Team In Training: Round 2 & Raffle Prizes!

You know what would make my Monday EXTRA marvelous? A donation to the LLS, via my Team In Training chapter!

As most of you know I ran my second half marathon with Team in Training!

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Then this year I was given the opportunity to mentor the Boston chapter participants who are running Nike this year.

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This weeks practice: with a participant & Coach Spencer. Photo Credit: Coach Laura!

So what does this mean to you? I am raising $500 to help the find a cure for blood cancers, 100% of the donations I receive of to LLS. I try not to ask readers for money to donate to often, but I did want to make you aware of the raffle I have going on. Anyone who donates $10 between now and September 7, 2013 will be given an online raffle ticket.

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Edited: It has been brought to my attention that I can’t use some companies information, even in raffle purposes, on the blog. I have taken down the raffle prizes and they are now listed only on the donation site. I hope no one feels any pressure to donate.

I appreciate anyone’s support, and if you can’t donate to a charity (mine or anyone else’s) things like donating blood are also a wonderful way to help!

Finding the Confidence and Inspiration

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday’s post. You know how to make a girl feel great, even when she is sick.

I have some really great news, I am going to be a mentor for Team In Training this season. I am a mentor for the Massachusetts/New England Chapter. Not only that, I am the mentor for all those who are running the Nike Women’s Marathon (Half and Full).

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{before NWM 2012}

A huge part of me is super excited about this. I can’t wait to meet and help my mentees with their fundraising, running, pretty much anything they need. I know that I had a great experience with TNT all the mentors and my coach were amazing sources of inspiration and information. I had some really low runs and some really great runs, and through all of that I had the support of my mentors and coach. However, I have talked to some friends who had a not-so-great experiences. I know how much it helped to have these people supporting me and I want to be that person for the women who I am mentoring.

There is this 10% of me that feels like I do not have 100% of the qualities it takes to be a mentor. I am not ashamed that I am a back-of-the-pack runner. I am not fast, but that doesn’t bother me, as a mentor though, I feel like I should be faster. I know that I am qualified to be a mentor, but sometimes the insecurities get the best of me.

As a mentor I am raising money for LLS, I am working on a few giveaways with some of my favorite companies and any donation gets you a virtual raffle ticket. You can donate here or click on the image on the sidebar.

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{Coming through the finishers chute, NWM 2012}

The great thing about mentoring is that the NWM 2013 race is about a month after Zooma 2013 and 2 weeks before my next half marathon, so the training lines up pretty close to my training and will help keep me accountable.

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If you want to register of Zooma Cape Cod, you still can, and get 10% of your race cost, this works for the 10K or Half, with the code CCAMB09!

Have you ever mentored for an event?

2012’s Best Moments.

As the year winds down and I spend the night with some dear family and friends, I wanted to share some of the most important and significant moments of 2012.

February:

One of my favorite desserts was the Samoa Bar I baked for our Superbowl party

I actually packaged them up and gave them all away to whoever came, if the pan was left out I would’ve eaten them all.

B was Baptized.

B, Nick & I and B’s Godparents.

March:

I ran my first Post Partum 5k (I ran the same course as my last race of 2012 recap to come later)

April:

I became a FitFluential Ambassador and celebrated with my blend, Cait!

May:

I signed up to run my first half-marathon with Team In Training.

We also threw a surprise party for my mom’s 60th birthday.

June

I had one of my first terrible training runs. It was an experience I needed, and one I hadn’t really had since I never really trained for an event.

I threw a bachelorette party for my sister-in-law. So much fun, let’s do it again

Oh, and she got married ;)


One of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.

July:

B turned one. I still can’t comprehend this one.

August:

I ran my PDR and had a DNS.

I also attended the Healthy Living Summit and won the Wild Harvest Breakfast Showdown.

September:

I attended the wedding of one of my very best friends.

I ran my very FIRST half-marathon.

October:

I ran the NWM’s Half Marathon with Team in Training.


My name on the wall.


Mid-run


Post-Race with my dear sister.

November:

We left our first home.

And had a awesome trip to the ER

But at least I got to spend some awesome time with my blend, Cait.

December:

We moved into our new house!

I was also nominated and won some Playlist Thursday Awards.

What and amazing year it has been! What are some of your favorite moments of 2012?

Runner’s Preferences and a Sparkly Soul Discount

Remember when I gave you my list of items to buy for the new runner that are under $100?

Guess what? One of my mentors for Team In Training, now currently training for the Boston Marathon is holding a fundraiser with my favorite headbands, Sparkly Soul, from Sunday, December 2nd until Sunday, December 9 2012 you can get 10% off your order and 15% of the total order will go to Jess’ fundraising. All you need to do is use the code JESS as the promo code.

If you want to see some colors check out my collection, so far:

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From L to R: Maroon, Orange, Green, Teal, Purple (Lavender), Kaleidoscope Pink, White, Black, Silver, Red White and Blue.

Now for the fun runners survey. I saw this on Madeline’s blog last week and I thought it would be great to share my thoughts too!

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

Shot Bloks are my favorite by far and they don’t bother my stomach. Sports beans are a close second.

2. Race Length: 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

A 10K is my ideal race, in terms of distance and time it takes me to complete. My favorite race is a half marathon.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants, or Other?

Capris. You will never not find me wearing them. Although I will throw a Team Sparkle skirt on fora little flair.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

When I am running I alternate between water and nuun, if it is hot. Usually I drink water while running then hydrate with a nuun cocktail after my run.

5. Running temperatures: HOT or COLD?

Neither? I prefer 40’s or 50’s, which I guess is cold for some. I like that its not too cold, but that when I warm up I am not too hot.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics, or Other?

I used to live in my Brooks, but since my feet have changed since I had B, I haven’t found a shoe I love. I currently have Asics, but I am dying to get my hands on a pair of Nike’s that the gait analysis folks at the Nike Expotique fitted me for. They were great for my foot and super lightweight.

7. Pre-Race Meal: Oatmeal. Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

I usually eat a plain bagel thin with plain peanut butter and a drizzle of honey or the Peanut Butter & Co. Bee’s Knees peanut butter.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

Usually 1 – 2 times a week, it really depends on my mileage, what I am training for and life. As much as I would love to, I can’t plain my training to a T, life just sometimes gets in the way.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I can go either way, if I am on the treadmill or running in a race alone I usually have it, although I ran without it for the entire Nike Half. I guess let’s just say I won’t be heartbroken if I am required to run without it.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?

I run because I love it. I didn’t used to love it. I started running because it was a convenient and “easy” way to workout. I love the alone time, I love the feeling of accomplishment with each new race distance completed and every new PR. I love the high, endorphins make me happy (and happy people don’t shoot their husbands ;))

Why do you run?

San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

Check out where I shopped and what I ate before you read about how I raced!

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It’s here, it’s finally race day. Decked out in my favorite reebok capris, sparkle skirt, lululemon tank, TNT tank and of course no outfit is complete without a sparkly soul headband or garmin ;)

I may have a big smile on my gave but I was a wreck. My sister made me coffee while I showered and dressed. I drank about half a cup and choked down an english muffin with some peanut butter. I met the rest of my Team In Training group in the hotel lobby, we took some group photos and headed to the start corrals together. I took a banana with me so that I could have something to eat, but ended up eating it before we left the hotel. We got into the corrals around 6ish, the race didn’t start until 7 am.

Let me start by saying, I did have race goals, ones that I kept to myself, the first was to finish and be happy, but what I really wanted was to finish in the same time as my first half or PR. So when I bird pooped on my head on Friday I thought, hey this race is going to be awesome and I am going to ROCK IT.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale. As I mentioned before we went to our start corrals about an hour before the race started and because it was such a large race and my corral was so far back, it took our group about 30 minutes to even cross the start line. I ended up starting my fuel earlier than I usually do.

The race started in Union Square and made its way down towards the Embarcadero and the Marina, Christine managed to find me in the crowd and I actually heard her, thanks for the encouragement! The first 4 miles were relatively flat and I was under my goal pace for those miles, but I still felt like I was not really pushing myself, I wanted some energy in the tank for the hard miles.

I made a bathroom stop around mile 3 and around mile 3.5-4 was the first big hill, but I just powered through it and got to the top, I saw my sister at mile 4…(sorry to anyone I sent this too, she took this pic at mile 4 NOT the finish line)

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I wish I had remembered to grab the extra fuel that I packed for her to take but I forgot, problem #2. I had my fuel around mile 4.5 – 5, these areas were fairly flat, I remembered that there were going to be shot bloks at the aid stations so I thought I would be okay. Mile 6 was were it started to take a turn for the worse. It was a winding hill that I thought was going to never end. I trained on some hills but they were nothing compared to this. I ended up power walking about halfway through, but I was starting to feel woozy at the top. I started walking when it flattened out and grabbed as much water and nuun as I could carry and hoped that I was dehydrated, but the fluid was not helping either. Around mile 8 a girl that I talked to earlier in the race noticed that I had slowed down, and maybe saw the desperate look on my face. She offered me a pack of sports beans, black cherry flavor, and I was so grateful, I wish I had caught her name or something, she saved me from a DNF, I am quite certain.

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This is what desperation looks like

I call mile 8 – 9.5 my dark miles. These are the ones I was alone and all I wanted to do was quit. It was an internal battle. I started secondary fuel way too late and I just wouldn’t be able to recover. Which meant walking the last 5 miles, I ended up on my feet for much longer than I ever had been before and that really hurt my knees and hips.

I was texting my sister and told her that she was going to have to wait longer than we had anticipated, but she was awesome.

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Honestly, I was not feeling it, I just wanted to finish. My time was 03:56:45, a full 38 minutes slower than my first half-marathon. I ran through the finish line, determined to have a smile on my face, it didn’t hurt that the commentators were discussing my awesome sparkle skirt over the speakers.

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FINALLY

I grabbed my necklace, finishers T, food and bag! I just wanted to eat and go shower, so I only stuck around long enough to snag the last long sleeved 13.1 finishers shirt.

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Caty and I hopped on to the TNT shuttle back to our hotel and showered & changed then proceeded to Boudin and Ghiradelli for my post-race treats, and unfortunately I forgot my ID so no post-race beer for me

San Francisco: Day 2 – FitFluential Dinner

Check out my guest post on the MA Team In Training Blog today!

Check out Day 1 if you haven’t read it yet!

Saturday started with a wonderful breakfast with Caty and some of my family that was in San Francisco. We met up with one of my uncles and his girlfriend and one of my cousins. We hadn’t seen my uncle in 4.5 years and we hadn’t seen my cousin in over 20. It was crazy, but also so nice that we could fall into conversations with ease.

I being the bad blogger that I sometimes am, enjoyed the moment instead of taking lots of pictures, although I wish I had taken some family shots. I gratefully got my normal breakfast of oatmeal and coffee! My cousin had to get to work so Caty and I took that opportunity to head back to Union Square and check out the displays at Macy’s

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It was pandemonium. While they had a fraction of the stuff that NikeTown had, people were going crazy. Literally just as racks were filled with items they were just as quickly emptied. I ended up grabbing a sweatshirt and a pair of capris, that I wanted at NikeTown, but didn’t want to spend the money. Good thing I had a Macy’s gift card in my wallet and I got a sweet 20% off.

Our last stop was Tout Sweet Patisserie

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If you are a fan of Top Chef: Just Desserts, the Yigit Pura will ring a bell, this is his place so I had to check it out. I got a gift for my mother-in-law and a few macaroons for myself and an energy bar that I ate post-race, I could have ate it before but I didn’t know if it would mess with my tummy.

From there we ran to the Team In Training inspiration luncheon. We were greeted with the coaches and mentors screaming and yelling, it was amazing!

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The lunch was your usual pasta, bread and salad. We had an amazing speech from John Bingham and a cancer survivor shared her story as she would be running her first marathon the next day. It was incredibly inspirational and moving, I know I was crying.

After lunch Caty and I went to Ghirardelli and just people watched until it was time to head to our Fitfluential blogger meet up. I’ll be honest, I was more nervous about this than the race itself.
I had met bloggers before, but this was a very intimate setting with a large group of bloggers I look up to.

We ended up at Ristorante Umbria a bit early, but we just people watched and chit chatted about race day, until people started arriving.

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Back Row (L-R): Alexandra, Tiffany, Meg, Linz, Gia, Kristen
Front Row (L-R): Rachel, Janene, Melissa, Me, Pavement Runner

Of course my dear sister came as well!
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she loves blogger hangouts, right Caitlin?

I was pretty hungry, since I ate lunch so early, so Caty and I shared a caprese salad and then I had my standard pasta with tomato sauce, my pasta of choice was gnocchi.

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And while it was delicious, the company was even better. I finally got to chat with Pavement Runner and Gia and of course see Linz again. It was hard to chat with everyone with such a large group, but it was nice to be in a space with so many like-minded people. I hope every race starts with a blogger dinner from now on!

Tomorrow – I reveal how everything went down on race day!

San Francisco: Day 1 – The Expotique!

Friday morning started super early, my sister Caty (pronounced Katie) and I got in our taxi at 5:15 and made our way to Logan. Turns out Virgin America has a separate security line (thank goodness because the normal one was about 100 people deep) and once we went through our security we realized we had two gates and a tiny Cosi stand with coffee and sandwiches. We promptly left and got my classic Starbucks breakfast, ate & drank quickly and went through security a second time.

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Starbucks perfect Oatmeal with brown sugar & nuts and iced coffee, 2 pumps pumpkin spice and non-fat milk. Fall perfection

We boarded and got in the air pretty quickly. As soon as I connected to the WiFi, I got a twitter notification.
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Oh hey BFF Kara. I told my sister and my husband, they didn’t get it :(

We landed in San Francisco around 1 and proceeded straight to our hotel, dropped our bags, and then went straight to the Expotique in Union Square.

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I didn’t wait in long for very long, I got my bib and bracelet and neon bag (Nike+ member perk) and proceeded to check out the Expo. First things first, I headed to Yurbuds to grab a shirt, unfortunately they only had Extra Small and Medium, the medium fit but was snug, and I knew that it would chafe on race day. I will say, wearing it now, and it is very comfortable!

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Next stop, Nike had a “get dressed by a stylist” booth. Fine, twist my arm. I got matched up with an expert and she picked out a tank, capris, long sleeve half-zip and a pair of Lunarglides (that unfortunately did not make it in the photo)

 

 

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I fell victim to the marketing, and definitely ended up purchasing the pants (2 days later), at least I had a coupon?

Vain moment: I know I may not be the skinniest or most fit person, but when I saw this photo, I was shocked, my legs look thinner than they have in a while. Thanks running!

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After Nike, I moved onto my favorite hydration booth, Nuun, and introduced my sister to the amazing product. Turns out we love the exact same flavors.

We started to head over to the Nike Gait Analysis, but just as we got in line out came the MC and he was about to introduce some of my running heroes, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Run nerd overload.

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The chat didn’t last for too long, but it was amazing seeing so many greats, I wish I had taken note from Pavement Runner and gotten a photo with them. I didn’t even realize that they were in the crowd. I did end up having my gait looked at it, and the expert told me that I over-pronate (I knew that) but that my foot automatically compensates and tries to correct it (knew that too), but I saw a ton of improvement from my last gait analysis, so thanks again running.

After the analysis, we headed over to NikeTown, they put all the names of the runners on the wall outside. I didn’t take a photo of the whole wall, because luckily my sister spotted my name right away and I jumped in front of those still searching, took a photo and headed inside.

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OH. MY. OVERLOAD. So many goodies, I told my sister to keep me in check, well she tried. It was my first big race and expo and I was celebrating. I walked away with a jacket, half-marathon half zip and half-marathon t-shirt. By this time we were exhausted and still had to wait 2 hours for dinner. West Coast dinner time reservations on an East Coast appetite, travel fail. We went back to the hotel, checked in, changed and snacked until dinner.

We went to 54 Mint, it was this tiny italian restaurant and had this rustic, countryside Italian feel. We were seated a few minutes early and had bread and oil right away thank goodness.

We started with the Sformato di Cavolfiori – which was a savory flan of cauliflower with fontina cheese.

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I apologize in advance, dark lighting & an iPhone camera.

It was one of the most delicious things I have ever had. The portion size was perfect for two (or even 3 people), as it was very rich.

I kept it simple with my dinner I had the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – which was fresh pasta with black pepper, olive oil and peccorino. It was so simple and perfect, actually had to hold back from eating it all. I knew I would be too stuffed if I ate it all.

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and Caty had the daily special: Gnocchi with prosciutto, mushrooms and parmigianna.
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and we had to try dessert, I had the salted dark chocolate pudding and Caty had her favorite Tiramisu.

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Tiramisu – I don’t usually like tiramisu, but this one was perfect because the rum flavor wasn’t strong, it was more of a light cocoa flavor.

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Pudding – I wish the salt was a bit more granular, since one of my bites had a large rock of salt.

I had a few bites, it was all I could handle. I would however, recommend this to everyone. We have lots of staples in San Francisco and this was immediately added to the list. I loved it so much we almost went back on Sunday night. We headed back to the hotel and proceeded to pass out almost immediately.

Day 2 – tomorrow, includes a fabulous FitFluential meet up!

Scenes from San Francisco & NWM

I really should be packing now, but I wanted to share a few photos with you of this past weekend in San Francisco!

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NO BIG DEAL!

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Can you find me>

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My motivation!

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Sister time!

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FitFluential Time

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Officially a Nike Women’s half Marathon Finisher.

Official race reports and thoughts will be up soon, but first, packing and processing :)

Playlist Thursday: ANGSTY & Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Wild Harvest giveaway is: Raymond! Congratulations. (For some reason the rafflecopter is not showing up for me)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out my guest post on the Team In Training blog today!

Now onto Playlist Thursday!

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

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Today’s theme is: Teenage Angst, songs that remind us of our teenage years, whether good or bad. I went with another sub-theme, Andrew McMahon, he has been the front man for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. He also is a Leukemia survivor, and even started a foundation, and since this weekend is all about LLS, I think I owe him a tribute.

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Something Corporate
Title: Hurricane
Side Note: I saw Something Corporate twice on their reunion tour in 2010, the Philly show was quite possibly one of the best shows I have ever been too. (So that’s the video)
Quotable: Stand up don’t make a sound. Your ears might bleed. There are sweet fluorescent enemies. That live inside of me. The world moves faster than I knew. Not fast enough to not creep up on you. And the space we put between. So pull me under your weather patterns. Your cold fronts and the rain don’t matter. Because the sun burns what I needed.

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Jack’s Mannequin
Title: Caves
Side Note: Another live video, this one from when they performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra…one of my first review posts was reviewing this. This song is about Andrew’s struggle with cancer. Holy tears.
Quotable: I fought a war to walk a gang plank. Into a life I left behind. Windows leading to the past. Think it’s time I broke some glass. Get this history off my mind

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist:Something Corporate
Title: Konstantine
Side Note: This song is about 9 minutes long, and if you are a longtime fan of SoCo you know this one. The one they NEVER play. But they played it on the reunion tour. I mean what is an angst palylist if there is no song that boy sings about a girl? This was at the live show in Boston!
Quotable: This is because I can spell confusion with a K and I like it. It’s to dying in another’s arms. And why I had to try it. It’s to jimmy eat world. And those nights in my car. But this time I’m alone, and I don’t see those stars. I’m not your star? Isn’t that what you said. What you thought this song meant. You thought this song meant

Have you ever heard of Andrew or these bands? WHat do you think?

What to pack for race day?

You have until midnight (EST) tonight to enter the Wild Harvest giveaway.

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As we all know, I am running the Nike Women’s Marathon – Half on Sunday. I am excited for the race and I have a few goals in mind, goals I will probably share post race. But I have finished a half-marathon previously, so what am I nervous about?

The packing! It is easy when you are in your own house and you are able to do something last minute or you have a pantry full of your staples, but how do you pack for a race that includes a flight?

I know that I need my clothes, fuel, chargers, but what are the little items that I can’t remember?

What are the must-have items on your packing list?