Training started on Monday this week with a rather pacey walk up over Baldwin with Richard. At the time it felt gruesome but in fairness it was needed to free the legs off after the Race the Sun. Tuesday, again seen only myself and one other of the usual group out, Ray had headed to Spain for a short break before his life is taken over by the TT for 2 weeks, Stew was still away and Andy and Rich were both busy with work, so that left Dave and I to tackle Marine Drive. Both nights were a struggle, more so with the temperature, but the weather really made it worth being out. Wednesday was a night off and Thursday four of us met up and done the loop around Douglas / Onchan. I missed Saturday as I was on a day shift and also had to decline an invitation to train again this morning (Sunday) due to work commitments. On the subject of work commitments, I am hopeful that this may be my last weekend for a while working on shift. An opportunity has arisen for me to transfer onto day work (Mon - Fri) for a while whist the Power Station goes through a routine outage. I will more likely still have to work over weekends when necessary but at least I can train and arrive a little later in the morning rather than having to be in at a set time to take over from the previous shift and miss out completely.
I found some Nectar Hydro Tabs before the Race the Sun event and have
used them before and after training over the last week. I more often than
not have a case of water in the boot of the car and have been adding one or two
of the Tabs, for flavour, rather than drinking it plain. I may have mentioned
before that the High5 sachets I use give me a dry mouth and
sometimes taste as though the last mouthful is still very powdery in the
back of the throat. The Tabs don't give this feeling but the down side to them
is they do not contain any calories, unlike the high5 product. I have ordered 3 more tubs for the Parish. It may sound
daft but the calories in a drink are more likely the only calories you will be
getting toward the end of a long walk unless you are one of the few that can
eat right up till the end of a long distance race. I find after so long I
refuse solids in preference of fluids, this can happen in the space of a mile,
I can be quite happy eating the odd sandwich, cake and bits of fruit but
all of a sudden just want fluids. When this does happen it’s important that the
drink is made up with something that will at least give some amount of energy
otherwise the fuel used to keep the body moving forward will soon run out.
The Tabs, like the High5, also have key electrolytes so the salts lost are
also replaced / kept in balance.
On the subject of foods etc. that I eat during an event I have made a list
below to give some idea. some of the choices may make you think 'URGH' I
couldn't eat that whilst walking, but by now, if you have been trying
different foods, you will know what is best for you and what does not
upset your stomach or mind on the day. I say mind as what goes on in your head plays
a big part in whether you finish or not. The slightest thing,
that would normally not bother you, can really peeve you off on the day, one of
mine is sticky hands, Christine and Colin have helped me enough now to
know that if I am having something sticky they have a Wet Wipe ready
as well so I can wipe my hands and face after eating it.
Later on in the race Christine will have most of this stuff on a large tray
so I can help myself to what I fancy. At the beginning, so I'm told, I'm quite
predictable so she has what I like, and usually want, ready for me as
I pass. I become a little more fussy and awkward (a pain in the
arse) later so the tray is her way of preventing any arguments.
You really don't want to get to the point where you are arguing with your
support, for fear, as has happened in the past on the Parish, they get in the car and head
home leaving you with nothing or no one to give you the assistance and
encouragement you will so desperately need as the miles drag on.
Also No support = No finish (rule 13 below) if you are already
thinking that you may go on further than Peel 'depending on how I feel'
then you should already have support arranged in case. One or two who I know
and are taking part this year have said this to me recently and I have said the
exact same thing to them. Also if whoever they are knows they may be required, if
everything is going well, then they can also be prepared for what may
be a long night ahead of them.
13. Competitors continuing beyond Ballaugh must be individually
accompanied by an attendant in a car. The sharing of a support vehicle is not
permitted. Attendants must wear hi-viz reflective clothing.
Honestly you really don't want to be heading through Kirk Michael thinking how well you are going and how you told yourself you would only get as far as Peel to then start panicking and trying to organise last minute support to enable you to go on past Ballaugh
My phone has just alerted me to a WhatsApp from Dave Walker for a
walk tomorrow morning. With it being Bank Holiday Monday I guess lots will
take advantage of the long weekend and get some additional miles in. With less
than 3 weeks to go now until the gun goes off at 0800hrs on Saturday 17th June
these may be the miles that count!!