in case you are not following my training log on the dumpy middle aged ladies page, i am certain that you need to know how things are going with my pack for next saturday's race.
it is information you simply can't live without.
else i just feel like telling you. whatever.
my pack now weighs 28 pounds. that weight includes some gear that my partner will be carrying, as well as six pounds of beans. i am not carrying any of my race food yet, but i will bet you that it won't be a full six pounds of anything.
my objective for this last week is to carry around a pack just a little heavier than i'll have to wear on race day, just so it will feel lighter.
28 pounds is, by the way, just about the conservative limit for recommended safe long term pack weight for a healthy adult: 15% of body weight. in a pinch, we're supposed to be able to carry 40%, but not without doing nerve and spinal damage in the long term.
so yeah, twelve hours with a 26 pound pack is about the limit for me.
every day i play with my pack - it is actually two packs, since i am at all times carrying another pack INSIDE the first one and i unpack and repack them according to how i will use them on race day. because of my physical limitations, i will have to wear bike shoes on the bike and hiking boots while on foot and i am NOT swimming in either of those pairs of shoes, so that means three pairs of shoes.
it'll probably be easier on my feet anyway to change, but it's more stuff i have to carry. plus my partner and i have bike wheels of different sizes, so we can't make do with one spare tube for the team and an innertube is a heavy item for its size.
i am carrying some equipment i maybe don't strictly need and actually the whole race will just be easier if i never have to break out the calculator or the bug netting or the piece of paracord, but i can think of situations where having those things might shave a lot of time off the trip.
if you have ever been faced with loose gear or been standing in mosquito-dense woods trying to decide which route to take to get to where you want to be and you just KNOW there's a mathematical way to figure out your best option but you don't know how to do it and you are too distracted by the swelling in your eyelids, you know why i'm opting for the extra weight.
plus i'm also carrying an inhaler and an epipen. it would be really swell if i didn't need either of those things, but they're not really optional equipment. the time to realize you SHOULD have your epipen is not when you're ten miles from it on rough terrain.
if you are asking why i don't just wear the helmet and not carry it, it is a crappy hot helmet. i'll be blast before i let my good helmet get all beat up by wearing it on this race.
and here it is configured for both the swim and the paddle. all of the other gear goes inside the drypack and i switch out for water shoes and wear my PFD.
yes, we are required to wear the PFD's while both paddling AND swimming. and i have croakies for my glasses.
i'll only be wearing the pack while portaging the boat. while paddling it will be stowed in the boat, and while swimming i will be towing it alongside.
of course on race day i won't be wearing jeans and a turtleneck. on race day i will be wearing a pair of zip-leg quick drying cargo pants and a long sleeve quick drying technical fabric shirt.
we are all required to carry long sleeved pants and shirt through the whole race, and i figure i will just wear mine. it will protect me from sunburn and scratches and stinging plants.
they don't call it the bitter pill for nothing.
i suppose they could call it the "refreshing lozenge", but that'd just be too hard to swallow.