The road to Yungay/A Perfect Storm…

Good morning folks
I trust this finds you in superb form.
Monday morning has come early!
As I will be on an overnight bus back to Lima (or lost/missing in the Andes), I thought it prudent to scribble a short blog in advance.
Lots of stuff going on; General Elections, “milk” that is not milk but in my busy little mind, all roads this week have been leading to Yungay and the ULTRA TRAIL 69.
On paper (until Sunday night) it looked like a really, really steady week, perfect!
Then work scuppered any “faffing” plans on Mon-Tues-Weds. Bugger!
This meant that everything would have to be done Friday morning “si o si” (yes or yes), as I´d have to sprint home Friday night in time to get the night bus!
After pulling out of/leapfrogging the DH race last weekend, I was overly optimistic about suddenly getting/feeling better, this never actually happened as I started to feel worse (bad guts and wheezy old man chest, will spare you the gruesome details).
The sensible chap on my right shoulder was saying all week “No, no, no, don’t go…”
The troublesome chap on my left shoulder said “Go for it you donkey!” He always gets the upper hand.
Really, I should have pulled out, but there had been too much investment in time, training, entry fee and bus tickets for this Northern tightwad to just say no…
I’ll be absolutely ecstatic to get round!
My season is divided into three parts, all leading into one another:
1) Ultra Trail 69 (now)
2) Andes Race (Cusco, August)18953020_1924704844454903_8601324829808978747_n
3) El Misti race (Arequipa, November)MISTI
Everything is going towards these races.
My back-up plan was to see the Village People (two gigs in Lima this weekend), so Yungay it was!
On paper it should have been a really steady week.
It wasn’t and left Thursday and Friday to find all my gear in the black hole where I keep all my gubbins and shoehorn it into a duffel bag. It always takes longer than it should and drives me bonkers.

Off on a tangent, but tenuously linked…
I once worked with a bloke, who cold be best summed up as a bit of an oddball.
I won´t name hime, but let´s call him “Madam”.
Never in my life have I worked with such a peculiar chap, to the point that I sometimes found myself talking about him to people outside work…
It wasn´t one particular thing about him, it was everything!
He just wasn´t wired up properly and generally went against everything and everyone. Not a team player, more like a one-man-band (without any instruments or songs!)
One of his dominant traits was his carefulness with money, long arms and deep pockets, he was excrutiatingly tight, and whilst on a decent wage, he did not spend anything.
He lived at home with his parents (in his late 40s), no problem with that, but he was the first person I have ever met who had no interests nor hobbies whatsoever, nothing.
Every year he used to take a fortnight off  work on his ancient car (an old Fiesta) to get it through the MOT, not because he was a vintage car specialist nor a mechanic, he was just too stingy to pay anybody, even though he could have probably afforded a top-end Ferrari!
But what is the connection with this blog?
I feel a bit like that old knackered Fiesta, I am slowly falling to pieces but the difference is that I am prepared to pay somebody to get (scrape) me through my MOT,  or at least to keep going as long as possible…
Midweek Maro Magic!
Sandwiched in the week I had a pre-booked appointment with the best Physio on this planet, Maro, a very experienced lady who has become my physio, sports psychologist, running saviour and probably the only person here who I can ramble on about training with.
She is absolutely solid gold!
As I had planned to race last weekend, I´d booked in for Tuesday, but as I hadn´t run (due to sickness) there was little point, so I shifted it to Thursday.I had/have so, so many doubts about this race.
Training had been massively inadequate, I’ve not run 50 miles since my Lakeland 100 (2011) and sickness/injury/accidents had been more common events than actual training! Had it been a race closer to home I would have cancelled, but as I’ve not been out of Lima since January 2015,  I was keen to go and see what I could do in yonder mountains!
Mountains not far away from “Touching the Void” territory, which was essentially my primary motivation for coming to Peru in the first place 13 years ago.
Maro did some magic on my dodgy knee. Biomechanically (big word) I am ok, but my chest infection, lack of miles and complete absence of acclimatisation (to altitude) were three major question marks hanging above my head!
Tent drama…
In 2004 I bought a 2nd hand tent (Hilleberg, top notch gear, way overpriced and out of my budget, hence not buying it new).
This tent has been around the world with me and is basically bombproof.
About 6 years ago I lost the inner tent, it just vanished. I priced up a replacement (over 200 quid) and used it just as an outer bivvy, until one day, as mysteriously as it vanished, it reappeared!
Checking it on Thursday, I found the poles to be missing :-/
A tent with no poles is as useful as a chocolate teapot and no tent would screw up the weekend, especially Saturday. Hoh-hum…
By Thursday afternoon I was absolutely knackered, wired and with my nerves shot to pieces. OCD habits went off the scale and I had used most of my adrenaline and caffeine just holding myself together at work!
(After fretting and searching for 2 hours, I asked Lina and she said the poles were hung up on a peg in the Nipper’s bedroom, I had put them there!)
An early run/plod followed by a frenetic morning of packing, repacking and faffing.
By 3pm everything had to be ready.
At 9:30pm I´d get a bus home, grab my bag and taxi it to the station.
From there on only time would tell…
The reason that I am writing this blog early is that I´ll be on a bus home on Sunday night, either with a medal and a big smile or a head hanging in shame!Kick-off is at midnight on Saturday and one way or another I should be done by Sunday afternoon.
I’ll patch together a midweek special next week to let you know what happened ;-) Have an awesome weekend.
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

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