21 Aug 2012

Race day and the day AFTER

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Wow what a journey that was!

It’s been 2 days now and I think I am a bit rested now. Still sore, and covered with awful awful mosquito bites but at least I was able to function like a normal person yesterday.
This race was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. And I think it can be the last challenging thing as well. I am not sure if I can push the limits of my body and mind more than this. It was a tough 10 hours on the mountain, on my own, no access to civilization.

It started really nice, there were only 9 of us running the 30 miler anyway, really casual, pretty flat trail in the beginning until the first aid station. I was leading these 4 people behind me until I needed to a pit stop (yeah, I did that too, self aware bubbles did that too…) My gps watch didn’t work because there were no signal on the mountain so I had no idea about how long it has been. After the first aid station, there was the climb… Seriously, 2 words to Skyline trail: never again! After running for 3 hours already, I had to climb 1400m on a narrow trail where the mosquito population lives.

I sprayed myself twice in the morning with bug spray but with the amount of sweating, the mosquitos had a feast. I mean I know I can be delicious, but if you see my back right now (I had long sleeve shirt and backpack!), you’ll be sad. I am covered with bites that are huge, my upper back, my neck, my ears and my cheeks are all biten. I don’t remember being this angry at the bugs before. I was exhausted with the climb so I wanted to take a break but then as soon as I stop, the mosquitos just attacked me and you know the sound the make right? yeah, sucked.

So after finishing this awful climb, where I had a breakdown, I yelled at the mountains and the trail and the mosquitos, I finally made it to the 2nd aid station. I was running really low on water so I had a refill. And I was like “oh it must be the home stretch now, right?” and the guy was like.. “umm… there another 23 km to go” Seriously? seriously? I have been running for the last 6 hours!
And you know what, it wasn’t downhill. I thought, I am already on top of this mountain now, how come I can still go up!

My legs just died and I think I left a piece of my soul on that mountain.
Anyhow, I knew I am not going to finish this in 7-8 hours. The problem was I told Ollie that I’ll be done between 3 and 4 pm. And here it is the guy tells me I just past half way point… So another couple of mountains the climb. The trail was narrow on the cliff, I was scared to slip down the hill. One of the runners told me that I’ll see dead trees on top of a mountain, strike by the lightning, then I’ll know I’ll be heading down. Oh boy, I never thought I’ll be this happy to see dead trees in my life.

Once I get to the downhill part, I was already out for 9 hours on my own. I think I lost my mind a bit after 7 hours, not having anybody to talk to, just being exhausted and all I wanted is to hear Ollie’s voice and tell him that I am not lost and I’ll be there in couple of hours. The downhill part felt endless, my legs were tired to take the pressure.
I made it. I made it in 10 hours. Drinking a can of Coke never felt this good.
I am still sore and tired but I wanted to thank you all so much for all your support for the last 5 months. It’s been an unforgettable experience for me. We raised $6020!

I got an email from Search Dog Foundation saying that they will be labeling either a Flagpole or an Outdoor Bench for us. We are immortal my friends.

Now Run Bubbles Run is retiring. It’s your turn to carry the torch. I’ll be here to support you in whatever adventure you would like to take on. We can all make a difference as long as we have each other and care enough about each other.
Dare to try, it feels good to break the boundaries of your body and mind, and change the world.
Lots of love to you all, I will miss you. xo
Until next time.

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