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Stage 1: Make No Small Plans For They Have No Power To Stir The Soul

Intro: In November 2011 I participated in Racing the Planet Nepal on behalf of Mencap. Each day I was able to send one e-mail recapping that day’s stage. These are them. 

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If I’d written this message within an hour of finishing today it would be much different. I thought I’d be telling you that I had to withdraw. Huge thanks to everyone who sent me messages in advance of finishing today.

So what’s the good news? The course is now 210km.

Why? The terrain is insanely difficult.

About 5km in my left IT Band lit up. It was manageable until the last 5.5km (today’s stage was 28.5km with 3,000m of elevation change). I honestly questioned whether or not I’d be able to start tomorrow. I am happy to say that I am still on pace for my first goal of this race – no crying on the course until I’ve finished 100km.

4 hours after finishing and lots of stretching later, using a 1L water bottle as a roller for my leg I’m thinking that my pace will just change dramatically. I’m currently sitting in 84th of 220 but placing doesn’t really matter. We haven’t been told how many people have dropped but I’m guessing 10 – 20.

Before I get into the course itself if anyone has any  MacGyver-esque suggestions for making my IT Band remotely better here’s your toolkit: yoga strap, voltaren cream, tylenol, advil, compression sleeves and a 1L water bottle. It hurt to pivot externally but not internally. Came down steps by crossing the left leg over my right.

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Alright, so the views? Amazing. Fishtail Mountain hung over us for most of the day as we climbed Grouse Grind stairs for 9.4km. And they came down them weaving through Nepali villages for 11km. I’ve never said Namaste so many times in my life as the course was lined at various points with school children smiling and clapping. Ridiculously cute as they ask your name and then shout it as you keep running on. It’s unbelievable how these villages will just pop out of nowhere.

The other challenge is the amount of smoke that comes out of all of the villages making it really hard to breathe. The heat today was also surprisingly difficult as the concrete and clay of the houses magnified the temperature.

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Sleep comes in spurts but is welcome when it does. Met a bunch of great people so far. And I am looking forward to this experience growing.

The terrain today was also like taking the most difficult sections of each run and stitching them all together. A bunch of people took a wrong turn and added about an hour to their day. Thank the maker that wasn’t me.

Alright kids, sorry but I’m bagged and need to eat some really awful freeze died food before crashing.

Thanks again for the emails. They mean the world and help me put one foot in front of the other. And in case anyone was wondering, yeah I still got this.

Looking forward to hugging it out.