Oberstdorf, Germany to Lech, Austria
Carrie and I were no strangers to Oberstdorf. My first visit was in 2011 and Carrie's & I both visited again in 2013. We share a love for this mountain town and starting point of the Western TAR route. There was a very late start (10am) for such a hot day and the temp was already over 20 degrees when we started. There was a good solid mix of nerves and excitement among the PACE crew and all around us. We just tried to soak in the starting line up while singing along to "keep on running" & "highway to hell". Both traditions to this event.
35km + 2,083m vertical gain up and over two taxing mountain passes (2,214m & 1,688m)
The heat was mostly unbearable for the whole day and many individuals and/or teams dropped & many received I.V. We had our share of highs and lows, as did all teams out there but we were pleased with our finish.
HIGHLIGHTS & LOWLIGHTS
- The first 15km I felt sick. Felt like really bad diaphram cramps. No jam in my legs.
- Carrie tried to play the alphabet game to things that were cold. Like "ass-cream" instead if ice-cream but all I could do was laughed inside.
- about 12km into the stage Carrie's quad started to cramp and she wasnt feeling well. We would slow down and walk every time a cramp came on and it got to the point where she had to sit on the ground and grip her leg numerous times. We took action. I started to give Carrie all my salt tablets and anti-fatigue capsules in timed increments.
- grateful for a random hose at one of the huts. Racers swarmed like bees to fill up.
- Climbing slower than molasses and still having to take breaks and hang my arms and head over my poles as I swayed back and forth. My stomach continued to cramp/hurt. It was the same motion I used to sooth myself while giving birth to a Carter.
- Passing a hiker who said something funny to us in German. Everyone laughed around us and we were told he said "not the fastest two out here but sure the prettiest". Nice.
- experiencing for the first time what it is like when you and your partner are suffering at the same time. Carry quad cramps and stomach pain for me. We figured it out and still worked together like a charm.
- finishing the last 5km with new friends we met from Sweden.
- cooling down in the creek after the stage. We committed and soaked waist down.
- getting to FaceTime my boys at night before they go off the grid for 5 nights.
- Arriving to the cutest guesthouse and sweetest hosts.
- knowing I have such a kind, encouraging and strong partner to kick off this adventure with!
- sharing the memories with all the PACERs here together.