Monday, March 2, 2015

My Fitness Bucket List

A few friends and I are planning a fairly epic adventure in a couple of years. In fact, it's so epic that we have to save and raise tons of money, acquire gear and necessities (which are not cheap), and perform a huge amount of research before we even think about purchasing plane tickets. Luckily, we are all marathoners and ultramarathoners so even though the physical challenge of this journey doesn't seem too overwhelming, it IS overwhelming. We are so excited!

This started me thinking about all of the physically challenging things I'd like to do before I am unable to, whether it is death (which is certain) or some other unfortunate circumstance that prevents me.

What's on your FITNESS BUCKET LIST? Here's what's on mine (I've posted the links to these fabulous events so you can check them out and maybe do some of them yourself):
  • A multi-day hike/backpacking trip with Greg Aiello, the guy who narrated the Live Well Network's Motion series  exploring natures bounty, sometimes with people and other times alone. The show was recently cancelled, as was the fledgling ABC lifestyle network.  But I still have a dream to participate in a trip led by Mr. Aiello as my um, personal guide. From the very first sho, I was instantly hooked by the awesome photography, expansive views atop various peaks and more claustrophobic ones deep reddish-orange in canyons.
  • R2R2R-->Rim to Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon, hiking or fast-packing. Even though there are signs posted at various points saying you will probably die. 
  • The Paris and Berlin Marathons and a host of of other European marathons in major cities, but I hear these two in particular are fab. 
  • NYC Marathon: Please, universe. Please. And just this once I'd like to do a 5:30 marathon. Just this once. I would like to run in my hometown, maybe next year.
  • A 100 Miler such as THIS one, I think I'd be satisfied with doing just one. Did I just put this out there? For the uninitiated, a 100 miler is exactly what it says, but on foot and likely running through the night for long periods alone. 
  • Finishing the TGNY 100K. Like actually finishing. I've attempted this twice: once just using the course markers after the actual racer, I'll achieve many more miles.
  • Finishing the TGNY 100K. Like actually finishing. I've attempted this twice: once just using the course markers after the actual race began, and the second time finishing 27.5 miles of the course before I was done. Maybe this year, I'll achieve many more miles.
  • Scuba diving. Anywhere.
  • Sky-diving
  • Getting above half of a rock-climbing wall. This would be a huge accomplishment!
  • A 24-hour race, like this one
  • Hiking lots of the AT and the PCT in sections. I've been intrigued by the Appalachian Trail since forever, and even thought I did NOT particularly fall in love with Cheryl Strayed, I loved the retelling of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Go on a short solo backpacking trip. This is probably the MOST scary and what I'll need the most hand-holding for
  • Fat-Dog 50 Miler in BC, Canada. This looks so amazing. Every time I see an ad for it in Trail Runner Mag, I feel the urge to hop on a flight RIGHT THIS INSTANT to Canada
  • PARKOUR-Basically what we used to do off of the monkey-bars in city parks and in pre-hipster Brooklyn racing down our long blocks doing what we called "fence races"--in a glorified manner.
  • Backpack around the base of Everest and then up to base camp.
  • Run around the island of Roatán in the Bay Islands of Honduras to salute my ancestors (and current family, too)
  • The Laugavegur Ultramarathon in Iceland, and then go sit in the Blue Lagoon for hours afterwards. How cool would it sound to say, "Yeah dude, I just ran the Laudate Dominum Marathon in Iceland?" How COOL?
  • Maui Marathon or anything on Hawaii? Volcanic marathon? Yes. Beach marathon? Yes.
This is just the beginning. 


  1. Hi Mirna - I love to read your blog!! I am prepping to run my first 25k trail race at the Finger Lakes Fifties (I think you're familiar with that race ;). I'm trying to put together a training plan and wonder if you have any advice or a training plan that you used or modified? Many thanks in advance. Keep on being awesome!! ~MCG

    1. Thanks so much for reading my blog MCG! I actually used the 25K as a training run both times for the Marine Corps Marathon. So I'm thinking that maybe using a half marathon training plan (making sure to at least do your long runs on rolling trails like the FL course), with a half marathon about 2-3 weeks out from FL25K would probably be the most sensible. Not knowing your mileage volume, it's hard to tell how much of a "taper" you should do--some people don't do any for distances lower that 26.2 miles--but if you're worried about fresh legs, definitely taper with your preceding 2 long runs below 10 miles…my 2 cents! Good luck. Hopefully I can get there this year, just put myself on the wait list for the 50K!

  2. Awesome - thank you so much!! I'm working my mileage back up after sickness over the fall and winter - the taper for the last two long runs is sound advice. I'm targeting the NJ Trail Series half at the end of May and may try to stretch the training plan for another few weeks to make it to July 4th. I was #15 on the waitlist and just got confirmed as a participant on Monday. Very much hope to see you there!! Thank you again!! ~MCG

  3. NP--Looking forward to meeting you!

  4. Good afternoon Mrs. V!

    I always adored reading your blog. Keep it up. You're one of the many people that inspire me each and every day!

    love you & miss you,


  5. I would love to run a race you're in! I need to do a running bucket list too!

  6. Have completed both the Paris marathon and skydiving. The Paris marathon is amazing although the start is a little rough because although you are running down the Champs Elysees which is way cool, it is however, cobblestones.

  7. If you ever need AT advice, I'm your girl! I'm a guide in the Smokies and take people on trips all the time. I also thru hiked the AT in 2012 :) FYI I wrote a blog post over on my blog VERY recently about solo hiking.

    1. Thanks!!/link to your blog?/I love the Smokies and haven't spent enough time in them!

    2. Thanks!!/link to your blog?/I love the Smokies and haven't spent enough time in them!

  8. If you go to Paris I would love to meet you. It will be my first marathon and I am so scared

  9. Found your blog through a Facebook post and love everything I've read so far! The idea of a Fitness Bucketlist is so cool!

  10. Kripalu yoga retreat is totally on my bucket list, too!!!!