All dressed up but nowhere to go … YET !!!

31 10 2010

Training has been surreal – Greg Whyte has been working me on heartbeats per minute rather than distances so I now have to run 4 days a week between 30 and 60 mins with a heartbeat in the range of 154 – 164 beats per minute (with efforts in between raising my heartbeat to over 175). Surreal because two weeks ago I was at my home in Spain and running on the beach in 80 degrees … is this really the right environment to be training for the North Pole ??! Last weekend found me in Sussex running up hills again in 70 degrees sunshine in October !! Probably wishful thinking that I will experience anything similar at the North Pole – guess that would prove the climatologists correct after all !! I pushed on really hard this morning and took my heartbeat up to nearly 190, strange really, similar feeling to that last alcoholic drink that tips you over the edge and you reach momentary euphoria – except in this mornings case it wasn’t even pleasurable getting there ! But I do now have my own psychologist – Prof Andy Lane has joined my team – boy am I going to need him!!

Have had Stavanger in my head – not sure why but always felt I had to fly to Stavanger – so thought I would be up front and book the flights for next April leaving Gatwick and arriving in Stavanger 4.5 hours later.

Richard Donovan emailed me this week confirming my acceptance for the 2011 North Pole Marathon on the 7th April and the flight arrangements home from Spitsbergen … oooppps!  I booked the wrong airport. So had to book the whole thing again yesterday for another £700 (!) and this time the journey is 9.5 hours with 3 changes. What with 70 degree training conditions and only a 3 hour flight this was all looking like a doddle but suddenly the reality is beginning to bite … the North Pole is extremely cold, a long way away and 26 miles in those conditions is going to be a lot harder than 8 miles in the pissing wet around Barnet this morning !!

Got the kit! Now for the first moment of truth – I enter the climate chamber for the first time on November 9th to experience running at  minus 30 degrees! Want to also test run my ipod to see if it works in those extreme temperatures – I downloaded Coldplay as thought it would be appropriate! Inspired by one of my twitter (polarrunner1) followers (@marcelzzz) who pointed out the only person we know to have ever played the drums at the North Pole!

So just a couple of footnotes for today – we are still trying to finalise the recipient of our charity donation for this event; sadly we are considering a number of people but if anybody reading this has someone who they think we may be able to help – now would be a good time to communicate with me as I would like to give this event a major profile after Christmas. One final point – if anybody would like a return flight to Stavanger (its very pretty in Spring! and not much snow) leaving Gatwick 20.55 on April 3rd 2011 returning 20.25 April 10th – I have one going cheap !!! … we will sell this cheaply for the cause.