Saturday, 25 August 2012

25-08-12 - Marathon des Sables - The journey starts

Weeks to go - 31 Weeks - 6 days - 4 hours
07 April - 12 April 2013
It's just before 0700 (am for non-24 hour clock people) and I have just paid the 2nd instalment for the 2013 Marathon des Sables.
For those of you not familiar with this event, it is a 6 day self-supporting running event through the Moroccan Sahara Desert. More information can be found here http://www.darbaroud.com/index.php?lang=en.

The event will be in it's 28th year in 2013 and allows c.1000 (probably not that much) people to participate every year.

As this is my first ever serious attempt on a blog please stay with me while my writing skills improve I hope.

So, as I've paid today the 2nd of 3 instalments, I guess my journey starts. I've been doing many events over the last few years, so it's not like I've not been swimming, running, cycling, doing weights, fitness before.

Everybody has their own method of training, as friends of mine who have done it told me, it's your race, not anybody else's race, so do what makes you feel good.

So I will prepare my way. This year I have taken up Pilates. I didn't realise how weak some of my muscles were before I started this. But I have been almost religiously going twice week since March. Very impressed with myself, as I don't like going to class particularly.

My training is what makes me happy and feel good:
Swimming - at least once a week of which one is in a lake to do about 2km
Running - where-ever, whenever I feel. Sometimes to work. Which gives me just over 20k. Sometimes just around the block.
Cycling - to work and back most days. Which gives me just over 42k (return)
Strength - at home or the gym
Cardio - in the gym mainly
Inline Skating - my re-found passion

Do I have a plan. No I don't. Too much hassle to have a plan. You have to stick to it. Maybe I do have a small plan, or more a desire, if I can lose another 5-7 kilo's of bodyweight, that makes dragging myself through the sand probably easier.

Many people sign up for as many events as they can. I don't. I have a few events scheduled before April next year but that is it. I will write about them, as part of my, what I hope is somewhere between once a week to once every two weeks.

Last week, I met up with two other competitors in Richmond Park for a run. That actually was pretty good fun. May do it again this week, if I'm back in time from the swimming. Providing of course I go swimming.

Now for those of you who read this, in a few months I will all send you a link for a small donation to the charity of my choice. Which is the myfanwy townsend melanoma charity. But more about that later.

I do feel that the MdS is the first step to a journey of more of these events, but very selectively.

Why do people do this, it's a desert? Well it's because we can. It's because for me, it brings you back as close as you can to a time and place where you have to look after yourself. No government, institutions or other support around you. Maybe not strictly true, there is a very professional organisation there to ensure you survive, but to finish it needs to be you, and you alone. No Nanny state there.

I look forward to the solitary confinement during the days, the heat and the what I have seen from pictures the views.

So my plan for today. Alan Carr, a whole day. What am I doing there. Well I really want to stop smoking, but so far I have failed. So today is the first day I will no longer be a smoker after the event. I have tried to give up smoking before, it makes me feel better, but I always went back to it. Like a dangerous mistress. Do I mind people smoking, no. It's a choice we make.

Well that was it, not sure if it's worth reading, but as I said, I will be back next week for more. I can write about the the first 2 days on the Turkish beach where I will try to do 30k a day for 6 days in a row.

Michiel




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