Arctic adventure begins in two weeks 🐧❄️

In two weeks, I will hop on a plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, then another to Ushauaia, and last, board a ship to sail the Drake Passage down to Antarctica.

The race is a little over three weeks away and I did something nasty to my achilles on the last, long and very hilly training run. Again, I tried using trail shoes, and again, they didn’t work out. I’m sticking with my road shoes. Hills, rock, and snow be damned.

The problem with an achilles, let’s call it, aggravation, is it takes a long time to heal. I’ve been limping around since Sunday, and that’s walking. Running has been out of the question, and still is almost a week later.

I feel like my fitness level and endurance training will carry over another two to three weeks if rest is all I need to heal my achilles, but I’m not happy about it. I’ve been grumpy and a little down lately as the realization that due to this setback I won’t be running the best race I could.

Don’t count me out yet. Two weeks is still long enough for me to recover sufficiently to get the job done. I just hope it’s enough for the tough arctic terrain that lies ahead.

Race participants received a final informational email from Marathon Tours on logistics, avoiding scams in Buenos Aires and what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled. They said all of this tends to happen quite a bit in South America.

There will be no internet and no cell phone coverage while on the ship or on the white continent. I have an option to register for a ship, text-only, email address. I’m guessing this is a small data channel on a ship-to-shore radio that can allow for a limited amount of communication to and from the rest of the world.

The email also included a few pictures from previous races. The inclines on the race course looked intense. I’ve had some hill work – some that’s nearly done me in – but those long ass hills go up and up forever. Gulp.

Deep breath. It’s going to be fine. Carry on.

There are no ports or docks on Antarctica. Instead, the ship drops anchor and they lob us (hopefully it’s gentler than that) into a Zodiac. A Zodiac is a rubber boat with a motor, think what navy seals use. The Zodiac will bring several of us to land. Then we’ll step out of the boat into calf-high Arctic ocean and walk (or run) to land and ice and snow.

Zodiacs will be used for race day and other activities on Antarctica. Before and after the race there are several excursions like arctic ocean kayaking and penguin viewing. Count me in!

With the help of a check list from Marathon Tours, I’m still narrowing down my own packing list, which I’ll publish when I have it pretty much locked. More to come.

Stay healthy, stay strong. ❤️🙏🏼💪🏼