Do something amazing...

For the Marathon des Sables I need to know my blood group when the registration packs get sent out in a couple of months. The organisers do sell a DIY kit (which isn't 100% accurate) for £10, but decided to go down to my local blood donor session earlier today

It beats paying £10, its free and am doing something useful in the process. If nothing else comes out of the MdS at least I have become a regular blood donor. I'm expecting to hear my blood group within the next 2-4 weeks. It was a very painless experience, everyone was very nice and the blood bit only took around 5 mins, though if its your first time you have to have a health screening. One tip though - although you can just turn up its best to book in advance. I didn't and had to wait 40 mins. After that there was a free cup of tea and biscuits for all!


The other thing I've done today is to sort out a podiatrist. I've seen and heard numerous scare stories about peoples feet in the MdS ranging from gangrene to people losing so much skin they run on the epidermis (nerve endings), to one case of someone actually losing a toe. It sounds like it would be fairly unusual if I came back from the MdS with more than half of my toenails remaining (some people come back with none...). Interestingly the official MdS website does say how too few people go to see a podiatrist beforehand. The photos below are by no means the worst floating around the net...

I suffer quite badly with blisters in normal road conditions so I dread to think what the MDS is going to do to me! My intention is to go every 4-6 months prior to the event so I know how to strap the feet (and what to strap with), know how to treat the foot if the worst happens, and to get the foot prepared beforehand in general. I've managed to find a podiatrist who is a Dr and is also an ultra-marathon runner so seems well suited - all for £30. My first appointment is Friday so will see how it goes.


On another note my calf twinge at the event yesterday is becoming a slight cause for concern so have iced it plenty of times already. It did seem to improve a bit overnight so will see how it is by Wednesday and make a decision then whether to run the Compass Sport Cup at the weekend. I think that I'll be ok but won't risk it if its not 100%.


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