Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…


We returned last night from a fantastic sun-filled, internet-free weekend with family (which included an awesome audiobook-accompanied run and a breakfast date with this lovely lady).

Next up, a beach weekend with friends and a handful of days on a lake in New Hampshire with Brent’s family – but first, a few questions!

Kari, from Running Ricig, asked: How are things going with the meat eating? Is it still as super-power producing as at the beginning? Will you go back to being a veg?

These days I’m eating poultry a few times a week, and while I think the initial super-power effect has dulled, I do feel like I have more energy in general and more staying power during training and races.  It still doesn’t feel completely natural – more often than not, I continue to remind myself that I eat meat now – but that’s slowly beginning to normalize.  I’m also enjoying the intentionality of it – finding ways of sustainably and humanely eating meat and thinking about how to integrate it into meals at home – and (this one comes as a shock to me) I’m even enjoying the taste!

Will I return to being a veg?  Veggie-dom has been my default for so long, it’s hard to imagine not coming back to it.  But we’ll see.

Oh, and I finally told me grandmother.  She nearly passed out with delight.

Julie, from Adventure is Out There, asked: I want to know what in your life prepped you to be able to do adventure racing for hours and hours on end… I simply can’t seem to get my body to work efficiently for more than about 6 hours in a row.

Yikes, I wish I had a good answer to this one!  Let’s see… I have too much energy for my own good, I chose a super-cerebral career that begs for an active outlet, and I’ve been training pretty intensely for something for much of the last two decades.  I was a distance swimmer-turned marathoner-turned ironman-turned-adventure racer, so I’ve always had the pace and temperament of an endurance athlete over a sprinter.

And, in my relatively limited experience as an adventure racer, I’ve also learned that when you get beyond a certain point (6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, whatever), the physical-to-mental ratio shifts from roughly 70:30 to 20:80.  To put it simply, adventure racing is for stubborn people with a high tolerance for pain.

Anne, from Asthma and the Gift of Running, asked: Do you want kids? Is adventure racing something you hope to keep doing for many years? What are you writing about right now (books you mentioned working on)?

Brent and I do want kids.  We talk about it all the time (sometimes too much for our own good).  And though it’ll obviously change to some degree, we also both want to keep racing and traveling and having full-time careers.  I don’t know how it’ll all play out, but I’m excited about the prospect.

We’re a couple years away from thinking about it more seriously (a logistical challenge with Brent being in grad school and me fresh in the working world) – which means that we’re trying to squeeze in some serious adventuring in the next 18 months.

Oops, and almost forgot the books!  My doctoral dissertation, which I’m revising into a real book, was a narrative history of the efforts to create intentionally integrated neighborhoods during the northern Civil Rights Movement.  And the second one is an edited collection of essays on oral history as activism.  Light reading, I know.

And finally, The Black Knight asks: have you ever raced in Europe?

Not yet! The Berlin Marathon and the Austria Ironman are at the top of my list for international road races… and the Adventure Racing World Championships are in France next year 😉


10 responses to “Questions!

  1. mallory July 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Those races sound awesome!! I still think it’s so amazing that you do all of that!

  2. the dawn July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

    i must have missed something during my hiatus because i didn’t realize that you’d switched from veg to meat…interesting. were you raised on meat? i was raised vegetarian and can’t imagine switching over. what’s funny is that my entire family (mom, dad, brother) who were all in that same house where we ate grains and vegetables are all meat-eaters now. and i’m the only stubborn one that won’t change 🙂

  3. Johann July 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I missed asking you a question but these ones are cool enough. The endurance game is tough, but so rewarding. I’m sure that’s why you keep doing it. I must still find my Europe race. probably trans Alpine or something.

  4. Julie (A Case of the Runs) July 19, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Your re-intro to meat is interesting. Wonder if it will help with the iron issue. I think you’ll gravitate toward what works best for you long term, be it meat-eating or not.

  5. Julie Martinez July 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I learn something new everyday!! 🙂

    Plenty of time to have kids! Enjoy for now!

  6. Kara July 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Yay for future little adventure racers! They’ll probably be like my kid and insist on drinking from a Camelbak instead of a sippy cup 🙂

  7. kari w/ Running Ricig July 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’m still fascinated by the change back to omnivore. Glad it’s still working out 🙂

  8. adventureisoutthere July 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

    This was a great Q & A!!
    Have a fun time at the beach!

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