So, as I mentioned in my first post, a number of things came together, prompting me to consider the possibility of a tilt at the TGOC. What struck me as I was mulling them over was the sense of nervousness that I was feeling. Now rightly I think you should feel a proper sense of respect for this sort of event, you are crossing rugged terrain, in variable weather, dependant on what you're carrying in your head and in your pack. But I think the unsettled feeling came from conflicting emotions that were wobbling about in the old brain box. On one hand, I really wanted to do the event, I love the outdoors, and everything that I had read and listened to about the TGOC made it sound increasingly awesome. On the other hand, I was well aware that I would need to be away from home whilst training and taking part, and actually I really like Bev, and I quite like my cats, and the thought of periods away seemed a little stressful. What to do, what to do?
Well, as always, talking it over with Bev made it all better. She definitely understands my need to be out in the wilds, and basically gave me the green light that I needed! Thanks babe!
So now what? This will be no surprise to anyone who knows me, I've made a list! I have broken down my preparations in to six main areas, that number may well change as things unfold. They are Route, Fitness, Skills, Equipment, Food & Drink and Questions to Ask. Gradually I will work through them. As a start, I bought the Michelin road map for Scotland in order to get a clearer idea of the lay of the land, where the start points are, pinch points, resupply options, flesh pots (relatively speaking) and most importantly, the finish line. I have examined in further detail my copy of Scottish Hill Tracks to see how some of them could be linked together. As a confirmed map lover, this has also been a convenient excuse to buy more OS maps, 1:50k for an overview, then later I'll switch to 1:25k for navigation on the challenge. Where's The Path (gleaned from a TGOC podcast) is a very interesting, and extremely useful, website. More websites and blogs have been browsed and Outdoor Station podcasts listened to, giving me plenty of information to sort and build on. And this is just the motivation I need to get a really decent exercise plan put in place!
So that's where I am at the minute. Further updates to follow, stay tuned!