Just a little over 5 weeks until I make the long journey to Cairo. The reality of another desert adventure just around the corner has me very excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I feel like I am slightly underprepared for this race as I have been focusing on the tenbillion other things going on in my life. However it is always in the back of my mind and last night I had a dream that we were just about to start a stage and I hadn’t packed my pack. The morning briefing was nearly over and everyone was telling me to hurry up but I was unable to move quick enough. I go to my backpack and I had filled it with bottles and bottles of gatorade and I it was so full that I couldn’t even stuff my sleeping bag or jacket in. Mahhhhh, very bizzare dream considering Im not even taking gatorade with me.
I did a beach running session on Sunday across the Northern Beaches in Sydney. The weather is slowly starting to pick up and I took a loaded pack and tested out how I run with trekking poles. I have been very reluctant to use trekking poles but after having my tent mates rave about them in Gobi I wanted to see if they would help me move through the sand quicker. After two hours of pushing through uneven sand I think the boys are right!! Sand is punishing and extremely difficult. It zaps your energy and I have found that I need to shorten my stride even more than i normally do to move more efficiently. I had beach dwellers in Colloroy shouting out “where are your ski’s?” and despite the urge to challenge them to running with a pack across the beach I put my head down and continued on.
I am nervous about how hot it will be in Egypt. I arrive on the 27th and will have a few days to acclimatise, but Sydney weather has been pretty chilly and mild since I moved here. I have therefore decided to be a bikram junkie for the next month. The plan is to do 5 sessions a week which will be tough timewise but I am hoping it will help with the shocking heat.
The best news about racing in the Sahara is that my sister will be a volunteer and my parents will be at the finish line. I couldn’t ask for better family support and I know seeing my sister at least once a day will motivate me to push on when I am feeling rubbish. It is great seeing how excited she is about coming and she has even stepped up her own training. I just know she will be a great volunteer and I feel all of the competitors (including myself) are lucky to have her there.
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