It’s all happening

In true style, it never rains when it pours. Though we have been getting a few breaks in the weather recently which is really appreciated.

The Catkins are out, so Spring must be just round the corner
The Catkins are out, so Spring must be just round the corner

At least some parts of Coed y Brenin are starting show signs of Spring even though there is still a lot of damage around and about from windblown trees. I’m really conscious of the days getting longer. 5am runs aren’t dark as long and the evening is lengthening too. I know this as I can put the recycling bins out on a Wednesday night, after the girls have eaten, in the light.

As a few niggles have been easing off I’ve been finding time to get out on my feet and on my bike again. Really focussing on good quality cardio, but also sorting good running technique and overall recovery.

I’m pretty confident in my physical condition at the moment – in that I know I am physically capable of finishing the race. But I am slightly worried about my mental preparation. That’ll be tweaked for the next four weeks and I’m sure I’ll get it right.

I spent a very useful couple of hours with an MdS veteran who gave me some valuable top tips, and helped me visualise some of the things that I might face.

As he said, the Marathon des Sables is 60% mental toughness. One foot in front of the other and you’ll get to the end. The other 40% is in your mind. That’ll tell you heaps about the mindset needed to finish the race. Even after having most of his sole removed on day 2, Nigel still finished the race – oh, with his urine being the colour of black coffee. That might have been as a result of popping CoCodamol like they’re Smarties. Whatever the reason, I can’t wait!

It’s useful to know the final shopping list to get. And to relax about some of the things that were set in my mind as problems, that aren’t.

Mock up of my race number
Mock up of my race number

I also got my race number, 542. A few friends on Facebook came up with some of the unique qualities of the number. It’s the totient function of the integer values of numbers to 41 (!) it’s the number of a very good threadlock, and it’s the number printed on 1mg Rohypnol. It’s nice to have the number early; from outside the race there is a lot of information – stage times, CP positions, but also webcam footage and stage finish camera’s. I’ll write more about all this in the days to come.


29 days to go – it really is the final countdown now!

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