It is 4pm on the rest day and I’ve been able to read all of your messages up until right before the long day, but the most recent messages haven’t been uploaded yet – itching for more news! The generator here broke down for a while so the cybertent hasn’t really been functional.
Competitors have one more hour to finish stage 5. As we speak, one of the volunteers is banging the drums to welcome another finisher through the line… Wow, I can’t imagine being out on that course for almost two full days!
I was in great spirits last night when i got in, but I have to say that my mental state has really declined today. Once I took off my shoes and saw the state of my feet things started to get worse. That right big toe that I drilled the other day has gotten very badly infected and is causing me a lot of pain. It is oozing, red, swollen, and downright disgusting. The medical team has to ration the antibiotics so I’ve been able to haggle for a two day supply, but I’ll have to get to the ER in Sydney…oh wait, I guess I don’t have enough antibiotics to get me to Sydney. Hmm, perhaps I’ll have to pop into the hospital before my flight on Sunday??? Arg, guess I’ll worry about that later. For now I have to keep redrilling the toe every couple of hours, which is a lot of fun, I have to say….
Ugh. You might be able to tell from the tone of this blog that I’m at a low point. I tried to nap earlier in the day and woke up in the tent covered in ants, a tick and drenched in my own sweat. I had shooting pains in my toe, my swollen knees were aching and the itchy red bumps all over my arms and legs were starting to puss. I was hungry, thirsty, and just tired. After I opened my eyes and realized where I was it all hit me and the tears came… I allowed myself a 5 minute pity party before I tried to knock some sense into myself. It is just so tough out here. There is no relief from the heat or the pain. It is hard to hold on at the moment. I know it seems crazy – there is just one more day – but even one more day seems almost insurmountable.
Usually the last day in the RTP races is supposed to be merely ceremonial – a nice easy jaunt into the finish line where pizza and beer await the competitors. But on the schedule for tomorrow is a mean 12.6km over rocks, through spinifex, and over another river crossing. Sigh. I have heard rumours floating through camp that the course is being changed tomorrow to be shorter and easier, but with a later start… We’ll get the official announcement soon. I’m just about out of food so I hope the start time isn’t too late. I have one 380 cal meal for tonight but that is about it. I was hoping we would be at the hotel by 10am tomorrow, but it looks like I’ll have to go hungry tomorrow until about noon. It will be hard to race on, that’s for sure….My stomach is crying out for any type of calories right now. For someone who doesn’t eat red meat and sticks to a gluten-free/organic diet, I can’t tell you how good even a double quarter pounder with cheese meal from mcd’s sounds right now!
The mental aspect of this race is just as important as the physical side of things. Having to get up each day, lace up your shoes, and head back out there despite increasing fatigue, pain and injury is tough. Reallly tough. But seeing how determined the other runners here are has really gotten me through. The drop out race in this race is the highest I’ve ever seen. With 200 competitors signed up, I believe only 120 started the long stage and even fewer will finish. Just to complete this race is a real accomplishment. Right now my tentmate, the Olympian Gabriel (!) is 5 minutes ahead of me in 7th place, which is fantastic. I’ve over an hour on the next person (Ahn, who has perfect feet right now by the way!) so hopefully I won’t have to stress too much tomorrow. At least I know that I’ll finish top ten (as long as nothing catastrophic happens!).
Looking forward to hopefully reading your last messages tonight. Any that come through later I can still receive after the race. Thank you again for your messages, donations, and encouragement. After RTP, I would love it if you would keep following my running adventures through my personal blog: http://www.canadianultrarunner.blogspot.com. I love hearing from people and would be happen to give any advice on running-related stuff (if I am at all qualified!). I’ve tested a lot of training methods, products, and races so feel free to get in touch. I also have a few youtube videos of my races up and will post one on namibia – my channel is TheUltrarunnergirl.
MUCH LOVE TO ALL!! And please allow me to make one last plea for donations to cancer research. That is why I am out here pushing myself – to raise money and awareness. Please make my efforts worthwhile! You can do it! Any amount is appreciated 🙂
http://www.firstgiving.com/scase (United States)
http://www.justgiving.com/stephaniecase (United Kingdom)
http://www.canadahelps.com (Canada) – I can’t remember the exact address but the title of my page is “Oz for the cause”. Search for me on the canada helps website!