Katy Willings’ Mongol Derby blog: girl afraid

  • Apologies for the radio silence of late – it has taken until now for me to draw anything remotely amusing from my chaotic goings on, and life is hard enough without someone blogging about how miserable they are.

    I toyed with a post constructed purely from The Smiths lyrics and song titles and brief explanations of their particular relevance to my miserable state. Actually I still think that’s a pretty good gimmick so here goes.

    1. “Girl Afraid”. I have Derby fear, well and truly now. What on earth have I done? Am I actually up to this? Etc, etc.

    2. “Panic”. See above. Add to it the fact that I still have multiple feats of organization left to conquer, and bear in mind how patchy my operational excellence has been over the previous 9 weeks, and you will see why.

    Still to do: one more rabies shot (booked). Organise hotel in Ulaan Bataar for when I get there (no progress). Obtain new digital camera, or roll over and accept the £75 charge to fix the last one I bought and managed to drop/submerge/trample (have spent a few snatched moments on eBay and Gumtree looking for a bargain – seem to be mostly mis-represented or stolen, or marginally more expensive than Amazon. Am confused/disappointed). Take delivery of GPS (in transit now). Take GPS out of box, look it in the eye and learn how to use it (no progress).

    3. “Still Ill”. I was on my way back from a good cantering session on Logan on Saturday and had been experiencing a general feeling of lethargy and a bit of an odd taste in my mouth, but as far as I was concerned the whole swine flu thing was done and dusted; I had completed a Herculean week’s training and that was why I was flagging.

    By the time I got home I had the distinct feeling I was a bit off-colour, and half an hour later I was hugging the toilet, where I stayed for quite some time. I still haven’t quite worked out why I was so violently sick. My best guess is a delayed reaction to the buckets of caffeine I had consumed over the preceding week, combined with hit and miss diet and too many late nights faffing with my new video editing software.

    Having leaned so hard on my adrenal glands that I don’t seem to have any panic response at all any more, I am hoping this little episode will have wiped the slate clean. I am still pretty weak and wobbly though, and a gentle run last night to ease back into training mode revealed that I seem to have wrenched all the muscles around my chest and collarbones in the process of throwing up. Nice. My legs are also looking really puffy, as if I have been on box rest for a month. If I were a horse you’d probably claim loss of use and just turn me out – just don’t put me in foal!

    4. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”. Imagine me on Monday lunchtime, still weak and sickly, scurrying to Covert Garden to pick up some iodine for water purification, and stopping to get some lunch in the Piazza, in the hope that the arias drifting up from the opera singers in the central concourse might lift my spirits.

    I ordered a falafel wrap, with garlic sauce, imagining all it’s wholesome, blood cleaning properties getting to work while I faffed with my excel models all afternoon. Well, the sauce oozed out of the wrap so I got up to get a napkin. When I turned around there were three pigeons in a violent feeding frenzy attacking my falafel wrap. You can imagine how this went down. I tried to keep the language clean as there were children around, but as Morrissey might have said, “Caligula would have blushed”.

    I considered my options: another wrap? No, too costly, too slow. Go hungry? No! That was my WRAP dammit! Did anyone actually SEE the pigeons apart from me? Hmm, well that lady over there is looking at me a bit funny… well, look away now old dear, I have been injected with every possible infectious disease, I am about to go to Mongolia and eat sheep guts for a month, and frankly, WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA. It still tasted fine.

    I then went back to work and put some iodine in my water, just to get used to the taste (not fine). In screwing the top back on the tincture i cracked the glass and got iodine all over my self and my desk. I considered when my luck might change, and the Smiths said to me ah! “You Just Haven’t Earned it Yet Baby!”

    5. “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish”. Ah yes, that would be the montage. Amazingly I did actually finish editing in time for the Derby Barbie on Sunday, which despite my still being a bit spaced and not particularly hearty of appetite, was a success with lovely weather, lots of my closest friends who have been sorely neglected recently, and a paddling pool full of beer. Trying to get the stupid thing uploaded on YouTube has taken me many hours of blood, sweat and tears since then though. But I can happily report that such troubles are now behind me, and, without further ado, here you go.

    View Katy’s training video

    That’s enough navel gazing I think. Now that the montage is up and running life seems relatively sweet again. I have also put in four massive days at work on the trot and been under a lot of pressure to get various things finished by [insert time and date in the past], which has been fairly stressful, but after last week’s “is your job interfering with your Derby” comments I have been mindful of who actually keeps a roof over my head and hopefully knuckled down without too much obvious distress.

    I should get my first gym session of the week in tonight, pending sign off of a rather swanky presentation I have been working on at DataMonkey HQ.


    Katy x

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