Lessons learnt……

Well, now I’m home, dry and warm and have had a chance to look back on the Fan Dance I thought I’d write a post about the lessons I learnt….

1. Lack of mobile coverage – this may be an obvious one but there is very little mobile coverage…. And if you get a signal the chances are it will be voice only and not even the most basic sort of data so don’t rely on your phone for any sort of mapping or to get you out of trouble. Luckily this wasn’t a problem because I had paper maps (printed on waterproof paper) and a compass but it does make you think…

2. Refuelling – this was the biggest mistake I made…. I didn’t eat anything until the halfway point and by then I could feel the effects of it… One reason was the weather, I just wanted to push on until I was somewhere a bit sheltered and the other reason is covered next…

3. Backpack – the final info on water & drinks was sent out a few days before the race. I hadn’t factored in carrying a stainless flask of hot drink in addition to the two litres of water and all the other kit so it was a last minute shuffle to try and fit it all in my pack. I managed it by carrying more of the “odds and ends” in my pockets but it meant I hadn’t run with the pack set up like this and hadn’t adjusted the straps properly…

I get really nervous before the start and I didn’t take the time to check my pack was “right” before starting. I set off with the top strap too loose and that meant the pack was pulling on my shoulders in a way I wasn’t used to, again it was nearly half way before I sorted this and it left me with quite sore shoulders.

He other thing was my food was no longer very handy and rather than stop and fiddle to get to it I just carried on, I certainly paid for that mistake….

4. Lack of training – I went in to it knowing I hadn’t done the training I had planned and it showed. At the end I’m not sure how much further I could have gone or if I could have faced another hill….

All in all none of these are horrendous mistakes but one thing I have learned in life is that great disasters don’t just happen, they are a cumulative of small mistakes and bad decisions…. I’ll be doing my best to make sure I don’t make these mistakes again when I’m back in the summer 😄

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