So after having a thoroughly enjoyable break at Africat, myself and the team were back on the road ready to attack some tar! Oh, how I love to run on tar... bleugh! It was great to see first hand what the money we raise will go toward and great to rest my legs but at the same time I felt pretty happy to get back on the road and tackle the job I was there to do. Here is a brief run down of day 12 to day 22...
Day 12 – 50.03km
We made the most of our final breakfast at Africat and were sent off with the biggest bag of muffins you have ever seen (although they only lasted three days with us hungry bunch!). The running seemed great today, not sure if that is due to having some time off my feet or the fact that the road was downhill! At lunch I could barely eat anything, I thing perhaps I overindulged at Africat.
Day 13 – 50.75km
Morning running was going really well today but then at lunch I really lost all motivation. I was annoyed as my Garmin GPS watch was broken so I was now carrying a handheld device which is made for being in the car. I dont really want to be carrying anything more than I need to while running, I already have a pack on my back which probably weighs 4-5kgs. I think Aysha felt sorry for me and gave me chocolate biscuits, she knows the way to my heart! In the aftertnoon we ran alongside the Waterberg Plateau, its really incredible to see. A massive cliff face way up above a thick forest that goes on for miles, possibly 50km. We pondered over climbing possibilities there.
Day 14 - 49.82km
Worst road surface today, deep sand, combined with wind and hills, aaagh! I just wanted to stop. But what would that achieve other than being stopped in a road. So I struggled on. I got to the lunch break and just lay still for a while. I have come to the realisation today that the wind picks up everyday between 10 and 12, and it is straight towards me. Need a change of plan... run less during that time.
Day 15 – 49.58km
The wind from yesterday was no longer coming towards me but now coming 'out' of me which made me really popular in the tent this morning! There were a few healthy gusts!! I ran alone for the first 8km, not as punishment, but because Mike took the oppurtunity to make a shelving unit for the back of the 4x4. Aysha rode beside me for the second 8km and also provided me with an excessively salty porridge (here is the evidence!: movie), yum! I was in agony with my knee again but this was eased slightly with a lunch of sausage and garlic mash, donated by the farm where we camped last night. Really hot today. Mince meat for dinner, also donated to us. Meat = happy campers. I got bitten on my lady bits today by a big, red and black, scary fly while I was having a pee, they know how to get a girl when she's vulnerable.
Day 16 – 45.32km
Change of schedule today. Not a good one. I wanted to maximise the chance of going through a town without minimising mileage. I ran 34km straight, before lunch so I could get into Grootfontein and get jobs done, and the team could do jobs while I was running. It started off so well, I was bounding along for the first 17km until my knee gave in. It then turned into a slow trot until eventually I just dragged myself along with all the willpower I could muster. Also a giant blister, that I didn't know I had, exploded from under my foot. If you have never experienced that, which I hadn't, well I tell you... it really hurts. I queued for an hour in town to post my broken watch home. On the plus side I did have a passionfruit ice lolly - heavenly refreshment.
Day 17 – 54.11km
Late start and strong winds. Super annoying, I need to get running as early as possible to avoid these forceful winds. This was the first day running on a 257km straight, tar road. Not really very much to say really as it is literally just a very long, straight road. Not my favourite kind of running! We did manage to blag a night in a camp site which means we get to shower, woop woop!!
Day 18 – 54.20km
The alarm didnt go off. This was no-ones fault but I became a right grumpy monster and started the day with the wrong attitude. Shame on me. Thankfully there was no wind and I eventually got over myself and enjoyed the day. We had internet connection and received lots of encouraging messages on facebook which picked me up no end, thank you. Aysha ran with me for a short time today, it's really nice to have some company. I also met some very enthusiastic African women.
Day 19 – 58.70km
In the middle of the night we could hear leaves rustling around the tent, within a few seconds the sound lifted and they were crashing into the tent. The ground sheet then picked up, the noise became louder and louder. Everything on one side of the tent was thrown to the opposite. Mike clung onto the ladder to the upper tent and I clung onto Mike. Then all of a suddenly it was silent. We survived the twister. Thankfully we had seen one go down the road that evening so we weren't too freaked out by it. Annoyingly the twister alerted me to the pain in my legs so I lay there for ages trying to think of anything but the pain. We are in the Kavango region now and the surroundings have really changed. There are no more brick buildings, just many, many straw houses beside the road. The villages go on and on, the people are far more excited here, lots of laughing and singing etc.
Day 20 – 54.28km
There was a lightning storm last night and the air seems much clearer today, far less muggy. I could tell that I was starting to get tired and worn out, as me and Mike had an argument today and I was almost in tears. It's really stressful being so exhausted and trying not to upset people at the same time. It cant be easy for him being beside me all day. I had a good day for running in terms of distance but had a lot of children begging for food and money while we were trying to relax so we were all tired as we got no rest.
Day 21 – 35.05km
Slept in Rundu last night so had to get up extra early to drive back to where I finished yesterday. It was hard work getting the last bit of running completed before a day off. Not sure if it is physical or mental but it's really tough for me. Eventually got a couple of kilometers before Rundu and called it a day. We managed to get lots of jobs done in the afternoon, shopping, cleaning etc. The rest day is going to be well deserved.
Day 22 – 0km