No, really, it has to stop.

[Not the media commentary on the stupidity of McCain's choice of running mate, no no - bring some more of that on!]

The packing.
And re-packing.
And re-re-packing …
I've lost count of the packing attempts over the last 2 days (stopped counting at 8):

Between the pros and cons of the two possible suitcases, and the limitations set down by VIA Rail of Canada, we were staring down the pike at a dilemma of biblical proportions (who was the guy who had to choose which of his sons to sacrifice?):

I thought I might have to make a choice between leaving the running gear behind or leaving the coffee.

Those of you who have ever spent a morning with me, or who have lived with this crazy marathon thing for the past few months, know how wrenching this was. Leave home the elixir which (literally) gets me out of bed in the morning? without which I have no personality? Or spend 12 days sitting on my backside in a tour bus, knitting, losing cardiovascular fitness by the hour?

Running partner Nurse K gave me no quarter: the shoes had to go with me, or I wouldn't be holding up my end of the bargain to try to make it 26.2 miles on November 30 with her. Okay. In go the shoes and the T-shirt and the socks and the jog bra …

Can I do without something else in this wee little carry-on sized case? Shall I switch all of my underwear to thongs to try to squeeze in the world's most fantastic coffee maker ever?

The first stage of grief is denial: the coffee gear isn't that large, after all. Surely something else would make more room …

The next stage, bargaining: but as we drink the coffee, that will make more room for yarn I might want to get on the Tour, right? The coffee is the best thing to take for that reason!

Then, at 3 a.m., the solution came to me in a flash. I can take part of the coffee making gear (the fantastic press gizmo and the coffee itself), and leave behind the travel kettle which boils the water.

Gordian packing knot cut, and peace is restored.

Little black suitcase is all set to go, and even zips shut without its expansion capacity expanded. Phew.

Clearly, I must be doing something right with my life that this is the biggest thing I have to worry about.