Transalpine Race Review Part #1
It has taken me almost a month to adjust back to normal life...
After being in Europe for 2 weeks and trail racing through the Alps for 7 of these days, well normal life felt a weee bit not, ummm to normal!
Getting prepared to go to this event started over a year ago with finding a partner, making travel plans, arranging work life, family life, tons of training, changing partners and did I mention tons of training..
With everything you go through with this type of event, it is super important to have the right partner.
You will have a lot of highs and lows and you need a partner that you can run, suffer and communicate with without fear of backlash.
As We Go
Right from getting on the plane to head to Europe, to returning from Europe, my partner (Alison) and I laughed and laughed. We traveled well together, wanted to do and see the same things, and had the same ideas on how we wanted to run this race. Our partnership was so well matched that even when there was any issues we talked it through and moved on.
Highs and Super Lows
I have race start anxiety! And this is putting it mildly. All the people in such small space, the noise and excitement just gets my heart rate absolutely jacked!!!!
Then the gun goes and everyone takes off like a shot making my anxiety reach new heights! Alison and I had pre discussed this and we did not want to race out from the start, it was so great for us to start out a leisurely pace. We stuck to our race plan and finished our first day still feeling really great!
Day 2 and 3
These days were all amazing! We met some really great people and made ALOT of friends. Alison's cheery demeanour made for some great laughs.
After the third day your muscles don't hurt anymore. I'm not sure why, but they just stop hurting and you can walk down the stairs like a normal person again lol, so we were anticipating some great days of running ahead..
This is where s*&$ started to get real! I am celiac, lets just shout it out, I AM CELIAC. No it's not a food preference, no it not a choice, it's a real thing. Where we were in Europe there was 0 gluten free options. Pasta, Pasta, and more Pasta was the dinner option...
I had gone 2 days with no breakfast and no dinner, living off gels and whatever I could eat off of the aid stations. I was starting to get sick and weak so the decision was made that I would eat the pasta!!!!!
The rest of the race was crazy climbs, beautiful scenery, ridiculously technical descents and a lot of vomiting (and other things).
By day 5 my legs were starting to swell and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest.
We didn't really think to much of it as Alison was having some swelling and was getting a chest cold. The climbs on day 5 were insane and crazy scary. Thanks to a couple nice Argentinean police officers, I made it through this section without dying or falling off a cliff.
They may or may not have had to hold my had for over an hour.....
Day 6 Alison was ill and had very sore knees, she decided to take this day off and I continued on.
This was a really good decision for both of us as by the end of this day I was very unwell.
My legs had taken on a new level of swelling, I could not lay flat, it felt like I was drowning if I even leaned back to far. That night was ruff, alternating from legs up the wall, to leaning against the wall, to V sit position to keep everything up.
No sleep was had this night and from the moment I got out of bed the vomiting started up. I was so sick and felt so incredibly tired, I didn't know how I was going to do this day.
Alison saved me on day 7!!! There is no doubt in my mind, had she not run this day I would not have made it.
I had no sleep, my legs were massive, I was having a hard time breathing, and was vomiting not keeping much of anything down.
I am not a huge cryer, but I was at my end and every time she would try to even speak t me I felt like I was going to cry,
Alison took ahold of me and said "I have you, I will guide you through this day, just follow my heels.
This is what we did... I could not speak, I could barley catch my breath and she was there, always there holding me up when I couldn't do it myself. God it makes me teary just thinking of it!
Alison is a talker, (I love it) on this day I could not talk to her or anyone else. She could see this and kept everyone away from me so I could suffer and be ill in private and not be embarrassed. She feed me, and feed me again when I couldn't keep it down, gave me water, wiped my face, held me when I was losing my shit, and kept me moving forward.
We finished the day and I am a TransAlpine finisher because of her!!
I ended up in the hospital for 3 days with an extra 30 pounds of fluid on my body. But this is a story for another day...
Running a race with a partner can be difficult and amazing all at the same time. I was lucky to have such a great partner and would run a team race with her again.
Love you Alison