Sahara Trek Countdown

Saturday 6th September signaled the 6 month countdown to my departure for my Moroccan adventure in the desert. This means the end of ‘pre-training’ training and the start of the serious training! I have my newly added widget (to the right) to keep track of my countdown which is the equivalent of a wagging finger in my face shouting “get training!” although I’m sure as time passes the pressure will mount and I will naturally respond accordingly. Lots of people have taken an interest in my training, so I thought I better had too…

The boys really enjoyed their first week at school/ pre-school, with my eldest even saying it was “terrific”. Which leaves me with the time to dedicate to all that is necessary for my Sahara Trek, during school hours anyway. My goals for the next six months are therefore:

  1. TRAINING – 2 hourly sessions, 4-5 times a week, increasing in length in the final 6 weeks
  2. PREPARATION – Buy equipment needed – boots, sandals, clothing, sleeping bag, rucksack, blister tape, solar charger, camel spider repellent, snake repellent, mask to cover all facial orifices whilst sleeping…
  3. CRAFTING – Items to sell to generate more sponsorship – minimum of £535 still to raise to qualify to do the trek
  4. MEDITATION – Continuing on my path of psychological training for increased mental well-being.

Obviously the amount of time I can actually dedicate to all of the above depends on family responsibilities so it will vary from week to week. I would also like to include some days of training that will almost replicate the pace in the desert so walking 6 miles then a break for a couple of hours then another 6 miles. The only part I can’t adequately prepare for is the heat, which may well be the most difficult aspect of the trek. I am freakishly worried about blisters too, as once every step becomes painful, I feel that could remove all enjoyment of the trek. So far I have bought ‘blister-resist’ socks, although I am unconvinced they will indeed resist blisters! Any tips for preventing blisters gratefully received! The obvious is to get my walking boots and train in them however because I need desert boots, they won’t be waterproof and won’t be suitable for the inevitable training in the rain I will have to do over winter. I just need to toughen my delicate little tootsies up! Saying that, I’ve already got blisters on my heels and toes at the moment from a little trek around Leeds city centre last week – my first time in anything other than my Fit Flop flip flops for months (aside from pre-training training of course), I’m not sure that bodes well…

I only feel like I’ve done some effective training if I walk for two hours so I have done that several times already in the run-up to the 6 month countdown. I’ve notched up my first one of the serious training this morning:

Sahara Trek TrainingKen Bruce kept me chuckling all the way round this morning, I love his sarcasm and the bickering with Lynn Bowles. I’m no good at PopMaster though (try for yourself by clicking the link!). The only annoying element of the walk was my perspiring nose causing sliding sunglasses – think I may need to get used to that one!

I stopped to take a few pics on my way back uphill as the West Yorkshire scenery is so beautiful:

In the distance is the road that made up the first half of my walk, although I must say this perspective was preferable than looking up the hill and thinking ‘am I really going to be up there in another hour?!’

Sahara Trek CountdownA little further along and Almscliffe Cragg can just be seen on the horizon (to the left of the first tree touching the horizon).

Sahara Trek CountdownFinally, a glimpse of our house, I had aching hips by this point. It was a gorgeous day, wish it could be like this on all my training walks!

Thank you so much to all those who have sponsored me so far, it is VERY much appreciated. PANDAS relies entirely on donations and volunteers to keep the charity going and they have helped hundreds of families in the last three years. Every step of my training, crafting and next year – my trek, will all be so worth it to help keep this charity growing and helping families overcome perinatal mental illness.

Sahara Trek CountdownThank you for reading, I’ll be back with an engagement card tomorrow,

Emma x

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