The last few days have been spent packing all of my food, kit and equipment. The 48 days of food alone took me 2 days to pack, everything has been taken out of their original wrappers, everything has been broken down into smaller pieces.
All of my evening meals are freeze dried (supplied by base camp food). My graze bags (what I eat during the day when I take short breaks on the ice) are a mixture of nuts, raisins, chocolates etc. But most importantly, I have also packed a daily hot chocolate! I’ll be given the fuel when I get to Antarctica.
My comms kit has all been set up too, I have tested my Satellite phones, inReach and Iridium Go, I have all of the waypoints in my GPS, marked on a map, my compass is ready and I’m good to go!
I want to say a huge thank you to Dell Technologies for supplying me with my laptop. I have a lot of spreadsheets where every bit of kit and food has been accounted for, I also have the gpx files on the laptop with the route.. so it is so useful having the laptop with me!
Waiting for a good weather window so will not be flying before 19 Nov.
Over Christmas I started pulling my tyre. I was really excited about this and now have tyres located in different areas of the UK, ready for my training sessions. I could feel my glutes and hamstring muscles working straight away! I’ve started with 40 minutes sessions and I will gradually build this up over time. As this becomes easier, I will also add another tyre.
I had written exams for my MSc last weekend and I thought why not celebrate by running an ultramarathon. A few days ago, I completed Country to Capital Ultramarathon, from Wendover to London. It was supposed to be 43 miles but Strava tells me I completed 44.. I haven’t ran over 10 miles over the last few months which made the last stretch a bit more difficult! I did the event alone but met some lovely people on route. What a great way to start the year!
Two days late and I’m in Norway for some Nordic ski training, building up my endurance on skis. Something I will definitely need for my expedition.
I spent some time with my niece (my favourite person) over Christmas and she told me she wants to go to the North Pole (to visit Santa). Hopefully she’ll still be impressed by me travelling to the South Pole! She also bought me my now favourite mug (see picture below)
My inspirational quote of the day:
When you ask yourself, can you do more? The answer is usually yes.
I’m not sure where this quote came from originally and I’m sure it can be interpreted in many ways. For me, it means don’t hold back. You’d be amazed at what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
It started as an idea. What can I do that pushes my boundaries and helps me inspire younger people? It would have to be endurance related. Something in a harsh environment. . . Antarctica. I started reading more about Antarctic explorers, the incredible journeys of Amundsen and Scott, recent expeditions and blogs. My idea started to grow and I now have a plan.
I’m very excited to have Louis Rudd on board as my expedition manager. Louis completed a solo and unassisted crossing of Antarctica in 2018. You can see why I am excited to have him on board. We had a look at training plans, required kit, nutrition, how to prepare myself mentally and physically. At the end of our meeting, I’m feeling more and more motivated. He has given me a book on the first crossing of Greenland. Guess where one of my training trips will be…
Earlier this year, I returned from South Sudan, where I spent 6 months as the physiotherapist on a UN tour with the British Army. In my spare time, I decided to organise a 30 hour endurance event over a 2 week period in 3 different locations. I completed a total of 125 miles and members of the UK taskforce would join me from anything from 1-12 hours. My highlight of this was getting others involved and a lot of people completing more distances than they ever had before (26 to 50 miles).
After the 6 month tour, I spent a week in the UK before flying to South America where I spent time hiking in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. After this trip, I had a week to prepare for Marathon des Sables, 156 mile race in the desert. I entered the event alone but at the end of the 6 days, had made some great friends in my tent (or more accurately a rug thrown over some sticks). It was very hot throughout and we experienced a nice sand storm which blew our tent away on one of the nights! The highlight was being given a coke zero (my achilles heel) on day 5 and finishing of course. I am still thinking of what morale I will take to Antarctica with me..
Over the last few weeks, I have been mountaineering and wild camping in Wales. It was wet and windy but we had some beautiful views when the clag cleared. I’m heading to Norway over the next few months, learning polar navigation and practicing puling a sled. I picked up some land rover tyres and will start training with them over the next few weeks!
My eight year old niece recently told me she was scared to try skiing again at the snowdome. We last went when she was six. I said its ok to be scared and she replied but you’re never scared. I explained that isn’t actually true, I get scared a lot of the time but life is an adventure and when I think about everything that can be achieved, being scared isn’t important anymore. I’m not sure I’ve persuaded her to go skiing again though.
I love an inspirational quote. To end this post here is a quote from Laura Dekker, who is the youngest person (aged 16) to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly.
I follow my own head. And if I’m determined to do something, then I’ll make sure that I make it happen. – Laura Dekker