Less than three weeks to go now! Excited is an understatement….but there are plenty of other emotions I am going through too.
This week was the 7 year anniversary of losing my Dad and also what would have been his 63rd birthday. I’ve let myself think about what he would make of me doing the MDS. It’s hard to know what he’d think of the actual challenge but he would have been super supportive for sure. He would have been happy using his scout leader discount at some outdoor shops for all the food and kit I have been buying too!
I have actually quite enjoyed planning my desert menu! Tasting the foods wasn’t always as pleasurable as I would have liked, but now I have found what I like I’m quite looking forward to it! This is the plan so far:
Typically, a days food consists of granola and milk powder and a cup of tea for breakfast. 2x yummy 9bars, pepperami and some cashews or jelly sweets during the day and then either a freeze dried meal or double pot noodle in the evening. I have desert survival formula, nuun and goodness shake procovery to supplement the real food. It sounds incredibly civilised eh! the only problem is it is really heavy….I might need to sacrifice some calories to save my shoulders.
I have found out after much trial and error and the help of my neighbour that pot noodles do not want to be vacuum packed and after what I though was initial success the air all leaked back in. A zip lock bag seems a better option and after a trial run of fitting about 70% of my food in my rucksack it seems as though it should all fit without too much bother (we’ll see though!!). Ziplock bags weigh 4g and these still need to be added to my spreadsheet!
This week training volume has been much less. The accumulative effect of the last few months training has caught up and I have enjoyed a much more restful week. With a month membership at Nuffield Health Shipley I have been able to do a bit of conditioning and start some acclimatisation training – sweating in the sauna. An early morning 3 hour run with MDS buddies John and Fiona meant I had all Saturday afternoon to catch up with friends which was lovely.
2 hours on my feet (walking rather than running), including over an hour of hill reps with a 6+kg pack today was a good session – especially with the mixed terrain of the hill – loose rocky stuff combined with steep concrete steps and some grass/mud sections. On my 4th rep of the hill I heard the little voice “this is really hard – do I really have to do 10?” soon after through the switch was flicked and my mind was happily busying itself with other thoughts. I even did an 11th rep just because I could (and it was the quickest one). Despite this brutal session I feel like I have had a really lazy day with only 2 hours of training.
This time in three weeks I will have finished my first day in the desert! My main objective between now and then is to stay well – germ and injury free. I think hand sanitiser will be coming everywhere with me and I might pick up some echinacea and vitamin C from the chemist on my way to work in the morning!