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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Rest Day
05-Sep-2014 08:07:17 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Alrighttttt so, its 5pm now…sun is going down. The rest day should be renamed The Zombie Walk haha everyone groaning and hobbling around verrrry slowwwllyyyyy. My feet hated me today; they got very swollen and the medics and I agreed it was time to start popping some antibiotics (fortunately I came prepared with my own bottle). I spent a lot of time cleaning my feet and popping blisters then I elevated the old hobbit feet snd napped for a while. Feeling great right now Ive probably eaten about 3000 calories today and im about to eat more! The 77km stage yesterday was interesting, I woke up before the long leg and felt like I was preparing for battle BUT when the race started the only battle was deciding which pain in my body to focus on…feet, ankle, knees, hip…I was in a world of hurt and couldn’t get out of the funk. I walked the first 2 checkpoints with steve then by th 3rd leg we focussed on keeping the conversation going so we could forget about the pain and obviously the ridiculous distance ahead of us. CP2-3 we talked a bunch about tattoos, training techniques for endurance and nutrition. Steve has some crazy races coming up this year so he sounds stoked to make his training a little more efficient. Pain was wearing off, the view was a mix between the Australian outback, Africa, game of throwns and the lord of the rings haha I was crazy. We passed the great tsingy wall (I think) it was amazing. From CP3-8(40k to camp) we decided to kick things into gear and arrive at camp at a reasonable time. For the next few hours we ran 1 minute and walked 2 minutes then the last leg we were in a lot of pain and our run became more of shuffle so we started to run a bit more. Its quite funny, you know, it’s a massive distance we’re covering and the majority of us have spent months training and prepping but the race honestly starts at the halfway point of the long stage…that’s when youll either make it or break it. Will you sleep a few hours at the stopover checkpoint? Will you let the darkness of madgascar at away at you? Will th pain takeover an eat you up? Steve and I had a great pace snd even better morale during the 2nd half and we must have gone by 20+ people that just looked broken and demolished. This week hs been a complete blur; even the messages I get from you referring to my blog confuse me because I can hardly remember what I post haha. Tomorrow is 10km and I know if I push it I can probably jump from 95th to 93rd or something…but is it about the number? No. am I tempted to finish this bastard with 110%? Ya, kinda. Lets see how the feet feel tomorrow!

Some realizations and changes from this race: 1. Im not planning on entering another multistage race for a few years at least…such a huge toll on the body and it ha consumed the little social life I currently have. 2. Im entering a 125km ultramarathon next august in Edmonton hahaha its over 3 mountains and has a 24hr cut off time. Going to be epic. Lets do it Briea. 3. Steve and I are a brilliant team; we both have the humor of a 10 yearold (did I mention we were farting by some locals to make them laugh? It was friggn hilarious haha…. 10 years old…) anyways, we spent the last couple of days brainstorming book/business idea we came up with, going to be a great project. Also, we’re going on an amazon tour in a few years. YES! 4. It truly doesn’t matter how hard you train and prep for these races, they will kick your ass and test your mind at a new level. Up to you to make the best of it.

This race was a huge reminder that I am the one in control of how my mind and body feels. I decide how to define my experiences and thrive from them. “love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed”. Peace out homies, thank you all again for the inspiring words along the way and putting up with my crap this year. I should be back online tomorrow…facebook and stuff. BOOM!

Stage 5
05-Sep-2014 08:07:04 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I think I just squirted blister puss on the guy next to me. Shhhhh.

Going to make this update short and sweet. If I had to sum up thr last few days into a few words those words would be “sun where there is none”. There is love and beauty in EVERYTHING we experience; it is completely up to us to decide what our experiences mean though. Hate it or love it, life will be throwing zebu crap in your face. This week has been a battle between me, myself and I….and I feel like I have thrived although my gorgeous feet would say otherwise. Its currently 9am, steve and I crushed 77km last night in 13.5hrs –which is a miracle considering our state. Rest day today…feet are shredded and swollen, going to go take a nap under a tree with my feet up. All of your msgs are amzing and definitely got me through last night with a relatively positive mind. Ill send a longer one later on. Love you all.

Stage 4
03-Sep-2014 01:43:33 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello Hello! Pretty solid day today. Pain was tolerable, heat was scorching, pace was consistent. Kept it really slow today with Steve…we both know that the 76km tomorrow is goung to be ruthless so we saved a bit in the tank for tomorrow. today was a pretty easy cours considering the last few days; dusty dirt roads, FINSLLY NO DAMN SAND! We went past the Sacred Lake which was incredible…they informed us to not go by the shore because the gators might get us! Still no lemurs but my 10 day tour after the race should be good for that. Feeling pretty good right now, just crushed a shitload of noodles ahahaha. Near the end of the day we ran through a town…locals are flabbergasted by us (ya, I just said flabbergasted). Pretty surreal to see the locals – such an incredibly different life, eh? We are so fortunate. Peter, steve and I have decided that if gobi was twice the distance it might be as hard as the last few days we endured haha. Its mental. We’ve started the forbidden “what will you eat when you get back” a few times now haha beers and pizza by the pool is definitely sounding good. Dad & Jill, thank!! I just washed my underwear today actually haha. Rusty, youre the friggn man – youll never take the credit but my success in gobi was due to you. Thsnks for the email man. Suna going down! Going to let some other groaning rnners take a turn. Thanks for all the support everyone, means so much to me. Tomorrow is going to take me around 12 hours and through the dark. Wish me luck. Ill be in touch! Woo!

Stage 3
02-Sep-2014 01:28:10 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hard to believe but today was a toughy. Pretty good course…actually, amazing course. Massive canyons, river crossings, locals..it was a great course but I was stuck in a dark place for way too long. My blisters are getting worse and the pain has been a challenge to deal with. The predicament is walking is very painful and makes them worse, running is tolerable but hard to maintain with the heat…cant win haha. Its safe to say ive hsd some spare time to be lost with my thought all day, evrydy…today I was able to label the 3 little voices in my head (ya, im nuts). Let me explain; 1 is the prick that yells at me to stop being a baby, rub some dirt in it and push on. 2 is the baby that gets lazy, tired, complains about the pain and begs to stop throughout the day. Then theres the 3rd, this one is the mor rational whisper…it considers everything but understand the end goal. See, im not totslly insane. Anyways, voice #1 had a bit too much game time today – seriously even thought about dropping out today. this pain sucks. BUT around the 25th km I was sick and tired to the pain and knew there was no damn way I was (or am) dropping out of this race. So at 25km I decided to love my pain…to embrace my pain and use it to get my ass to the finish line ASAP because the more time on my feet, the worse they will get. Running is such a mind game and this race has quickly become me versus voice #1. I remember about 7 years ago when I got my ribs tattooed I was 4 hours in and it was a little painful (ha!) and I remember asking myself “what is pain, really?”…from that point I made a conscious decision to take control over how I would experience physical pain. Today, I reminded myself of that and it worked. Unfortunately we’re about half way through the run hahaha. I also spent some time thinking about some emails you guys hve sent in…thnks again – really keep me hppy. Richard, your quotes are the best. Something to think about during the day haha. Adam im so happy you wrote me hahaha. I think she is one of my tent-mates. Dad & Jill, thank you!!!! I think we might need a family vacation here ;) x Vanessa, steve wont let me touch him. He seems upset about my lack of spooning. Give that old man a giggle and msg him “put your new jeans on and go to the disco”. Do it. Please. I think that’s all ive got for you today…hopefully ill get a good sleep tonight.

SHAKE AND BAKE BABY!
01-Sep-2014 01:30:48 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Finished really strong today but man was it hard. Like insanely challenging both physically and mentally. Finished 72nd and im pretty sure it hit 45 degrees today…stoked! So, theres honestly too much to say about today, 46.5km is a lot of land but I can tell you this! When I signed up for this madness I obviously h dome sort of expectations or hope about what I would be like or look like, yesterday was quite monotonous but today was absolutely everything I could have imagined I would be like. Running next to the volcanic coastline literally being splashed (steve took a great photo…since my camera is in paris or Tana or something.), loads of river crossings, mud knee deep pulling shoes off, climbs, descents, zebus (cows), crazy snake, dangerous bridges, sand…so much damn sand…endless scorching hot damn sand….SAND! but a highlight, and what brought tears to my eyes, was crawling past some local kids and trying to ask what they were doing; they had some weird kite thing going, and they laughed, then I laughed, then they copied my silly girly giggle…then we laughed even more. Laughing and smiling; the international symbol of joy and happiness. Exactly what I needed 40km in when my mind was in a bit of a dark place. My body, mind and feet especially were not prepared for this heat and sand! Feet re absolutely mangled…blistrs covering the bottom of my feet, blisters under calluses…pain. Lots of pain. Ironically running feels so much better than walking!!! Fortunately my hip is feeling flawless right now…maybe not flawless but not much pain at all. Win! Thanks again for he messages everyone; you got me all emotional :]. Cindy, you’re an angel and im so happy briea left so I got to work with you haha. You’ve made some incredible progress and you take my shit! Briea cut that shit out…yure making m emotional in front of my competitors! Bad tactic!..kidding, don’t stop hehe. Laurel, as far as I know my mom is taking care of sushi but who knows!!! Today was tough but pain is just weakness leaving the body..i think. Bug are getting bad! Sort out the typos yourself haha. Love you all…keep sending the love! Thanks!
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