Breakfast at 4.30 a.m. would be coffee with a fruit smoothie, then ‘second breakfast’ at around 9 a.m. would be porridge with honey or strawberry jam, sometimes with some fruit. Lunch would usually be a sandwich of some description as it was easy to prepare or take away of the crew passed a shop. In the evening, I’d have chicken or beef with potatoes or rice and a yoghurt for pudding. In between I would munch on snacks such as bananas, grapes, cheese and oatcakes, Jelly Babies, Twiglets, nuts, crisps and cake.
When I told her I was going for a 30-mile run, she replied incredulously: ‘Running 30 miles! Why can’t you just be like a normal mum and stay at home and bake cakes?’
—Mimi’s daughter, Harri
We mothers are often made to feel guilty about taking time for ourselves but once I put my trainers on and go for a run, I have so much more energy when I get back and I am less grumpy—which pleases my whole family. I can handle the stress of life better and that in turn makes me a better mother.
Mothers (and indeed all women) should never be made to feel guilty about exercising, as it can do wonders for our health and self-esteem andsets a good example to children that being active is a normal, everyday activity.
If you want to find out who your friends are, do a desert ultra with them.
‘I can’t do this,’ I groaned to her cradling my head in my hands as I sat on the soft ground. ‘I can’t go on, I can’t run another step. I really don’t think I can do this.’
Max turned to me but didn’t give me sympathy or reassurance as I expected. She simply stated: ‘Mimi, just think of all those people back at home who are expecting you to fail,’ and then she walked off.
Many experienced runners often failed to complete the race, let alone do it in the Badwater qualifying time. But you should know by now how much I love to prove people wrong, especially when they say something is impossible. I always think beyond impossible. What’s the point in setting limits on what you can do before you have even tried to do it?
Or, as Tim put it, once again astounded by my intentions:
‘You want to do a challenging and painful long-distance race, on order to qualify to do an even more challenging and painful long-distance race?’
I didn’t complain or question him, if the crew thought that was the best way for me to get the record then I was going to listen and obey, I completely trusted their judgement. Alan told me that as tired as I was, I had to try to maintain a decent pace, even when walking. As he cycled behind me, he offered words of encouragement to keep me in a rhythm and focused on my running action.
‘Stride with purpose!’ he’d tell me. ‘Don’t shuffle!’
The road ahead is long and I know it won’t be easy but I have to give it a go. Some will say it’s impossible, but of course I don’t believe that. As one of my favourite quotes by Arthur C. Clarke states: ‘The only limitations you have in life are the ones you put on yourself.’