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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.

Eating isn't usually this difficult...

crawlingkiwiby crawlingkiwiJan 23rd 2011
Eating has never been a problem for me - I'm always keen to shovel food down at any time and although I attempt to eat healthily, chocolate remains a perpetual weakness. So why am I struggling so much to get my nutrition right on my long workouts?

I am making such idiotic mistakes - like heading out for a 2 1/2 hour stint on a completely empty stomach and with just a bottle of water with me. I should - and do - know better than this, but still I didn't remember until I climbed back in the boat after a portage and felt distinctly light-headed, that I had managed one cup of coffee and no food since waking. Paddling in difficult circumstances - dreadful wind and strong current - with a light head, all when on my own in sub-zero weather is just foolhardy. This week I again got the timings wrong and managed to miss lunch (between coaching and training there was no gap to eat), but a hastily bought pastry kept me going.

If I am going to manage 125 miles and 24 hours of continual exercise I have to experiment with energy drinks, easily absorbed foods and water. Given how organised I am on most things and how much I enjoy eating, I don't understand why this is proving so difficult for me to get right. Messing up on my nutrition when I am working so hard on my sessions and training is ridiculous. To have to pull out of the race because of injury or equipment failure is understandable and acceptable. To have to pull out and make my K2 partner give up because I didn't drink or eat enough would be infuriating.

It has been an excellent few days of training - a 10 miler in the dark on Saturday evening followed by 11.5 miles the next morning; back to back sessions like that are essential for me to build stamina. Unfortunately my inability to take on enough fluids left me with a bit of a headache, but this has been enough of a wake-up call for me to get things sorted before next week.
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