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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.

So that's why we sterilise camelbaks...

crawlingkiwiby crawlingkiwiApr 5th 2011
It started with a low gurgling in my stomach and a sense of rising nausea. After a weekend of hard racing, I thought at first I had perhaps just overdone it, but as the stomach upset and nausea took hold, it became evident this was more. I got the bucket ready and waited ... it didn't take long...

I had plenty of opportunity through the night to contemplate what caused so much sickness - every 20 minutes in fact, from 9pm through to 5am and while I'd love to pass the buck and blame someone else, I have only my less than satisfactory cleaning to blame. The camelbak has been a life-saver for me when I'm doing races of 15k or more - in a boat, it's not easy to take a bottle from someone, while I can grab one on the portages, if I have to hold it, I can't paddle. So a camelbak with a good carb-loaded hydration drink has become essential for me. But on Sunday night, once I had ruled out the food I had eaten, the culprit was clear. I had poisoned myself by not cleaning and sterilising the camelbak properly.

The irony is that I had bought a replacement cleaning kit after Sunday's race, the phrase too little too late seems strangely apt.

So I'm now 4 days out from a 35 mile race, I haven't kept solid food down since the weekend, when I lost every bit of food and liquid in my body. I passed out twice during my 'evening of agony' and managed just 2 hours at work today. It's not ideal!

Tonight I'm trying some soup and dioralyte, but I have to say this is not the best preparation for a long distance race. Thirty-five miles is 10 more than I've ever done and this race is essential if we are to compete in the big one (DW - 125 miles) two weeks later.

One thing I can be sure of however, my camelbaks will be scrupulously clean!
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