urge you noticed on an evening out. Suit yourself Former Herringbone founder Matt Jensen launched M.J. Bale back in 2009 and therefore the brand has since made a reputation together of the premier suits for men in Australia. Using only the simplest local merino wool, M.J. Bale's strength lies within the ability to mix quality craftsmanship and extraordinarily good value for money. Brand and marketing manager Drew Hoare describes the merchandise as a “relaxed, deconstructed combat tailoring [with] Italian and Prep-American influences, but deliberately dressed down with an Australian ruggedness”. an alternative choice would be the colorful P. Johnson Tailors in both Melbourne and Sydney, and online tailoring service Institchu, which allows you to roll in the hay all from the comfort of your desk or sofa. tailored suits Australia While this list clearly doesn't cover all the amazing designers and options for men, it should carry you thru any number of clothing scenarios from office to the weekend, a BBQ on the balcony or maybe a 6 am meeting with a wagyu farmer in Orange regarding an investment calf.
submitted by Punitshukla123 to u/Punitshukla123 [link] [comments]


2020.03.05 09:50 alexrger88 CHOOSE FASHIONABLE MARATHON CLOTHING AND SHOES FOR YOUR ANNUAL SPORTS DAY

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submitted by alexrger88 to u/alexrger88 [link] [comments]


2019.12.15 09:45 Fleggy82 Believe it or not

Chapter 1
Stuart knew it was going to be an interesting night. He was laying on his back in bed, completely naked with hands tied behind his head to the bed frame. Laying on the bed next to him was wife, Elizabeth. She was dressed in a singlet top and panties, hair loose across her shoulders. They had the house to themselves and were making the most of it. When they had gotten to the bedroom, Elizabeth had put an eye mask on her husband, heightening his excitement. He felt her move away from him for a few moments, hearing her tell him to stay put. He then felt her return, her hand running across his ass. As she took his shirt off over his head, she had kissed and licked his nipples. As she pulled down his pants, she had kissed his cock through his boxers, causing it to jump. She had pushed him onto the bed and, as she took his boxers off, she ran her soft hair across his thighs. As he reached for her, she took his wrists in an iron grip and placed them on the bed frame above his head, making him grip the wooden frame. She then wrapped something around his wrists and pulled it tight. When she took the mask off, Stuart saw that she had brought some special rope, smooth, strong and not something that would leave a mark if he struggled. As he turned to look at his gorgeous wife, she smiled at him with a look of pure lust in her eyes. She climbed onto the bed next to him and mounted him, rubbing her still covered mound up and down his rock-hard cock. She kissed him with a fervour he had not experienced in a long time, her tongue attacking his, her face pressed tightly to his as she took the back of his head in her hand. She broke their kiss and pulled the side of her singlet over, exposing one of her magnificent breasts. She then used her hand to guide his mouth to her nipple, where he happily latched on and began to kiss and suck.
Elizabeth threw her head back in pleasure - she had had her super sensitive nipples sucked before but no one did it as well as Stuart. She continued to grind her mound into his dick, feeling the tell-tale signs of precum on the outside of her panties. She could also feel the heat between her legs, her pussy burning with desire and wet like very few times before in her life. She knew if the grinding and attention to her nipples didn't stop, her plan would come crashing down as she wouldn't be able to contain herself much longer. She rolled to the side, her nipple leaving his mouth. She adjusted her pillows more comfortably and snuggled up beside him, her exposed tit resting on his side. He looked at her like a hungry animal, wanting to devour every last piece of her. Part of her loved it, that look of absolute passion in his eyes but another part was glad he was tied up because her plan wouldn't work if he jumped her and she knew when he was in this state, she was going to get an absolute pounding if she let him free. She had been thinking about tonight since they had first made plans to have a kid free night weeks earlier. She had got the rope delivered and hidden it, ready to use when the time was right. She had gotten her hair done just how he liked it, straightened and loose, not in her normal ponytail. She had trimmed her bush also, not bald as she knew he liked the feeling of her soft, downy pubes but just enough to expose her pussy somewhat. Then she had waited all night to spring her plan into action. They had ordered in and watched a movie - content to not worry about going out but just enjoying each other's company. After a couple of drinks during the movie, she had stood up, taken his hand and walked him to the bedroom. Once he was blindfolded, she had quickly stripped down to her panties and thrown on a singlet, an outfit she knew drove him crazy with desire. Stuart loved her in lingerie but his favourite attire for her in bed was a loose-fitting singlet and panties. She had chosen his favourite - a pair of lacy, Brazilian cut panties that showed off most of her butt and was almost a G-string without being completely wedged in her crack. Once she was dressed appropriately, she had put her plan in motion.
Stuart looked at his wife, wondering how he got so lucky. He tried to move his wrists, but the harder he pulled, the tighter the rope got. He reached his head over, trying to kiss his wife, but she leant away, putting a finger to his lips. He kissed it, trying to get it into his mouth to suck it, but she removed it quickly. She pushed his head back onto the pillow. Slowly, she began to run her fingers across his chest, gently but firmly tweaking both his nipples, causing him to moan loudly and his cock to jump. She ran the palm of her hand down across his stomach, over his mound and down his thighs. She cupped his balls and gently squeezed, causing more precum to leak from the end of his dick. She then ran her hand up his cock, marvelling at how hard he was. She gripped it firmly and started to stroke him, slowly and deliberately, not going fast, teasing him. Stuart was rigid, his hips off the bed, trying not to explode. He desperately wanted to roll over and fuck his wife - he was too worked up now to make love to her. If he had his way, she was going to get fucked good and proper. She let go of his cock and turned his head to her, kissing him again. As their tongues entwined, she moaned in his mouth, her hand running through his hair. She broke the kiss and looked deeply in his eyes...
"I have to confess something. Do you remember when I went on that girl's weekend with Jayne? When we went to see the strip show?"
Chapter 2
Stuart nodded, not really comprehending why she was bringing this up now and not really focusing on the words, too turned on to listen properly. It had been a few months prior, Elizabeth and her best friend of 20 years Jayne taking a weekend away to themselves - no kids, no husbands, no responsibilities - just copious amounts of alcohol, some male dancers and a room full of screaming, horny woman. She had got home the next day, completely hungover and rather dishevelled. She had gone to work for a few hours, come home, said goodnight to Stuart and the kids and gone straight to bed. She had told him the next day she had lots of fun, had drunk way too much, wasn't all that impressed with the strippers and that she loved spending some quality time with Jayne.
"Did I tell you about the guy Jayne met, Ted?"
Stuart shook his head. She hadn't mentioned anything about any guy. Just as he was wondering where this was going, she started to run her hand over his body again - up and down his torso, down his thighs, gently brushing the tips of her fingers against his balls, tweaking his nipples when brushing across his chest.
"Well after the show, we wanted to have a dance and some more drinks, so we went downstairs to the main bar. Most of the other women from the audience were down there too, so it was pretty full. We went to the bar and got some cocktails and started to look around the crowd. There were probably 4 women for every guy in the room and some of the women were already out on the dancefloor, drunk as hell and dancing like crazy. I went off to the toilet to pee and because of the line, I was gone for ages."
Continuing to rub her hand on him, Stuart's cock was like a tap - precum was almost continuously leaking now. He wanted a release but he was also enjoying the sensations so much.
"When I got back, Jayne was talking to some guy. He was tall, dark hair and good looking in a rugged kind of way. Not exactly my cup of tea, but a good-looking dude. They were standing close to each other, talking into each other's ears as the music was very loud. When I got over to them, Jayne threw her arm around me and introduced me to him. He shook my hand and asked if I wanted a drink. Before I could answer, Jayne shouted "YES" and he got us more cocktails. As we got our drinks, another guy came over to us. I spotted him cutting through the crowd and couldn't take my eyes off him. He was beautiful. Strong chin, shaved head and the most amazing blue eyes I had ever seen."
Stuart went completely still at this moment. He had confessed to Elizabeth once that he was very turned on by the thought of her with another man. He was certain neither of them could or would actually go through with it, but thinking about Elizabeth surrendering to another guy, touching him, having him touch her, certainly made him hard. Elizabeth had more experience when they had met - a serious relationship or two, a couple of long term, not so serious ones, and a few flings as well. Her and Jayne had been a bit wild in their younger days. Initially when they first started dating, Elizabeth had been very open with Stuart about these experiences but he had not been able to handle that, becoming jealous a number of times. This had hurt her, so she stopped talking about it. As they moved on in life - having 2 kids, getting married - Stuart had matured and now loved hearing about them. Elizabeth was reluctant, worried he might start acting jealous again and also, as she got closer to 40, she looked back at some of her experiences and cringed. Still, when the time was right, she would sometimes share a story with him. These times usually had the desired effect and drove Stuart crazy and made the sex even more amazing than it was normally.
Elizabeth felt Stuart go still and knew she had him exactly where she wanted him. She knew about his fantasy and had formulated this plan to make the most of it.
Chapter 3
"He came over to us and introduced himself as Bill. He was Ted's cousin and they had been at the races that day. He was wearing blue suit pants, a light grey shirt with the sleeves rolled up and his arms and shoulders were almost tearing the shirt. I could see the bottom of a tattoo on his left forearm just coming out from under his sleeve."
Elizabeth sighed quietly and was moving her legs, causing her thighs to rub. She knew the effect it was having on Stuart and that was causing her to get more and more aroused herself. She closed her eyes just as Stuart looked at her, his mouth slightly open.
Stuart looked at her in shock. He had never heard her talk about another guy like this before. The details, the sigh in her voice when she described his arms, the way she was moving her legs, causing her thighs to rub together - she was seriously turned on by this guy. Stuart didn't know how to react. He was legitimately torn. He was worried about where the story was going - had anything happened? If so, why hadn't she told him? If something had happened, how did he feel about it? Was it everything he had been fantasizing about or was it the end of his marriage? The other side of him was as turned on as he could ever remember. His cock felt like it was going to explode - he could never remember it being so hard. It was leaking precum at an alarming rate now, he could feel it puddling on his stomach. His cock was almost constantly twitching, jumping up and down almost in time with his heartbeat, which was very quick. He wanted to hear more, he wanted to ask questions, he wanted to bury himself inside her and fuck her till she screamed and her eyes rolled into the back of her head - he just didn't know what he wanted first. Elizabeth's hands, soft as silk, now felt like they were actually made of silk. Each touch was like a soft electric shock - making him jump slightly, making his cock twitch and leak more. It was the most agonising and pleasurable experience of his life.
"We got talking and they brought us more drinks. Jayne and Ted really hit it off - they were touching each other's arms, holding their lips very close to each other's ears when they spoke. I think I even saw her run her hand across his crotch at the bar at one stage. Bill and I were just chatting away, sipping our drinks. He was a really nice guy – even over the loud music, he really listened to what I was saying, you know? Anyway, they asked us to dance so we said yes. The dance floor was packed but we found a spot and started dancing. You know I am terrible and Jayne isn't much better but the music was great and we were having fun. Ted had his hands all over Jayne, squeezing her ass, rubbing up against her. During one song, he had his thigh between her legs and she was grinding on him while they kissed. The look on her face made me think she was gonna cum right there."
She ran her palm over Stuart's cock, holding it against his stomach as it leaked more. She could feel his heartbeat pulsing through the veins in the shaft. She looked at him to check he was OK and saw a mixture of lust, concern and curiosity on his face. She continued to stroke his shaft with her palm.
"Bill and I were dancing but not touching, just enjoying ourselves. I had my back to him and he must have been knocked from behind because he ran into me and placed his hands on my hips to steady himself and me from falling over. He apologised and as he went to take his hands off my hips, I took them and put them back there. His hands felt so strong as he held me while we danced, just swaying in time to the music. He began running his hands up and down my arms, slowly, gently. It felt like little shocks of electricity were coursing through my body. It felt so good. I slowly backed up until his hands were more on my stomach than hips and I was pressed right up against him. I leaned my head back on his shoulder and we danced like that for ages.” Elizabeth adjusted herself, trying to move closer to Stuart, pushing her crotch into his hip, gently grinding. “He kept nuzzling his chin against my cheek, his lips just grazing across the skin. I kept checking on Jayne and her and Ted never even seemed to come up for air - his hands were all over her tits and ass and her hand was in his pants. Bill laughed when I pointed it out. All of a sudden, a slower song came on and Bill turned me around so I was facing him. I put my hands around his neck and we danced to two or three slow songs in a row. We just stared at each other – those blue eyes were something else. I could feel his cock growing in his pants, pushing into my stomach, so I started grinding up against him, teasing. I knew it was wrong, I kept thinking about you at home, probably asleep on the couch, but I just couldn't stop. It felt so good."
Chapter 4
She looked over at her husband. He was just staring at her. His chest was going up and down in time with his cock twitches. His mouth was still open, presumably in shock. He hadn't moved or said a single word in the whole time she had been telling him the story. She wasn't sure if she had gone too far - was he really ok? Was his cock still hard because she was rubbing him all over or was he actually turned on by the story? She wasn't sure but she had to continue - the whole plan rested on it.
"Anyway, we were all pretty worked up by this stage. Bill was subtlety touching my hand, my arm, my back as we walked to the door. The guys asked if they could walk us home so we agreed - I don't think Jayne was going to let Ted out of her sight by this stage. We left the bar and walked back to the hotel. Jayne and Ted were in front of us, holding hands and practically running the kilometre to the hotel. Bill and I were walking normally, talking about things in general. He asked about my job, I told him I worked retail and it was good because it gave me time to spend with my kids and made it easier on my husband for work. When I mentioned you, he looked at me with a little bit of shock but let it go. I knew then I had done the right thing. Everything that happened on the dance floor was done but now he knew - I was a happily married woman to the most amazing man in the world! We continued to walk and talk - it was a bit cold so he gave me his jacket. I couldn't help but smell it - it smelt incredible. You know I don't normally like fragrances but this, this was something else. Musky, with a hint of cologne. I am not sure if my nipples got hard from the smell or the cold but they were certainly up."
With that, Elizabeth raised herself up on her elbow and lowered her exposed nipple to Stuart's mouth - this was going to determine if she continued the story or stopped. If he refused her, she knew she had gone too far. That thought was dispelled as soon as he locked his mouth on her tit and sucked like his life depended on it. He went at her nipple like it was going to save his life. The waves of pleasure coursed through her body, causing her to shiver. She ran her hand through his hair, pulling his head into her breast more. He sucked and licked like a wild man. Finally, she pulled back, satisfied she should continue. Stuart's breathing had gotten even heavier. She had been worried that maybe her confession would cause his erection to go away, but the cock ring she had purchased for tonight was not going to be needed - he was still as hard as concrete.
"Anyway, we got back to the hotel and couldn't find Jayne or Ted anywhere. I opened the door to the hotel room and there was Jayne, on the bed on her back, holding her legs in the air while Ted absolutely pounded her. They didn't hear the door open or didn't care but Jayne was moaning like she was dying, telling him to go harder. I was mesmerized - Ted's cock was huge. He was ramming it into her like a piston - I am not sure how she wasn't getting split in half. I couldn't stop looking until I felt Bill take my hand and pull me back through the door, saying something about giving them some privacy.”
“There was a bench outside the room, so we sat there. It was cold and I was shivering, so Bill put his arm around me. I laid my head on his shoulder. He asked about you - what you were doing tonight, why you weren't out with us. I told him that you were home with the kids, that you had wanted me to go out with Jayne and have some fun, even telling me I had a hall pass for the evening. When I said that, Bill seemed to sit up a bit straighter. He looked at me and asked if you had really said that. I nodded and said you were the best and that you had a wild sense of humour and imagination. Bill shook his head and said that if he ever had a wife as sexy and amazing as me, he wouldn't let her out of his sight. I looked up at him, at those blue eyes and in that moment, I don't know what came over me, but I kissed him."
Elizabeth stopped. She had always told Stuart that kissing to her was a very intimate act - not something to do lightly but something that with the right person, made her incredibly horny. The fact that she had just admitted to him that she had kissed another guy was a serious step in their marriage. How would he react?
Chapter 5
Stuart couldn't hear anything but the blood rushing in his ears. Had his wife, the mother of his children, the only woman he had ever been with, just admitted to kissing another guy? She had already told him they had danced, that she had rubbed up against his hard cock. That didn't bother him too much - he knew when his wife was drunk, she was very touchy and friendly and dirty dancing was one of her favourite drunk activities. But kissing another man! This was a whole new level. He was so conflicted. He wanted his hands free so he could grab her, shake her and ask her if this was all true. He wanted his hands free so he could grab her and ravage her. He wanted his hands free so he could cover his ears and stop listening. His stomach felt weird - part jealous, part horny, part terrified. His legs were shaking. What was happening here - did he want it to continue or not? He had lost the ability to speak and just continued to stare at his wife.
Elizabeth watched multiple emotions flicker across Stuart's face. She was getting worried. He still hadn't spoken, his legs were shaking, he was trying to work his hands free and his breathing was getting heavier and heavier. However, his dick was still twitching and looked bigger than she had ever seen it in their 12 years together and the puddle of precum had started to run down his hip and onto the bed. As for Elizabeth, her hands hadn't stopped moving across her husband's body and her legs were still rubbing together, like she was trying to start a fire. If how hot her pussy felt was any indication, she may have actually done so. She decided to continue the story.
"So, we were kissing and my head was saying stop but I couldn't. His lips were so soft and his tongue was so strong."
With that, she leaned over and started sucking and licking Stuart's ear lobes, knowing how much he loved it.
"Soon enough, his hand was on my tit, gently massaging it. I found myself moaning, I was so turned on. You know how much I love my tits being played with."
She rubbed her tit against Stuart's shoulder, the hard nipple teasing his bicep. Stuart looked at it hungrily, wanting it back in his mouth.
"I was getting so wet. I could still hear Jayne screaming in the room, Bill was massaging my tit and my hand dropped into his lap. His dick was straining against his suit pants. I began to rub it through his pants..."
At this, she began rubbing her palm against the head of Stuart's dick, rubbing the precum all around it.
"I undid the zipper and freed it. I started to wank him, rubbing him up and down. He moaned in my mouth, saying my name. It was such a turn on."
She kissed Stuart, jamming her tongue in his mouth as she started to wank him too, slowly so as to not make him cum. Stuart started bucking his hips, thrusting into her hand. He was moaning like he was possessed, like a caged animal trying to escape. Elizabeth checked on the ropes, making sure he was still captured. His hands couldn't move but his fingernails had scratched into the wood of the frame. She moaned into his mouth, loving how turned on he was. With her free hand, she took her panties off.
"His cock was just staring at me, and I am not sure what came over me but I dropped my head and took him in my mouth. I cupped his balls with one hand inside his pants while the other held him in my mouth as I sucked and rubbed my tongue around the head. He put one hand on the back of my head and held it there, applying just the slightest of pressure."
She slid down the bed, wiped some of the precum off and took Stuart in her mouth. He went completely still, holding his breath. She slowly sucked and fondled his balls, again trying to get him to the edge without sending him over. She moved her head from side to side, her hair running over his thighs and stomach. She looked up at him, cock in her mouth, and smiled around his member. The look on his face was priceless - she very rarely gave him head and usually only with a condom, so this was an unexpected treat. She let him slide from her mouth, his shaft coated in her saliva. She kept fondling his balls as she worked her way up the bed.
"As I sucked, he reached down and put his other hand up my dress - he was rubbing my ass. He wiggled his hips a little and all of a sudden, I could feel his fingers on my pussy. He rubbed me once or twice then pushed my panties aside."
She was now straddling Stuart's chest, her pussy sitting between his nipples. His eyes were transfixed on her pussy, not blinking. Elizabeth smirked and took the singlet off over her head.
Chapter 6
Stuart didn't know what day it was, who was Prime Minister or what his name was. He was beyond reasonable thought. Here he was, tied to the his marital bed, the love of his life sitting on his chest, naked, her pussy inches from his face and wetter than he had ever seen it, telling him about giving another man oral sex outside of a hotel room while he rubbed her pussy, all while her best friend was getting ploughed like an animal inside. He still wanted to yell, scream, ravage Elizabeth, blow the biggest load of his life but couldn't find a way to do any of it. This was equally the best and worst moment of his life.
"I was so wet that his fingers just slid straight into me. He pumped me with two fingers and rubbed my clit at the same time. It felt amazing. I moaned all over his cock and started sucking harder. I was so close to cumming!"
With that, she moved forward and placed her pussy right in Stuart's face.
This was Stuart's favourite thing in the world - having Elizabeth sit on his face. The act felt like pure submission - even more so now with his hands tied up. Elizabeth had all the power - she controlled whether or not her could lick and kiss her or not. She controlled whether she just hovered there while he pleasured her or if she ground herself onto his face, covering him with her juices as she rode his face to orgasm and squeezed his head with her thighs. All of those thoughts flowed through Stuart's brain as he inhaled her musk - that smell of pure arousal. He stared at her clit, protruding out, the little nub that only appeared when she was REALLY turned on, showing him how aroused she really was. He knew she wanted him to taste her. He knew HE wanted to taste her - but should he? With everything that he had just heard, should he give her that pleasure? Just then, he felt her body weight shift, her hips rotating slightly as she leant forward and she put her tits in his hands, still tied up. He heard her moan as her squeezed them, saw her pussy contract in pleasure and he lost all other thoughts and ploughed his face forward, taking her clit between his lips and flicking it quickly with the tip of his tongue. He knew the pressure from his lips combined with the quickness of his tongue was what she loved and he was right. Elizabeth let out a very loud moan, pushing her hips down, crushing herself onto her husband's face. He continued to lick while bounced up and down, fucking his face. Because of the angle of his arms, her thighs were not covering his ears like normal and she resumed her story, breathing heavily like she was trying to talk while sprinting.
"He tasted so good in my mouth and his fingers were working my pussy so well. I kept sucking, he kept fingering until I finally lifted my head and moaned - he made me cum so hard."
With this she began bucking harder on Stuart's face, getting closer to orgasm in the here and now while cumming in the past.
"I just kept cumming, over and over while his fingers worked me. I heard Jayne cumming too, screaming out in pleasure. I was wanking his cock so fast that he finally said 'I’m gonna cum.' I jumped off the bench and knelt in front of him. I wanked him, rubbing my thumb over the head of his dick until he roared in pleasure - I pointed his dick down my dress and he came all over my tits. There was so much of it. I felt it run down between them, under my bra and down my stomach."
Elizabeth cried out, finally cumming on Stuart's face. She ground herself into him, rubbing her pussy all over. She kept going, obviously having a prolonged orgasm. Finally, she rolled over next to him, collapsing on the bed. She laid there still for a little while, panting, trying to catch her breath. She could feel Stuart's eyes on her, wanting a conclusion to the story and, probably more importantly, his own release. She looked at his cock, still hard, still twitching, and smiled. She rolled onto her side and continued.
"I still felt like I was cumming, even though both his hands were mauling my tits as he came. The waves just kept going. Finally, we both stopped and just sat there, me on the ground, him on the bench. We were both panting, exhausted. I couldn't hear Jayne anymore either. Finally, he helped me stand up and kissed me again, long, slow, passionate. He gave me the hankie from his jacket pocket but there was too much of him all over me. The door to the room opened and Ted and Jayne appeared - Ted was zipping up his pants and Jayne was standing there with just a sheet wrapped around her. We all stopped and just looked at each other. Ted and Bill said they better be going and Ted gave Jayne a kiss on the cheek and they left. I walked inside with Jayne staring at me the whole time. She asked what happened and I told her. Finally, I took my dress off and Bill's cum ran from my throat to my navel. Jayne was shocked. We were both exhausted and fell into bed."
Chapter 7
Elizabeth knew she had him right where she wanted him. Slowly, she sat up and reached for the ropes holding him to the bed. She felt his sharp intake of breath, in anticipation of finally getting his hands on her. Before she undid the ropes, she looked him dead in the eye.
"Baby, I know your fantasy is to see me with another guy. I am sorry you weren't there when it happened. I have wanted to tell you for so long, but I was scared, embarrassed and worried. I wanted to do it right, to explain what happened in my own words and in my own time. If I take these ropes off, are you going to be ok?"
Stuart looked at his wife. He was past aroused now - he felt like he was at a whole other level that no one had ever been before. His cock was so hard it hurt; the purple head massively engorged. His arms ached from being tied up above his head for so long. His face was soaked, his legs were stiff and his stomach felt terrible. But above all else, his balls were so full that if he didn't empty them now, he thought they might pop. So, putting all other thoughts aside for the moment, he nodded his head, still unable to speak. Elizabeth undid the ropes and laid back down. Stuart rubbed his wrists and shoulders for a minute, getting the feeling back, feeling her watching him the whole time. He then rolled onto his side to look at her. She was so beautiful - still flush from a tremendous orgasm, hair all splayed out on the pillow, her tits sitting there, going up and down in time with her breathing. Then the thought of another man's cum running down between them entered his head and he lost control.
He sat up, moved to her feet and grabbed her legs. Just as she was about to open them, he shifted his hands up to her hips and rolled her onto her stomach. Her pulled her hips up until she was on all fours and rose behind her. He lined his cock up with her entrance and plunged in, bottoming out on the first thrust. Elizabeth rocked forward, yelping, part pleasure, part pain. Stuart withdrew all the way and plunged back in, bottoming out again. Elizabeth yelped again, this time much more pleasure than pain. Stuart continued, amazing himself that he didn't cum on the first thrust. He smacked Elizabeth on the ass, causing another yell of pleasure from her. He gripped her hips and started slamming into her, ramming himself into her at speed. Elizabeth was yelling "Cum for me baby, fill me up." as he drove into her again and again, digging his fingers into her hips. He kept pounding and her Elizabeth getting louder, another orgasm surprisingly occurring. He bit his lip to ride it out, wanting all her attention when he finally came. Elizabeth kept cumming, flowing down her thighs and onto the bed. She stopped yelling and started grunting, taking the pounding from her husband and enjoying it while coming down from a second orgasm. Finally, without a word, Stuart withdrew his cock, rolled her back onto her back and thrust back in, filling her again. From his kneeling position, he watched her face, even more flushed, eyes closed as she grunted in pleasure. He began to feel the tell-tale sign of ejaculation starting - the pressure in the balls, the shaft feeling like it had fire running through it. He pulled out and launched, sending rope after rope of his seed all over her stomach and chest. He bellowed, louder than he ever had, cumming more than he ever had. He kept going, sending it all over her until finally he was done. He collapsed next to her, face down, not moving.
Elizabeth laid there, covered in her husband's cum. She was panting - she had only ever cum from doggy style once before, very early on in her relationship with Stuart. It didn't shock her though - the pure animalistic intensity Stuart just displayed would have made any woman cum. She composed herself and looked over at Stuart. He was lying face down, not moving, barely breathing. She shook his arm and he finally turned to look at her. He looked angelic. His face was sweaty, his hair stuck to his forehead. He had a smile on his face from ear to ear. She had never been more in love with him than in that exact moment. But part of her was still worried - what would he say?
Finally, Stuart had the energy to sit up. He grabbed a nightshirt from the floor and used it to lovingly clean up his wife, wiping her down of his seed. Elizabeth sat up and looked at him expectantly.
"I..." he stopped, unsure of what he was going to say next.
"I love you. Always have always will. But I need to know, was what you just told me true? Were you with another man?"
He wanted an answer but didn't know which one - yes or no?
Elizabeth leaned over and kissed his cheek, caressing the other side with her hand.
"Wouldn't you like to know......?" with that, she got out of bed and went to the bathroom to clean up. When she returned, Stuart was fast asleep, snoring quietly.
Epilogue
Elizabeth grabbed her phone and quickly messaged Jayne.
“It worked. I have never seen him so horny. I have never been so horny either. The sex was incredible. Thank you so much for helping me come up with it. Worked out well that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was on TV that night lol. Talk soon – I am going to need your help for the next one!”
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2019.12.02 21:01 BatPurrell Race Report - Philadelphia Marathon 2019 - My bumpy journey from 2:58 to 2:49 in a year

Race information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Sub 2:50 Yes
B Sub 2:55 Yes
C Sub 2:58 (PR) Yes

Pictures

Splits

Mile Time
1 6:18
2 6:21
3 6:08
4 6:26
5 6:26
6 6:23
7 5:53 (bad GPS)
8 6:35 (uphill)
9 6:07 (downhill)
10 6:29 (uphill)
11 6:20 (flat)
12 6:12 (downhill)
13 6:18 (flat). Half: 1:23:57 (PR!)
14 6:24
15 6:18
16 6:25
17 6:17
18 6:20
19 6:31
20 6:32
21 6:27
22 6:33
23 6:34
24 6:35
25 6:41
26 6:36
0.2 (or 0.4 according to GPS) 6:26 (pace)

Training - 2019 to Date

My build-up for the Philly Marathon was technically 16 weeks long, beginning in mid-August when I kicked off the cycle with my new coach. But I’ve been training pretty consistently for the past few years, and 2019 has been my most consistent (2300 miles so far, and counting), and at times challenging (2 bonked marathons in 13 days?!? Go on...), year to date. I ended 2018 by co-leading the 3 hour pace group in the Philly Marathon - a job I completed with a 2:59:46 but was woefully underqualified for due to my PR of 2:58 (long story short, I was with a much faster co-pacer and my primary obligation was to pace for the first half only, but I was allowed to stay with the group as long as I was able to hold the pace, which I did, albeit more painfully than a pacer should). Going into 2019 I was laser-focused on the Boston Marathon, and put together what I thought was a really strong training block with a goal of sub 2:55, but ended up having a terrible day, bonking my way to a 3:10. I then made the questionable decision to race the New Jersey Marathon 2 weeks after that, in a desperate effort to capitalize on the fitness I’d built up all winter only to have wasted with a poor run in Boston. New Jersey went really well until mile 20 or so, when the wheels fell off and I cramped and limped my way to a 3:03. Following that mess, I of course decided the best course of action would be race yet again the next weekend. This time it was the Broad Street 10 miler, which I treated as a tempo/progression run. I finally found some joy in racing after a really terrible month prior, and almost PRed despite my relaxed approach (1:02:23). One month later I raced a half (the Philly Runfest) and ended up with a PR (1:24:54) despite a really terrible last few miles where I gave back almost 2 minutes on my goal. I raced the Philly 10k in August and missed my PR by a few seconds but paced it really well and charged hard the whole time, ending in 38:04. I was proud of that one. But overall it was a really up and down first 8 months of the year, with more downs than ups, one really weak PR in the half, and not much to show for the marathon, 10k, or 10 miler despite busting my ass week in and week out.

Getting a Coach

Training for this marathon was a big change for me, as it was the first time I’d worked with a coach. He came highly recommended from some friends that had achieved big PRs working with him, and I felt like my scattershot DIY approach from past years was proving to be an unsuccessful way to achieve the breakthrough I’ve been searching for the last year or so. The main change in strategy was instead of the my traditional 6 runs with 3 workouts per week (speed, tempo, easy long run), my coach had me doing 5-6 runs per week, the occasional bike day, and generally just 2 workouts (tempo/interval and long with tempo/MP). This resulted in some lower weekly mileage, and I’ve had a bad case of chasing big weekly mileage numbers in the past, so I needed to live with averaging 60 miles per week, instead of the closer to 70 I would have run, had I been self coaching. At times I felt like I was missing some bread and butter workouts I’d relied on in the past (800 repeats, 10 mile tempo, etc.), but throughout the entire process I constantly told myself to #trusttheprocess. My friends were often on a Tuesday speed, Thursday tempo, Saturday easy long run cadence, whereas I was on a Wednesday intervals/tempo, Saturday long workout cadence, so I had to skip a lot of group runs in order to fully focus on executing the plan. The long runs were pretty monstrous - my last 5 long runs averaged just under 24 miles each, and they generally had 10-15 miles of hard work in the middle (mainly marathon pace with some tempo miles sprinkled in). They were pretty significant efforts, but I felt strong in all but one of them, and they were generally huge confidence boosters.
The other huge change I made this cycle was SLOWING DOWN (7:45/mi or slower) on my easy days. In the past I’d been way less regimented about keeping my easy days easy, and would regularly scatter in a 7:00/mile not-quite-workout around other workouts, wrongly thinking it would give me some bonus fitness, and also just from being impatient and wanting to get the miles done faster. It’s taken me 10 years or so to learn and truly trust the incredibly simple “Easy Days Easy/Hard Days Hard” concept. Something else that helped me slow down was having my easy runs as duration based (e.g. 50 minutes) instead of mileage based (e.g. 7 miles). It’s a small difference from what I’d done in the past, but it had a real impact on slowing me down. Running faster on a 50 minute recovery run doesn’t make it end any quicker. Crazy, right?
An example training week (this was what I did 3 weeks out from race day):

Pre-race

The forecast for race day wasn’t great (high 30s, rain, wind 15+ mph), but the morning of ended up being fine. The rain cut out for most part and the temperature was perfect. The wind was there, but not like it was in past years (2015 and 2016 were brutal). A fun tidbit about getting to the race - I biked there, and about ½ mile from my house I looked behind me to my bike seat where I’d strapped in my extra bag containing my race shoes (my precious, ridiculous Next %s), all my gels, my gloves, and other super critical race things, only to realize THE BAG WAS GONE. I quickly turned my bike around and found the bag in an intersection about 100 yards back, where a car had just driven over it (but not on it, just over, leaving my shoes and gels intact). So - I dodged a HUGE bullet there. Almost had to race in my ~2012 NB Vazee Paces with no nutrition. Anywho, I got to the start area around 6:20 with all my gear, checked my bag, changed out of my wet and muddied throwaway Vazees (RIP - thank you for your service old pals - lots of good miles in those puppies), found my corral, and did some quick stretching in there. I pretty much forgot to do any warm up jogging, I was so distracted by the logistics of getting my gear checked, making sure all my gels were good, etc. But as the National Anthem was sung I felt bouncy and ready to go.

Miles 1 to 7

6:18, 21, 08, 26, 26, 23, 5:53 (bad GPS)
The first 7 miles of the race were flat and really comfortable, as they should be. Every mile split I’d hear people chatting about how they were fast, slow, or on pace, which is an easy way to strike up a conversation about their goal. I chatted with two guys who seemed to have conflicting stories about whether their goal was 2:49 or 2:45, so I ran with them a bit but let them pull away. Eventually around mile 4 or so a pretty solid 2:50 pace group congealed, and we’d work together for the rest of the race. The pack included 3 guys in Army West Point singlets who were cruising like they were out for a casual jog. They were super friendly and conversational, and I was pretty certain that if I could hang with these guys, I’d have a good day. Around mile 5 I saw my coach for the first time. He ran with me for a few minutes, I confirmed I was feeling strong, but was maybe a bit quick, but I explained how I felt good about the group I was with. He agreed things were looking A-OK and sent me on my way.

Miles 8 to 13

6:35 (up), 6:07 (down), 6:29 (up), 6:20 (flat), 6:12 (down), 6:18 (flat). Half: 1:23:57 (PR!)
In mile 8 we got to our first small hill, up 34th St in West Philly past Drexel. The next few miles contain most of the elevation changes in the whole race, as you go through West Philadelphia past the Zoo, up the Landsdowne hill, and back down Black Road onto MLK Drive. At this point I’d learned most of our group hadn’t run Philly before, and I, being the grizzled Philadelphia veteran I am, acted as the de facto tour guide for the group, giving them a heads up on the upcoming inclines, declines, and landmarks. Without this incredible insight I have no doubt they would have just stopped running out of confusion about these changes in the grade of the street they were running on.
Getting to the top of the biggest hill on the course and then seeing our 6:29 mile split was a nice boost. The next few miles remained conversational and generally pleasant. I really don’t remember stressing much about how I was feeling during these miles. I did think back to mile 13 of Boston in April when I started to think I didn’t have my A game that day, and I was in for some trouble. I kept telling myself that was not going to be my story today.
Just before halfway my coach hopped in with me again, and he let out a “damn dude” which I assume was due to the fact that we were about to split the half just under 1:24, which is probably as fast as I could have possibly thought would be a good idea going into the race. But I felt great, and I continued to suppress any worrisome thoughts and replace them with the confidence that I was putting together the run of my life.

Miles 14 to 20

6:24, 18, 25, 17, 20, 31, 32
I saw my wife at the 14 mile mark, which was an awesome boost. She gave me a bottle of Science in Sport Beta Fuel and I tossed her some extra stuff I had been carrying and didn’t need. Those moments when you see your closest family in a race can be heavy - there’s the overwhelming urge to stop and hug them and thank them for allowing you to leave for all of those long hours in training while they dealt with real life at home, and for dragging themselves out to watch this pretty awful spectator sport in the cold and rain. And yet you just run past them. I barely got a chance to smile to my wife since I was so focused on finding her in the crowd and executing our handoff. But the adrenaline shot from seeing her face was powerful, and timed well, as we were entering a tough part of the race.
The 2nd half of Philly is an out and back along Kelly Drive, into Manayunk, and back to the Art Museum. Three of my five Philly Marathons, including this one, came with some noticeable wind, and it’s during this point of the race that you notice it, as you’re much more exposed along the river compared to running through the city. The wind for this year was from the Northwest, which meant a headwind on the “out” and a tailwind on the “back”. So during these miles I gave myself a couple small goals to stay engaged - at mile 15 we’d get to the November Project cheering station, and I’d see some friendly faces. At mile 18 we’d turn towards Manayunk. And at mile 20 I’d see my parents, siblings, and their spouses and kids (12 crazies in total). I used these checkpoints as little motivators to encourage me to not get dropped from the group. At a couple points a few of us were maybe 15-20 yards back, but we were always able to work our way back to the leaders of the group. I came to learn that tucking behind a couple 6ft+ Army dudes in a headwind 18 miles into a marathon is an oddly comforting feeling. What a strange sport.
Mile 19 to 20 was my make or break moment of this race. Manayunk brings with it some rolling hills - a bit of a decline as you turn onto Ridge Ave, and a noticeable uphill as you approach the turnaround just after mile 20. Going up that hill, I pretty suddenly felt like I was working really hard, and that my pace was dropping considerably. Looking back, I split a 6:31, so it wasn’t terrible, but this was the first time a truly negative thought entered my mind. In a few of my marathons, this is the time when I buckled. And here I was, with the devil on my shoulder saying “here we go again...time for the wheels to fall off…” But I kept telling myself as I trudged up that hill “my family is right up there - just get to them and things will get better.” I told them to look for me in a yellow shirt, a blue hat, and a big smile, so when I finally saw them, I sarcastically pulled the corners of my mouth into a smile with my fingers, only for that to give way to a real smile when I finally reached the flat and the turnaround. As I gingerly pulled a 180 around the turn, I immediately felt reinvigorated - I got to run down that hill, with the wind at my back, and past my screaming family again. The negativity was gone, and I settled in for a 6 mile journey into the pain cave. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop being scared, and go get it done.

Miles 21 to 26.2

6:27, 33, 34, 35, 41, 36, 26 (pace for the last 0.2, or 0.4 according to GPS). Final 2:49:25
By this point our 2:50 pace group had disintegrated, so I was on my own and focused on picking off more people than were passing me, which I was able to do, despite my slightly slipping splits. Mentally I just tried to remind myself of those sessions I had this cycle which were way more demanding than anything I’d done in the past - the 16 milers with tempo repeats before work, the 22-24+ mile Saturday workouts, the fact that I refused to miss any workouts. The marathon certainly doesn’t owe you anything, but I sure as hell paid my dues for this one. I’d made more than enough deposits in the bank and today was my day to cash out. I kept picking out milestones along this road that I’ve run thousands of miles on (and this river I rowed and raced on) to get to without slipping up - Falls Bridge, the Prep boathouse, the Grandstands, the Three Angels statues, Boathouse Row, then the finish. I kept paying attention to my hamstrings, knowing that my only risk was if those cramped, as they did in the NJ Marathon. I was reassured by just feeling a standard burning and not the “we’re about to F you over and tie ourselves in knots” twitching pain. I also made sure to do mental math as I crossed each mile marker, calculating my allowable time left to go sub-2:50, and comparing that to my remaining time at 6:30 pace. At every mile I was reassured that I still had it.
At mile 25 Coach Barry found me again, and we shared a few celebratory words, because sub 2:50 was well within reach. He hopped in front of me and I just focused on matching his pace. He pulled me along for maybe ¾ of a mile there, which was huge. As I ran past the end of Boathouse Row and up the small incline to the finish at the Art Museum, I used some of the minimal energy I had left to meekly lift my arms and ask the crowd to make some noise, which they dutifully did maybe 3 or 4 times. It’s a cheap way to get an adrenaline shot, but it works. A shot of me right around mile 26, probably between requests for noise.

Post-Race and What's Next

Crossing the finish line I was filled with an incredible sense of relief. The worries about going out too fast, about putting my faith in a coach to decide what workouts I needed, about losing the mental game, about cramping, about missing out on my chance at a good race by getting greedy - all of it washed away instantaneously. Shockingly, I barely cried at all after finishing this race, and I’m a big post-marathon crier. I’m sure I would have wept like a baby had I seen or spoken to family immediately after finishing, but they were all busy drinking bloody marys, and my fingers were too cold to work my phone, so I had some time to collect my thoughts as I got my gear and tried to warm up before biking home (what a sorry sight that was).
This was a 9 minute PR for me and huge breakthrough after years of chipping away at various PRs by a minute or two or even a few seconds here or there. I’m clearly super proud of it and hugely relieved that it worked out so well for me. I’ll decide later if I want to keep chasing marathon PRs or if I want to pick some other goals (sub-60 ten miler - I’m coming for you…), but I can definitely say I’m psyched for the day when my kids realize how fast Daddy really was in his prime. Maybe I’m in my prime now, or maybe there’s more to come.
15 months ago, going sub-3 was scary to me. And going into this race, going sub 2:50 was even more terrifying. Besides a good block with some strong workouts and my friends and coach offering me encouraging words, I had no idea if I was being reasonable. On paper, the requisite 6:28 pace was daunting. But the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from this cycle and race is that you know you picked a good goal when it scares the shit out of you. 2:49 was intimidating, and I’m glad I achieved it, but I’m even more proud of the decision to toe the starting line with that as my goal. Now it’s time to pick the next big, scary, nasty goal. To be continued.
submitted by BatPurrell to running [link] [comments]


2019.11.28 16:12 mubashirshareeflarka WEIGHTLIFTING ACCESSORIES Wyox Sports - Best Gym Accessories Online

WEIGHTLIFTING ACCESSORIES Wyox Sports - Best Gym Accessories Online

WEIGHTLIFTING IS KNOW AS SPORT OR NOT

Officially, the sport is known as weightlifting. If you would like to get prepared for competition, there's one thing that most individuals are lacking, which is bar abilities. Whether you want to compete in USA Weightlifting competitions or attempting to enhance your WOD performances, this is a wonderful environment to enhance your barbell abilities. At the conclusion of this moment, you probably won't be an Olympic champion, but you'll have completed a regimen of training few members of the world complete and you'll know that you're as strong as you'll ever be. Too many athletes wind up with their knee gliding forward which results in instability. As a consequence, it may suggested that Olympic Weightlifting is a practical tool to increase athletic performance. No matter the concerns regarding whether Olympic Weightlifting can improve sport-specific abilities, like many different kinds of training, it's been shown to improve regimented kinds of athletic performance but has not necessarily been demonstrated to increase sport-specific skills.

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You'll still have to vary the movements on each and every day though. The movements should sustain a fast and fluid motion. As you will need to give up certain exercises as a way to add new movements, the most apparent switch is going to be the compound lifts you typically perform at the beginning of your fitness regimen.

A large part of the training day goes into the major 2 lifts. Therefore, improving an athlete's capacity to explosive react from these types of positions would appear an obvious reason to include things like the Olympic Weightlifting movements. The demand for appropriate timing and technique is paramount during this phase. Six derivative moves that will enhance your Olympic lifts and general muscularity include the next lifts. The clean pull is comparable, but you are going to actually be pulling the bar as large as possible. A well-executed Olympic lift may also be quite a stunning, graceful point to behold.

Lifters typically put on a one-piece, close-fitting leotard often referred to as a singlet. Olympic lifters use a lot of push variations and pull variations, along with explosive presses, that could be utilised to construct mass, Everett states. They frequently use tape to cover the areas of their bodies exposed to friction while completing Olympic lifts. Many Oly lifters adore the way their bodies look so much they stay extra motivated to adhere to a wholesome diet regimen.

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The Olympic weightlifting programme has developed greatly with time. This program is straightforward, to the point, and prepared to use. It is intended to supplement your regular training regimen and improve explosiveness, strength, and coordination in addition to improving comfort with the lifts. Every fantastic weightlifting program has to be systematic in its approach. It is tough to find defined programs that outline the course of many weeks. In reality, a wonderful beginner program may still be accomplished in 60-75 minutes.

As you become more comfortable a few weeks into the program, start working to get the bar as low as possible and ride the weight to the bottom position. Rest days ought to be spread out. All days should look much the same in regard to repetitions. You're getting a complete body workout each time you do a lift. You'll have lots of time to work from the ground later in the program. The ideal time to work on deep flexibility is at the conclusion of the workout, since this can be strenuous enough alone. The course is quite open-ended and designed to offer the most up-to-date details on many different topics.
submitted by mubashirshareeflarka to u/mubashirshareeflarka [link] [comments]


2019.11.24 16:15 theintrepidwanderer NYRR NYC 60K: Ultramarathon Debut

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A < 6 hours No
B Finish Yes

Training

I ran two marathons this fall: Berlin and NYC. To prepare for the back-to-back marathons, I used a modified version of Pfitz 18/55 plan to get in shape. I also noticed that the NYRR NYC 60K was scheduled two weeks after NYC, and I thought that this would be a good time for me to take advantage of my fitness levels from the back-to-back marathons and use it to run my first-ever ultramarathon. With that, I signed up.
The NYRR 60K race consisted of one 5.2 mile loop that makes up the starting lap and goes around the lower loop of Central Park. The remaining eight (8) laps consist of four (4) mile loops that goes around 102nd St and 72nd Street Transverse.

Pre-race

Picked up my race bib on the very first day it was available, which was 8 days out from the race. At that time, I was still recovering from the NYC Marathon, so I did everything I needed to do to make sure I recovered as much as possible before race day. Such as foam rolling, stretches, and a couple of recovery runs. The night before, I prepared my race kit, my check-in bag with warm clothes for post-race, and my drop bag, which would contain the things I would need during the ultra (mainly gels and two bottles of Maurten 320).
On race day, I woke up at 6 AM, had a quick breakfast, got changed into my race kit, checked to make sure I had everything I needed in my check-in bag and my drop bag, and was out the door. Got to the park about 20 minutes before race start, and started looking for u/djlemma; he told me he was going to be around the porta-potties. I found him in no time, yelled “ARTC” at him (which was one of our predetermined acknowledgement signals). He first looked at me in a weird way, then I called him by his name, which he then recognized me and we had a quick little chat. He told me that he unsure if he was going to complete this race since he didn’t train up for it, and I told him that he should take it nice and easy throughout the race, and check in with himself at certain points to see if he was physically able to continue. I then went to drop off my check-in bag, then dropped off and set up my drop bag on a table that NYRR set up specifically so we could access our own nutrition during the race; it was also convenient in that the table was located a short distance from the start/finish line.
I lined up at the start with the other participants, and everyone around me was so relaxed and were chatting it up with each other. After some intros and after the national anthem was played, the race started and we all casually ran from the start line at a pedestrian pace that was comfortable to us.

Race

Lap 1-2 (Mile 0 to 9.2)
First couple of laps was smooth and easy. First loop consisted of a 5.2 mile loop around Central Park, which included the lower loop of the park itself. Finished my first lap just slightly below 50 minutes, and proceeded to start my second lap (first 4 mile loop). Hit up a water stop shortly after starting my second lap and took a gel and washed it down with water. My pace on the first two laps was anywhere between 8:55 to 9:30 per mile, depending on the terrain I was on, and the pace was comfortable enough for me to consistently maintain it.
Lap 3-4 (Mile 9.2 to 17.2)
Somewhere around lap 3, I came across a small pack of runners from Prospect Park Track Club (PPTC) and I decided to join them and see how long I would last. We all kept a relatively relaxed pace and had small chat with each other while we worked together to climb the hills and descend the downhills. Took gels and water right after the start of lap 3 and 4, with Gatorade in between.
During my fourth lap, there was this dude with long hair and smooth running form, wearing a blue Hoka singlet come through and blazed past us without difficulty. It turns out I was lapped by the famed ultramarathoner Michael Wardian, who made an appearance in this race for the very first time. (According to his Twitter, he had wanted to come and run this race for quite some time, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from doing so until now)
Lap 5-6 (Mile 17.2 to 25.2)
Lap 5 was quite uneventful. I was still with the small pack of runners from PPTC and we continued to click off miles at a reasonable pace (8:55-9:30/mi). When I finished lap 5 and started lap 6, I quickly went over to the drop bag table, located my drop bag and grabbed my first bottle of Maurten 320 and began to drink from it. I then decided to carry the almost-full bottle with me to sip on during lap 6.
Shortly after I started lap 6, I started to feel fatigue and my pace started to slow down; the PPTC pack eventually caught up to me, sped up and left me behind, and I was not able to go along with them. Now I was on my own and had to set my own pace. I did my best, running anywhere between 9:20/mi to 9:50/mi, and was relatively OK for the most part. Wardian lapped me once more sometime during lap 6, on his way to a 3rd place finish.
By this point, it was late enough in the morning where tourists were starting to come into the park, and horse carriages were active around the 72nd Street Traverse Area, and so whenever I came through the 72nd Street Transverse, I had to carefully navigate around them.
Lap 7-9 (Mile 25.2 to finish)
Laps 7 to 9 was where the wheels came off for me and everything fell apart. Everything here was almost a blur. With each successful lap, my pace started slowing down significantly. To add to my woes, I was dealing with a sore left calf and my ankle started to hurt as well, as if I had rolled my ankle. (If I had to guess, my Zoom Fly Flyknits were rubbing on my ankles over time and it eventually aggravated my ankle enough). I found myself taking numerous walking breaks over this section, because I had nothing left in the tank and my left calf and left ankles were giving me a lot of problems at this point. Putting one foot in front of another became an arduous physical and mental exercise.
On the final lap, with about 1.25 miles to go, I noticed a familiar face pulling up next to me on my right and I noticed it was u/djlemma himself in the flesh. I greeted him and asked him how his race went, and he said it surprisingly went quite well and he was still feeling quite fresh. (Meanwhile, I’m in complete pain at this point and looked like a flaming pile of trash…FML). He decided to run ahead to finish this up and said he would wait for me at the finish. (He finished roughly 4 minutes ahead of me). Slowly making my way closer to the finish, I crested a minor incline and with the turn to the finish line in sight, I quickly made a break for it and sprinted across the finish line.
Finished my first-ever ultra in 6:33, officially becoming an ultramarathoner in my own right. And most importantly, my pain and agony was now finally over.

Post-race

Shortly after I crossed the finish line, I got my medal, my finisher’s item (a packable backpack), and a heat sheet, and slowly walked over to collect my drop bag and my check-in bag with my clothes in it. Joined up with u/djlemma, who was waiting for me after the finish, and we hobbled over to a nearby grassy area behind the bag check-in area and sat down to rest. There were a few other finishers there, and so we chatted with each other about the race and how our races went. Soon, it got a bit chilly for us and we started to layer up in the clothes we brought. Eventually, we all decided to leave because it got too cold for us. I walked over to the subway, took it back to my apartment, and took a nice warm bath.
That evening, I went to Red Lobster by myself for a post-race dinner and took advantage of their final day of their Endless Shrimp promo to consume over 70 shrimp, among other foods. Felt like a total glutton afterwards, but I totally deserved all of it.

Final Thoughts

This was my first ultramarathon, and given the fact that I wasn’t 100% going in because I ran the NYC Marathon two weeks ago, I had no specific time goals and I went in with a goal of simply finishing and not DNFing. Along the way, I learned quite a bit about ultramarathons in general, and in the process I learned what went well and what didn’t work for me (of which there are plenty); all of these are important lessons that I will take into consideration and apply for next time around. While my finishing time is certainly not one to write home about, I’m proud that I was able to push myself past my physical and mental limits to complete my first-ever ultra.
That said, I would be open to attempting another ultra in the near future, but looking ahead I can definitively say that I have no plans to give that a go next year because I want to focus on training for a BQ at a fall marathon next year.
Also, a huge shoutout to the staff and volunteers at the race for making sure we were very well supported throughout the run, whether it is in the form of cheering or making sure we had all the food and liquids we need to stay fueled and hydrated. Not only it was cold, but it was also a loooong race to be supporting us at. And for that, y'all are the real MVPs.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
submitted by theintrepidwanderer to artc [link] [comments]


2019.11.16 06:46 my-pseudonym-is-anon Backyard wedding featuring Dr Seuss, car nuts, flannel and no food

So a little bit of a backstory, my aunt has a strained relationship with my family. She took off with a criminal and broke my grandparents hearts. She came back to the family with two kids and the family took her back with open arms but it wasn’t the same. Anyways she lost custody of the two boys. She dated a druggie and had a daughter. Raised the daughter alone and did a great job. Daughter is my age and we grew up together. About 8 years ago she got with another guy, let’s call him Tom, who was an unemployed loser, the kind of guy who sits on the couch and turns the tv up to ignore you when you come over. So they got engaged and finally set a date a few years later. We got the invite, it was a backyard wedding at a place they were renting at the time. It was an evening wedding, dress smart casual, bbq dinner provided but bring your own drinks. All good. We got there and the backyard was extremely small, only fit about 25 plastic chairs for about 40 people. Most were their friends and we felt over dressed, there were people in tank tops, shorts and singlets. The groom, Tom and his groomsmen all wore cheap matching flannel tops and jeans. The bride, my aunt was late to the wedding, and came out wearing an olive green cotton dress that didn’t fit her, was so big on her. The vows were Dr Seuss rhyming themed and their friends heckled the ceremony. They exchanged car nuts as rings. My aunt had recently reconnected with her sons, who were now in their late 20’s. One son walked her down the “aisle” in ripped jeans, a tank top and sunglasses on the back on his head. Both sons then took off after the ceremony. Finally it was over. Was a weird ceremony but all well. We go set up our camp chairs we had to bring in the driveway with other family members. The other wedding guests secluded themselves to the garage and played loud music and drank vodka from the bottle. After a few drinks we’re getting pretty hungry and eventually my grandmother has had enough and goes and asks when the food will be ready. Turns out they hadn’t brought any food and had hoped everyone would get drunk and forget or leave. My aunt’s daughter was super embarrassed and ran down the street to get some sausages. There was only enough for about one sausage each so we stuck around a bit longer to seem polite but eventually it got too cold and we were hungry so we left.
submitted by my-pseudonym-is-anon to weddingshaming [link] [comments]


2019.11.11 19:50 Krazyfranco 2019 Madison Half Marathon

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Sub 1:16 No

Splits

Kilometer Time Pace
10k 35:51 5:46/mile

Training

Mostly the same as was outlined here – Tinman-inspired training with CV work and tempo runs as the bread and butter of the plan each week.
After my last race "A" in August, I took 1 week completely off and then had 10 weeks to train for this race. In those 10 weeks, averaged 52 miles/week, got in 6 CV workouts (example CV), 8 tempo runs (Example tempo), and did 7.5 and 9.5 mile trail races as tune ups.
Yes, I did cherry pick my best CV and tempo workouts above – most workouts were lighter than those two examples. Overall, I felt like I was just maintaining fitness at the volume and quality above, rather than peaking for a race, which was 100% OK with me for this race.
I settled on <1:16 as a goal based on how my tempo runs were feeling the last month – I was getting pretty comfortable running ~5:45s or so during training.

Pre-race

Unnecessarily stressful as I forgot to pick up my bib on Saturday! Whoops. Had to get to the race early on Sunday and pay extra to get the bib day of.
It was a cold and windy morning, after bib pickup ended up changing my race outfit completely (into capri-length tights instead of half-tights, short sleeve wool shirt instead of a singlet). Did a short warmup with some easy running, 2 minutes @ tempo pace, and a few strides before hopping the fence to get into the front of the start corral.

Race

The course is a big figure 8 that heads north/northeast and comes back south/southwest, with rolling hills throughout and a good ~100 foot climb in the 9th mile. Started about 3 rows back and got out well, about a 5:30 first mile with a steady downhill, effort felt good. Settled in, running 5:45-5:50 miles the next few miles, feeling slightly worse with a bit of side stitch through rolling hills and a stiff headwind. I was not paying attention to splits since a lot of the course is up and down, running by effort and trying to hang with the runners around me.
Side stitch was finally gone around mile 5 and I upped the effort a bit in this middle section of the course, careful not to push too hard before the big climb in the 9th mile. Hit the hill and ran it conservatively, the goal being to survive the hill, get back into race pace, and then see what I had left the last 4 miles or so.
The hill itself went according to plan, I survived it in pretty good shape, and I ran a solid 10th mile (downhill) in about 5:40, but struggled to hold on from there. The headwind and hills had beat me up and I didn’t have any pop left in the legs – tried to maintain the best I could, ended up fairly steady with a 5:55 12th mile (flat) and 6:05 13th mile (uphill).
Pushed the last little bit to dip in just under 1:17 for a 30 second PR!

Thoughts

Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
submitted by Krazyfranco to artc [link] [comments]


2019.11.06 00:05 ItsMeMcLovin 2019 NYC Marathon

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Sub 2:30 Yes
B Sub 2:31 Yes

Training

After winning the Athens (OH) Marathon in 2:35 back in the spring, I pretty immediately set my sights on breaking 2:30 in the fall. Which I knew would be a big swing -- as I get faster 5+ minute PRs are not going to come as easily, and New York is a notoriously not-easy course -- but I'm a sucker for being egged on by the guys I train with and "sub 2:32" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
To break 2:30, I had two big bright ideas: 1) increase my peak mileage from 100 to 115 (the jump from 85 to 100 for Athens worked!), and 2) model the workouts in my quality phase after Scott Fauble's training in Inside a Marathon (they worked for Faubs, they should work for me!). I opted not to do 12 x 1 mile because it was the week of a tune-up half, and I shortened the two weekday MP workouts in the last two weeks, but other than that I think I did basically all of the quality as prescribed in the book.
Not going to bore you all with the details of that (my Strava's public, you can creep to your heart's content), but a couple of highlights: a 1:12 half-marathon with no taper in a 110 mile week; a bonkers workout that I don't know how to summarize succinctly; a 2:50 marathon that same week (which totaled 115 miles); another crazy NAZElite workout with all sorts of cutdowns. In the 18 weeks before the race I ran a total of 1516 miles, which was only 300 short of my mileage for all of 2018.
This should surprise no one, but it turns out doing a professional's workouts is really hard. Running 115 miles a week is also really hard. And this was the first time in two years I hadn't used a Pfitz plan, so it was weird not having a direct comparison for all my workouts to gauge my fitness.
On the whole the cycle went really well. I was never really able to comfortably lock in to MP in any of the workouts, but that was my only specific running complaint (there was some significant non-running stress a couple of times, but I survived). I didn't feel so confident that I thought I should lower my goal to anything below 2:30, but I knew I was fit and that 2:30 would be very possible.

Pre-race

The week of the race was full of tapepre-race nerves as usual, until I got an email on Thursday telling me I'd gotten into the sub-elite program which was a huge confidence boost. I flew to New York on Friday morning, went the to expo and got my bib (and almost cried in the middle of the Javits center because oh my god I made it to the race and I got into sub-elite), and walked around the city a bit (probably more than I should've) taking pictures. Saturday morning I went to a shakeout event put on by Nike and met Eliud Kipchoge, which was brief but awesome. Afterward I stopped by the Hoka pop-up for a Q&A with Ben Rosario and Faubs, grabbed lunch, then went to Steph Bruce's meet and greet. The rest of the day I just sat in my hotel room, edited photos, and watched 30 Rock.
As expected, pre-race nerves came back that night, so my sleep was less than sound. I got out of bed at 4:40am, showered, grabbed my bag, and took the subway to the bus pick-up location by the elite hotel where I met up with a friend who had also gotten into the sub-elite program. After an hour on the bus we got to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex; I picked a spot on the infield to camp out for the next couple of hours and tried to relax a bit (because oh my god I got into sub-elite and now I'm surrounded by actual pros). Being around actual elite athletes was kind of intimidating, but seeing them fidget with pre-race nerves and have to wait in line for the toilets just like everyone else was oddly reassuring.
At 9:00am we were ushered back onto buses and driven to the start line. I dropped off my bag, used the bathroom one last time, did a few strides, then got into the front of the Orange start with my friend.

Race

When the cannon went off, everyone around me -- my friend included -- practically sprinted off the line. I'd told myself I was going to be smart on the climb up the Verrazzano in the first mile and not run below 6:00 pace, and tempting as it was to get swept up in the crowd I (mostly) stuck to that plan. I caught my friend going into the downhill at the start of mile 2, and a small stitch in my side that had popped up coming up the bridge had subsided. I was running a bit faster than I'd planned, but everything felt fine aerobically and muscularly. And yet, something didn't feel quite right. I decided to ignore that feeling and just focus on the race (I was running New York! That's super cool!), and things started to click a little better. After mile 3 my friend randomly took off but knowing I'd already had some doubts this early in the race, I let him go and attached myself to two other nearby runners.
Miles 1 through 5 (per manual splits on my Garmin): 5:58, 5:20, 5:54, 5:36, 5:34.
That pack didn't last long, so I found myself alone through most of Brooklyn. There were hints of cooperation once or twice, but inevitably any runner I synced up with would be gone within a few hundred meters. With no pack to help me, I tried to focus on enjoying the race and the crowds. And I did! This section of the course was actually really fun (even though there wasn't a single DJ playing Lizzo, which was a travesty). I was running at a consistent effort, I felt pretty good aerobically, I wasn't botching any aid stations or gels -- I should have felt great. But something was still off. My legs didn't feel bad yet, but they didn't feel good. As I hit the half marathon split I had a feeling that the second half of this race was not going to be pretty.
Miles 6 through 13.1: 5:39, 5:31, 5:38, 5:43, 5:35, 5:48, 5:29, 5:39 Half marathon split: 1:14:12
On the plus side, as I came down the Pulaski bridge after the half, I heard a cacophony of footsteps behind me. Finally, mercifully, there was a pack of four guys I could latch onto, and just in time for the Queensboro bridge. As we left the bridge and looped around onto 1st Ave, my new pack started opening a gap, but I knew this was a risky spot to let loose and stayed back while I took a gel. The crowds and gel gave me a little more energy and I threw in a small surge to catch the pack, but before too long, three of them started pulling away again. There was no way I could cover that move; my legs had deteriorated past "not bad" very quickly. My glutes were spent, my calves were on fire, and it was only mile 18. I told myself "this is how I'm supposed to feel," but I knew that was a lie. This was not how I was supposed to feel with 8 miles still to go.
Me and the other remaining guy from the pack trudged on over another bridge and into the Bronx. As we came off the bridge I tried to take my last gel, only for my stomach to start turning. I was able to get most of it down, but it was looking increasingly likely that I was not going to make it to Central Park in one piece.
Miles 14 through 21: 5:38, 5:43, 5:44, 5:34, 5:38, 5:44, 5:56, 5:56
I've heard marathons described as "raw" before, but I never really understood that until this race. I felt raw, exposed, and alone. My legs were worse than dead, I was nauseated, I could feel my goal slipping away, and no amount of mental trickery would be enough to turn things around. Mercifully, as I turned onto 124th to get around Marcus Garvey Park, I saw Front Runners New York with a mass of rainbow flags. I didn't know any of them, but they were chosen family none the less. I threw up heart hands and got thunderous cheers in response. I added "on the verge of tears" to my list of ailments.
Things were still dire, but that little boost was enough to keep me from completely falling apart as I summited 5th Ave. The last guy from the pack had fallen back, but I noticed a my friend's singlet off in the distance. If I could catch him, we'd be able to work together to the finish, and I clung onto that idea as I turned into Central Park. At this point I was desperate for something, anything, that could give me some sort of boost. I tried to taunt the crowd into cheering and got nothing in return. "C'mon, I just need you to fucking cheer!" I lamented.
I finally caught by friend near the end of mile 25 as I crested a hill just before the course left park. I urged him to come with me, but he was suffering too. Without him to help, I pivoted to trying to catch the last two runners I could see. I caught one of them just before entering Columbus Circle, then finally got close enough to see the last runner, who was one of the guys from the Queensboro pack. Coming up the last hill, I felt my stride falter and worried my legs might give out, but thankfully I stayed upright and managed to pass that guy. I felt awful, I looked awful, but my war of attrition was over. I crossed the line at 2:29:40 for 66th overall, 18th American male.
Miles 22 through 26.2: 5:47, 5:50, 5:59, 5:40, 5:43; 5:10 pace for last .2

Post-race

Somehow, I avoided falling over and/or throwing up, so I turned around and screamed for my friend as came into the final straightaway. I congratulated the guy I'd stuck with from the Queensboro through mile 23, then got my medal and proceeded through a literal gauntlet of photographers as a NYRR volunteer tried to shepherd me to the elite tent. There was some happy sobbing.
After getting a massage and making my way back to the hotel, I showered; took a bath; went down to the Tracksmith pop-up to get my third and final poster; grabbed Chipotle for dinner; took a nap; and saw Waitress (and cried some more because that show was fabulous). It was a great day.

What's Next

I have kind of no idea!
I do have some big picture stuff sketched out. My time from Sunday should get me on to the elite team at my local store, which is awesome and should bring some racing opportunities with it. I'm planning on going to Atlanta to watch the Trials and run the Half afterwards, and in the fall I will hopefully be running Berlin. I'm not sure what marathon I'll target in the spring -- perhaps Toronto in May to shoot for another win? And I still need to run Tokyo and London so I can get my six star medal.
But time-wise, I guess I need to change how I train and set targets. I've had pretty easily identifiable barriers the last few cycles -- NYC standard, sub-2:45, break 6 minute pace, sub-2:30 -- and I've always gone into my cycle with the specific intent to hit one of those barriers, instead of kind of organically figuring out what I might be able to run. I'm still making big gains (this race was a 6 minute PR from Athens and over 20 minutes from Chicago 2018), but I know that those aren't really guaranteed anymore.
Anyway, figuring all of that out can wait! I'm taking a well deserved break (Monday was my first day off since May), and for the rest of the year I'm gonna acclimate to the cold, race when I feel like it, and just have fun running.
submitted by ItsMeMcLovin to artc [link] [comments]


2019.11.05 16:56 jdpatric [Race Report] - Florida Man completes Florida Ironman

Race Information

Swim – 1:28:24
T1 – 0:14:24
Bike – 6:00:31
T2 – 0:13:50
Run – 4:56:47
For whatever reason, Strava got hung up on a 156-heart rate. That was not my average HR for these activities and I have no idea why it’s so stuck on that. Garmin Connect shows it right so at least there’s that. Maybe Strava will get its stuff together(?) eventually…

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A 10.5-hours Super-No
B Sub 12 No
C Less than twice my HIM time from 2015 (7:13) Yes
D Become Ironman not Florida Man Yes!

Background

In January 2019 I ran the Celebration Half marathon in central Florida in 1:30:50. I PR’d by exactly 3-seconds. I was certain I’d hit sub 90-minutes, but driving rain and temperatures in the mid-40’s (not to mention losing my only Gu somewhere along the way) set me back and I was barely able to PR at all. I was actually fairly certain I’d never be warm again. Thankfully I was wrong – I was able to warm up after a few hours and did not indeed die of Florida-hypothermia.
I did, however, do something stupid after that; I took only one day off and immediately resumed raining at 60+ miles per week. This resulted in my left shin beginning to ache in an all-too-familiar manner. I’ve had two stress-reactions in my left shin that sidelined me for 13-weeks in 2012 and 10-weeks in 2015. Not wanting to relive that I decided to shut down for 10-weeks voluntarily before it got to that point. I began cycling 500-miles a month in March. I had completed a half Ironman in 2015 with a time of 7-something hours. It was in Haines City and I wanted to die. I did not die and indeed was forced to finish instead. I always wanted to do an Ironman and I figured I could cross-train the bike and swim for 10-weeks while I rested my shin. Knowing the run is my best sport I cycled as much as I could and swam when I could stand it because I straight hate swimming. I signed up for the Florida full and got to work building my base on the bike and in the pool.

Training

I more or less followed this plan. I basically shot for 10-hours/week during my base-building phase and once I hit the actual training plan I ended up backing off a little bit which was nice for some recovery. I began running again in late May/early June.
I followed the plan as best I could. Some weeks were better than others, and the sport that suffered most was, unsurprisingly, the swim. I had problems doing a long swim on Sunday after doing a long ride on Saturday and a long run on Sunday…so I either did my long swim on Friday or not at all. Some weeks I’d swim Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday or Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday. Other weeks it’d just be Tuesday/Thursday. My swimming form is not great and I am truly OK with that. I was able to pull off 1:55min/100-yards most weeks in the pool and I figured I’d shoot for 2:00min/100-yards on race day.
On the bike I made some big gains. I’ve never been a super-fast cyclist, but I could hold 18-mph for a long time (usually). I did an International tri where I managed to pull off 20.8-mph on the ride and finished 4th in my age group. I did miss a few long training rides, including an 85-miler for a funeral, and a 70-miler for general life stuff. But other than that I hit multiple rides of 70+ miles and peaked at 114-miles before my 3-week taper. I did multiple bricks, and did do a 1.4-mile run immediately following the 114-mile ride. Many yelps were made. Not particularly manly noises, but after about 0.25-miles I felt pretty settled in to an 8:30-pace.
Running was lack-luster if I’m being totally honest. I felt OK in terms of general run fitness, but didn’t feel especially strong here. I ran a 7:15-pace 10km for the international tri mentioned above which was good enough for second in my age group in that sport. I had a few 16-mile runs, and a 20-miler the day after doing 114-miles on the bike. I did the 20-miler at a sub-9 pace where I followed the Pete Fitz plan for general long runs; by 5-miles in be marathon pace minus 20%, by 5-miles remaining be marathon pace minus 10%. I had a shockingly good run there and, for the first time since January, felt pretty good running.

Pre-race

So Florida does some weird stuff. I live near Tampa two days prior to the race it was 90° F with no signs of being any cooler. The water temperature Gulf near Panama City Beach was a whopping 79° F and the race looked like it wouldn’t be wetsuit-legal. North Panama City Beach, however, there was a cold front brewing. Thursday night the temperature plummeted into the high 30’s. Hooray for wetsuits! I had a few trials in mine and I swam much faster than without. Literally cut 3-minutes off my 1500-yard time in a pool that was 84° with air temperatures to match. I was expecting good things in the water. I was also moderately concerned that I’d be too cold on the bike. Friday water temperature was 69° F. That’s Florida-freezing for you northerners.
Friday prior to checking in my bike and gear bags I made the decision to include my cycling shorts/jersey in the bike bag and my running shorts/singlet in my run bag. I wanted to have the option to change out of my wet tri-suit if need be. In addition, the bike shorts provide more padding and I didn’t know how well I’d handle 112-miles in a wet tri-suit.
I put a spare CO2 cannister and tube in my bike special needs bag (you don’t get those back) because I could bring one tube on my bike in the little gear box underneath the seat. I figured if I had a second flat before mile 58 I’d be able to get back on track with a second tube. Thankfully I didn’t have any flats, although I did see at least half a dozen people who did flat. I did not use my special needs run bag, although in hindsight I should’ve thrown my head lamp in it and picked it up for the second loop of the run.
The morning of the race I woke up around 4:55 and gathered all of my gear that I’d prepared the night before, inhaled two pop-tarts (my usual pre-race meal), and headed down to transition. I readied my bike with my Gu’s and stuck my wateGatorade bottles in place. I had purchased a large bag of Swedish fish as extra race fuel. And then I promptly forgot them without a second thought. Oops. I got body-marked and slid myself into my wetsuit. I had my Garmin 945 charged and ready to go. Prior to race-day I’d read on Triathlon about how to set up your watch for a race and took that advice – I locked my keys for the swim, so I didn’t muck anything up. I’d never used my watch in triathlon mode, so I was a little concerned. I’d tested it, but never with a race.
On my way to the beach there was a backup of biblical proportions on the boardwalk when people realized they had to get their morning clothes bag to a different area than where they were headed. This resulted in a bunch of people trying to “swim” upstream against even more people desperately trying to get to the beach. Thankfully I had my wife with me so I handed her my stuff and soldiered on. Gonna pause and shamelessly plug my wife here – if not for her I would have been late to/stressed as hell for everything at this race. My wife was the key ingredient in getting me trained and to the start line.
I was still on the boardwalk when the pros started (along with almost everyone else who’d taken the stupid way). There was some seriously poor crowd management going on but thankfully it was limited to that one spot. Once on the beach I had a few minutes to seed myself for the rolling start. I figured I’d be around 1:11-1:20 on the swim since I could wear my wetsuit and I was in salt water, so I put myself near the back of that section. (Spoiler – I was wrong). Just before entering the water I noticed a few people who’d taped/bandaided their neck to prevent chafing from the wetsuit. I thought to myself “gee I’m glad my wetsuit doesn’t chafe!

Race

Swim
Narrator - His wetsuit totally chafes when he must look up to sight.
That was a fun little surprise. Found it out about a quarter of the way through the swim. At the start I felt a little overwhelmed. I was pushing too hard and I knew it. I’d also stuck my watch beneath my wetsuit as instructed by the lovely users here and I couldn’t see how fast/far I was going/had gone. I was OK with that, but felt like I was pushing waaaaay too hard and dialed it back a little. Around 10-minutes into the swim my watch beeped and buzzed. I don’t remember that ever happening before and suddenly I fear that I’ve messed up my first ever Ironman by screwing up the swim recording on my watch. Remember, if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen. Roughly 10-minutes later the same thing. Great, I think, now I’m “on the bike” and out of T1. After completing one-lap I staggered onto the beach and peeled back my wetsuit to get a glimpse – turns out my watch “laps” OWS at 10-minutes. So, activity intact! I plunged back in for lap 2, winded and pretty battered.
Just after the start of the second lap I saw a flash of white beneath me. I’d seen a few baitfish hanging out near the buoys and figured it was one of those. A few strokes later I saw a football-sized jellyfish swimming directly towards my face from beneath me. I briefly became Michael Phelps. I don’t know how fast I was moving but picture Scooby and Shaggy running on water. New fear deeply ingrained in my head I wished to be out of the water more than anything. I also noticed that I was sucking in quite a bit of saltwater. Around the second turn left I straight-up grabbed a fish. I was maneuvering myself around a buoy and thought I’d grabbed a foot as I wasn’t the only person there. Nope. It was a small fish who wasn’t terribly pleased about me grabbing him. We both freaked out and swam away. Him much quicker than I. Not too-long after I inadvertently palmed another jellyfish. I made some unmanly noises that may or may not have been heard by those around me and again briefly walked upon the surface of the water. I was incredibly lucky to not have been stung in hindsight and did hear about at least one person who got stung. There was a fairly strong current closer to shore that was pushing west-to-east. Once you could see the bottom you could really start to feel it. I ended up doing a tiny bit of breast-stroke to alleviate the chafing, to recovery breathe, and just because I was tired after nearly 4000-yards. I drank a ton of saltwater, which explains why I was usually a little nauseous after my longer pool swims, and was, unsurprisingly, a little nauseous getting out of the water. I made my way towards the mat, unlocked my watch buttons, and blipped myself into T1. Time = 1:28:24.
T1
They had a huge freshwater shower thingy set up that was just wonderful. I got peeled out of my wetsuit as quickly as I and the lucky volunteers could manage. I jogged into the changing area and grabbed my swim-to-bike bag. Inside there were a number of people changing into bike shorts/jerseys, so I decided to do the same. I really wanted to do the entire tri in a tri-suit, but I was so very cold and I’m so very much from Florida. I stripped quickly and threw on socks, shoes, and arm-sleeves. I slammed a Gu with some water and ran out to get my bike. Mercifully the wateGu quelled the nausea almost instantly.
Once I had my bike I clipped my watch onto the cradle and jogged to the mounting point. My legs actually felt pretty good. In previous triathlons I’d had some calf-cramping in T1, but didn’t notice any today aside from once during the swim when I thought the bottom was closer than it was (thanks crystal-clear water) and sank in about 10-feet of water trying to touch bottom. At any rate, I hit the mounting line, clipped in and sped off. Time = 14:24.
Bike
It was indeed a little chilly and I was immediately happy for my outfit change along with the arm sleeves. The temperature was about 50° which is pretty chilly for Florida Man. I sped off and tried to hold steady at 17-18-mph into the wind, 20-22+ with the wind at my back. I did OK with this until about mile 12 where I saw the first big overpass. I decided to burn a match and attack the climb. I then decided to attack the downhill. This has always worked well for me as I tend to spin around 90 rpm and burn out the lactic acid from the climb on the downhill. I have to say that this method really served me well during the IM bike split. I attacked with almost reckless abandon on basically every hill and my legs felt pretty great for it…
Right up until mile 59 where we turned north into what I’m going to assume was an actual cyclone. I had this portion of the ride mentally marked out as trouble. It’s an out and back that heads almost due north and then due south with tons of rolling hills. I played leap-frog with a bunch of other people throughout most of the ride, but here, we all suffered. The wind was never-ending. I’d barely break 20-mph on the downhills. I’m pretty sure I saw the three fates from Hercules cutting my string with a big pair of scissors. It was unpleasant. It was, mercifully, only about 9-miles, and when we turned south things got better in a hurry.
I had been stopping at nearly every aid station to refill Gatorade/Gu/watepee, and I started to realize that I was going to be close to hitting my goal of a sub-6-hour ride. Having the wind at my back I was notching 20-22-mph easily with a nice and low heartrate (130-140). I continued my up/downhill attacks and notched people off left and right. I noticed, however, that I’d get passed during stops at aid stations, and decided around mile 75 that I was going to hit the next aid station hard and not stop again. Mile 81 rolled around with the next aid station and I made it my last. I loaded up with Gatorade, filled my water bottle, and emptied my (full) bladder one last time. I pushed it from there to the end on what I had.
Thankfully, that turned out to be enough. Once back closer to the beach the wind decided to do its own thing. East? Into the wind. West? Into the wind. North? Into the wind. South? You guessed it; into the wind. Sometimes though, east was with the wind. I was able to keep notching about 20-mph give or take for the last few miles and ended up coming into T2 just a few seconds over 6-hours. I pulled up to the dismount line a little fast and ended up pulling off a sweet dismount that probably looked like I totally intended to do it. (I didn’t). This part was neat – they had bike rackers for us so that we didn’t have to do it ourselves. I told mine to keep the bike. Time = 6:00:31
T2
Once again into the changing room! I grabbed my run gear bag and knew for damn sure that I wasn’t coming anywhere near 10.5-hours. That wasn’t physically possible. 11-hours was out the window. But I’d hoped that I could still run a 4-hour marathon and maybe sneak in under 12-hours. I changed quickly and griped and moaned a little with the other unfortunate souls who’d also decided to torture themselves on November 2, 2019. I applied Squirrels Nut Butter to some not G-rated places, threw on my running shorts, compression socks (remember the shin injury), and my shoes. I also donned one of my favorite singlets; a green NYC Marathon singlet I purchased last year after running the NYC marathon. Remember this.
I secured the remaining Gu’s in my bib belt, clipped it on and headed outside. I got quickly slathered in sunscreen by a brave race volunteer who (smartly) had rubber gloves on. A quick potty stop and I ran out of T2 full of energy I didn’t know I had! Time = 13:50
The run
Ladies and gentlemen I consider myself a little bit of a veteran marathon runner. I have run them in 95° temperatures, and I have run them down in the 30’s. I have run them with most weather conditions aside from snow. I’d like to do that some day, but it certainly won’t happen in Florida. Going into the Florida Ironman I have completed nine marathons and two 50 km races (not included in the 9). I felt pretty good heading into the start of this marathon. It was low 70’s, although climbing, and the crowd was pretty energizing around transition. I saw my wife and got a little boost and hopped out onto the course. My legs hadn’t cramped which was a new surprise; typically after a long ride I have a quarter-mile or so of unhappy calf muscles and I was pleased to see that I’d evaded that fate this time.
A far different fate awaited me. As I pushed into mile one, I noticed what I can only describe as a full-body fatigue. I wasn’t sore in one spot. I wasn’t tired in one spot. I was sore and tired in all spots. I still couldn’t look down at my feet after being on the bike for 6-hours. The plantar fascia on my left foot was sore. The chafing on my neck from my wetsuit was starting to feel sunburnt despite sunscreen. I was not hungry at all, but knew I needed nutrition. I smartly grabbed a Gatorade and water at the first aid station and walked for a few seconds so that I could down those. If I never see orange Gatorade again after this race, it will be too soon.
As the first few miles ticked by, I felt myself slowing. The 8:30-pace that I’d started at was suddenly only a hair under 9:00 around mile 5. By mile 8 I felt the wheels start to come off. Instead of trying to crash and burn I decided to steer into the skid. I made the executive decision to go into emergency sustain mode. I walked 0.1-miles and ran 0.9-miles of every mile. I tried to line this up with an aid station, and honestly, I did pretty well with it. This allowed me to take in as much food as possible without throwing it back up. I switched from Gu to pretzels and cookies. I’d wash those down with water at each aid station and continue the death march as best as my stomach allowed me.
Remember the singlet? Green NYC Marathon? Yes. I was called “New York.” All race. By everyone. I’m from Tampa y’all. I say “y’all.” Cold is anything below 60°. My singlet was absolutely false advertising. As I ran past the lady in a devil-maid outfit handing out free spanks with a hand-wand-thing, I briefly garbled out “I’m from Tampa…” and realized that I was fighting a losing battle. Not wanting to waste air, I eventually settled on “yay Brooklyn” any time someone yelled “New York!” at me. That seemed to go over well, so I tried to stick with it, but I think I said Queens a few times. Oh well. Tired brain.
The run was two loops of an out and back that ended in St. Andrews State Park after running through some residential areas on the way. I thoroughly enjoyed the support of aid stations every mile, but there were certainly some dead spots at some low points for me. The first 3 or so miles when I was on the struggle bus (call it mile 9-11) I meandered through the neighborhoods wishing for a swift death. This request was not granted. I settled into a rhythm eventually that had me hitting 12-minute miles while recovering slightly. If I sped up much beyond this I felt all of the Gu and Gatorade start to make a comeback as well so I slowed back down. I was able to spot my wife cheering for me at the halfway point…just in time for me to take a walk break…
The second loop was, obviously, much slower than the first, but I had hit equilibrium. I wasn’t going to throw up unless I sped up. This was as OK as I was going to get. Around this time, I sorta got the “never again” mantra. I realized that my initial goals were absolutely pants-on-head-crazy. I had it in my mind that I was going to do a 3:30 marathon and that just wasn’t attainable for me after the swim & bike. So I settled into the “never again” mindset and aimed for the finish. Spoiler alert again – there probably will be an “again” as I’m already eyeing the 2020 half IM in Haines City. I trudged on as day slipped into dusk and dusk slipped into freaking dark. I had brought my headlamp to the start but decided not to use it…I ran with someone briefly who had stuck their headlamp in their special needs run bag. So that they could retrieve it at the halfway point. This was brilliant. Figuratively and literally. I wish I’d done this. Instead I had to rely on the sparse street lights and try not to die. If I fell I don’t know that I’d be getting back up. I heard someone fall about 100-yards behind me around mile 21…and I felt really bad for them, but I could hear that people had already stopped to help and I wasn’t sure I could turn around without fading out like Spiderman during the Snap.
Around 9-miles left in the run I began to eye my total time. By some error of math I realized that I had a slim chance of finishing in just under 14-hours if I averaged 12-minute miles to the end. I have no idea how I arrived at this conclusion, as if you’ve read above, I finished in just under 13-hours. I am an engineer so math is (allegedly) my thing. I don’t know. I wish I could figure it out, but somehow I thought the best I could do was around mid 13:50’s for total time. I shot for that as best as I could.
Around mile 25 I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I could hear Mike Reilly announcing as people crossed the finish line. Gods I was close then. I decided to run the last 1.0-miles. This meant a walk break at mile 25 and then a good sprint/try not to barf to the finish. Then I heard it. Not the finish. No. I heard someone play charge on a trumpet. It was not a particularly inspiring tune, but it was a trumpet. I have played trumpet for 23-years. I am 32. I played trumpet on a collegiate level while going to school for engineering. For 6 semesters I was in my university’s jazz band. I am a closet band-nerd, without the closet. And I heard a trumpet. I have always wanted to borrow someone’s trumpet and play near the end of a marathon. I’ve brought mine to cheer people on before when I wasn’t racing. But here, at the IRONMAN, was my chance to play a trumpet during a race. I kept my eyes peeled. I knew if I ran past him, I wouldn’t be able to turn around. There on the sidelines around mile 25.5 I saw him. He had a silver trumpet with what was either a 3C or 7C mouthpiece. I know because I’ve played enough trumpets in my day and have used both of those a lot. I prefer something a lot shallower, but beggars can’t be choosers. I quickly asked him, between wheezes, if I could use his trumpet. He happily handed it over. I attempted to belt out the end of the tune from Family guy but managed to flub the last few notes; it’s hard to hit a double-G on a big mouthpiece when you’re used to a golf-tee. I then audibled to a brief lick from the James Bond theme with a wiiiiiiiiiiild shake on the last note and absolutely nailed it. People cheered. It was glorious. I handed back the trumpet and outright sprinted towards the finish.
The adrenaline from the trumpet turned me into Eliud Kipchoge. Well. OK. It enabled me to run at a 7:30 min/mile pace for the first time all day. I was passing people left and right. Which was a nice change from doing my very best to not barf a rainbow of cookies, pretzels, and more Gu than one man should take. It finally dawned on me how close I was to the finish and I began to wish I’d tried to speed up a little earlier…although I wouldn’t have had the speed boost without the trumpet so it might’ve come back to haunt me. I started running down the chute and ran through the big red thingy that was not the finish line. That was sorta false advertising. I passed a group of 4 people just before the actual finish line and promptly stopped running as soon as I was able…mainly I didn’t want to fall down.

Post-race

A race volunteer immediately greeted and congratulated me on my finish. He asked me how I felt. To which I replied, using my best John Mulaney voice, “I’m going to die!” Apparently, my sarcasm didn’t roll off well enough because then I got an escort the whole way through who almost took me to the medical tent. My wife, a nurse, was none-too-pleased with this, and was right on the other side of the fence as I was trying to exit. Eventually the well-meaning volunteer realized that I was indeed going to survive and let me go. I grabbed my medal, took a photo before I left the finish.
At this point I asked my wife if her app said my unofficial finish time and to please tell me it starts with a “13.” She looked at me funny and replied “oh yeah easily; you’re 12:53.” I was elated and utterly perplexed at my inability to do math during a 12+hour race. Who knew! I hobbled gingerly around with my wife for a little before collecting my bike & gear bags. Apparently the racker had decided I wasn’t being serious when I told them to keep it. For the best I suppose. Once I had my stuff we walked the ~0.8-miles back to our hotel and I showered. We went to Pineapple Willy’s for a drink and some food. I was barely able to keep the fries and chicken tenders down so I sipped my drink very gingerly and decided to call it a night before 11 PM. My watch absolutely refused to upload (apparently loads of people are having issues with the Garmin 945 right now), and when it finally did it was Sunday morning. Also, it forgot how to read my HR data so it says I had a 156-HR for everything. Garmin Connect shows it right, but not Strava. Close enough.
We loaded the truck up Sunday morning and checked out of our hotel for the 6-hour drive home. We stopped for lunch around 1:00 (EST) and my legs were sore but OK. Around 2.5-hours from home we stopped one last time after a large traffic jam because a semi-truck broke down in the middle lane of I-75 and no one thought it prudent to move to the shoulder. As I exited the truck my right knee decided to tell me it was done. I almost ended up on my face. It’s OK now, but I was pretty sore for the rest of the ride and most of the night after.
I’m very seriously considering the Florida Half Ironman in Haines City on April 19, 2020, as my next goal race. I want to Boston Qualify in terms of marathon, but I was planning on doing a 50-mile trail run in April and the HIM seems far less terrible. I haven’t decided yet, but that’s where I’m leaning right now. I’ve also switched away from “never again” to “not this year or next,” but I’m eyeing another Ironman with the goal of having a sub-4 marathon and a sub-6 bike. I’d like to see around 1:15 on the swim as well. I think I can make these improvements given time and will go into the next one with far more realistic goals.
I haven’t worked out since the race, but am planning a 20-mile ride for Wednesday morning and probably a 3-mile run Thursday morning. Nothing fast, but something to get me restarted. The marathon was a truly humbling experience that I haven’t endured in such a manner since my very first marathon and I’d like to get another shot at a sort of redemption. I’m sure that happens to a lot of first-timers…lesson learned.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
submitted by jdpatric to triathlon [link] [comments]


2019.10.07 23:36 theintrepidwanderer 2019 BMW Berlin Marathon

Race Information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A < 3:20 lol
B < 3:30 No
C PR (< 3:53:20) Yes

Splits

Kilometer Time
5 24:27 (4:54/km)
10 24:52 (4:59/km)
15 24:59 (5:00/km)
20 24:39 (4:56/km)
25 24:54 (4:58/km)
30 25:33 (5:07/km)
35 24:58 (5:00/km)
40 25:42 (5:09/km)
42.2 11:00 (5:01/km)

HM Splits

Kilometer Time
21.1 1:44:16 (4:56/km)
42.2 1:46:45 (5:03/km)

Background

After running the Los Angeles Marathon earlier this year (finishing in 3:53:20), I began to plan out my fall marathon preparations. At the beginning of the year, I had signed up for the TCS NYC Marathon (guaranteed entry) and that would have been my sole fall marathon if I had nothing else going on. But right off the bat, I knew NYC Marathon had plenty of rolling hills (plus bridges) and was a bit more challenging from a terrain perspective, and I wanted to have a bit more certainty in my quest to lower my marathon times. Because of that, I decided to look for a flat and fast marathon course and Berlin immediately came to mind; this was perfect for me as it was a flat and fast course, the race where virtually all the past marathon WRs were set in the past few years, and it was one of the six majors. Unfortunately, the lottery odds did not work in my favor, and so once I decided on Berlin, I promptly signed up with an official tour group to lock in my guaranteed entry for the race.

Training

After concluding my spring training cycle (where I ran a 1:40 HM PR to close it out) and taking a break for a couple of weeks afterwards, I began my fall marathon training cycle in earnest. For my training plan, I decided to up my game and go with a modified Pfitz 18/55 plan so that I could get much faster and lower my marathon PR by significant amounts of time. My plan was to base build for the first 6-8 weeks, then include speed workouts for the remaining weeks. However, things did not go according to plan. Summer on the East Coast was incredibly hot and humid this year, making training more difficult than I had anticipated. There were quite a number of hot days where I had to take a number of precautions so I didn’t end up dehydrated or get a heat stroke during training. On top of that, my work life became more busier and stressful, and I was close to hitting rock bottom at certain points. I was able to get in a few speed workouts, but I did not do enough of them given time constraints and the weather. I somehow managed to schedule in three (3) 20-mile long runs – one for each month, starting in July – and in hindsight, this was probably my biggest insurance policy and saved my training cycle from becoming a huge dumpster fire. I peaked out at 57-58 miles during the last week of August, and started tapering the week after the following week.
Three races in August and September gave me an opportunity to temperature check where my fitness was. I ran the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile in early August, completing it in 50:48 (which translated to a 7:03-7:04/mi 10K equivalent). A few weeks after, I ran the NYRR Percy Sutton 5K and lowered my 5K PR by 90 seconds, coming in at 20:45. Two weeks before Berlin, I did a NYC Marathon-themed 18 mile training run in Central Park and finished it in 2:27 (8:11/mi pace). Given that it was a bit warm and humid early that morning, course terrain featured a bunch of rolling hills, and that Berlin was two weeks out, I made a conscious decision to dial it back so that I didn’t completely trash my body and legs leading up to Berlin. Looking ahead, I ran all those times through race pace equivalent calculators and they were suggesting that my predicted marathon times would fall anywhere between 3:20 to 3:35. While it was initially a shock to me (I had a goal of going under 3:15), it served as a sobering reality check for my expectations and ambitions. Instead, based on the above numbers, I decided to lower my expectations and instead shoot for a sub-3:30 finish so that I could enjoy as much of the race as I can, set a PR, and not blow up along the way. This turned out to be a very wise decision on my part.

Pre-Race

I flew out of New York into Germany on Wednesday evening, making two stops along the way. Unfortunately, I missed my final leg to Berlin because my previous flight came in late, and I could not be rebooked into a later flight to Berlin. As a result, I was given a modest meal voucher and a second-class ticket for an ICE (Intercity Express) high speed train bound for Berlin that evening. This was totally unanticipated, and understandably I was feeling a bit nervous. I ended up picking up my luggage (thank goodness), then grabbing a quick dinner before boarding the ICE train to Berlin. The upside to this was that I got to experience the glory of German high speed rail. Smooth, reliable, and comfortable, and modern interiors that you could only find in an Amtrak Acela train back in the U.S. (I sometimes wonder why we don’t have this back in the States…). Anyhow, I ended up sipping a German alcohol-free beer during my journey; I wanted to try the real stuff, but I did not want to tempt fate with the race being days away. I got to Berlin an hour before midnight and was able to take the subway to get to my hotel near Tiergarten. Checked into my hotel without any issues and got a few hours of sleep.
The following day, I went with my tour group on a half-day tour of Berlin and got to see many of the well-known landmarks along the way. Hit up the expo afterwards at Tempelhof to pick up my bib, and it was jam packed with many people that had the same idea as well! The line to pick up the bibs was very long, and it took at least 30-40 minutes for me to get to the bib pickup line, going through two checkpoints along the way. After I picked up my bib, I then went to look for official merchandise. I had heard reports from people who went the day before that stocks of merchandise in desired sizes were getting cleaned out, and what I saw with my eyes confirmed that – and more. People at the Addidas store at the expo were aggressively scouring through merchandise and grabbing merchandise to try on in hopes that it was in their desired size. It was a shitshow, plain and simple. Initially, I could not find a jacket and shirt in my desired size, but with some dumb luck and sweet talking to an Addidas employee they were able to help me find a jacket and finishers shirt in my desired sizes. I walked out of there a very happy man. After wandering through the rest of the expo, getting a few pictures of Tempelhof and the C-47 Skytrains that were there (the backbone of the Berlin Airlift), I then exited and headed back to my hotel. Rest of the day was all on my own; I went to run a few errands, check out the places near my hotel, got dinner at a nearby Doner Kebab restaurant, and went to see the Berlin Philharmonic in concert (their main venue was only a 10 minute walk from my hotel…how convenient).
On Saturday, I did the 6K Breakfast run, which was not only relaxing but also very festive. Ran from Charlottenburg Palace to the Olympic Stadium, finishing on the same track where Jesse Owens notched his famous victory in 1936. After taking a few photos, I then grabbed the free breakfast and made my way back to the hotel, where I had the rest of the day to myself. I took it nice and easy for myself; went to Vapiano for lunch, walked over to the Reichstag (Bundestag) to book my time slot to visit the glass dome for the following day, and got a few snacks from the local Aldi to take back home. In the evening, I had a nice pasta dinner with my tour group and got to hear from a few featured speakers as well as getting last-minute briefings on what to expect on race day. Afterwards, I walked back to my hotel and started preparing my race gear. Laced the chip on my Next%, put my bib on my singlet, loaded up the gels in my shorts, and got my arm sleeves and phone armband ready.
In addition, I noted that Berlin allowed runners to bring their own bottles and request it to be placed at certain water stops; given that there because there was no Gatorade on the course, I thought that drinking Maurten was a sufficient alternative, especially for down the stretch. As a result, I brought along a Maurten 320 drink mix packet along with two bottles. My plan was to label and decorate my bottles, fill ‘er up, and drop off my bottles at the personal refreshments truck bright and early the following morning. However, there were two potential factors that threatened this scheme: if just 10% of the total runners brought their bottles tomorrow morning, the personal refreshments tables would be very crowded and it would be very hard to find my bottles, which meant I would be screwed and have to ditch all attempts to locate my bottles. And if even a good number of those runners go all out in decorating their bottles, tracking down my bottles becomes exponentially harder. The odds seemingly looked stacked against my favor.
After I got everything ready, I double, triple checked to make sure I had everything I needed for the race. After that was done, I took a shower and hit the hay to get some much needed Zs.
The morning of the race, I woke up promptly at 5:30 AM and immediately got ready. Put on my singlet, shorts, arm sleeves, and phone armband, put on my socks followed by my Next%, grabbed my Maurten bottles and drink mix, and went downstairs for a light breakfast of yogurt and pastries While eating breakfast, I got 500ml of water and proceeded to prepare the Maurten 320 drink mix, then split it in half across my two bottles. At 7 AM, I headed out from my hotel to Tiergarten to drop my bottles off at the personal refreshments truck. Got to the dropoff point at around 7:20 AM, and noticed a decent number of runners that were milling around the truck dropping off their own bottles. I looked at the bottles and my stomach almost immediately sank. Many runners went out of their way to decorate their bottles so that it stood out on the drinks tables. For my bottles, I only had a label with my name, bib number, and nationality on it, plus some colored tape as my decorations. Super low key. It looked like there was a very good chance I was not going to find my bottles for use down the stretch. Anyhow, this was a scenario I was prepared for, and so I dropped my bottles off at the 30K and 36K bins, and hoping for the best, I left to head back to my hotel.
When I left my hotel with my tour group one final time to head to the start area, it didn’t take us long to get through security. Once we got through security, we then split off to go to our individual corrals. The walk to the start corrals was long and never-ending; we walked through the forested areas of Tiergarten, following posted signs to get to our assigned corrals. At one point, there was a dead-end section where there were a number of runners doing warm up laps, and so I joined them for a quick moment to get my warmup laps in as well. After that was done, I finally made my way to the corrals, where I got in and tucked myself right next to runners that were already there. Introductions were then made, elites were introduced, and the countdown began for the first wave. Once the first wave was off, it took at least 10 minutes before the second wave, which included my corral, was started. Once my wave started, it took a few minutes for me to cross the start line, and we were off and running!

Race

This section is based on my best recollections as I was writing this up. Apologies for any inaccuracies in advance, especially as it relates to landmarks along the course.
Start to 10K
It was super crowded at the start, which basically set the tone for the first half of the race. I decided to use the first few kilometers to get my body and legs acclimated, as well as make sure I wasn’t going out too fast. Took it nice and easy as we rounded around Victory Column, then made a right hand turn right before the 3km mark. There were small “hills” from bridges that we crossed during this section. Got a glimpse of the Reichstag and the other end of Tiergarten as we hit the 7km mark. Eventually caught up to the 3:30 pacer and started drafting off of them. Looked at my watch a few times and my HR rate was hovering around the 160s. So far, so good. Crowd support along the route was very good with plenty of energy, and many of them were eagerly cheering us on as we ran past.
I picked up my first water at the 5K point, and took my first gel at the 9K water stop. I split the first 5K in 24:27 (went out a bit faster than usual, but it wasn’t too concerning), and split the second 5K (10K) in 24:52
10K to 20K
The winding turns became a bit more frequent along this part of the section, but the crowds were there, and in some parts, they were even thicker. But at the same time, some parts of this segment got quite narrow, and so it was difficult to have room to maneuver around, as well as being able to maintain my desired paces. Whatever, just trust the process, I told myself. My HR rate slightly ticked up to near 165, but again, nothing too alarming just yet.
Kept a steady pace with the 3:30 pacers as I comfortably continued to hit 4:54-4:58/km pace. Race Screen was showing a predicted 3:29 finish. Everything is going according to plan so far. Took my second gel at the 15K water stop and my third gel at the 20K water stop. I was starting to get a bit warm from the humidity, but the breeze cooled me just enough.
Ticked off my third 5K (15K) in 24:59, followed by my next 5K (20K) in 24:39.
20K to 30K
After the 20K mark, we crossed beneath a number of railroad bridges, which meant the halfway point was coming right up. Abbott had their cheer section, as well as their branded clock, set up at the HM mark. Crossed the HM mark in 1:44:16, well under my goal pace. Now if I could hold on to this for the next 13.1 miles, my sub-3:30 will be in the bag, I thought to myself…
Soon after crossing the HM mark, it began to sprinkle, the first sign that rain was arriving over Berlin. After a few kilometers, it became a steady downpour and puddles began to form on the roads. Despite my best effort to avoid the puddles, it became a futile effort and I eventually became soaked from top to bottom. But now this was the first test for the Next%: whether it was going to hold up against the conditions it was specifically designed for. While my shoes was soaked through, it did not absorb any water at all. And most importantly, I had sufficient traction on the slippery road surfaces. So far, it was living to the hype.
At the turn near the 23K mark, I experienced my first crisis: my left knee began to feel a bit of pain. Oh shit. With around 19K to go, this was not looking good at all. I did put KT tape around that area since my left knee was feeling somewhat iffy and I wanted to keep any problems in that area to a minimum, yet it looked like it was not enough. I began to rotate my legs a bit more while continually maintaining a steady pace. Eventually, the pain went away, but now I was really nervous about the possibility of stopping and walking through certain parts of the race because of my left knee. I decided to slow down just a bit, and as a result I eventually lost sight of the 3:30 pacer. Now I was running my own race the rest of the way.
Took my 4th gel at the 25K mark, and ticked off the fifth 5K in 24:59. HR crept up to the low 170s range. OK for now, but now I have to keep a closer eye on it. I knew that my first round of personal refreshments was coming up at the 30K mark. I began to mentally sketch out possible scenarios for what I should do if I found my bottle, and what I should do if I can’t find my bottle within a certain amount of time.
As I approached the 30K mark, I thought to myself “here goes nothing…my personal refreshments idea is either going to work well or go down in flames”.
30K to 40K
Approaching the 30K water stop, I ran past the elite water tables, and immediately noticed that the personal refreshments table was only 4 tables deep. And it was already half cleaned out. That meant I had a much better chance of recovering my bottle. And around 10 seconds after I started looking, I spotted my bottle, grabbed it and began sipping from it as I began getting back into my desired pace. Ticked off the next 5K (30K) in 25:33.
I began to feel fatigued around the 30K mark, but drinking Maurten from my bottle rejuvenated me almost immediately, as I began to get back into my desired pace. I completely drained my bottle by the 32K mark, and hit up a water stop near the 33K mark. I ran past the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church as I approached the 35K point, ticked off the next 5K (35K) in 24:58 and my HR approached 175, which meant I would have to hold on for dear life and hope my HR didn't go any higher the rest of the way. I approached the personal refreshments table at the 36K water stop, and it was the same deal: 4 tables deep, already half cleaned out. Found my second Maruten bottle in about 10 seconds, grabbed it and got out of there as soon as I had the second bottle securely in my hands.
I finished my second bottle by the 38K mark, and now I had a minor dilemma on my hands: finding a place to ditch my bottles, as I had plans to completely lose them once they were emptied out and never see them again. But there wasn’t any great places to throw them away. With 4K plus change left in the race, I decided to hold on to it and bring it back with me to the finish line, and instead use the bottles to keep me mentally focused the rest of the way. Shortly afterwards, I ran past the general area where I was staying for the weekend, and I knew the end of the race was close with 2 miles left to go.
Ticked off the next 5K (40K) in 25:42, and I then began to think about how I should approach the home stretch.
40K to finish
This portion of the course featured a lot of turns and narrow sections (due to building construction in that area), and for those that were looking to gun it to the finish, the turns/narrow sections made it a bit tricky to do so.
We ran past the Konzerthaus Berlin, made a left turn, then another right turn. Finally, after the final left hand turn, we see the Brandenburg Gate in the distance, and the local German beer sponsor had placed blowup arches over the road with the words “YOU ARE ALL HEROES” printed across as a way to give us runners a final push through in the final kilometer.
Now I knew that from watching past footage of top elites finishing the Berlin Marathon that after I crossed the Brandenburg Gate, I had about 300 meters to go until the finish line. Thus, I made a mental note to enjoy the thrilling moment running through Brandenburg Gate, and to gun it after I crossed the 42K mark. Crossed the Gate, and as I approached the 42K mark I quickly glanced at my watch and it predicted a finish time of 3:31:06. Turned on the afterburners right at the 42K mark and sprinted with all my might to the finish. Crossed the finish line in 3:31 flat, setting a new marathon PR by 22 minutes.

Post-Race

After crossing the finish line, I took a quick moment to catch my breath, and gave a few runners around me high fives and wet sweaty hugs. Walked over to pick up my medal and got myself wrapped in a heat sheet shortly afterwards. Went through the finisher chute and got my refreshment bag. Then I went and picked up my poncho, and found a place to sit down and start eating from the refreshment bags. I eventually made my way over and picked up some alcohol-free beer to enjoy, then went over to the info desk to ask who won the race, and promptly freaked out with joy when I heard that Bekele not only won, but came within 2 seconds of the WR. (THE GOAT IS BACK BABY!)
I then made my way back over to the lawn area, where I got some photos with the Reichstag in the background. Got looped into taking a few pictures for other runners, and got to chat with them for some time about the race itself and how it sent for them. A fellow runner helped get the chip off my Next%, and I dropped the chip off off as I exited the secure area. Went over to the medal engraving tent to get my medal engraved, and that’s when I found out my final finishing time. As I was cold and soaking wet at that time, I was doing my best to stay warm and wind didn’t help things at all.
Soon it was time for me to go into the Reichstag glass dome; I purposely scheduled it a couple hours after the time I was anticipated to finish, and it was perfect timing. I went through the usual security checks, went inside and got on the elevator heading directly to the rooftop. Spent about an hour there touring the glass dome, walking the ramp all the way up to the top and then back down. Took some pictures while inside the glass dome, then went outside and took in the rooftop views of Berlin, and got some pictures there as well. After I came back down to the ground floor and exited the Reichstag, I made my way back to my hotel where I began my post-race celebrations with the rest of my tour group.

Final Thoughts and Next Steps

While I did not meet my desired goals, by all measurements Berlin was a success for me; I ran a great race and lowered my marathon PR time by 22 minutes, which is a decent chunk of time to knock off. In addition, this was my first time using the Next% in a distance it was specifically designed for; I previously used it for shorter distance races just to test it out, and not put too much wear and tear in it. Given the tough conditions that day, using the Next% was the right choice for footwear. It did not absorb water, and kept the additional weight off my legs and feet. It maintained traction on the slippery, wet roads, allowing me to focus on maintaining pace instead of having to worry about slipping. And my legs felt sore, but not completely trashed afterwards, which is a new feeling for me.
Second, as I noted before, I wasn’t able to do many speed workouts this training cycle, fitting them whenever I could and focusing more on volume. Had I done more speed workouts this past training cycle, I could have finished a few minutes faster. But having that endurance built up from all that volume I did was likely what saved my butt from total catastrophe when things got tough and everything was on the line.
And finally, personal refreshments. When I decided to take advantage of this amenity, I did my research on Google and reddit and there was very little information about this that I could use to plan my nutrition around this. But from asking some of you here about this, I got a good sense of what to expect and the benefits and drawbacks to consider and used that to sketch out my game plan. While I mentally prepared for the worst case scenario to happen, it turned out much better than I expected and I was able to use my own bottles. Felt like an elite afterwards. And let me tell you...using Maurten 320 helped keep me going and prevented me from hitting the wall after mile 20. I have heard many great things about it, and after using it in Berlin, I can say that this stuff is the real deal and I’ll be using it whenever I have the chance. Now that said, if anyone is interested in me writing a personal refreshments guide for the Berlin Marathon, I’d be happy to put something together so that you all can know what to expect if you choose to use this amenity in future editions of the Berlin Marathon.
Next up for me is the TCS New York City Marathon in 4 weeks. I know for a fact that it will likely not be PR effort because NYC has a much tougher terrain profile compared to Berlin, but it’ll be wonderful running it for the very first time and soaking up the energy from the crowds along the way.
Made with a new race report generator created by herumph.
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