Running across Africa 4
I am writing these blog posts approximately 6 months after the events actually happened, and looking back through my diary I had completely forgotten how painful it all was. It's really fortunate for me that I have a terrible memory! This next week that I am sharing with you can only be described as 'pain-filled', oh, and slightly embarrassing! Please enjoy my next blog of day 31 to day 39...
Day 31 - 41.84km
Had a lay in!!! Still got up before 07:00 but was great to take things really slowly in the morning. Lisa made us real coffee, definitely the way to my heart! Later in the day I had a second coffee which truly pushed me over the edge, I felt gross. This African lifestyle is a million miles away from my life at home, I'm becoming completely detoxed to the point where I can't handle two coffees. My left leg is hugely swollen today from the knee down. Not sure why but there are two pin-prick bite type marks on my foot. Very peculiar.
Most embarrassing moment of the day: I found myself a semi-secluded spot beside a tree, my usual type of peeing spot. Pulled down my pants and squatted. I felt like I was having a pee but didn't hear the familiar sound of the liquid hitting the ground. Something didn't seem quite right but I figured I'm just tired and delirious. As I stood up to return to the camp, all became clear... I had somehow lifted my foot from the sole of my flip-flop while getting into position and then filled my flip-flop with urine which came as a nice surprise when I stood back up and pretty much submersed my foot in piss. Then got a nice coating of sand when trying to clean it off. Idiot!!
Day 32 - 51.29km
Terrible sleep. My leg was in agony and Mike was snoring all night. Running today was terrible too. Pain in leg and behind knee, and generally exhausted from no sleep. Couldn't rest at break time as so many flies attacking me. They swarm around you, it feels like you are in a cloud of flies.
Day 33 - 30.68km
Had a good sleep, woop woop! Woke up freezing, so much for October being the hottest month in Africa. We crossed the border into Zambia today. There was lots of waiting around as we experienced some money issues at the border crossing but it was all fine in the end. I had to have some words with a man at the border point as he left his puppy in the car in the middle of the day, in blistering heat. The poor thing was seriously distressed and dehydrated.
As soon as we crossed into Zambia everything was different. There was water in the rivers, fruit on the trees. The people seem much healthier and happier, they also seem much bigger and stronger. As the sun was setting, people were still out chatting and smiling. My big toe is in so much pain, it's black and all swollen underneath. I'm looking forward to it dying so the pain goes away (toe videos). Also, my left leg is becoming more swollen, you almost can't make out my ankle anymore!
Day 34 - 52.85km
A hungry mosquito and serious humidity caused me to have no sleep again. Robert rejoined the group today after being at home for the past few weeks. He is so clean and fresh, he must be disgusted by us. Its so nice to have his smile back. My big toe is oozing some kind of liquid, not sure what or why so I just bandaged it up to deal with another time. Lots of pain in my legs today. My left calf was in such immense pain that by the end of the day, I became incapable of talking and just wanted to cry. When I got to camp at the end of the day, I sat down completely drained. I just wanted to relax, and try not to cry. A bee then came along and stung me on the arm. More agony. And I still have a scar as a souvenir.
Day 35 - 55.71km
My sleep was disrupted multiple times in the night by the pain in my leg/ankle, and by the time I eventually got up it had only become worse. Robert joined me on part of the run today but I was in so much pain I couldn't speak, he probably thinks I'm seriously grumpy! At break time, whilst laying down trying to relax, I got bitten on the foot by a giant fly. My foot swelled even more. I could barely squeeze it into my shoe. Somehow, I managed to cover a good distance today which is encouraging considering the pain I endured.
Day 36 - 53.55km
Last night was really windy and everyone slept badly due to noise the tent makes in the wind. My ankle continues to be sore. I have a rest day coming up soon which I am hoping will rectify all my injures, as will new trainers. Halfway through the day I experienced one of the worst pains ever. My middle toenail had come off at the base of the nail yet was still attached at the top. This really is one of the worst pains ever. Even as I sit here now (6 months later) and write about it, I feel sick in my stomach remembering the pain. I had to stop running straight away. I couldn't even force myself to continue (If you aren't squeamish then watch the video). The only option I had really was to tape it up tightly and try to ignore it till I get somewhere more appropriate and hygienic to deal with it. This seemed to work along with a few mind games thrown in too.
Day 37 - 49.82km
The wind was against me all day and the hills have suddenly grown out of nowhere, I guess I'm being tested as I'm so close to a rest. I would have considered it quite a pleasant change if it wasn't for all the pain and tiredness I was going through. There were roadworks causing chaos as we approached Livingstone and the border into Zimbabwe. As I was running through the chaos, I heard my name shouted from a taxi. Mary, Aysha's mum, had come to visit and happened to be passing us. It was so refreshing to see a happy, smiling face. All the pain and hard work is quickly forgotten when someone's positive attitude is infront of you. We had a brief chat and then arranged a meeting point beyond the chaos. We sat under the shade of a large tree and enjoyed ice cold drinks supplied by Mary. The best luxury you could imagine! I then only had a few more kilometres to run before crossing into Zim. I ran over the bridge that people bungee jump from across Victoria Falls. It made me feel quite dizzy running that high!
I eventually reached my resting point for the next few days. I was so happy to not be running in the morning. I shed an unnatural amount of tears when Mary presented me with beautiful letters from my friends. Followed by pic'n'mix!!
Day 38 - 0km
Day 39 - 0km
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