Woke this morning excited to begin the 1st stage. I will bring you up to speed on most of the day; however, a big part of it I am still processing in my mind. This stage proved to be extremely difficult and very, very hot. In the beginning I ran feeling comfortable. We went up and down hills, maneuvered through water and came out to go back up hill again. I made it to check point 1 in 1 hr 50 minutes with my legs fresh. Filled my water bottles and continued on to checkpoint 2, approximately 6 1/2 miles or so. This stage was more technical for me as there were many steep hills to go up and come down. The terrain proved to be my biggest issue as it was seriously ankle breaking, rocky almost like loose shale. When coming down one of the larger hills I actually fell and at that time realized I needed to walk it. Again I made it to checkpoint somewhere close to the 1 hr. 50 minute timeframe so felt that I was very consistent.
Then came the run to checkpoint 3. This is where I really dropped it. My backpack felt way too heavy and was putting pressure on my shoulders. Ultimately, I walked almost the entire portion. It was a continual uphill for the entire 6 plus miles with virtually no shade. Frustration was absolutely setting in as with each corner I rounded I thought we would have reached the top...but it never appeared. After slowly reaching the destination I took a 3-min break with my backpack removed while my water bottles were being filled. From that point I only had to go 1.7 kilometers to the finish of today’s stage. I crossed the finish line somewhere in 7-hrs 10-minutes and was never so happy to lay down on the rocky soil in our tent.
My nutrition for today consisted of:
Breakfast: 1-cup coffee and one bottle Generation UCAN
During the run: 3 bottles Generation UCAN, 3 bottles water and 12-Saltstick tablets (one every hour until I ran out.)
Post run: 1 bottle UCAN
Dinner: Whatever freeze-dried meal comes out of my pack first.
To summarize, I actually had a great day. I now have a new found appreciation for what it takes to complete all of these. My body is feeling good with a little tenderness in the knees because of all the down hills. I am going to rest to prepare for what tomorrow’s stage has in store for us. Hope my entire family and friends are enjoying all the updates and know that I am doing well and extremely happy to be a part of this spectacular race.
To get an idea of what day one was like, watch the video on Racing The Planet http://www.4deserts.com/multimediagallery/index.php?videoid=AFj8z4S4KME&mediaTypeID=1&categoryID=30
Until tomorrow night...keep sending all your positive thoughts.