Preparing for Portugal

This is the longest 'taper' period of my life!
I think I've gone through a bit of an endorphin withdrawal. I've done 83hrs of racing so far this year, that's quite a lot of endorphins to now be missing out on...! Then there was the boredom of sorting out kit once again (about 10tonnes of it) and driving all over the country to pick bits up from other people. All of this wrapped up in the feeling very scared about how much it's going to hurt (will my feet actually rip to shreds? How big are my kayaking blisters going to be? What if I fall asleep and fall off my bike???). And crucially, the doubt over whether I really deserve to be racing in the world champs. Team Cruachan qualified but I'm only there through an inability to say no to anything that sounds exciting.

Luckily I AM through that now and starting to get excited.

I've heard so many times that the hardest part of an expedition race is getting to the start line so I think all the feelings above must be normal. Now I just can't wait to be racing. I'm hardly doing any exercise at the moment (too scared of getting injured or sick) and avoiding anyone who so much as sneezes near me. Much as my panic and excitement are telling me to go out and burn it all off in a massive hill run I know I should be content with keeping busy doing things like tying up little 100g bags of trail mix and packing them in colour coded bags, so that sleep deprivation wont prevent me from knowing what and how much I need to eat during the race.
I managed to get out for a wee bit at the weekend (otherwise I would indeed have gone mental by now). I went for a tri club bike ride and got ditched off the back three times before admitting defeat. They are fast. I am training for a 128hr SLOW event. Tortoise is good. Had a quick climb indoors on saturday afternoon (I need to do more of that over the winter, so much fun and so dry, unless you go to Ratho, where the roof leaks).
Then I attempted to get up a new Muro on Sunday but decided to use my 'taper' as an excuse to sack it in about 30min from the top as I wouldn't like the nasty rain and wind to make me ill :) And to be fair, we were both dressed like hillrunners in rubbish weather, rather than walkers in sensible waterproofs. And I wanted to save it for another, less nasty day.

So far this year I've run 1000km, cycled 3700km, swam 115km and kayaked 95km. I'm relying on all of that, and a whole lot of enthusiasm, to get me through Portugal alive. People DO go back and do these sorts of events twice so they can't a.) all die or b.) all have an absolutely terrible time (can they? are there that many masochists in the world?).

Follow Team Cruachan's journey on There will be GPS tracking on the race website and regular reports on The race starts Sunday 8th November and finishes, well, when we do I suppose. They've said the latest we'll finish is the early hours of 14th November.


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