Wednesday, 29 February 2012

In London to collect all my racing kit and to meet my Mencap team mates

Hi folks.  I arrived here in London yesterday afternoon on the Eurostar.  On the journey I managed to read the rest of my running books that I have been meaning to read for ages.  I have read all the ones I have now, including "Born to Run", "Racing Weight" and "The Runner's Body".  They are all pretty interesting as they break down a lot of commonly held myths that were created mainly by sports drink companies and sports shoe manufacturers.  For instance, when we sweat a lot we aren't left with a low concentration of salt in our body.  The concentration of salt in sweat is less than the concentration of salt in our body, so actually provided you don't drink copious amounts of water, the concentration of the salt solution in our body rises not falls.  Drinking sports drinks containing salts is better than drinking water alone, but it does not actually raise the salt concentration in our body, because once again the salt in the sports drink is more dilute than it is in our body.

The reason I am here in London is to collect all my kit for the MDS, and to meet my Mencap team mates this evening at the Mencap headquarters.  A lot of the kit was here waiting for me at my sister's house - something like 14 packages or more.  The rest of it I will be getting from Sandbaggers at the meeting tonight.  I had a lot of fun last night opening all the packages and it was like Christmas all over again.  I am very impressed by how light all the kit is, and think during the race I will really appreciate not having to lug around a heavily laden pack.  The most amazing pieces of kit in terms of weight have to be my PHD sleeping bag weighing in at only 400g and my Montane Slipstream Quantum GL jacket weighing in at only 65g (for size M).  The jacket feels like a feather and yet is windproof and rainproof.  PHD had some concerns about my deadline for the order as mentioned in an earlier post, but in the end they came through and gave me the exact sleeping bag that I ordered with the 900 down instead of the 800 - thanks guys at PHD.

Last night I also spent some time going through all the freeze dried foods, and measuring out the mandatory 14,000 calories, trying to see how much weight and space this would take up.  The food is definitely going to be the heaviest item in my pack, and at a rough guess it looks like it will be around 5kg (I will do a proper kit weigh in once I get back to Zurich).  The good news is that since there will be around 5kg of food for 7 days, each day my pack will become 0.7kg lighter.

Tonight it will be really interesting to meet the others in the Mencap team and see how their training and fundraising has been going.  It can be hard at times talking to outsiders about what it is like to train for an event such as this, because the average person has no comprehension of what it involves.  Everyone tonight has something in common though.  We all know what it is like to prepare for the MDS.  A common theme, a common goal.  There will also be 2 previous participants sharing their experiences with us.

Lastly on the fundraising front, I had another 20 pound donation, meaning I now have only 347 pounds and 60 pence left to raise before hitting my target.  Once my 2 new corporate sponsors put their money on my site we are now talking about a mere 47 pounds and 60 pence left - yeeeehaaaaaa.  We are so close to the target now that we can almost reach out and grab it, but as they say on the London Underground "mind the gap".  It may seem like a very small amount but it still has to be raised.

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