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Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
When I started this blog, it was to track my progress from an occasional kayaker to taking on the Devizes to Westminster non stop 125 race. Little did I know that would start me on a long distance obsession which has resulted in my completing the 30th Marathon des Sables. It has been a strange and sometimes painful ... but always wonderfully challenging journey

This is my occasional account of a middle-age mother's attempt to take on things which are really quite beyond her.

125 miles? Having a bit of a wobble...

crawlingkiwiby crawlingkiwiMar 14th 2011
Can I really manage a 125 mile race, 25 hours non stop? I am veering between wild optimism and blind faith that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and complete negativity when I wonder how I'll cope with sleep deprivation, the dark, the cold and staying upright in the boat.

My partner's serious knee injury (dislocation as we crossed the finish line of our last race) isn't helping my confidence and I'm worried about my own fitness levels. If I don't sort my head out then I have no chance of making it. Last year a man who had done the DW before, broke down in tears as night fell because he couldn't go on - I don't want to do that.

I'm hoping my concerns represent a blip, as I've stayed positive and enthusiastic when my partner had her doubts. I know I could do the 4-day version of the race, but the through-the-night race places different demands on me physically and mentally. I have a 19 mile race on Sunday, either in a K2 (if my partner's knee is up to it) or in a K1 if needs be. Then we have a 23 miler and maybe a 35 mile to do. I don't know how long I need to race for to be able to do the 125 mile one. Obviously ultra-distance runners don't practise by doing 100 miles at a time, but I don't know the distances they do. But if I can manage 25 and 35 miles at a time and my recovery is ok, then things should be looking quite good.

My work is leaving me exhausted and I'm struggling to train during the day. Anyone who thinks teaching is a 9-3 job needs to spend a day in my shoes. From 7.30am to 6pm, it's non stop. I can't take lunch-breaks and frequently don't even have time to get to the loo (actually that's quite good practice for the DW!!). By the time I get home, I am so shattered I can barely get into bed, but at 5am the next day, I'm up. Because I'm teaching a bit of PE each day, I do get to stretch out this tired old body (I'm infinitely more supple than the kids I teach, which pleases me!!!) and keep fairly active. Even teaching my main subject is fairly active (Drama).

I desperately need a sports massage to unlock my back and although i can't afford one, might try and get something in the next couple of weeks. Between work and coaching/training/racing at weekends, and falling asleep so early in the evenings, my own children aren't getting much of a look in, but I'm still able to cart them round to their training and other sessions. I would love one lie in though, just one day when I didn't have to be up and out by 6.30...

All in all, I still want to do the race - in just on 5 weeks time - but those niggling doubts are still there. I'll just have to try harder to silence them.
PennyHby member: PennyH, Mar 15th 2011 16:42
Stick with it. I am sure it is just a temporary doubting and if you stop thinking about it too much it will calm down. I always use the mental image of Jane Tomlinson and what she acheived when I have moments of doubt. Humbling and effective!
crawlingkiwiby blog author: crawlingkiwi, Mar 15th 2011 21:09
You're right - Jane Tomlinson is an inspiration. I saw her being interviewed at her first triathlon - the London tri - which was also the first big one I'd ever done. She was a remarkable lady; her extraordinary resilience puts my race into perspective. I CAN do this.
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