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Off (Again!) To The Marathon Des Sables!

On March 29, 2010, in Racing, by Meghan
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2010 Marathon des Sables Banner (from http://www.darbaroud.com/uk/html/mds/25mds/uk_25mds_index.php)

I can’t believe that it’s Marathon des Sables time again! Where has a year gone? With a bit more packing, a last sauna visit, one more night at home, and then a fair bit of traveling, I will shortly find myself in sunny, sandy, south Morocco. There is so much about this year that feels deja vu-ish; there is also so much about my 2010 visit to the Sahara that will be different.

I’ve somehow stuffed 18,900 kilocalories of mostly dehydrated food and running gels (And a little chocolate! I took your advices from last year!), carefully prepared according to a neurotic Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, into a teensy backpack. If this is any indication, I’m ready to eat my way across the Sahara Desert.

Last week, I danced weightlessly up and down a rolling river trail bearing a 17 pound pack that felt like nothing. I’ll take that leggy feeling as a sign that I’ve completed my training! What remains are a light smattering of runs here (in California) and there (in Morocco) to make certain the gears aren’t rusting out from taper rest.

I’ve done my due time attaining heat acclimation in the local sauna. With ease, I’ve drifted through this heat training regimen, so distracted by podcasts, magazine articles, and deep stretching that I forget to get out of the hot room when my time is up. Methinks I’m heat acclimated!

I go to the Marathon des Sables in an excellent emotional position. I’m joyful for the gift of exploring a wild place, excited about the opportunity to share in that experience with so many other wide-eyed adventurers, and grateful for a life that affords me these opportunities!

I take with me some new knowledge gained from last year’s race. There, I learned that I wasn’t done learning about myself, that my abilities are still only bound by my own perceptions. I also take with me a new body, as those of you who are close to me know that I’ve spent portions of the last year injured. I’m well trained, certainly abundantly cross trained, but your guess will be as good as mine as to how this body will perform on an extended desert crossing.

Some of you know from last year that you can track race standings and send messages of support to your friends in the desert! From April 4th through April 10th, during the race, you can follow my progress through daily updates and send me messages via the race’s website (It might be a little difficult to navigate, as the website is translated from French, and the translations can be kind of entertaining.). Each night, the race staff downloads messages via satellite, prints them, and distributes them to racers. Should you decide to send a message, know that I will read it over and over and over by flashlight in my tent!

See you on the other side of the Sahara Desert, and thank you for all of your support and encouragement!

13 Responses to “Off (Again!) To The Marathon Des Sables!”

  1. Danni says:

    Have fun! I am so excited to see how much you kick butt. No pressure, but I think you just might win ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm so stoked!

  2. Leslie's Keith says:

    Love the positive emotion in this post!

  3. olga says:

    Meghan, have a wonderful, wonderful time! This year will also be weighed by expectations, but fear not – you are ready, you will crank them, and we will love you always!

  4. Irene hale says:

    Goodluck you did fantastic last year!

  5. Gretchen says:

    Enjoy your time on trail and everything that it brings. (I know you will.) I'll be sending my special positive thoughts halfway 'round the world, directly to YOU!

  6. Doone says:

    You sound really ready Meghan – congratulations on all the work it took to get to this point – now go and revel in the experience! It should feel quite comfortable going back for a second time – so many things will be second nature. Best of luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. justthedistance says:

    Seems like you're ready to do this thing! Congratulations and good luck, I'm sure you'll do well!

  8. JeffO says:

    Got your email out on the slickrock north of Moab, so just now getting around to responding. Good luck at MdS. I know you'll have a great time. Now you're a veteran and will be able to avoid some of the hardships – and I'm guessing it will be harder this year. You did so well last year, yet I think you'll do even better this year. Looking forward to following the adventure! Good luck!

  9. Bryon Powell says:

    For all you lookiloos, Meghan completed the Marathon des Sables, despite some problems on the long stage. I spoke with her prior to the short final stage.She sounded well and was excited about her run across the Moroccan Sahara!

  10. Meghan says:

    THANK YOU so much to all of you for your thoughts and kind words. There are a few of you who came out of the woodwork here (Hi Irene! Hi Doone!) and someone I don't think I know (Hi justthedistance!). I had some tough times out there, but I'm really proud to have come back around to finish the race. Thanks again!

  11. Sunshine Girl says:

    Now….let's hear the goodies lady!

  12. Meghan says:

    Sunshine Girl- Virtuous patience, lil' lady. ๐Ÿ™‚ Inspired writing takes a wee bit o' time. I have been writing, and I shall produce after my next weekend off from work!

  13. Ewa says:

    Just found your blog. I am lucky. ๐Ÿ™‚

    After your last snowy pictures Morocco will feel really hot.
    Have a wonderful time. Can't wait to read all about it.

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