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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Carb loading on Rice Krispie Squares
27-Apr-2012 09:01:10 AM [(GMT-07:00) Mountain Time(US & Canada)]

I know...it is WAY to soon to carb load and Rice  Krispie Squares probably aren't the best nutrition source, but I just can't stop eating them tonight.  I made them for a meeting at work, but of course had leftovers, which won't last long by the looks of it.

The preparation is pretty much done as 2 weeks from now I will be in Amman, getting ready to start my journey.  This isn't just about a race...this is about having the opportunity to take part in an amazing event, experience a country in a way that many people would not (I don't know anyone else who has slept in a Bedouin camp) and meet people from all over the world on this same journey. I plan on taking in and enjoying every moment.

I have trained, I'm uninjured, I feel reasonably strong so I have no doubt I will finish the event. Mentally, I know I can do the distance.  I've packed and repacked my backpack for effiency (still not as light as some others will be) and I've gone over the mandatory list countless times to ensure I don't forget anything.  My nutrition plan is set and I have been following it for the last several months while training. I feel as prepared as I can be for a first time in this event and so now it is time to taper.  And eat one more Rice Krispie Square.
Choices, choices.
14-Apr-2012 02:39:48 AM [(GMT-07:00) Mountain Time(US & Canada)]

I was hoping to get another pack run in this weekend, but between rain yesterday and snow today, I ended up opting not to get my pack and it's contents soaked unnecessarily.  And yes....sadly, I did say snow.  It is April 14th in Alberta and we are getting 5 - 10 cm of snow today.  

I decided to make some adjustments to my plan.  I did about 22 km indoors on a track yesterday, 15 km this morning in wind and snow on the trails and tomorrow is a planned 20 km run outside in what I hope is NOT snow and wind. 

Heading out this morning, being battered by the wind and snow, I reminded myself that I have certainly run in worse conditions.  Blackfoot Ultra, 50 Mile race in 2010 comes to mind.  The day started at about 5C and was supposed to hit about 12C.  However, mother nature had different ideas.  A light sprinkle of rain got heavier and then turned to snow and the temperature dropped below 0.  The trail was a 25 km loop that was chewed up by hundreds of runners and it wasn't long before we were sliding around in ankle deep muck.  The hardest point was at the end of each loop, making that mental decision to go out for yet another 25 km loop.  I was colder than I've ever been, soaked, and I knew that physically I could finish the distance so it would have been easy just to call it quits after 55 km and not go out for that final loop.  However, I was using the Blackfoot 50 Mile as training for my first solo of the Canadian Death Race, 125 km run with 3 mountain summits that must be completed in 24 hours.  If I let myself quit during Blackfoot, was I just setting myself up to quit anytime that was the easy thing to do?  I kept going and finished...as I was sitting around the fire warming up afterwards, shivering under a blanket, a volunteer asked me jokingly if I wanted my Dilly Bar (for those of you who are not familiar with Dairy Queen, it is an icecream bar covered in chocolate).  I almost declined, but then reconsidered.  The Dilly Bar is the finisher's treat at Blackfoot and even though it was the middle of a blizzard and I was chilled through  I ate that Dilly Bar because I earned it.  I also completed Death Race later that summer and was so glad I had persisted through Blackfoot.  

In endurance runninng it is often the mental choices we make that often gets us to the finish line.   We train ourselves physically by going on long runs and carrying heavy packs, looking after injuries.  But those training runs are also the opporutnity to train ourselves mentally.  We get out there when we'd rather not and push through a run that is uncomfortable because of conditions knowing that we could easily stay in and do the run "tomorrow" instead.  When it comes down to it we always have choices...we can choose to do or not to do.  I choose to do and I am so glad that I chose to be in Jordan in 4 more weeks beginning my 250 km journey.  And, I'm pretty sure I won't be running in snow

40 km Pack Run
07-Apr-2012 08:10:23 AM [(GMT-07:00) Mountain Time(US & Canada)]

This morning at 7 am I grabbed my fully loaded pack and headed out the door for a 40 km run.  I had my route all planned out, and somewhere took a wrong turn.  I ended up going about 12 km out of my way, which ended up being a perfect adjustment to my route.  I saw some new countryside just outside of St. Albert but my highlight was a huge flock of what looked like sparrows, thousands of them, in a field and on the road I was running on.  I believe it is murmuration when they fly in formation and it was amazing to see.  They were covering the road I was running on, and as I would get close they would fly off together and the sound of their wings as they flew was incredible.  I stood and watched them for several minutes because they kept coming back.  It was a fortunate wrong turn, as it allowed me to see such an amazing phenomenon of nature.  

The run itself went really well.  I made a few more adjustments to the pack and taped the areas where I was getting some chafing.  The tape worked like a charm!!  I used Elastoplast Sport tape that a friend of mine got during a hike in Tasmania.  Apparently it cannot be found in Canada...I guess Elastoplast thinks the winter in Canada gives us tough skin. If you can get your hands on some for blisters it is highly recommended by the friend that lent it to me, as she regularly loses all the skin on her heels to blisters without this tape.  

I fuelled with Vega Electrolyte drink in one water bottle and the Vega All in One Shake in the other for my calories.  It seems to work well for me.  4h48m later I arrived home and feel pretty good.  I'm feeling mentally better prepared having a few fully loaded pack runs behind me and I think I have a system that is going to work well for me in terms of accessing my fuel and drinks.

The most painful part of the run was ripping the tape off after the run probably due to the fact it ripped off the scabs that had formed from my previous chafing incidents.  That and listening to a Britney Spears mashup too many times on my I-Pod.  I guess next I'll have to work on some new play-lists
MARY NIELSEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Hometown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Profession
I am a Health & Fitness Specialist in an employee fitness facility at the U of A hospital in Edmonton. I help health professionals make healthy lifestyle changes, provide personal training and teach fitness classes. And it is the most fun I've ever

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MARY NIELSEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

Bio

I worked for 15 years in a corporate setting as an HR specialist. About 6 years ago I decided to take the leap and make a major career change and do what I love and became a personal trainer and health & fitness specialist at the U of A Hospital's employee fitness centre. I am fortunate to work at something that I truly love, which is sharing my passion for health & fitness with others. My success is defined by seeing individuals make lifestyle changes that ultimately make them stronger, healthier people.

Hometown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Profession
I am a Health & Fitness Specialist in an employee
fitness facility at the U of A hospital in
Edmonton. I help health professionals make
healthy lifestyle changes, provide personal
training and teach fitness classes. And it is the
most fun I've ever

Why are you competing?
My reason for running in Jordan is to challenge
myself. I also look at it as an opportunity to
see an amazing part of the world, meet amazing
people from all over the world and take part in an
amazing experience.

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