After yesterday's emotion Mark took time to reflect on the run and decide how he was going to continue the run through to Sydney. Jason spent 2 hours treating Mark's right foot last night, it appears that a blister had been covering the whole of the small toe forcing the nail further down the nail bed. This certainly helps to explain some of the pain. They treatment has been intense since Jason joined Mark 17 days ago. The good news is that the right foot has slowly started to heal so the emphasis is now on utilising every moment of Jason's last 3 days on the team. Jason has been an incredible support, I wouldn't like to think of the position that Mark would have been in without him.
Carlton sets off on his journey tomorrow and should hopefully reach Mark late Thursday/early Friday. For those of you who might not know, Carlton was on the last leg of the support team with Mark when he ran across the USA in 2011. He has excellent experience of keeping Mark focussed and getting him where he needs to be, (no pressure Carlton, remember I'll be stranded in Adelaide if he's not there on time!). Carlton has been packed off with tonnes of fresh medical supplies which will hopefully support the treatment that Mark has had so far with his feet. Incidentally, Carlton also plans to run a marathon while he is out there with Mark. Rumour has it, in a dress...
I spoke to Mark this afternoon once he had finished running for the day and it was like speaking to a new person. Fully refreshed and energised, super motivated for what is left to accomplish. Just brilliant to hear. The great news is that, not only had he completed 41.13 miles, but it was also the quickest day so far (despite a strong headwind). It gets better, he finished the day running 12 minute miles!
Curious of the turnaround I asked what had changed. Yesterday's emotion really gave Mark the chance to reflect on the reasons why he is doing this run. So many messages of support and encouragement and, of course, donations. I've highlighted as many of the messages as I can to ensure that Mark gets to read each and every one of them. He will certainly have plenty to keep him going once he hits an area with mobile coverage. All aspects of social media and emails have been inundated with such lovely messages from so many people. Mark is really grateful for these so thank you all.
There are now 41 days until Mark reaches Bondi Beach on Christmas Eve, it's very likely that every one of these will be spent running. Unless Mark is able to make up the deficit miles then rest days will not be an option.
In order to meet this target Mark has decided to go back to basics with his approach to each day. The focus is on the miles not the pain. Longer breaks have worked today meaning that Mark's body is getting a good recovery. The quick finishes means that Mark has more time to focus on the treatment, have a good evening meal and get sufficient sleep for the following day ahead. This focus needs to remain to ensure a successful outcome.
Tomorrow presents another milestone. Mark starts day 28 on 973 miles. The focus now is to achieve 41 miles per day. This means that Mark will break the 1000 mile point - so very close to half way. A big confidence booster.
A reminder of the route overview. Mark passed through Border Village yesterday. The next big village with essential supplies is Ceduna which is at least a week away.
Finally, thank you for taking the time to read Mark's blog. Even though it isn't as direct as Mark writing it himself, I do hope that it allows you to continue to follow the journey. Mark would love to be able to write this himself and really expand on things but his concentration must be kept on running and recuperation.