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NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 Blogs

Day 6
19-Feb-2016 09:17:51 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I did it.

Day 5
18-Feb-2016 02:12:33 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Well guys, today was it. I am pretty dang sure I found my body’s limit. Although it was a short day, my body could hardly move midway through the second leg. Upon leaving checkpoint 2, I knew I would make the cutoff – as I had 4 hours to travel six miles. If it gives y’all any idea into how much I hurt/how slow I was moving, it took me 3 hours to go six miles on a flat road.

The pain hit an all time high, and although my water and electrolyte levels were okay, my brain just turned off. Like no thoughts at all. I just shuffled and stumbled, my feet not even completely clearing each other. I was screaming and crying so loudly that even local Sri Lankans were pulling over on the road to see if I was okay. For those of you who know the happy constantly smilin’ Tina, she was GONE. I just couldn’t do it. I have never before reached this point.

I’ve hit walls before, physically speaking. Y’all remember that time I biked to Alaska? And certainly I’ve kept hitting walls here in Sri Lanka. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, I must say that I have been so proud and surprised each day when I roll into the finish. I certainly have found strength I didn’t think I had. But today, on the road, I hit the true limit of my body. I can’t quite explain it, obviously there was pain, but moreso, it was that my mind was awake but my body could give no more. It was truly tapped out. There were no decisions I could make about what my body could do, it had already done all it could.

I finished the day with about a half hour to spare...the last person to finish officially. As always, I will of course start tomorrow. Many of the volunteers think that with some food and sleep I will be new in the morning. I have my doubts about whether or not “what I can give” will be enough to get me through 54 kilometers (30 ish miles), but y’all can guarantee that I will try. I will not quit, though I cannot speak for my body anymore.

Thank you all once again for the notes – I laughed hysterically tonight in the cybertent. Again, I have nothing but gratitude for this experience. I am in constant awe of the people here, and I am still having SO MUCH FUN. It is really cool – apparently competitors who finish earlier (pretty much all of them) ask how I’m doing and if I’ve made it in yet. One the volunteers said, “Yeah, they ask because you’ve got the biggest smile. It cheers up the whole camp.” It’s so nice to have a place here, even it is in the back.

I spend a lot of time thinking about food out here. I know I’m a vegetarian, but guys...barbecue. Seriously.

 

Stage 4
17-Feb-2016 03:43:05 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Day 4

You beautiful people! It’s 8pm, and I’m sitting in the cybertent next to Ralph, one of the “fast guys,” as we blog about this day. Linh, I didn’t quit. They let me start today, so I did. The doctors told me last night that my knee injury is not something that can permanently damage it. It will heal with rest. Of course, I’m running an ultramarathon in Sri Lanka, so it won’t get better, it will just hurt more and more. This is great news because that means I only need to focus my mind now.

So this morning I started. It was flat all day, but one of my favorite people had to withdraw at the first check point. Knowing he would no longer be at camp…was heartbreaking, even though I understand and think he made the right decision. I spent most of the second leg crying about it. Then the day got a little better. I’m learning to manage the pain in my knee,  my pack is lighter, and seeing my friends go is giving me more fuel to keep going. I started to walk/run a little bit as people continued to drop. By the last checkpoint, the sweepers rolled in and I left…DFL. Then the coolest thing happened. Halfway through, we turned onto a trail by a stream. The red dirt looked just like the townlake trail, and remember when we had all that rain in Austin? Well the trail smelled just like that…because I’m in the jungle. The scent and sight filled my heart and I took off. I ran for the last hour, passing my fellow travellers, and arriving home at camp with a smile instead of tears.

My body is killing me, of course, but that is normal now. My spirits are high. It’s raining outside the tent and I’m about to go get a blessing from a monk here.

I’ve found so many answers out here. It’s amazing. I thought I was out yesterday and had come to peace with it. It’s funny that by letting go, I was able to start and keep going…actually even strong.

Strong mind, strong body. Thank you. Even if I don’t make it, today was what it needed to be. Love you all.

Stage 2
15-Feb-2016 02:58:13 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello everyone!

So Corky always calls me Niagara Falls because I cry so much. Today we ran past the largest waterfall in Sri Lanka, but I will say that by the end of the day and even now I have cried just as many tears.

It’s funny – some days can be your best and worst all in the same day. I fell about 45 minutes into the day and hit my knee straight on a rock. It broke through my tights and I hurt, but it didn’t seem too hurt. A lovely downhill, I actually ran or “speed hobbled” as I call it for a good part of the day. There was an awful uphill section with about 5 miles of nonstop uphill climbing. For those in Austin, I think it was the equivalent of walking up Ladera about 20 times with a 20 pound pack. I jogged a whole section by my own and “killed it,” however, on the last leg, my knee injury caught up with me. I spent an hour and 45 minutes hobbling with poles, crying, and at times being pushed up hills by Olivia and Patrick. I thought about quitting a lot.

I knew I at least wanted to finish the day, and I did, though at a glacial pace. After checking in with the doctors, they think I have badly bruised my swollen leg. I can barely move, but I am hopeful that the medicines and rest will help me be able to start tomorrow. When I think about completing another hundred miles, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to make it – but I’m told literally take things one step at a time.

For those of you who have written…thank you. Each and every one of you brought me to a new set of tears. I am so grateful. I want so badly to make you all proud and I will try SO HARD not to quit. All I can say is that my body is screaming, but I’m trying to soldier through. The amazing people here almost make me forget the pain. I am so grateful for everything already. This has been such an amazing experience.

Love. All of my love. Thank you.

Stage 1
14-Feb-2016 03:52:15 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Day 1 was absolutely brutal. I don’t know how to say it. Our shoes were scrubbed with a special soap in the morning to help prevent leeches. I am grateful that none of those buggers got me, however, my body has its own set of woes. Thankfully I have only a few blisters, but me feet hurt so much and my shoulders are killing me. My pack is definitely too heavy – about 24 pounds. I am hoping to eat my food more quickly to lighten it up ASAP. Today was the most technical day of the whole course, which means I was running on rocks, crossing rivers, and climbing up and over and under tree trunks. I think I crawled over 100 tree trunks today.

I am so grateful to have run (walked) with Patrick, a Floridian, and Olivia, an Australian living in Hong Kong. We sang and cursed and laughed. I honestly don’t know if I could’ve finished without them. I’ll be honest that I am genuinely worried about the next few days, even though I know my pack will get lighter and the terrain will be easier.

I will say that despite the pain, Sri Lanka is the most beautiful place. We are up in the mountains and everything is just lush and green, there is water flowing everywhere and you can even see waterfalls in the distance. The locals and their children smile and wave at us. Many kids gave me flowers, which I put in my hair.

I love and miss everyone very very much. It is hard to put one foot in front of the other, but I already know I will treasure this experience forever.

Off to eat and bed, tomorrow is Day 2!

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