Words. Sometimes there are none; sometimes there’s too many
I just ran the Carbon Valley Half Marathon for Autism while pushing my wee man. I carried with me names of others with autism for each mile. And your damn right I finished.
Honestly I can’t believe I didn’t cry when I crossed that finish line – probably because I was so pissed to be finishing with 2 flat tires (aka unable to sprint to finish). This race meant SO much to me!!
It was my:
-First official half Marathon
-First stroller race
-First race since son was born
-First race since Leadville DNF (2016)
-Longest run since son born
-Longest stroller run
That’s a lot! A lot to be grateful for. 13.1 miles 2 hours 20 minutes and 13 seconds of grateful. The course is relatively flat: 11 miles of steady climbing and 2 miles to finish. The course is over 50% “smooth” dirt and some pavement.
I went in with a ‘goal’ of averaging about a 10 min mile
Miles run for:
.1 Kyle (my Son’s Father and my Boyfriend)
3 Tyler Jr
1 Edan (to help me start and finish!)
I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this event. It was so special to me and to share with friends whose hearts it is also very close too. For some awesome shorts of the race and I go check out their YouTube from after the races. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1kI-gU30PgU&feature=youtu.be
Disclaimer: No affiliation with any links provided in the post. No commission being earned.
Backpacking, hiking, running … supposed to be the ‘cheaper’ sports. Just lace up and go. But anyone who’s done even the slightest bit of research knows that it still ain’t cheap.
So with a major trip coming up that requires a major purchase (a pack in my case) how do you save money?
First off, not everything needs to be new. Check out Craigslist and the Facebook marketplace for local used stuff. I recommend staying away from used shoes unless they are a pair someone tried once and just didn’t work for them. If you are an REI member they have Gear Swaps once a year and often have killer deals in their garage sales (now available online too YAY). In CO I also recommend checking out local small gear shops. We have tons scattered around the state. And a newer up and coming bigger store is Feral Mountain Co. (https://feralmountainco.com/)
For new stuff: The biggest money saving thing is to remember that 90% of the time last year’s model is just as good (sometimes better) than this year’s new model. Closeouts can pretty much always be found 25-50% off their original retail price. For example, I’m getting last year’s model of the Deva 80 pack by Gregory. This year’s model retails at $349.99. I’m getting last year’s model for $179.99!! That’s $170 saved just for getting last year’s model.
Previous models are regularly found on discount sites. They often carry clothes and footwear seriously discounted as well. All have reasonable return policies too for when it doesn’t work out. These are my favorite to check out and all run their own sales and coupons too. (No affiliation with any, just sharing)
For the newest and latest REI often has great sales, especially around Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Plus their members discount days, 1 year return policy for members, and the opportunity to earn dividends (aka money back), makes them a great choice. Also, most major gear companies run their own spectacular sales. If you can wait for major sale weekends I suggest you do and shop around.
If you’re a blogger with major audience or a professional in the outdoor/fitness industry in some capacity, chances are you probably qualify for some pro discounts too.
I often get double checked on my distance when sharing my adventures with my son.
With my upcoming backpacking trip people keep asking how far I think we’ll go each day. And then their jaw drops to the floor when I answer 12-15 miles.
Most people don’t realize my background. I’m an ultra distance trail runner. That means I run further than 26.2 miles at a time on mountain trails. I’ve been doing this for years.
My last multi day trip was 155 miles in 3 days. The longest day was 55 miles. That’s all carrying about 30lbs dry weight (not counting water weight). So when you compare that to miles carrying weight and sometimes a kid that’s not too bad.
We’ve also been hiking together since he was a few months old; working on building my strength carrying him and his tolerance to altitude. So far our longest single day hike (leaving after breakfast and being home before dinner) was 12.34 miles and gaining about 2300 feet in elevation.
So when I say for a multi day trip I think we can do 12-15 miles each day, I’m not joking. If you break it down. 12 miles per day at 2 miles per hour (30 min mile) is only 6 hours of hiking. That means more than enough time for lunch and breaks and naps and never rushing out of camp in the morning. We’ll be going in July when sunrise is before 6 am and sunset isn’t until well after 8 pm. This leaves more than enough time to have daylight for all activities without setting up or taking down camp in the dark.
Another consideration is that my last multi day trip was in the same area. We’ve also done lots of day hikes in the area. I’ve hiked every single mile of trail in the wilderness area we are going. So while I don’t have our exact route planned yet, I know the area very well.
I know many people think I’m crazy and that’s ok! It’s crazy fun and I love it.
Anyone with even the slightest sense of adventure could easily spend thousands of dollars here. Plus they work as a Co-Op and advocate and work towards saving our precious environment. What’s not to like?!
Our family probably only visits two other stores more frequently- the grocery store and local running store (Runner’s Roost Lakewood).
They have just about everything adventures require.
So to the point. Why was I looking at summer adventure gear when we were expecting a good 9-12” of snow the next day?
Simple- I have a super epic trip planned with my wee man! This summer is crazy, with ultra distance trail races, remodeling the kitchen, family time, and birthdays. But the big trip is just going to be me and my mini me (and probably the dog).
Kitchen remodels aren’t exactly a safe environment for a 23 month old who gets into everything. And construction and toddler sleep schedules don’t mesh. So I figured it would be better to go backpacking!!
We hiked all summer last year. This year he’s walking and running! It will be so much fun. But also requires quite some planning.
It’s not like a 23 month old can carry his own stuff….so I will carry it ALL…plus him a good majority of the time.
I’ll also need extra gear I wouldn’t typically carry by myself (I’m a minimalist when it comes to gear). So to REI we went to start figuring out what I need that I don’t have and planning a budget (eek money).
Things I need:
A new pack. Mine isn’t big enough to carry everything and my larger one doesn’t fit right anyways. What am I thinking: Gregory Deva 80L (which is actually 76L)
A ‘kitchen sink’ aka a collapsible wash bucket. Why?! Diapers!! I decided it would be much simpler to use cloth instead of trying to pack ALL the disposables a trip would require. No one wants to pack those out anyways. With cloth we wash and sun dry (July = nice and toasty) and use again. This means less space taken up by diapers and no carrying a ton of dirty ones.
Pack towel!! There’s a ton of water where we’re going. I assume there will be water splashing times that leaves me a soaked child.
Charging system for phone. Normally I don’t carry my phone but multi-day trip with the wee man means bring it just in case. Plus -WATERPROOF CAMERA!! (There is actually cell service on and off through the area we’re going)
Gear straps. Might need to strap things on to outside of pack. Definitely want some sort of ‘clothesline’ for diaper drying on the go.
Soft bottles. My dogs chewed up my favorite ones. I prefer these as the weigh almost nothing and can be stuffed anywhere in the pack.
A little pack for the little man. This will be decided last minute depending on how much he’s hiking on his own during day trips. This will be a 100% just for fun item because kids always love to do it themselves.
When you take into consideration the upcoming member sales and Memorial Day sales you can estimate this to cost around $300-$500. This doesn’t include any food costs.
So pre-planning is done!! Next up – logistics of the where.
Recently in Colorado it’s been on a pattern of snow 1x/week the be in the 40-50s. It’s gorgeous.
It also makes for some funny running stories
It was 2 days after a good heavy wet snow. About 45 out when I went to start a run. The thought was that the track was probably melted after a day and half in the sun so it would be fine to go run with the stroller and dogs.
Well I was wrong. It was almost completely covered still. At first it didn’t seem too bad. Stroller rolls quite smoothly through snow. But there’s a flock of geese that have been hanging out and their footprints cover about half the track. Each one being a spot that’s melted and refrozen. So a whole bunch of geese foot sized ice pits. Pushing a stroller through this is not only extremely difficult (as is pushing 1/3 of my body weight wasn’t enough) but feels like rolling over a washboard. Needless to say little man wasn’t happy and it wasn’t exactly runnable.
So pause and try again. Half the track is smooth snow without footprints. “I’ll just run U’s,” was my thought. Ok great the first few times but now the stroller tracks are turning into ice grooves. Once again little man not happy.
I decided to head home. Leave the dogs there, pee, grab a drink and try again on the paved trail. Honestly this wasn’t much better. Some areas were dry but about half was ice and slush pits.
Let’s just say it ended up being a painful it at all fun run. And bonus the little man o lay slept for a short bit and was awake before we were home, so no real nap.
Our family has a rather huge summer planned! It’s exciting…and overwhelming
I’m back to racing this year! Woot woot!!!
So June 1 is race #1 back for me. These means so much to me (I’ll talk more specifically about this later)
Then the man made it to Western States this year!! We’re all heading out to CA for the race and some family time.
When we get back the kitchen is getting remodeled. Yay!! But this means the house will be a disaster for a bit and not exactly a safe place for an almost 2 year old. SOOOOO LittleD and I are going backpacking (stay tuned for updates on the process of getting ready and how it goes). I’m super excited about this. It’s going to be so much fun. But I have to pretty much have everything ready before we go to CA for Western States. So we’ll be gone for a while then home for maybe 2-3 days then out in the mountains!
Talk about getting a little crazy!
Then it’s LittleD’s 2nd birthday (already?!) and hopefully family is coming out again.
And then end of September brings my big race!!
And in between all of this will be lots of hiking and running and as much mountain shenanigans as we can fit in.
BONUS: I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been invited to share our backpacking trip and some other adventures on the AllWomenAllTrails.com new upcoming blog collaboration. You can check them out there when the post or look for “Originally posted on allawomenalltrails.com” posts!!