All posts filed under: Chile Adventure 2015

5 Peak Moments

A mentor recently shared with me, the 5 peak moments in your life will show you what you care about.  It helps identify the commonalities for your purpose.  Mine in chronological order are: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro / Safari / Raising Money (2009) – Giving back, Gratitude, Belief Wondering through desert in China (2012) – Acceptance, Accountability, Learning A 13 hour run through desert in Chile (2015) – Capacity, Belief, Pay it Forward Adventuring in Antarctica (2016) – Reset, Refocus Getting Married to Blake (2017) – Love, Passion and Partnership What have all these these peak moments shown me? We each have much more access to skills, capability and “gears” we didn’t know exist. I would estimate we have at least 40-50% more capacity than we are currently operating with. How do we find it?  By leaning into uncomfort and opportunities that stretch our capabilities. Once stretched, they don’t go back. What will you do today to start leveraging those extra % points?

Chile — Racing The Sun

We started the day at 8am after a brutal cold night camping out on the salt flats. This desert has huge extremes and we are getting both of them. The long march started out with 16km of salt flats. Mix of crusty trail and nasty craggy hard and sharp salt. Many places all you can do is hike, carefully and try not to blow any ankle. It knocks the wind right out of you. The next two stages were mix of hard and soft packed sand and I handled ok. Just pushed one stage at a time. It’s amazing how your mindset changes in this day. I judged wanted to get through the first 42km so I could push hard in the last three. After the end of stage 3 – 32km, we got a surprise, they gave each of us the choice of Coke or Pepsi. Coke it was! Oh man, what a boost! Gave us a good jolt and helped me run a difficult stage four. A mix of sand, salt flats, a …

Chile — Resiliency Stage 2

Resiliency My mantra going into this race was “Strong, Resilient and Grateful.” My continuation of “Strong, Relaxed and Grateful” from Iceland. I talked with a couple people about preserving energy in this race. Today, as with many people, the breakfast didn’t taste so good and had to focus on keeping it down. Had to trek most the first stage. Once I got the stomach in check I was able to run a decent amount of the final three stages. We ran down and hiked up huge dunes and had a 15km salt flats from hell section. It was hot, monotonous, and crusty. Everyone hated it. On a new note, bit by two bugs, one had sharp teeth, took a quill in the foot. Was pre warned but we’re hard to see. Surface wound. Pulled it out and kept going to. Our tent had a good day. 1,2, 10,11, 12, 20, 43 (me), 50 and the Finns! 7/8 of us are in. Our inspirational Finn still on course. We know he’ll make it. I’m tired, the …

Chile — Stage 3

Up and Down Day Thanks for all the notes friends! It always lifts the spirit! It was an up and down day. I went real conservative as I was prewarned by the veterans it would be the toughest normal distance day. Happy I did. 46th today. 39K. The last two stages were absolute buggers. The 3rd was the most difficult I have done in five races, on terrain called crud. Yesterday’s brutal salt flat + unpredictable terrain that would hold your foot or not. Hard to describe. Like walking through broken volcanic crust, add potholes, add sharp shrubs. No one could run at all. 18 min miles for 2.5 hours. The worst. They rewarded us with a fresh orange end of that stage. So good! The last stage was a long 12km in heavy heat, in sand and up and down huge sand dunes. Breathtaking against the Andes and tough. Heat got to most of us and took a little while recover. Insert Mac and Cheese and Don Juan Ketchup! Dark now, fires going. Bed …

Chile — Canyons, Dunes And Salt Flats

Thanks for all the well wishes! Day 2 went pretty well. It took awhile to get the body warmed up in the morning and the first stage was an epic canyon run and water crossing. About 20 to be exact. First thing in the morning the water was cold! After the 2,3, 19 I treated it as an ice bath for my sore feet. Over all couple minor blisters, fairing pretty well. The second stage was a huge climb up to a ridge at the edge of the Andes. Amazing views!! Going into check point two after 20km we ran down a giant vertical sand dune! Pictures on the website and I took a few. So fun!! I was slow in the morning and made up some time on the 3rd stage. Their are some amazing hikers here who move fast. Alison my walking is getting better but still slow compared to some French and Swiss. Alps training I imagine! I can make up time in the flats and typically lose in the hike and …

Chile — Slow Down To Speed Up

We started the day above 10,000 feet. It was a beautiful back drop of orange desert stone formation against the high altitude volcanoes. My motto this morning was “slow out”even wrote it on my wrist. A disciplined pace.I have blown races up on day one or two before and suffered all week. The elevation could be felt for the first couple hours and my heart rate was anywhere between 120 and 160. I moved slowly and put walk breaks in to make sure I didn’t burn out early. Ive learned a few things in the last four races. Wasn’t going to make that mistake again! Once we got down to 9000 feet I started to feel better and had a burst of energy. I resisted using all of it and continued to run conservatively and walk every few flags. Once we hit the last checkpoint we started a slow climb up an old canyon road for an hour. The heat was heavy and everyone moved slow. I didn’t really know what place I was in …

Chile — Pre Race

We settled up in San Pedro and got bussed out of town and into the desert this afternoon. We are camping above 10,000 feet in a beautiful rock formation and had a great sunset. Its about 7pm right now and the sun is going down. Getting windy and cold now, everyone has their down jackets on, it will be a cold sleep. Should be ok for the Canadians. Ash and I grabbed a pizza in town and brought to camp for dinner. May have some left overs for breakfast! Blake, I worked with Ash to get the pack weight down further. Will be at a good weight for race start. Tomorrow we start Day 1. Should be around 40KM heading down from 10,0000 – 9,000 feet. Strategy is to go nice and easy tomorrow and get stronger everyday. Should be epic scenery tomorrow. We have a great tent. Some vets and some new guys from Finland, US and the UK.

Chile — Words of Wisdom

I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors in this sport. As I head over to Chile, I’m thinking about a few concepts they shared in the last few years. It was only five years ago I was brand new and entering my first race. Time flies! 1. Build the Routine Everyday you are more trained to get up and run another marathon than the last. Get up, rinse and repeat. You’ll be surprised how well our bodies can adapt. 2. Be unreasonable Why not me, you? Be unreasonable of yourself and what you can accomplish. What you have done in training has prepared you for everyday this week! What would happen if you dreamed big today? 3. Nutrition for Life Food is fuel. For a week you take the focus off the taste and on how it propels your motor forward. Get in the calories so you can stoke the fire to keep going! 4. Gratitude Be grateful. Cheer people in at the end of the race, it will lift their spirits and yours. Joy …

Chile — Excursion Day

Arrived in San Pedro de Atacama and the home town for our upcoming race. It was a 10 hour flight to Santiago, hour flight to Calama and a two hour bus ride to San Pedro. We already traveled through some Mars like terrain just on the bus ride to town. Town has maybe a couple thousand people and all the houses are built with stacked boulders. It’s a very rugged landscape set back against the volcanoes and mountain range. We sit at 8,000 feet of elevation and you can already feel it in the lunges. I met a couple fellow racers on the bus ride down and spent a little time getting to know them. Mike from the Virgin Islands and Clare from London. We went for a 6 Mile training run yesterday to test out the air and landscape. We ran right out of town in 10 minutes and into the desert! Soft shale and sand that is sure to get into our shoes. Definitely was feeling the heavier air in the lungs. Good …