Nervous excitement

That’s what I’m feeling today. I woke early, at about 5.30, and lay there thinking about the challenge ahead of me tomorrow, wondering whether I’ll manage it. 33 miles of ascents and descents. And if I don’t do it, does that mean the Welsh 3000s is off?

I’m having a busy day so that’s stopped me worrying. We have a couple of rooms as an Airbnb and, before work, I had to clean ready for the next guests who arrive this evening, and wash the previous guest’s bedding.  After a morning working from home, I’m now preparing for tomorrow.

The Llangollen Round, which we’re doing, is a supported challenge rather than a race, and we can leave a ‘drop box’ in a van that will meet us at several checkpoints along the route so we can change our clothes, top up our food and drink, and do any first aid or emergency repairs. I seem to have a lot of stuff!

We did this challenge and several others last year… there are a few photos in my Facebook post from the event, here. This means we know exactly what we need, although Joe, who organises and leads the challenge, has also supplied a kit list. This includes a mandatory list of things that we have to carry during the challenge… full body waterproofs, spare base layers, hat and gloves, water or an electrolyte drink, and high energy snacks (for me, usually salted peanuts [to try and prevent cramp], mini flapjack squares and Bloks or Jelly Babies). The things on the list are important because we run in some remote places and if, for example, we get injured, we need to make sure we can stay warm, fed and hydrated until help arrives. I also take a small first aid kit, sunhat and sunglasses, a phone and some cash… you never know when you might pass a pub and fancy a beer 😉

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View from Llangollen Round 2017, looking back over all the hills we’d already done

For my drop box, I have a selection of foods (including peanut butter sandwiches, bananas and malt loaf), snacks and electrolyte tablets (to top up my running pack), plenty of extra clothing (great when you’re wet and and cold or very sweaty), spare trainers, sunscreen and Gurney Goo (a great lubricant!). I also have some lightweight poles, but I’m not sure whether I’ll use them because I haven’t done much running with them yet. At the check points… always a welcome sight… Joe supplies water and electrolyte mix, energy gels and snacks and, my favourite, flat coke.

It all looked a lot when it was laid out in the kitchen but it’s now all neatly packed away, including my new sunglasses, which have just arrived… I managed to drop my last (almost brand new and rather expensive) pair off a cliff in the Roaches where we were running last weekend. Even the climbers couldn’t find them!

Now, when John arrives home with some bread, I just need to make the sandwiches and put everything in the campervan. We’re going to stay at the start of the challenge high on the Horseshoe Pass near Llangollen. We’ll cook our dinner (lasagne and garlic bread) up there, and then watch a couple of episodes of Vikings with a glass of wine… medicinal purposes only, to help me sleep 😉 Staying at the start means we won’t have to get up quite so early tomorrow. We set off at 7.00 and the challenge will probably take about 10 hours. It’s going to be a long day!

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