This run has been so different from the others; but in a way they all the journeys seem to be like that. Out of all of the journeys, this one is about massive distances of hard slog running over vast distances of just flat plains. Day after day there is no letting up on it. If that’s not bad enough, there is my, lets say, re-occurring internal injury that keeps flaring up. There is one thing that I can tell you, there is nothing scarier than when you suddenly pass blood and you don’t know what is going on, hundreds of kilometres from any where, no help and the only option is that you have to keep on going.
After my initial medical tests that ended up with me being wheeled into theatre, we thought it was now sorted, then out of the blue its back.
If I look back at these adventures that I have undertaken, in each on there come a time when one needs to dig deep, it’s that time where physically you basically cant go on, it’s now up to you to mentally to pull yourself through this. It’s that spot deep down inside, that only through shear pain and desire to carry on that one can reach it. To me it’s that fine line, the thickness of a hair, but that’s the line that determines success or failure. If you want it bad enough and you are prepared to dig deep enough it’s there that’s the line I call self-belief. If you believe that you can do it, you will.
I was struggling through a bad bout of the belly bug. The previous day I had only managed half the days run and collapsed. The next morning sick, but I was back on the road and fought through another half day. I personally feel that if I can mentally keep strong but managing just to keep going every day, just that little bit, physically I will heal quicker. A day later I was back up to pace, but then the worst hit me. I started to pass blood.
You can imagine what goes through ones mind. I had been through this in Madagascar so I thought it was Bilharzia. I decided to stop for the day and get medical attention. From there it went down hill. Finally, culminating with me been wheeled into theatre that afternoon with all kinds of other scary thoughts of prostrate problems. Anyway that evening in was given the all clear and put on some medication. The next morning I got up and hit the road, but only did 6km because I was worried about the anaesthetic that I was given. I was wobbly, but felt ok. The next day I pushed it to 35 km and then hit 50km a day for a week. I was rocking again and feeling mentally and physically great.
Two weeks later the symptoms are back and now I was really worried. Passing bright red blood every time I stopped. By this stage I thought in the back of my mind that this is it, I am going to have to head home. I fought with myself and refused to entertain this thought. I got all my medical tests and results and got a second opinion on the cause of my problem. Thank goodness I did. Firstly the medication that I was on could have caused me tendon ruptures and that would have definitely been the end. Secondly the Doctor that I spoke to had been aware of a similar situation in ultra athletes from time to time. Through a bit of bladder management and running discomfort I have now overcome the problem.
I feel that we are often too quick to throw up our hand in despair and say that’s it, that’s the end of the road for me. Its often just a small hill In the way, you will get over it, just believe in yourself and take a little time to look at all the options available.