Sunday, July 5, 2009

swiss Jura day 1

I am glad to find out that I have internet. I can't guarantee that I will be able to update you daily but i will try whenever possible.

Todays stage was 47 kilometers long and 1677 feet of elevation. At 6:45 we got on the busses to be transported to Geneva for the start of the race. At 8am we stated along the waterfront towards St. Cergue. Swiss Jura is not an ultra race like the ones I am am use to. Swiss Jura is a fast race, today we had 7:30 hours to finish 47K with elevation, I have been worry about timing out and today my worries didn't seem to be unrealistic.

i run the first 22K hard, or at least I was in pace with the top 20. I knew I couldn't mantain their speed when I saw them running hard uphills. Rule number one in ultraraces for anybody specially if you are not elite, walk the hills, I coun't believe when I saw them attacking the hills like Lance Armstrong at the Tour.

The next 20K where really hard, I found having to tell myself the same things I tell people on the races about not giving up, its only pain and don't think is 350K just think next check point. I was in so much pain. Everything is for sure catching up, I feel tired and my legs had just about enough. Usually this is not a problem since they are generous on their times but Swiss Jura has a very strict time limit and they don't welcome power walkers, walking poles are banned form the race.

The course is sure beautiful, we mostly run on dirt roads and some neighborhoods in the surrounding areas. It was so hot at the beginning i burnt right though my shirt then about half way it poured, I was absolutely soaked, fortunately I had only a couple of hours to go.

I am worry about the possibility of timing out, I arrived with only 30 minutes to spare, not much of a buffer if you ask me. Now the worst case scenario will be that if I time out, I then get moved to the shorter distance, 175K so usually a half marathon a day, I know I should be excited about the possibility of running less and enjoying more, since I will not be disqualified, I still get continent number 7, but the truth is that I really want to run the longer distance.

I could have sign for the shorter distance from the beginning but when I was planning the races, I wanted to be the most difficult challenge my body could and my mind could ever imagine. I lay here in my sleeping bag feeling sad with the possiblity of not being able ot accomplish this.

I had many emotions during my run today, doubt has been consuming me more than ever, maybe because i didn't anticipated the ripple effect of such quest. I am still very passionate about my kids and the charities but when i get home is harder and harder to find my place. Life keeps going and I feel that I don't quite belong there anymore. I care for the people in my life and it its hard to get home and find out that my kids friends are more important or that my best friend might have an other best friend since I am not around as much anymore. I have lost as much as I have gain since starting my races but in life there are no guarantees. One thing for sure is that running makes me incredibly happy, this is for me as much as for my kids and the charities. I am not sure I want to live my life without passion.

If i was writing this story I might not write it the way is happening but I am determined to let destiny take it's course, I am living a much fuller richer life now, and I want my kids to live their life with passion and purpose. Hebbel said it best “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”


Anonymous said...

Norma, you are an amazing woman - your passion will guide you through. All of our thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...


Can you tell me how my friend Rob Fransen is doing?

Rob Lang

Lisa Kauffmann said...

You continue to be an inspiration. YOur tenacity in the face adversity shows your inner strength. you are almost there...YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Anonymous said...

I will always be inspired by what "just a mom" (your words) is capable of doing ....go Norma go. And remember that the voyage home - to friends and family - is as important as the voyage outward bound...always, B

Anonymous said...

Norma, your strength is beyond words! I not only admire you, but feel very empowered knowing the challenges that you face. When I buckle at the knees I think of you and say "if Norma can do it, so will I". You are right, life is a choice and you are an example to us all of which choice you take. Norma, enjoy every day of your race and remember "become that which you are seeking to be."
Hugs and smiles,