I'm at the point now where I am making some of the cruicial decisions about the race. The training is long gone and the race itself is not for another week. I'm making decisions that could have a significant impact on my race next week, and I'm making them all in Sainsbury's.
There comes a point where there is little more you can do with your body, the only impact you can make is with your nectar card. I find this part quite difficult and frustrating. I loved the month of running and am in no doubt I'll love the race, I don't like the mental task of trying to decide how to distribute 10000 calories and 10+ litres of fluid over 75 checkpoints.
The Spartathlon has checkpoints every 2 miles or so which means you don't really need to carry much. All checkpoints have water, electrolyte, bicuits, fruits and yoghurt. Some have tea/coffee, coke and other food. One has beer. I was going to make do with this for the whole race but onspeaking to Mark Cockbain after the 32go marathon I decided otherwise. Before the start of the race there are 75 drop bags where you can place anything you want and he suggested that I do that, even energy drink. The stuff they provide might not be that good.
This made everything more complicated.
In the GUCR you get a drop bag which follows you along the course. Essentially all your stuff is at every checkpoint so there is no need to think too much about what to take, you can take everything. The MDS you have everything with you at all times and are only restricted by what you can carry. In this case you have to think about what to take and where to put it. I've certainly not had this problem before. I have no support crew (generally runners don't here) so have to make sure I have everything I need.
Mark suggested taking a load of empty water bottles out to Greece and then putting energy powder and water in them once I arrive. Alongside these I should drop off whatever food I need at about 20 of the stops. I have no idea which ones I will leave stuff at and am likely to forget anyway. Perhaps I should leave them in an orderly sequence, like every 4th one, or some logical sequence.
On a trip to Sainsbury's today I bought my usual comfort foods. Bombay mix, nuts and peanut M&M's. I'm going to mix it all together in tubs with some coffee beans too. I'm also taking soluble aspirin and berocca to make cocktails with on the way. They helped (a bit) in the MDS and it can be useful to have piss that glows in the dark.
While picking up cellotape to attach my name to these things I spotted some stickers that I recall getting (sometimes) at school for doing good work. Pictures of bees and elephants and rabbits with "WELL DONE!" and "GOOD EFFORT!" and "SUPER STAR". They look very silly but they may make me smile after 100 odd miles where a sense of humour failure is likely. I certainly had some sort of failure when I got to the checkout. The lady asked me what all the stickers and sweeties for and I just couldn't think what to say. I eventually blurted out "ermmm, they are for the kids". Not very convincing.
Funny that. I'm almost embarrassed about what I am about to do, yet giving the impression that I'm trying to entice children with sweets and happy stickers seems fine?