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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Back Home in Riga
21-May-2012 10:08:42 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Labdiene, Arrived back home in Riga yesterday afternoon after a very early morning & long travel day...short compared to some! So happy to be back in Riga, in just the 12 days of being gone the city absolutely changed...from a little bit of green to completely green & fresh. Jordan is beautiful but there is not much colour to be seen. Stage 6, our last stage, was amazing. It was approximately 6.5 km from last camp into Petra...it was an untimed stage so everyone was encouraged to go slow, walk with friends, take pictures and truly embrace & soak everything in. We were not disappointed...it was incredible. We had an earlier start about 6:15am, everyone in the camp seemed to be on slow mode knowing it was our last day & an easy one. The finish line was right in front of the treasury in ancient Petra, & it was breathtaking...i cannot find the perfect words to describe the feelings, the vision, the atmosphere...it was just surreal. Mary Gadams, the founder & CEO of RTP was giving us our medals, which are beautiful and after taking some pics & hanging around there for a while the competitors walked another 2km to where we were being served some 'real' food after eating way too much freeze dried food for a week & then to get to where our buses were waiting to take us to our hotel, it was yet another 2.5 km straight up hill...no buses are cars are allowed past a certain point into ancient Petra thats why we had to walk, but anyway after 250km, it was a walk in the park :0)! The hotel in Petra was beautiful & they did a great job checking so many people in at the same time but I had my concerns over whether their system would handle so many people showering simultaneously but it did & we had plenty of hot water. What a treat that was, I just didn't realize how dirty we really were until I saw the water running off my body, black...it was funny. Never have I appreciated a shower as much as I did at that moment. We decided not to hang out in Petra & stay for the after party, so we transfered back to Amman Sat afternoon & checked into the Four Seasons for 24 of luxury & pampering. But before we left Petra we had a beer with our tentmates & said our goodbyes, we met some really awesome people & hope we will cross paths again likely at another RTP event or who knows maybe somewhere else! YES its true after the long day & I was adamant that I would not do another one, but its classic...once the acute pain subsides the idea of doing another one doesn't seem so bad! Maybe I need to take a hammer & pound my knees for an hour or stab knives in my feet to remind myself of how it felt on the long day :0)! We checked in to the hotel in Amman & promptly got cozy in the robes, ordered some mezzahs and a bottle of wine & did not leave our room until the next day...it was heaven! We went to some beautiful stores selling Jordanian crafts & antiques but ended up not buying anything. Stopped for some delicious Arabic coffee & then back to the hotel...had an early start on Monday & arrived back in Riga at 3pm....couldn't wait to see my doggies! Feet are getting better but my ankles & feet are still very swollen & still can't see my ankle bones, traveling of course didn't help & I hope over the next couple of days they will be better. Lost the big toenail on my left foot, as expected, didn't even hurt when it came off...I think I am immune to it now! Fred's feet are really good save a couple of blisters. He is much smarter when it comes to what he does, he wears toe socks & then compression socks over top & this seems to be a good formula for him. Next time I will pretape my feet in the vulnerable areas for blisters, where wider runners and compression socks while I run & then lower leg (footless) compression socks while I sleep to help with swelling. Overall it was awesome, we had a good time, it was beautiful & of course the personal challenge both physically & mentally was life changing. As I just ready in RUN by Dean Karnazes ..."endurance events don't build character the reveal it". I tried to stay as positive as possible but there were moments when I felt defeated & was a bit grumpy...sorry Fred...but overall you have to dig deep and find ways to keep yourself up or you will not survive. Compared to Atacama, Jordan was harder or maybe its just fresher in my mind, but from everything I heard & the people I spoke with on Friday after the long day, the people that have done multiple RTP events, all said the same thing....the long day in Jordan will go down (so far) as the toughest long stage in RTP history! I never mentioned before but usually in these events they do some kind of medical study & this time they asked volunteers to participate in a study measuring electrolyte levels & weight loss...they took a small sample of blood & weighed us on stage 1, stage 3 & at the end of stage 5. It was interesting, I managed my electrolytes very well & all things considered did not lose too much weight. Save the first stage my electrolytes were a bit low but I think its because I entered the race not fully hydrated but other then that it was good so my system from Atacama really works for me. Very long last blog that likely no one will read now that the race is over but wanted to close it off...again a big Thank you to everyone for your awesome messages of encouragement & support!! Until next time...RTP Iceland... stay healthy & be happy! PS A HUGE Thank you to Sam & her team, all of the volunteers, medical staff & local crew for their untiring support and energy...they are the glue that keeps these races together....absolutely incredible, every single person!!!! Ata Lisa xo
Stage 5
18-May-2012 03:16:12 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello All, 

sorry i have not updated since tuesday, went to blog wednesday and the cybertent was too busy and then we gad a sand storm.  i have not had the chance to read any emails or blog responses since tuesday because read and write capabilities are on different computers..but i want to thank everyone for your messages, you really do not realize what a difference it makes out here. the sandstorm was interesting, they said it was a mini storm so i couldn not imagine what a major storm would be like. sarah i thought about you guy thru all of your storms in SA...wow!  they had to take our tent down and put iy back up which took close toan hour...it was unbelieveabl how much dust and sand got into absolutely everything...my hair is seriously a nest never to get a brush thru again...my buff has become my best friend out here. we had a lot of laughing in the morning when fred said he could not look at me and he was laughing so hard and when i looked in my compac mirror (yes i brought one) i had a uni brow from the dirt...it was hysterical...i had tears running down my face.  ok more on the update...yesterday morning  i was pretty stressed about the long day...they shortened it by 3 km so we had a 86.5 km day.  the course was BRUTAL even the people have done several of these are saying that yesterday will go down as the toughest ling stage in RTP history.  it was super hot and we were going thru a canyon for 30 odd km and it was like an oven.  we hoped to be done by 1pm and ended coming in just before 4am...21 hrs, it was incredible and torturous.  admittedly i entertained dropping out but just kept going...my knees and feet were so painful, i kept taking pain killers but they started not to work so well.  i honestly thought i would not make it. fred kept me going and if it was not for him i would not have completed.  was by far harder then atacama.  i had at least 3 meltdowns on the course and another one when i crossed the finish line. we actually did quite well on the last leg but then the last 2km were so tough, that absolutely broke me..steeo rocky loose downhill, the worst terrain after a 20.5hr day.   anyway we signed up for it so what can you expect!  i said this after atacama but i think i mean it now that i will not do another one...way too hard on the body.   unfortunately i got another terrible skin infection and my feet are trashed and extremely swollen. fred did really well and would have done faster if it was not for me crashing mid way thru.  today is difficult because its really hot and long but good to justbrest the legs and feet.  our final stage tomorrow is more ceremonial then anything else, we leave at 6am for a short 6.5 km run into Petra and then some cold soda and food...:o) :o) !!  we will head straight to the hotel to shower and then take a taxi back to amman.  booked into an amazing hotel and will chill and hang by the pool all day.

i will write a final blog either tomorrow or sat, but for now the cybertent is closing and i need to sign off.

thank you again we have amazing family and friends, super supportive!  xo

Stage 3
15-May-2012 08:35:43 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

hi hi, sorry about the blog yesterday wrote but didn not get uploaded.  day 3 complete...yeah!!!  we had a really good day compared to yesterday, we both felt well and strong.  the course was a bit more diverse then the first 2 stages and it was awesome.  more runnable (read shuffle) sections especially te salt flat...between 3 - 4 km on hard flat surface, what a treat. finished in good time. tomorrow a moderate day all the way thru the 4 check points and will take it easy to conserve energy for the long day on thursday...90km.  i am trying not to think too much about it because it freaks me out.  the camp tonight again is beautiful and although quite hot this afternoon it cools off very peasantly around 6 - 7pm. we have wonderful tent mates...very funny and nice, makes for a fun time hanging in the tent for hours. 

when i wrote yesterday i had not read yet ball of the blog responses or emails....so i wanted to thank everyone so much for their well wishes and energy...yesterday we really needed it.  fred recovered and was at full strength today!!!

sorry this one is a short one, need to get ready for bed and get my stuff organized for tomorrow...have a much better system then in atacama....just need to work on the food!!!!

OK all for now, sending love from Jordan. xo

Stage 2
14-May-2012 07:05:07 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

hi all, well another day done...phew!  was a tough day, shorter distance by 3 km but took much longer to complete. terrain was brutal soft deeo sand after soft deep sand...felt like a snail in molasses:o).  had a bit of a scare just before the half way point...fred started the day strong but started not feeling well just after the first check point and progreesively got worse and worse...he lost total energy and was very dizzy and disoriented....so he said he could not make it to the next check point which was only 10 min away and he was not talking properly so we took his pack off and laid him down under a very small bush but anyway provided some shade and then i asked a passing racer to send help at the next check point...some other people stopped and really helped by making a shelter with my ground mat and giving us plain water (our water was full of electrolytes) for soaking his buff and wetting his head and armpits...they moved on and we waited for help...he wasn not getting any better and i was really freaked out...doctors arrived very fast and took his pulse and gavehim anti nausea meds and a coke...and within 30 min he was pretty fine and was able to keep going and finish the next 20km well desoite not feeling 100%.  we are not sure what happened since he was doing everything right ie: hydration, electrolytes, eating...but again just goes to show you that anything can happen at anytime to anyone and we are both really relieved that he is fine now and feels back to normal. lets hope tomorrow is a crisis free day!!!!
other then that a fairly uneventful day, long tough and happy to be done and back rsting at camp.  course was beautiful and more of the same from yesterday...tomorrow should be more diverse in terms of terrain...hoping to do more running tomorrow with harder ground beneath our feet.
the temps are good, today not sure how hot it got but we had some hazy cloud cover which helped but was actually quite humid which added some new  element.
eating so so...did not seem to learn much from the atacama experience...brought the min mandatory calories but do not have the right calorie distribution...not enough during the day, reakfast too high and can only eat about 1/3 of it and the rest gets binned so it wasting calories i need during the day so i am finding i am hungry a lot of the time but trying to manage...my one luxury food item is a bag of crushed up salt and vinegar chips...extra yummy out here. fred brought salted macadamia nuts....high is calories and salty.
ok thats already way too much for today...more from the wadi rum tomorrow night..i hope :o) !!!
hope you are all doing well.  anf to all those preparing for one of the riga marathon events this coming sunday...hope all of your pre race preps are going well!!!
Ata xo
Stage 1
13-May-2012 01:31:55 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hi Everyone,

i think they should change the travel day to camp 1 to stage 1 because yesterday was such a long day...ended up at cam 1 around 6:30....the drive was so cool, absolutely amazing country side.  the camp was beautiful...nestled in between huge rock formations...we were all greeted by a few kids waving flags and 3 local musicians playing traditional music...it created quite a feeling.  the camo itself was amazing...bedouin style tents some oen some not...oues was open laid wiyh carpets and huge...there are 11 of us sharing and veryone is awesome...we are lucky!  was a bit of a long night, not much sleep, but on the flip side the sky was as dreamy as it was in the atacama and the moon was like a big light shining in your eyes. a few snorers in the tent and the sleeping pills i brought do not work...O(. oh well not like i was expecting good sleeping!  this morning was early as some were already by the fire before 5am....had coffee then breakfast and packed up and were off at 7am. beautiful temps even in the evening, i was sweating last night unlike in the atacama where i had to wear a winter hat and gloves at night! the course today was 39.6 km thru a lot A lot of soft sand...the temp got up to 39C...started feeling not so great around 20km but as within 15 min of eating a power bar i was full of energy!!! tried to keep a steady pace and managed a bit of running...well to be honest more like shuffling:o).  the course was so incredible ...breath taking!!!! got in to camp 2 at 1:30 and have been lying around trying to recover. the camp again is really great. fred is doing awesome...stronger at these events then me...he is made for them!!  ok all for now, off to eat some yummy freeze dried food!!  val and scott thanks for your message!!!!!!!!!!  satage 2 36.6 km with some difficult stages....OI!!  bye for now xoxo

Last Night in Comfort
11-May-2012 12:21:02 PM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Good evening from My nice cozy comfy bed in Amman and for the last night for awhile. Today was another pretty restful day yet with a stomach full of butterflies. These pre race days/hours are great to rest the body but also tough because everyone is anxious to get going! Last night I either made a great decision or a bad mistake...I read thru several competitor blogs and quickly felt a sense of 'freak out' coming over me. I was feeling pretty good about the weight of my pack, having gone thru my gear several times and was down more then 2kg from what it weighed last year in Chile, BUT after reading the other blogs I realised I could get lighter. It's so impressive how light some people are able to get their packs. I was dreaming about it all night, so over coffee this morning Fred and I were relentless about getting rid of things we felt we could live without...as the week nfolds we will know if made good decisions, but unlike doing one of these races solo when there is 2 of you, you can share. Not sure what my weight is now but likely around 9kg, the moment of truth will be tomorrow at check in. All of the competitors have arrived and they are certainly easy to spot...all of the uber fit people, wearing the latest coolest sports gear mauling about in the hotel. We have heard that several people have lost luggage and not sure if they will get it in time....so this afternoon would have been a bit of a scavenger hunt to replace missing gear. The good thing is that between the race organisers and other competitors ther is lots of extra gear and food as mot people travel with extra and then take stuff out just before the race. Up pretty early tomorrow, briefing at 8am check in at 10 then bus leaves for camp 1 at noon ans we will travel 4-5 hrs to camp 1. Long drive but a good chance to rest the legs, sleep and take in the amazing views. Upon camp 1 arrival will be settling in, getting ready for stage 1 and trying to get a good nights sleep. Signing off for now, until my next update likely at the end of day 1 deep from the Wasi Rum... Bye!!!
Greetings From Amman
10-May-2012 10:49:54 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Arrived yesterday in Amman around 10pm, but took close to 90min to get out of the airport...visas, line ups, more line ups, more security, but we made it thru and to the hotel by midnight. Have definitely entered a new dimension!! Slept like a rock, was so nice not to be battling for bed space with Sam and Zuli :0))! Went out today for awhile to explore and back to the hotel for a long deep nap....what a luxury. Went thru another gear check, calculations, pack adjustments....think it's almost there, but will go thru once more tomorrow just to be sure. Briefing and gear check is Sat at 8am which will take awhile with all of the competitors, then lunch and then on the bus to the first camp. First camp will be reorganising gear, getting ready for day 1 and trying to get a good nights sleep..in my dreams! Sunday morning up at 5:30 for coffe and breakfast, repack and race starts at 7 am.....woohoo let the games begin!! Ok that's all for now, time for a cup of tea and then off to bed. Ata :0)
Last Week to Go
06-May-2012 08:24:43 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Fred & I leave on Wed for Amman, will have 2 - 3 days to acclimatize & chill out. Had a pretty lousy run this morning, which wasn't so good for my confidence but then again it was entirely my fault...so at least I know why I had a bad one & i'm not guessing about it. But generally feeling pretty good & as ready as I will be. These next few days leading up to the race are as important as all of the past training weeks...lots of rest, hydration, clean eating... No injuries this time around, but as I said in my previous blog...took a very different training approach this time. We are really excited to get there, get checked in & get the first day underway to settle into the rhythm of the race. I am looking out my window in Riga & it all of sudden turned quite nasty....strong wind, temp dropped & the rain is almost horizontal....so I can say that some warmer dry dessert weather will be very welcome!!! Gear almost all ready, just a couple of things to get at the store tomorrow. Taking less then I did in Chile, my pack weighed over 12kg, taking some different snack food as most of what I had in the Atacama was sweet..sweet breakfast, power bars, sports beans, electrolyte tabs in my water... I was really starting to crave salt. So I will take chips crushed up...good for the calories & the salt...Fred has his macadamia nuts & beef jerky to satisfy his salt cravings. Macadamia nuts are almost pure fat...who knew?? Looking forward to meeting our tent mates...our tent name is Lawrence of Arabia :0). OK all for now...looking forward to blogging more from the race. Until then Ata.
12 Days & Counting
01-May-2012 02:55:40 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello, I absolutely can't believe that the start day is right around the corner. I had every intention of starting to blog much much sooner then this but time has eluded me. Seems like so long ago that my husband & I registered for RTP Jordan giving us that false sense of security knowing it was so far off in the distance, but it always catches up to you. This will be my 2nd RTP event, the first one being the Atacama Crossing 2011, which was an amazing experience. My training program for the AC2011 was a bit too much resulting in an injury (hairline fracture in my right foot) 3 weeks before the start of the race, forcing me to walk the entire way, save the last day since at that point I had nothing to lose. It was frustrating to say the least and especially for my husband, Fred, whom stuck with me the whole way. So my training approach for Jordan was quite different, my motto was 'less is more' to avoid injury at all costs. So far so good!! I trained less with a fully loaded pack, as the risk of injury out weighed the benefit, my longer training sessions were shorter maxing out at 40km, and tried to do more cross training. Of course our ultimate goal for Jordan is to finish, to have fun, stay healthy and knock off a few hours from the AC11. The course pictures look amazing and finishing in Petra...pretty cool, so we are pretty excited. Wishing our fellow competitors much R&R until race day! Sending Sunny & Warm Regards from Riga.
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Riga, Latvia (current residence)

Personal Trainer, Lifestyle Weight Management Coach & soon to be Yoga Teacher

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RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor


Worked in mobile telecomm industry for over 10 years before deciding it was time to try something entirely different. My love & passion for sports & fitness led me to study to get my personal training certification, followed by a lifestyle weight management certification & most recently YA yoga teacher certification (to be complete in June 2012).

Riga, Latvia (current residence)

Personal Trainer, Lifestyle Weight Management
Coach & soon to be Yoga Teacher

Why are you competing?
Loved my first experience with RTP AC 2011,
beautiful and interesting location and personal

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