Mahhh – thank you for all of your comments they are exactly what I needed today.
Music is playing, kids are laughing and we are sleeping in guest houses tonight after eating real food. Yes we are still doing a RacingThePlanet event but things definitely feel somewhat different. The Italians were drinking beers, the Americans were eating potato chips and Samantha ate her noodles and sculled her Ascend Protein shake. Good times!!
Today was a bit of a disaster day for me. I had a series of incidences that now since I have completed the stage I can laugh about but at the time it felt like I was having the clunkiest run. Going out of the start line we had to squeeze through a narrow pass to get to the first trail. Of course everyone tries to go through at once and I took a spectacular fall and people were virtually climbing over me. I stuck behind Stephanie Case and we did the first few kms together until I hear a Nepalese lady calling out to me that my pack had opened and my head torch had fallen out. I ran back, she ties up my pack and I wrap the headtorch around my arm. Puff puff puff I work hard to get Stephanie back in site as we are climbing up some steep stairs. My legs were feeling heavy today and I fell over my own feet whilst I tried to push harder and one of my poles broke (Sorry Louise – I will buy you a new pair when I get back). One pole and slightly deflated I went off again trying to make up some ground, as I was half way up another set of stairs a group of Irish guys called out to me that I was going the wrong way. Despite seeing no markers I was pretty confident that we were meant to be going up during this first checkpoint but I headed down the stairs to backtrack. BOOHISS… I was going the right way so up up up the stairs I went (mental note: sometimes trust your own judgment). Within the next 10kms my backpack flew open again and I ended up tying my rain jacket around my waist and I did one final fall on the stairs. EPIC STRUGGLE!!!
This race has it all when it comes to terrain. It is giving me a great chance to analyse my strengths and weaknesses in general and in relation to the rest of this field. I am definitely weaker on the uphill stairs (Benny we need to work on this), strong on the downhill (thanks to DrDan) and consistent on the flats (thanks to training with Bodyology). The final 7kms were slightly undulating and I pushed pretty hard and I think I made some ground here. I lost 10 minutes on my lead and will be going into the long day with only a 18minute lead on Stephanie – which could disappear very quickly. Katrina had a phenomenal day – I am so inspired by her climbing strength, she was the second person to climb the 1200metres ascent after Ryan Sandes (AMAZING AMAZING GIRL).
With a good nights sleep in the guest house and a big feed in my belly I feel re-energised for the final day. I am determined to give it my best and whatever the result there will no excuses from my mouth. The competition from both the males and females is strong and I have had a great time pushing my mind and body each day.
All of my tent mates (Nico, Gareth, Ryan, Jimbo, Maurice and Sebastian) are feeling better and I have good feelings that they were all have a good day tomorrow. Jimmys knee is sore but he is a trooper and will finish the day strong.
Fingers crossed for strong running in the mountains tomorrow!
– Nancy and Santiago I will send on your messages to Jimmy and Nico. They send their love to you!!
– A special shout out to my NY family – your messages and support have been wonderful, big love to you!