Oct 13, 2007

Day 1 Toco to Blanchisseuse

We woke up at 4:15am, got our things together, and ate breakfast (oatmeal and a banana). I wasn't feeling super hungry but managed to put down a breakfast knowing that it was going to be a long day out in the sun. Richard, Elina, Martin and I biked down to the race start. It was dark, already hot and so I took it easy on the ride to the bike transition as I didn't want to fall and injure myself before the race even began. We then had to walk about 15 minutes to the race start at the lighthouse on the beach. The race began with a 1.5km run (I only brought one pair of running shoes so I wore my skateboarding shoes for this....I managed and also managed to foget to pick them up at the end of the race....new shoes for me now!!!...I wasn't feeling at all nervous at the beginning of the race..I generally don't for these longer races as they are a little slower and just so much can happen that its more of a curiosity than anything. Right off the bat people got separated, I was at the back of the fron pack...I jumped on my bike and was off. The bike was good, the roads were a little rough at parts and there were some patches of gravel (needless to say I didn't know my road bike could handle such rough road conditions....now I know). I was feeling good on the bike. It was a goergeous bike ride right along the coast line, winding roads and some ups and downs...there were about 7 wooden bridges that we had to cross that were a little nerve racking. The planks were put so that once you commited to one plank you had to ride it the whole way across as there were spaces between the planks that a road bike tire could fall into and throw you off your bike. I managed well on all bridges...There was one tough steep steep hill at the end of the ride....biked the whole way up but wasnt sure I would make it at one point. At the transition Ryan handed me my running gear, I downed a banana and was told Elina was 5 minutes ahead of me (the top girl). I was surprised and headed off into the tropical forest.
The run
It was hot and humid and we started running uphill. I was feeling sick from the heat so took the first hill slow. I eventually got into a groove and starting running but still felt sick from the heat. It would only get harder from here. It was a beautiful run with a good amount of change in terrain, we had lots of uphill, downhills, we ran across 7 beaches (white sand, untouched...spectacular). I ran with one water bottle and kept refilling it in the streams.
I was blessed with the opportunity to see an "earth man" walk about with no clothes on......an experience in itself... It was a tough run,...I couldn't excell at any point to my normal speed becuse of the heat and my ankles. I managed to only have two or three minor rolls on my ankles but really took the downhill aspect of the run easily. About 3/4 of the way on the run I was using a lot of self talk and self motivation in order to keep myself moving. I was feeling sick and tired and once I hit the last part of the run a 3 mile run in the open sun on a gravel road I was done. It was all I had in me to cross that finish line. It was a definite love/hate half hour...asking myself why????? and realizing it once I crossed that line....i crossed the line and went straight into the river. sat there for about 15 minutes and tried to lower my body heat and not be feel sick anymore...Once I felt better I had a fabulous leg massage done by Megan and eventually made it to our place of rest in Blanchisseuse.

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