So I have spent the last week doing every type of yoga imaginable, running a bit and self diagnosing tendonitis in my achillies. In one weeks time, I will be on the ice and I feel immensely under prepared. To be honest, I always feel like this before a big run, but the thought of forgetting something, or something about the run surprising me, you know like it being cold, is a little too real. Anxiety city. Population me.
So what do I do when I feel like this? I panic buy! That’s what! Throw money at the situation and it will all be ok! BUY MORE SOCKS AND YOU NEED THAT JACKET AND OHHHHH GELS……
I think I have pretty much nailed my clothing plan for this race now. Bottom half I am going to go for 2XU compression tights, because they are awesome and I have worn them at every race for a good 6 months now, but I’m pretty sure I will be hypothermic within 2 minutes if I just wear them on their own. So I’m going to test wearing the compression with Wed’ze freshwarm tights over the top and my Nike dry fit winter tights over the top of that because they have soft fleecy stuff in them. Hopefully this means I will be warm but not sweaty. I’ve also got some black salopettes to go over the top if that - a bit of a wind and waterproof barrier, but fingers crossed I won’t need them. The salopettes don’t have a tailored leg, so I’m going to take my waterproof Gore-Tex full leg gaiters to keep my calves and ankles warm and dry.
Top half, I am going for 2XU long sleeve compression with a merino base layer over the top and a North Face fleece or long sleeve base layer on top of that. Then a Wed’ze breathable puffa and my Montaine water/wind proof jacket. I might be too hot but you can always take it off, right? (Make of that sentence what you will….)
The gloves I have chosen are the Salomon Propeller mitten with a separate merino liners. I am so scared of getting cold hands or losing a glove, that I’m also taking a few cheap pairs of wool gloves to use as liners just in case. Lee is adamant I should get poles, and to be fair they were really useful during the Autumn 100, so I have bitten the bullet and gone for Black Diamond Carbon poles with carbode tips - as recommended by Lee. (Fuck you, Lee.) They fold up and are super light weight - better safe than sorry and I can use them as weapons if Lee attempts to feed me cheese sandwiches. I’ve also bought a slightly more expensive spikes - Katoohla Microspikes which look badass - mainly because I’m worried the ones I have will fall apart and I’ll end up sliding across the lake like a lost hippo.
To stop my face falling off, I am opting for a merino balaclava and some spare balaclavas, including this one that will make me look like Hannibal Lecter. And ALL the buffs in the world.
I’m taking goggles and sunglasses and a girly hat too because you have to keep your hair looking nice right? Never know who you’re going to bump into on a frozen lake in the middle of nowhere….. (spoiler alert…probably nobody)
We will have ‘sherpa’ taking the majority of our stuff across the ice using ponies (who I SHALL be cuddling) and sledges, but I am going to run with my Ultimate Direction Fastpack filled with snacks. I can also fit a bladder in there close to my body so the water doesn’t freeze. Or I could fill it with vodka I suppose….(when in rome). I am super worried about food. I like food and I need a lot of it and the local fare veers between BBQ’d wolf and sautéed reindeer. I’m a vegetarian, but for that week I definitely won’t be. But what if I don’t like it? I’ve had a look, and I don’t think Deliveroo cover that particular lake (so sad). SO I am going to take a few freeze dried meals that I can add hot water too. I used these on the Autumn 100 and they were ace - you can run and eat at the same time which is my favourite thing to do. Also PUDDING.
I’m also going to be taking pulsin bars, nakd bars, shot blocks, SiS gels and hydration tabs. And salted peanuts. I think salted peanuts are the ultimate snackeroo for ultrarunners. They always make me feel glorious. My secret weapon is doing to be little sticks of instant coffee. I really love my coffee and I’m not sure if the Mongolians will be on the same page. Plus I can use it for bartering, like I am in prison. “How many pony hugs will you swap for this stick of Nescafe?” I wonder what fermented horse milk tastes like in coffee? We’ll soon find out!
So kit is more or less sorted. Just need to work out how to carry it all. We need to take a 4 season sleeping bag with us “just in case we don’t make it to camp and have to camp out on the ice for the night”. JUST IN CASE??? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT MAN??! I also love to over pack, so I’m going to have to be very strict on this.
Other things I am going to worry about - charging stuff. Like my hairdryer.
I am talking 5 power packs with me so I can keep my phone charged for all the pictures I need to take - and that leads me onto another thing - will my phone freeze? So many questions. Will my shellac chip off? What if I start my period? Will my hair freeze off? HOW WILL I SHOWER?! (Those who know me know that I actually give zero fucks about any of these things)
I’m spending the next few days getting all my other bits sorted - medicines, emergency kit, last Will and Testament, and going on a nice little training run over the South Downs on Friday with some of the Do-Badders. It’s really tempting to try and run the shit out of myself this week but I know next week will be hard and I have to start storing a bit of energy so I’m trying to curb that temptation and eat ALL the food. Onwards!