There were demons to be slain at this year’s Hoka Highland Fling. I have been open and frank about my experience last year and the wake -up call that it gave me in terms of my preparations for Antarctica, especially in terms of managing hydration and food; knowing how much I need and what I can take and what my body will tolerate. A very different runner toed the start line this year: more experienced; leaner, fitter, stronger, apparently faster based upon my recent D33 time and with nutrition sorted (or so I thought).
As I taper into my 2nd attempt at the Hoka Highland Fling I find myself in an odd place both mentally and physically. To be fair a lot of this will be the effects of the taper: the whole idle body and idle mind just finding things to fixate on and worry about. A short easy run suddenly becomes very hard and niggle laden, your brain starts to dwell on the memories of last year’s fairly disastrous run, and the recent unexpectedly hard training runs on the route. How do you stem those negative thoughts and remain positive and dismiss the self-fulfilling disaster prophesy?
There is a sentiment that is much used in Scotland: that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing decisions. There was no room for bad choices or decisions when it came to kitting myself out for the Antarctic Odyssey. Helly Hansen stepped up to the challenge and agreed to sponsor my kit
In recent months and blog posting I have devoted a lot of thought and spoken about the life changing effect of my Antarctic Odyssey and pondered on what the future holds for me. There is with no doubt a legacy, and an on-going Odyssey and my recent participation in the D33 marked the first step of the next stage of my journey.
In the past year I have learned quite a lot. So, in no particular order, here is a light-hearted and not too deep look at some of the things I have learned.
As it transpired our delay turned out to be an additional 5 days at the Union Glacier camp as successive weather fronts moved in over the continent from the sea.