Happy New Year to you all.
January is now the time to get even more serious about X-Alps preparation. I spent some time with my father (my supporter) over the Christmas and New Year holidays and we started making lists. His knowledge of ultra-marathon running and his extensive contacts in the outdoor industry are certainly very useful (just to prove the cliche he did buy me socks for Christmas, but ones he swears by for ultra-running, especially when combined with his top-secret foot cream!!)
We started looking at the route in detail between us and to that end borrowed 2 boxes of maps from Tom Payne who competed in the X-Alps in 2009 - thanks Tom!. We are dividing the route into sections and studying track logs from past events as well as the maps to try to gather a much information together as possible.
Planning the remaining 6 months is probably one of the most important tasks on the list though. I'm training hard at the moment but sought some professional advice between Christmas and New Year and now need to turn that into a fixed training plan that I can track and stick to over the coming months. Apart from the physical training we also need to learn the route, particularly the Austrian and Italian sections (which I know less well), so we've started planning pre-X-Alps trips in order to scope out the route. We need to be looking at the route from a flying, walking and driving perspective. The goal of all this of course is to hit the starting line familiar with the route and as well prepared as it is possible to be. That's how we'll make it to Monaco!
As for New Year resolutions, I don't believe in them!