Sunday, 17 September 2017

Stripped naked

Well I'm almost there.  I leave tomorrow morning and fly to Las Vegas arriving at my hotel in Kanab around 3am UK time on Tuesday.  Registration for the race starts on Friday, we move out to the start campsite on Saturday and 8am local time we start with 31 miles on Sunday.  This is followed by 26 miles/53/day off if you've completed the 53/26/26 & 7.  But the mileage, altitude, terrain and temperature is just half the battle.  It's the mental side that will determine whether you finish or not.
Having completed MdS 4 years ago I have had an insight into what lies ahead.  You're carrying everything you need and Im still trying to squeeze it into a bigger rucksack than I'd anticipated.  I've seen posts with people somehow managing to get into smaller rucksacks but at the cost of calories which could be the difference between finishing and not.
I'll be stripped naked in this race - not literally but there is nowhere to hide.  The morning will start with breakfast. Poring cold water into a plastic bag eating wheetabix, nuts and raisins gives me what I need.  Run/walk and get acclimatised while paying close attention to my core body temperature.  Get that wrong and good night.  Chase down check points - it's the only way to survive as eating an elephant in one go isn't advisable.
And when I finish my 31 miles I'll tend to my feet, rehydrate, eat and then head over to the media tent to stand in a queue to send my blog.  You'll be receiving it a day behind but I want to capture the essence of the race for you so you can share the experience with me.
As I sit here on the couch after a cooked dinner and looking forward to a bath later followed by a comfy bed it's hard to imagine what it will be like.  Basically running a marathon a day carrying 12 kg on my back in hot conditions at altitude and when you finish, there are no showers or change of clothes.  No washing for a week, boiled in the bag food.  Sleeping with 9 strangers a night in a space no wider than your sleeping bag.  6 days.  This is what makes it special.  No FB or IPhone and the only contact with the outside world is the messages that you might send to race control - I'll post details later.  This is my reference to stripped naked - all home comforts are removed and believe it or not, this is the attraction.  Pushing a pen and driving a desk doesn't compare.  Life starts beyond your comfort zone, so get out there and enjoy.
And hopefully you'll support Maggie's - apparently there was a BBC programme on Maggies tonight so it will be worth checking it out on iPlayer.
From Tuesday I'll be blogging daily from Kanab, where they filmed the Outlay Josie Wales.  I'm excited, nervous and can't wait till I'm standing on the start line but at the same time I know it will be over too soon.  I might not think that on a daily basis when my feet are "on fire" or my muscles are screaming for me to give up - but that's the challenge.  I'm so privileged to be taking on this challenge I aim to enjoy every moment, no matter how tough.  Catch up on Tuesday from Kanab.