Day two is in the books, and boy was it a fun day.
Stage: 27.6 miles
Position: 2nd overall, 1st female
Highlight: Many river crossings in 8k
Low point: Not a fan of dirt and mud that falls under your feet
The day started off with my normal routine back in position. That includes a 5:30m wake up call to have oatmeal and protein powder. This round, I am using gnarly whey protein which I love. I’m so excited to enjoy STOKE STIX from my coffee business STOKED ROASTERS. It is amazing! A bunch of folks are enjoying it here as well. After breakfast, I take another nap from 6:00-6:50 and just let the food settle and visualize the day ahead. Then I pack up and organize my DripDrop (today 6 sticks), salt tabs (1 per hour), Honey Stinger waffle, Honey Stinger energy chews (11 of them), coconut shavings, and marcona almonds and 1 VOKE TAB. With it being hot, I also have my Avalon7 mesh bandana ready to go for a way to cool off at every aid station by getting it drenched and taking it along with me. Today there was extra preparation for the river crossing with having small socks and removing my gaiters for the first two stages. Then once past the big sand dune, I sacrifice the 4 minutes to change out to clean socks and re-apply the gaiters. The time spent is worth it and prevents blisters.
The day started with 3k on dirt and rock and then 8k in many river crossings through a canyon. It is one of my favourite sections of this race. I felt great and ended up at check point 1 in 1st position overall. The next stage is equally as fun with a quick part down a dirt road, and then a winding dirt road up to a tunnel in death valley. From then you push up over the tunnel to the ridge line and run across it until you get to fly down a big sand dune. You can’t help but holler in joy the whole way down. It is SO FUN!
I held on to 1st overall until halfway through check point 2 and Tommy Chen came flying by. I tried to keep up but my heart rate limits wouldn’t allow for that. From there I settled into 2nd.
The next two stages are physically and mentally challenging. It is hot and dormant as well as a mix of canyon dirt and rocks as well as a section of whompy dry mud where your feet keep falling into the earth and you really have to focus on the flags in the bushes, or you will lose course. So you just have to put your head down and get through it. I had a VOKE TAB at 4:45 in to get a little pep in my step and that helped a lot.
All of the sudden I was at camp and 2nd! I couldn’t believe it. The next runner came in around 30 minutes later, so my overall position might have bumped up to 2nd a well! So cool.
I believe I am now just under 1.5 hours in the lead for the women, which is exciting. Sarah and Isabelle are both very strong runners and they are doing awesome. It is great to have that competition here.
Tomorrow is my least favourite day for this race. I am preparing positive things to think about the whole way, and will make sure to just keep smiling and pick off each check point. The terrain is gnarly just about the whole way, but the camp at the end is one of my favourites. Focus on the good points eh?
Off to rest and eat some more high calorie Expedition Foods mac and cheese. My fave!