Monday 16 April 2018

So what is next after DNF on the MdS

For those not regular runners DNF = Did Not Finish. Means you start a running event but you don't get to the finish line.

So what is next?

I can now go back to go for a run to enjoy. Not to have to train for something. This means if I miss a run, it's ok. I don't have to do x miles/kilometers or x hours to meet an artificial target. I either go for a run or I don't.

I can now focus again on CrossFit an the gym, which will include running.
I can use the gained time to read a book or watch a movie.

I always knew I wanted to go Scuba-Diving, but I never bothered doing it on any of my vacations. Too much hassle and I needed to go for a run, because there was always a race coming up.

Last year, before our honeymoon to the Maldives I did my open water scuba training and did three dives in the Maldives and got my Nitrox license.
In 2018 I did two dives in Fujairah. I am no totally hooked.
In 2018 I will go for my advanced open water, peak performance buoyancy and underwater photography.

Don't get me wrong, the journey's to the MdS have been amazing and taught me a lot and it will always be a benefit having participated. Not in the least for the people you meet.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Sometimes things don't go the way you planned or want. You move on and live.

So, the third MdS didn't go as I planned, hoped, wanted. Simply, it wasn't my year. I pulled out at the 2nd day 18km into a 39km distance.
I lost my ECG, Medical Certificate and compulsory €200 on Friday.
Luckily I had more cash and the ECG on my phone. With help from Steve I got this printed and signed and a new medical certificate was done.

I started Sunday with very little food, as most wouldn't stay in. Had difficulty eating on the course. I didn't sleep well on Sunday night, and still couldn't really eat on Monday.
I finished the flattest 30km ever on Sunday but it never felt right. It was a battle between body and mind.
The Monday was a 39km stretch. I went through the first check point at 13km and 5km after that I gave up. I couldn't face another 21km. My body didn't want, and my mind wasn't helping.

I want to thank Steve Diederich for his relentless support and morale boosting. Patrick Bauer came over to see me as well. I can't remember the names of the other MdS organisation staff, but they all were great and went out of their way to motivate me.

One of the doctors, who was very supportive hit the nail on the head. If you are not happy doing what you do, stop it. Not keeping food in, not being able to drink enough. Regularly drinking yes, but little sips. 

The organisation goes out of their way to motivate you to continue. Then you are asked: Are you sure you want to stop? You then need to take off your own bib off your shirt. I am very appreciative of all organisation people that tried to support me.
The "problem with dropping out is that they take the SPOT device and you drop off the tracker. Which makes the home front nervous. Luckily I got a little signal in the camp.

I want to thank my tent mates
Alex Wolff
Hannah Biddel
James Wellock
Sally Wellock
Kevin Tucker
Lotte Tulloch
Rob Willis
for their fabulous support.

The silver lining of dropping out is, you get to eat in the "restaurant".

When I got back home Wednesday morning, "ceremonially" I dumped the shorts, running shirt and night shirt I used for the 3 events. 

The Marathon des Sables has been an amazing experience, and I recommend it to anybody. I no longer want to put in the training time and effort for ultra/multi-day events. I will keep on running, but for fun. I will increase CrossFit volume and will start to focus on my new hobby, Scuba Diving. The only multi-day exception could be The Coastal Challenge, but with Liz and only the short distance.

Tuesday morning at 06:00 to report to start the way back to OZZ. I met Terry, who also was going back to London Gatwick. My hero and wife, Liz Hoefsmit booked me a ticket from RAK-BCN-LGW.
However getting to Marrakesh (RAK) was 90 minutes in a four-wheel drive through the desert. We were then moved to a mini-bus with another 10-12 others who dropped out, including the famous Thierry the blind man who already finished 13 or so times. The mini-bus was an adventure in itself, as it seemed the driver was driving dangerously, fast and was tired. It seemed he was falling a sleep. One of the other people offered to drive but that wasn't acceptable. We stopped in a village where Terry, Andreas and I took a taxi to OZZ rather than waiting for the bus to leave. Jean-Marie the MdS doctor was great in helping out.

After 7 hours or so we arrived in OZZ and collected our bags. Terry and I then took the next taxi for about 5 hours to Marrakesh airport. We arrived and checked in. Luckily we could get into the lounge. Where the hot food was gone. So Terry got us a pizza. Plane not leaving till 23:10

Plane on time, couldn't sleep and we arrived on time in BCN at 02:30. We were nicely directed to the non-Schengen area, where there is nothing. So spend about 5 hours lying on the floor, walking around, having a cigarette in the non-smoking area, as there wasn't a smoking area.
Picture on the left and right non-Schengen. Picture in the middle, Schengen.

Some random pictures from the Sahara.