Brazil 135 Mile Race 2016 Finisher

Image 1-16-16 at 7.21 AM 12633521_10205888925445804_755393944053127018_o photo photoThe excitement started  when I received the acceptance letter from Mario Lacerda telling me I was in to race the Brazil 135!  I live in Texas so you can imagine the, ” terraine fright” I had!  How do you train for mountains with an estimate of 30,000 feet of incline and 25,000 feet of decline in a Texas flat land????  I just had to figure it out! I have 12 weeks before the race so lets get started!   I immediately had Spencer help me lift my treadmill up on 5″ boards and started the decline training!  To the gym twice a week for heavy squats, lunges, and deadlifts.  I tried to hit the one bridge in Kemah every other week but I work 5 days a week and when I get off the traffic is so bad it was difficult to do.  I ran 5 days a week making my long run every Saturday or Sunday a must. {yes, flat lands and streets mostly!}

The flight from Houston to Sao Paulo was great.  Less than ten hours and we were there!  We picked up the rental car and drove to our destination ,”São João da Boa Vista” where the Hotel we had reservations at had shut down!  No one in the small mountain town spoke English and Spencer and I did not speak Portuguese!  With my body and facial movements I managed to communicate with two police officers what we needed and directions were started!  We found a hotel that accepted us and we were grateful for clean sheets and a room of our own for 4 days before the race!   I did not care that we had no hot water or air-conditioning!  The 6,000 feet altitude was a slight change to get used to but I  am sure my body will adjust to the change!  We cleaned up and went to,” Restaurante Casarao”, upon suggestion of  the hotel desk manager in his broken English!  This restaurant was by far superior and we ended up eating there the three nights we stayed in that town!  The race meeting was held at the college, Faculdade UNIFAE – SJBV”, where I had the great pleasure of meeting, “Lieutenant-Commander Mario Lacerda”.  The warmest and sincere greeting I have ever had with a hug and kiss on the cheek the,”Brazilian” way!  I was then directed to the registration rooms!  There I was greeted by his wife,”Eliana Lacerda”, who had as much passion and warmth and love for life that was shared by Mario.  I felt loved and welcomed more than any ultra race I have done.  {How did we loose this compassion in the states?}  The Meeting took much of the day and the lunch served was gourmet on paper plates!  So delicious and healthy!  Spencer and I had purchased our supplies the day before and we were set.  We spent the night mostly awake but resting in our hotel room.

The butterflies in my belly were there again the morning of the race!  I had no idea of the rough terrain, the washed out roads, the 30 to 50% uphill grade, rocks, mud, water, leaves, pebbles, and sandy trail roads that was ahead of me.  I saw people I met at the meeting and wished them well and the race had started.  The first 20 miles I was doubting my 60 year old ability to handle this new adventure but I pushed my doubts away and took heed of the amazing beauty and spiritual surroundings that I was encountering.  My mindset immediately changed with thoughts of gratitude, joy, and love that I was receiving from everything around me. The energy I was receiving back from the people, the astounding,”Path of Faith” that I was so grateful to experience.  The small towns I was traveling through and the stillness I was receiving in my soul.  Somehow,after that,  I never gave it a second thought.  My spirit took over and I was there to collect and strengthen who I was, once again reborn to be the messenger of who and why I was here.  The path and all I experienced in journey revitalized my spirit, my love of life, my humbling existence.  I once again was  touched by God in ways I cannot explain. I felt the stars at night were there to grab ahold if I needed too, yet also leading me to my next foot forward.  I ran strong and fast.  I ate when my body told me too.  I drank water and electrolyte when my body instructed me and somehow I never lost the energy to continue.  I finished the race in 43:42, well under the 48 hour cut off limit!  I found out later at the wonderful party Mario and his wife through that I was the 3rd female, 15 overall finisher, and I had beaten the 60 year old female record by 3.5 hours!  My joy was that I received everything and more that  I went for.  Love, joy, gratitude, and my 43:42 hour walk with God, through the,”Caminho da Fe, or Path of Faith”.  It strengthened my spirit, filled my heart, and forever changed my soul.  I am forever grateful for this growth.