Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day 76.........Beaten Up and Almost Swimming

I have had a few interesting days of soreness and river levels through the national parks.

After my 73km run through the Oxley Wild Rivers wilderness, I woke up sore the following morning. Most mornings on the run so far I have awoken with a pain of some description somewhere, and there is no way on this trip that I could wake up feeling fresh as a daisy, with 250km plus weeks back to back over some of the countries toughest terrain it’s going to happen.

I have learnt to deal with this constant niggling annoyance, it’s like it’s become part of who I am!

This morning though things felt different, I was feeling really beaten up. I’ve become paranoid now after having to take almost week out with the sciatic problem, never wanting to go back there. The decision of taking the day off was made after Vickie had spoken with Park NSW.

The next section of the Oxley Wild Rivers National park was also along another stretch of river. The ranger had advised that the Georges River which I would be following that day had washed out all of what trail was there, and unless I was planning on running within the river than perhaps this was a no go zone. If it isn’t for private land owners blocking the trail then the environment was!

Parks were surprised that I had made it through the Oxleys as quick as I did, it takes them that long by four wheel drive and it was unheard of that someone would make the whole distance on foot in one day! He had advised that that section had been cleared recently and the trail easy to follow. Now he was telling us that the next section of trail was non-existent. Now, the run through the Oxleys was tough going, there was no trail to follow and where it was signed to cross the river, unless you were a rapids swimmer that liked to dice with death then you wouldn’t cross there. What I’m getting at is that if he said it was clear and it wasn’t and the next section not clear than I would be silly to take my chances, so I followed the road instead the following day in to Ebor, not so exciting, but I’m here to talk about it.

That run in to Ebor was hard. It was relativity flat and easy going on the road but I was still hurting from the Oxley section and at 1300mts any type of run become a little more difficult.

The reward for the day was a talk at the Ebor Public School, to their whole school. But today two of the student were off sick, bringing the whole school to a grand total of two!

The next day I was running to the start of another big wilderness section where I would be talking a 62km run with many river crossings again. To get there I followed the highway out of town to the entrance of the Guy FawkesNational park. Still sore I struggled to get there, but going by the dance moves on route you wouldn’t think so!

That night I remapped the Guy Fawkes section making sure I was ready for the big following day ahead. WE had phoned through to Parks to check the river levels etc. They were at 80% and higher than they had been in months, so what was I to do now? Parks made one of the best comments I think I have ever heard. “The rivers may be waist deep in places, but it doesn’t have much of a pull on it, we go through there all the time in four wheel drives, and we have never been washed down river”! Erh……..I’m on foot!

Gathering some more information and using the guide books I decided I would leave early in the morning and take my chances. Vickie worked hard on me that night trying to iron out any sore spots, but everywhere was still hurting.

So that brings me to today. We took the drive to Armidale about an hours drive from the trail head where I was planning to start my day.

There was this feeling I had where I knew something wasn’t right. I was still sore this morning, which made me nervous about covering the distance. Even so, I started packing my stuff for the day ahead it wasn’t until I started up my Garmin that I noticed the batteries were flat, so I put in some new ones, they were quarter full. Both sets hadn’t charged over night for some reason. OK, we would have to drive back to the nearest town and wait for their local store to open to get batteries. This was going to make for a late start on a long day, with soreness in my legs and river levels up over the norm.

This had to be a sign? OK, Vickie this is what we are going to do. We are going to take the drive into Armidale, as she had already organised a meeting there for mid-day. As it was a big town, I booked myself in for two hours with a great sports masseuse, cached up on my blog, shoe and sock report for my sponsors Vasque and SmartWool. Washed cloths and dried them packed all my gear for the big day tomorrow, checked river levels again, caught up on some emails as well as mapping out and re-routing the days ahead.

But, the biggest bonus came when Channel 7 News came to the massage clinic to interview me.

Looks like you have to go with the flow, if you’re feeling something deep inside then you are best to go with it. I feel amazing now and am looking forward to the big day tomorrow. I have all my loose ends tied up and got to spend some time with Vickie, and if I wasn’t in town I never would have got the TV gig….something’s are just meant to be.

Check-out Channel 7 News tonight!

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