As we’re getting closer to Madagascar and my 27th birthday (my birthday is on the same day as the 80km “Long March”! Yikes!), I’m starting to reflect back on the things I have already accomplished, how they’ve shaped my present, and how I’d like to continue to grow in order to best keep progressing forward.
8OC (46OF) doesn’t sound too cold and it really isn’t. In university, when it finally reached that temperature after a long Massachusetts winter, I’d start replacing the sweat pants and ski jackets with shorts and a motorcycle jacket. Back then, to me, it was finally getting warm once more.
Something that I did not mention in our recent article, Lessons from 2013 Gobi March: Preparing for a Multi-Stage Ultra Marathon, but is something that Rich and I feel deserves a fair amount of attention is foot care. When doing any type of running race, your feet are your most important asset. Cracked, swollen, and blistered feet can make your life difficult and very painful. Knowing how to take care of them, though, can significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll need to pull out of a race, or spend the next few weeks watching your toenails rot and fall out.
Ever since I first announced that I’d signed up for my first Ultra Marathon, the Gobi March, back in July 2012, people have been asking me why. Why would I put myself through the training, through the pain, through the long days on my feet? There were a lot of remarks about me being crazy, or having a death wish, and their needing to “prep a coffin” for me. For every nice sentiment I received about my desire to compete, there were 19 others telling me that I was either insane or that I’d break down or that I wouldn’t be able to make it through.
Anyone who was there with me at the Gobi March ultra marathon in 2013, or read my blog posts during the race, knows that I did not have an easy time of it. There are so many things that I did wrong and so many things that I must do differently if I am to have a strong go at the 250 kilometer Madagascar ultra marathon in August/September. Learning from last year does not necessarily mean success this year, but it means that I’m one step closer to sorting out what does and does not work. So, with less than two months to go before I set foot on that starting line, here is a look at how I’m changing things up.
Whether it is little kids trying to sell you bracelets on the street, or bandits stopping motorists in the night, a few locals have turned to taking advantage of foreigners to get by. As much as I loved our time in Lombok, Rich and I realized after a few days that we, as a couple, were more likely to be preyed on by scammers or thieves than most people. I’d like to pretend that everything about Lombok is lovely, but that wouldn’t be quite honest, so here’s a few issues we came across. We hope that what we’ve seen and heard can help others avoid problems when traveling in the region.
Judging by the number of families staying at the same hotel as us, it is reasonably safe to say that there is a fair amount that people can do in Lombok. Rich and I wouldn’t know though, we were too busy enjoying the waves to see what else was out there.
If you should ever happen to head down to Lombok for surf, which I highly recommend, here’s a run down of all of the spots you need to know.
Lombok, an island east of Bali, in Indonesia, is one of my favorite surfing destinations. I had first traveled there in 2011 and have been aching to go back ever since. So when we were invited to join friends in Lombok, at just about the time that we were planning on leaving Hong Kong, we jumped at the opportunity.