Monday, February 25, 2013


Yesterday was my half-marathon, and I survived it. Officially, I finished in 2 hours, 53 minutes, and 50.52 seconds. I was kind of surprised at the emotions as I ran this race--trepidation at the beginning, and the realization that I hadn't started far enough back in the pack (the race organizers asked for fast runners up front); resignation that a lot of people would be passing me; surprise that hundreds of feet running sounds just like rain falling on the roof; laughter at some of the signs of spectators (the best was "Worst. Parade. Ever."); wonder at the goofy costumes worn by the volunteers at the water stations; joy at seeing my niece and the Dig-Dog cheering my on near the finish line; and tears at the end of the race.

This isn't a great picture, but it shows me at home with my medal before I went to go take a bath.  I was tired, but happy!

If it weren't for the fact that I would have looked silly, I probably would have started bawling when the volunteer gave me my medal for finishing--between the fact that there were several photographers there and my stifling the urge, I was able to keep it together, barely. Then the moment passed, and I was ok--achy, but ok.  I still ache a little bit today, but not so bad that I can't get out of bed.  Instead, I feel like one does when the day before was a particularly strenuous workout--you can feel every muscle that was stretched, but it is a good ache, not a bad one.  I'm actually surprised at the fact that my back and shoulders were used yesterday.  My Niece took some video of me running the last 1/4 mile, but the quality isn't that good, since she was using her phone and running with me.

I need one of these buttons. 

I also feel quite a bit of accomplishment and relief, although I know that I'm going to need to do much more training in order to finish a full marathon.  For the first time in my life, I'm sorely tempted to buy a bumper sticker to show the world that I did a half-marathon!
They have ones like this at Up and Running, the local running store.

Of course, that means that I will need to get one like this after I finish my marathon in October...
Yup,  I'm going to be even more proud when I finish my marathon.

In the mean time, I'm already planning on running a 10K on my birthday as a birthday present to me, and would like to invite anyone that wants to, to join me (this isn't that far--only 6.2 miles!).  I also want to run at least one more half-marathon before the marathon in October, probably in June/July.  I'm limiting myself to no more than one race a month, but like the way that running the races helps me to gauge how I am progressing.  Even so, unless I am actively training for a race, I plan to switch from long runs on weekends to hiking again, especially since the weather is getting so beautiful.

The last time I went hiking, I realized that I am using some different muscles while hiking, so if I don't start doing so regularly, I may have some issues on my Camino.  Dig-Dog loves it whether we go running or hiking, so she is indifferent to the change, and I still have yet to conquer the Smuggler's pass trail completely.  I know that it ends someplace in McKelligon Canyon, but haven't actually gotten over the mountain range yet.  Part of it is that one point in the trail is a 2 in. chain bolted to the rock, so it isn't something Dig-Dog can conquer, and I feel guilty not taking her--she whines terribly, as she recognizes my hiking/running gear, and then is crestfallen when I leave without her.  According to my niece, she continues to whine long after I leave from the few times I've left her at home.  One of these days, I'm going to video her shenanigans before we go hiking/running, then put it to music--it is much like a choreographed dance!

Dig-Dog after a run--the poor thing is pooped!
The thing about these long distance races is that I'm not worried that anyone is going to beat me--I'm old and I'm still overweight, so there will always be others before me.  I'm just wanting to beat myself, and that is a bit of a first for me.  I'm normally very competitive, and, truthfully, I love winning.  But just having finished my half-marathon puts me in a group of people that I never thought I would join the ranks of--that of an amateur athlete. I will probably never have the speed of an Olympian, but it still amazes me that I have been able to do these races and not be last; that I can strive to be better--in practicing, I have been able to shave minutes off of my 5k time (from 42 minutes for my 1st 5K to a little over 35 minutes at my second).  I'm at a place where it feels weird to NOT exercise, rather than the opposite.

One of my favorite shirts at the running store has the following on the back of it:

Dear God,
Please let there be somebody behind me to read this.
I was tempted to buy it to wear to the race yesterday, but I decided against it....maybe for my marathon, but I hope to get to the place where I am running a 10-11 minute mile consistently before then, and If I can do that, I don't have to worry about being last.  Besides, I don't run to compete against anyone but myself...Even if I came in dead last yesterday, I still would have finished, and that says something about who I am and who I want to be.
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
As I get older, these verses in I Corinthians 9 remind me that, even as scripture alludes to races where there is a clear winner and loser, we each have a chance at the Prize God has for us--we aren't racing against others, but against ourselves.  Our foibles, our character flaws, our laziness, our discipline.  And research shows that, when we get more disciplined in one area of our lives, others tend to follow.  Here is hoping that all of us are running so as to win the prize.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Possible New gear Item...

I'm currently thinking about adding this nifty little device to my list of gear, in spite of the $100+ price tag...
It is basically a GPS tracker that I can add 10 people to in order for them to be able to track me as I hike, as well as to send pre-set "I'm doing ok" messages.  In addition, it has an "SOS" button that uses the satellites to call emergency medical personnel to wherever I am.  If I were walking the Camino during the spring, summer, or fall, I wouldn't hesitate to go without something like this, but there will be a lot less traffic on the Camino in winter, so I think I need to plan accordingly.  I think it will make my mom less worried about me, just as it will allow family and friends to be able to see where I am as I travel.

What do you think?  Will this be a worthwhile piece of gear to add to my list?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gear purchases

Well, I have bought some of the gear that I need....a camera, and a wind/rain jacket.  The jacket will also work for when I need to run in the rain.  Below, you will see pictures of the jacket--it is about 4.5 ounces, and water resistant, and supposedly breathable.  I tried it out last night when I ran with the running club, and it worked just fine  in keeping the rain off me as long as I had it zipped up, but I overheated pretty quickly.  This is in spite of the fact that there is a vent panel in the back to help keep overheating from happening.  Once I unzipped the jacket, it didn't do a very good job of keeping me dry, I think because all of the movement that I was doing allowed rain to get in underneath the collar, etc.  Having my keys in the pocket and a light attached to the lapel probably didn't help much either, as the extra weight caused the jacket to move around more.  I don't expect to use the pocket on my camino, as it is located over the right side of my butt.  However, between this and my long-sleeved running shirt, I was more than warm enough for the run, in spite of the rain.  I'm hoping that hiking will be the same--only time will tell!

I won't get the camera until sometime next week, but I'm excited to finally have a camera again!  It is under 6 ounces, including batteries and SD card, so it should work well for my Camino, and it should also be a pretty good camera, since it is a mainstream brand.  I will check it out and post pics here.  :-)   It is also 16 megapixels, so the quality of the photos should be pretty good as well.  I'm still trying to figure out how large of an SD card it will support, as I will need to buy one.  It also has the benefit of using AA batteries, so I should be able to find batteries along the Camino and not have to schlep them with me, although I will probably take at least a few extra sets just in case.  I've also been given a pair of shoes for my trip and promised a pocket knife as well.  I know that it is only the middle of February, but the fact that I'm starting to get my gear together is making this feel more real to me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

When I Run, God Smiles

It is less than a week before my first half-Marathon, and I'm feeling a little bit of trepidation about the event.  I haven't run as many miles as the training plan that I was following says I should have, and the longest run I have completed to date is about 10 miles up and down Scenic Drive.  My fellow runners at the running club have assured me that, if I can run 10 miles, I can run 13.1--Basically, this is adding a 5k to the longest that I have ever run.  I'm not sure that I can do it, and if I can't do this, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to hike the Camino or complete the marathon that I'm planning to run with one of my friends from high school this October.  I guess you could call this the first of many tests to my physical stamina.

One of the running sites that I've been looking at mention that I should have a reason for running such a long event...the rationale is that running for the sake of running is all fine and good, but that it might not carry you through to the end.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri once said something that shows a similar sentiment:
He who does not acquire the love of God will scarcely persevere in the grace of God, for it is very difficult to renounce sin merely through fear of chastisement.
Personally, I like running because it gives me some of the same high that a good romance or adventure gives me--endorphins are a wonderful thing!  In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell's Character says "When I run, I feel [God's] Pleasure," and I feel that too when I get into the groove of my stride.  It also gets me off of my butt and makes my dog happy, but I won't be taking the Dig-Dog with me this coming Sunday (poor thing--she will probably whine herself hoarse).  I run races because they help me to gauge where I am physically, as well as push me to get better, but I could do that just as well with the occasional 5K as I could with a half-marathon.  Running a half-marathon or a marathon because it was there, and it was something that I've always wanted to do doesn't seem like a good enough reason, though.  Heck, having "run a marathon" as an item on my bucket list hasn't given me the motivation to do so, until this year....

Wasn't the Dig-Dog cute as a puppy?  She is now a beautiful dog, but this has to be my favorite picture of her as a puppy.

I mean, I started hiking regularly in order to deal with the stress at home, which then morphed into running after I was able to run a 5k with a lot more ease than I expected to--no training at all beyond the 2-3x weekly hikes that I was already doing.

While I wouldn't have articulated it at the time, I think that my hiking/running was also a way to reclaim a part of me that had gotten lost in my marriage--I used to love hiking, camping (as long as toilets were available), and fishing growing up. Because my ex wasn't really interested, I didn't do very much of it.  In spite of having my own fishing gear, I only went fishing once during my almost 11 year marriage.  To his credit, the ex attempted to go hiking with me once this past year, and even promised to go hiking at least once a week, but like so many other promises, he didn't follow through....there was always some excuse, so I finally just quit inviting him.   Including that one time he came with me last year, he went hiking with me a sum total of 3 times in our marriage. I never invited him to run with me because he vociferously condemned the practice in the past, and made it clear when I did run that he wasn't interested.  I suppose that he could say the same of me, since I've never really been a big bicycler, and that has always been his favorite means of exercise.  If I am going to bicycle, it will be to get from point A to point B, not for the sake of biking!

I've never actually been fly fishing, but I always have the most fun fishing when I am fishing on a river--more action.  The last time  I went fishing with my dad, I caught 3 trout from the river in his backyard!

I'm thinking that I need to pull out my fishing gear and do a few weekend trips to some of the lakes/rivers/streams in the area this coming spring.  It has been a long time since I have spent a day drowning bait, and I think that I am long overdue!  Then, on the off chance that  I actually catch something, I need to find someone that I can give my catch to.  I am one of those weird fishermen that doesn't like eating fish!

I think the reality of the physical tests of endurance that I have set myself up for--the half-marathon next Sunday, the full marathon in October, and walking the Camino in December--are extensions of the internal test of endurance I am currently going through as I heal from my divorce.  Maybe this is faulty reasoning, but I feel like my being able to do these things will prove that I can live through and survive the divorce too.  And, maybe, just maybe, the time set aside for these activities will give me some of the silent space that I need to be able to actually process through the last 11 years. It is a way to reclaim who I am while remaking myself from the years of inertia and stagnation.

And that is a good enough reason to keep trying.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

On Imprudence

I have always thought that the virtue of prudence is very closely related to wisdom, although less about what I think and more about what I do. When it comes to speech, it means knowing when to shut up and when to speak up. Personally, I have always weighed in on the side of saying too much rather than too little--according to my brother, I have an overdeveloped sense of honesty...this means that I often feel like I am lying when I am merely not telling the whole story. This can be a legitimate offense, as we can lie both by omission and by commission, especially when we refrain from saying something in order to make the person we are talking to believe something that isn't true.

I did this with my ex when I hid my hours in Adoration because I knew he would disapprove. I also did this when I didn't say anything when I was unhappy in order to keep the peace....All I did was compound the problems we were having because I was saying with my actions that everything was just fine when it wasn't--I felt incredibly guilty about it, as it felt very deceptive to me, but in my lack of wisdom, I didn't know what else to do. I suppose it is always possible that saying something could have changed the outcome, but then again, maybe not. I remember mentioning to my ex that I wanted us to go to counseling again three or four years before we split up, and his response was, "we'll think about it." If nothing else, I have learned the hard way that full disclosure is better than letting things fester, so I will always probably err on the side of over-disclosure.

One can be imprudent in the other direction as one really wants a blow by blow of the minor surgery on that abscess you had on your knee, and not everyone needs to know your innermost thoughts on the mating habits of the north american tree frog. (I don't have any, by the way....) And, sometimes it is all about timing....Christ didn't tell his disciples everything because he knew they couldn't handle it at the time. In John 14, He talks about how the Holy Spirit will come to guide us into all truth. It isn't that Jesus didn't trust his disciples, but that he knew they weren't ready YET.

At the same time, John 8:32 says that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. I think that I am still learning what it means to be prudent in my words and actions, as the pendulum has gone from being too silent to too open again. And, when that happens and it comes to my attention, I will likely delete posts. I don't always get it right the first time, but with God's help, I DO eventually get it right!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


This weekend, I have to say that I have been struck by my own selfishness....maybe it is the fact that I haven't been feeling well, but once again, I'm seeing that I am by no means near the place where St. Paul was when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me..." I have noticed that I am often content to let others do things for me rather than to do the work myself, which means that I'm not a very good roommate.  That could be, at least in part, why my marriage fell apart, so I really need to work on this.

Sunday, as I was in mass, it struck me that all of the readings related to our responses to encounters with God...Isaiah sees God as he is conducting worship, Paul talks about his Damascus road experience, and Peter sees the first glimpses of Jesus' divinity in the miracle of being able to fill his boat AND his partners' boat after a night of catching nothing.

This is one of my favorite paintings by Dali--see the boat at the bottom of the picture?
The thing I find most interesting about the readings/encounters is that they all come away with a better understanding of their own sinfulness...Grace is also imparted, but only after they come face to face with the fact that they are sinful men.  Like the 12-steppers say, "admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward recovery."  From the lives of saints that I have either read or watched, I've noticed that most of them have a point where they become aware of their own sinfulness.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm a saint, or even that I'm saint material any more than any of us are saint material...Actually I would argue that I'm pretty far from sainthood at this point!  Nor am I saying that I have had some pivotal experience like St. Paul, St. Peter, or the Prophet Isaiah.  But I'm seeing more and more how much I sin in the little things--in selfishness; in cussing because of anger and frustration; in playing my day away at work; in bad attitudes and in plain old laziness.  In this respect, I think that those of you who have children have one up on me--because I am only responsible for me, it is very easy to fall into a self-centered mindset. This is much harder to do when you have little ones that depend on you for things like food and other necessities.  Having pets helps some, but I suspect that this will be the greatest struggle I have as long as I live as a single person--remembering that it isn't all about me!

I think that is probably the greatest reason that I am attracted to religious life--when you live in community, you can't live only for yourself and be successful.  That is also why every order lives by a rule of some sort--it greases the space between members so that you can successfully forge a life together and grow closer to Christ in the process (and it knocks off the rough edges as well!).  And, it is also probably the reason why I will never make a good sister, just like I didn't make a good wife:  I am very headstrong on top of everything else!

But, that is also what Lent is about, isn't it?  The Church, in Her wisdom, has set aside a time every year for us to reflect on our attachment to this world, and in the process, remind us that we really need to be attached to Jesus and not anything else.  Like John the Baptist, we must say, "He must increase, and I must decrease."  I'm not there yet, but hopefully, a year from now, I can be a little bit closer, even if only by a centimeter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


My ex used to say that I was "addicted" to Starbucks, and that I should quit going there.  I didn't pay attention to him because I was using my own spending money, and I still really like their Chai tea lattes, but as Lent is getting ready to start in less than a week, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be addicted to something, or, in the parlance of the Church, have disordered attachments to temporal things.

Proof positive that I'm number one....for that race, anyway!
I mean, there are a lot of things that I either crave from time to time or that I know I do not function well without...Exercising for instance.  Is the fact that I don't deal well with the normal stress of my life if I don't somehow fit in at least 2-3 runs in a week into my schedule an addiction?  And, if so, could I find better stress relievers out there?  I don't think so, and honestly, I really don't want to go back to my couch potato self.  I like the fact that I have more energy and that I look good because I've been exercising.  I also like the fact that a 5 mile run works on my mood way better than any antidepressant ever did.

While I do worry about the way my increasingly slimmer body feeds into my vanity, I also laugh at myself regularly as I dry myself off in the mornings....I catch myself sucking in my tummy and thinking that it would be nice if I had my 22 year old body again, only to have the song "you're so vain" begin to play in the back of my mind.  At the same time, I also know that I don't really want that body back, because that body couldn't run 1 mile, let alone 5 miles, on a regular basis, in spite of the fact that it was 30 lbs lighter and more perky.

Another would be the copious amounts of tea that I consume on a daily basis at work....I probably drink 3-4 16 oz. cups in a day, with more honey than is strictly good for me.  Earlier this week, I joked with a co-worker that I like my tea like I like my men--hot, strong, and sweet!  I'm not really looking for the latter, and doubt that I ever will, but I couldn't resist the joke.  Sometimes I get headaches on the weekends because I don't drink as much tea at home, and I know that is actually a symptom of being addicted to the caffeine.  At the same time, I'm not sure that I can reduce the amount of tea I drink unless I can find a viable that helps me to continue to concentrate on what I'm doing as well as to keep me hydrated as the day progresses.  I've actually had some success with using NUUN tablets, but keep forgetting to bring them to work with me.
Me about 1.5 years ago...before I began exercising regularly.

And then there is my reading....this is another thing that my ex used to say I was addicted to, as I would often read until all hours of the night when I was in the middle of a good book.  Even though part of me knows that the book will be there when I come back, it is SOOOO hard to put it down when the end of the chapter comes.  I find that I often desperately want to know what happens next!  So, I guess you could say that I'm a sucker for a good book.

I think this is where the virtue of Temperance comes in....a friend of mine from a forum that I belong to said this:
Ive just read a wonderful piece about temperance saying that many people forget there is a flip side of it - we focus a lot on the "cutting down" part without remembering that temperance is about "balance" and its just as important to indulge in fun/relaxation/food we enjoy, etc. That when we over focus on taking things away, we might be slipping into a life without joy, and that part of Christian living is living joyfully, and being balanced. I just really liked that.
I like this too.  Coming from a background where we refrained from so many things (I think the saying from childhood said something to the effect of, "I don't drink, don't dance, don't smoke, don't chew, nor go out with those who do.), I often wonder if having a hard cider with dinner on a regular basis is the first step toward alcoholism.  I feel a twinge of guilt about going to a bar with friends from work.  I struggle with figuring out whether skipping daily Mass to go running  or sleeping an extra hour after a late night reading is a good use of my time.

Part of my quest for balance means that I always do 2 things for Lent--I give up something, and then I take something on.  I'm pretty sure that my "giving up" will be Starbucks  and maybe Facebook this year (with one exception--I am meeting a friend for coffee on the 16th of this month), but I just don't know what to add on.  I was thinking about getting back into the habit of daily Mass on weekdays, but that means running in the evenings.  I don't mind running in the dark, but I often have a hard time motivating myself after a long day at work....even when my dig-dog looks at me with her soulful eyes while rattling her leash!

So, what are you going to do for lent?  Will you be giving up, taking on, or a little bit of both?  How do you achieve the balance that Temperance requires?



Monday, February 4, 2013

Got My First guide for the Camino!

I just received my winter pilgrim pamphlet today. Now, all I need is the regular guide....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tentative Packing list

I haven't really done any posts about what I am doing to plan/prepare for my trip next December yet, so I wanted to give you what I am planning on taking with me and why...I have another post about running percolating in the back of my brain, but I think that it can wait for a little bit.

Anything I pack for my Camino will have to be carried on my back for the duration unless I want to spend money to box it up and send it home (I am told that this is a normal occurrence for most pilgrims, but I want to avoid it if possible).  Because of this, my personal goal is to have a pack weight of less that 15 lbs so that I am less likely to need the Spain Post Office's services.  This weight does not include food or water, so the daily actual weight of my pack should be about 20 is more than I would like it to be, as it really should be no more than 10% of my body weight, but I can't afford the gear that is lightweight enough to make my pack in the ten pound range, especially since I'm going to be hiking in winter! 

I also haven't figured out the logistics of bringing home water from Lourdes yet, as I plan to visit there the Sunday before I start walking, but will probably box it up and send it home if I am able to.  I just don't see how I'm going to be able to carry the extra weight--every liter of water weighs 2.2 lbs!  At the same time, I can't resist being in Lourdes on Dec. 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception (ok, I know that this year, this feast is technically on the 9th, and the 8th is one of the Sundays in Advent, but still!). 

So, I'm basing my tentative list on the lists of others that have walked the Camino, on what I already have, and on what I have been reading about hiking in the winter....As soon as I get my tax return, I plan to take a trip to Albuquerque to visit the REI store there, so some of this could change based on my conversations with them.  No matter what, I really only have $500-600 that I can spend on gear, so I'm having to balance between cheap heavy items and more expensive light items.   I have also been keeping an eye out for used gear on ebay and craig's list, but have been less than impressed by the selection--sellers are either wanting almost the same price as new gear on Amazon, the gear is clearly ripped/broken from the pictures, or the seller has no idea on the specs of the item (weight, temp rating, etc).  Based on this, I'm thinking that hiking/backpacking gear is probably better to buy new when on sale....Because of my budget, I won't quit looking for less expensive gear, but don't really expect to find it.  I'm also not adverse to being a charity case--if you have any lightweight camping/backpacking gear on the list that you would be willing to donate to a good cause, I would be an ecstatic recipient!!!

Gear I have:

2 short sleeved running shirts
2 long-sleeved running shirts
--these will be my two base layers, and the fabrics on them are very lightweight, wicking, and antibacterial materials (translate that to "less smelly").  In addition, I've been reading that hiking in winter actually requires less clothing as long as you keep moving, so these 2 layers plus a jacket could be all I need while walking.  I will need more to keep warm on my breaks, and staying warm is easier to do than warming back up, but I am planning for that by having an extra layer to put on when I am on break. I also plan to take my breaks someplace where I can get inside whenever possible, so that will help with the issue of staying warm! :-)

Safety pins (12-20)
Gloves--I have those stretchy knitted ones, one pair of which can be used with electronic devices.  They won't help me if it rains, but they will work on dry days.
Hat--a nice wool one that is long enough to cover my ears!
2 sports bras
Fleece scarf
String for use as an improvised clothes line....I am debating whether I should spring for some paracord, since it will be sturdier than the string I have, but am not quite willing to put this in the "to buy" list yet.
Walking poles
iPad Mini--this will be one of my 3 electronic devices, and it will stand in for my Bible, other reading material, a computer for keeping up with this blog/keeping in touch with family while walking, and as a watch/alarm clock.  I will have to keep on the look out for internet cafes, since it is wifi only, but I can live with that.  If I don't check in regularly, I suspect that my mom will have a mild panic!
iPod Nano--I don't expect to be listening to this much while walking, but I want to use it to keep track of how far I have gone and how fast I am going.  It has Nike+ on it, so I can strap it to my arm, get it started, and track away!  Unfortunately, because I bought a wifi only iPad, I can't use my iPad for tracking.  :-/
Comb--one of the nice things about short hair is that it doesn't require a hairbrush, and that means I can save the weight!
Ear Plugs--One of the hazards of using the pilgrim's hostels (Auberges) is that fellow pilgrims often snore.  I plan to take 2-3 pairs just in case, and I really hope that I'm not one of the pilgrims that keeps everyone else awake!
Gallon Ziplock Bag for garbage created while on the trail
1/2 a roll of toilet paper, roll removed
Fingernail Clippers
Epi-pen:  I'm debating about whether I should bring two with me, just in case.  I will be careful, and plan to have a note on my iPad listing all of my food allergies in Spanish, but accidents can still happen...I may just bring one with me and have a prescription from my doctor in case I need to get another one because I used the first.
Kleenex--If I bring a handkerchief instead, I can wash it out and re-use it each day.  I'm just not sure how hygienic that is.
Debit Card--I get paid in the middle of my trip, so I want to be able to access extra money if I need it.
Pre-paid Credit Card--this will need to be usable in Europe, so I need to figure out where I can get one that is accepted internationally....From what I have read, most places along the Camino don't accept travellers checks, so using a pre-paid credit card with a pin is the best way to access extra funds as needed....ATMs are readily accessible.  I've toyed with the idea of just using my debit card the whole time, but cringe at the thought of all of those ATM fees!
A list of emergency contact numbers/addresses--I plan to be safe about this, but pickpocketing has been known to happen along the Camino.  I also plan to leave copies of my passport, credit/debit cards, and insurance information with someone here so that, if I am a victim, I can cancel cards and get new ones.
Guidebook--I have ordered the most recent from the Society of St. James in England, but haven't received it yet.  I may not take it with me, because of weight, but will likely take notes of what is most important and save it to my iPad.
Disposable razor--I can live with unshaved legs, but having hairy armpits is unacceptable!!!
Minimal first aid kit, including blister care and anti-diarrhea medication--I'm told that there are pharmacies all along the route, and that other pilgrims often also have stuff, but one should at least have a little bit just in case.
one set PJs--some pilgrims sleep in their clothes for the next day, but I tend to sweat a lot when I sleep.  This is why I have debated using a sleeping bag liner in addition to my sleeping bag, but don't think that I can afford the added weight. More than likely, I will bring a pair of my running capris and one of my running shirts for PJs, and then plan on washing them once a week. It will only add about 6 oz to my total weight.
Camelbak bladder--my brother Tim will be giving me this, as he was given several while he was deployed this last year....I plan to buy a backpack that has a compartment/port for one, so this is perfect!
Insulated Cup--I am going to want to drink something warm to start the day every day, so I want to bring one of my travel mugs with me to help keep it warmer for longer.
Allergy Meds
Proof of insurance
Mechanical Pencil
net scrubber--this is lighter than a washcloth, and dries quicker as well.  If I need to, I can attach it to the outside of my backpack to dry.
Small rock 

I don't know how much all of the above weighs, but I have a 10 lb. postal scale that I intend to use to weigh everything before packing it once I have everything and it get's closer to my actual trip.  The goal is to go on a 2-3 day hike over Thanksgiving break in order to get a feel for how I will do on my actual Camino....I just need to find someplace that has a hotel/motel about 20 miles from here so that I can hike there, spend the night, and then hike back.

Gear I need to Buy:

2 lightweight knee braces--I doubt that I will need them, but want to be prepared
Backpack--I want this to be under 2 pounds....I'd really like to buy one of the under 1 pound models that I have found, but have a hard time justifying the cost of 1/3 of my gear budget to do so.  As it is, I expect to spend in the $75-100 range for one of the under 2 pound models.
Sleeping bag--I would like this to be under 3 pounds, but because I am going to need a sleeping bag with colder ratings, will settle for it being under 4 pounds in order to afford it.  I refuse to buy anything heavier, as I can't afford for my sleeping bag to take up more of my weight allowance.
Fleece Jacket/pullover--I found an 8 oz  one that I really like!
Rain coat/Jacket--I'm kind of torn about these 2 items.  I have found a lightweight water-proof jacket that I like, as well as a "3-in-one" jacket that is currently on sale.  If I buy the 3 in one, it has a fleece liner that I can also use as a fleece jacket on it's own and I won't need to buy the above fleece jacket.  However, the 3-in-one is a hideous teal color.  I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I could get a better color, as I like the idea of being able to connect my layers for ease of taking on and off, but I really don't want it to be disposable either.  I suspect that, if I were to get the 3-in-one, I would never wear it again once I got home.
Waterproof gloves/mittens--Since I have been monitoring the weather along the Camino,  I'm noticing that there are very few days without either snow or rain in the winter, so waterproof gear is going to be essential for me staying warm.
2 pair Hiking underwear--it is made from material that is wicking and antibacterial.  Since I will be washing my clothes by hand, this seems kind of important.
Waterproof Hiking boots
Gaiters--these are nifty devices that protect your legs from the ankle to the knee, and in the process keep mud, dirt, rocks, and snow from getting into your boots.  I am told that they are essential gear for winter hiking, as keeping dry is half the battle for keeping warm.  It is also one of the best ways to keep from getting blisters (keeping your socks dry).  I am ALL FOR both of those!!!
Headlamp--The sun doesn't rise before 8am in the winter along the Camino, so the first hour of hiking most days will be in the dark. 
Raincover for Backpack
Hiking Towel--some of the people who have blogged about their Camino trip have used those swim chamois instead of towels to save weight, but I've never used one before, so I will probably just buy the lightest weight hiking towel in the smallest size that I can tolerate.  I would be willing to try a chamois, but would need to borrow one to do so.
Hiking pants (2 pr)--I actually prefer to hike in skirts, so I have mixed feelings about buying pants for this trip.  I understand that they will be warmer than any skirt, especially if it is windy, but I WILL be wearing long johns underneath, so it isn't like I won't be covered.  This seller has told me that should would make a skirt to my specs (I like my hiking skirts to be about calf length) for me if I ordered from her, and I love the colors! Also, I have heard that it is normal to lose weight while on the Camino, so having garments with an adjustable waistband like her skirts are would be a plus!
running tights/long underwear--I am still doing research about this.
Rain Pants
Lightweight ballet type shoes--I need to have something other than my hiking boots with me so that they can air out/dry out at the end of the day.  I was thinking that some lightweight ballet slippers might do the trick for any sightseeing I do once I am done for the day.  A pair of keds/other tennis shoe is another option, but the operative word is LIGHT!
Sock Liners (4 pr)--one website mentions using nylon mens dress socks for this.
Smartwool Socks (4 pr)--they just have to be wicking and lightweight.
Bandana/handkerchief--this could be good for replacing kleenex, as well as for sopping my brow if I begin to sweat.
Soap--I'm thinking about possibly getting a bottle of Dr. Bronners to use for soap, shampoo, AND laundry soap, but need to try it out first.  I've tried using bar soap on my hair before and hated the way my hair felt.  At the same time, the more that I can make each of my items work for multiple tasks, the less weight I will be carrying.
Passport carrier, preferably waterproof
Digital Camera--Part of me would prefer one that uses AA or AAA batteries (I would likely be able to find batteries along the way), but they are much heavier when this is the case. 
Sink Stopper--for making the daily laundry chore easier....I may leave this out and just plan to wash all of my clothes in the shower.
suction cup with hooks--I am told that most of the showers in the Auberges have no hooks for hanging clean clothes or towels. 
toiletry holder--might not be necessary if I use Dr. Bronner's for everything!
Journal--I have one that I can use, but want to see if I can find one that is more lightweight.  I really don't like the fact that the one I have weighs almost a pound!
International Charger for iPad/pod
Batteries for camera/headlamp--only needed if they don't use standard sized batteries
Stuff sack for creating pillow with coat/fleece
Camino Map--I plan to buy this from the pilgrim's office in St. Jean Pied-de-Port
lightweight scissors--needed for blister pads...I might just use my pocket knife for everything
pocket knife
Pilgrim's passport
Bag for dirty/worn clothes

Items I'd like to take if I have room/weight

Tea ball and loose leaf tea
1-2 Hiking skirts--I really like these skirts for traveling if I didn't buy the custom made ones mentioned above, but suspect that they are really heavy since they have snaps everywhere.
some sort of bag that I can use as a purse when I am in a town/city.
lightweight sweater
NUUN tablets--I use these for running and love them!
extra rosaries to give away
empty container for putting fragile fruit/veggies into--I can't just buy a bunch of bread/nuts for trail food, so I'm going to have to find ways to make traditionally non-trail food work as trail food.  OR, I'm going to have to plan to stop at a restaurant for lunch every day.
belt in case I lose weight
Honey--I'm pretty sure that I will be able to find this along the way, but am not positive.  Since I am not much of a coffee drinker, being able to take my own tea fixings would be WONDERFUL.  I know that they have powdered peanut butter.  I wonder if somebody makes powdered honey?

Any suggestions anyone might have would be helpful, as I love hiking, but have no experience with hiking in the winter, and that is what I will be doing on my Camino trip!