Friday 3 January 2014

Day 79

(Thursday 2nd January - I believe that's us finally up to date!)

So, first night sleeping in the car. It was painfully uncomfortable but something that we would have to get used to.

As sleeps go that was pretty bad. Time to hit the #humehighway again.”

Day 80 started just after 7am, it was a lot more difficult for Mark to get going after some contortionist movements to get a suitable sleeping position in the car. Mark also complained of aching, more than likely as a result of being unable to locate the Cherry Active. This product has continued to amaze Mark leaving him ache free day after day. Until now.

A fairly early start on the highway meant that the traffic was light. In addition to this positive, the running surface for Mark was great as was the wide hard shoulder that he was running on. The aim for today was to reduce the mileage to less than 100 to the finish line in Shellharbour.

Lots of flies, lots of climbs, lots of numb areas in my feet but lots of generosity too to the 2 charities. #allgood”

By 09:30 Mark reported that he had completed his first 10 miles:

First 10 miles done. #humehighway getting busier but I feel very safe on the wide hard shoulder.”

My feet only have another few days left in them. The area around my previously fractured ankle is quite sore too.”

I'm going to take painkillers for the 1st time in 2 weeks just to take the edge off the pain.”

Otherwise, I do feel strong. I've just hit what I think is the high point of the run so far at 2100 ft.”

During the last 5 weeks in Australia I have closely monitored Mark's intake of painkillers. Before I arrived I was worried that the amount he had been taking could potentially have long term consequences. Luckily with the treatment provided to his feet there has been less and less need for  these painkillers. I must stress that Mark is only taking these when the pain is severe. Mark continues to run through the standard pain in his feet that he his faced with on a daily basis.

The climb out of #yassvalley has taken me to 2400ft. Surely it's mostly downhill from here.”

"123 miles to go"

So, the challenge of the Hume Highway continued. Mark once again faced with the dangerous oncoming traffic and me trying to find suitable parking spots to meet him. Parts of the highway have the central reservation filled with trees so it can be quite difficult to try and check the other side of the road where Mark is running. Ideally I need an area on his side so that he is not adding further risk having to cross the busy highway. As if these worries weren't enough the sound of the highway patrol sirens were enough to turn my stomach; has something happened to Mark? Have they stopped Mark to say he can't run on the highway so the run is over? When you have tonnes of time on your hands parked up in a car it's hard not to fear the worst! Thankfully neither of these occurred.

There were limited tweets and pictures for the remainder of the day.  On a road so so busy it was imperative that Mark stayed focussed on watching the oncoming traffic and being ready to make a move should he be faced with any danger.

At 19:30 Mark called it a day on 33 miles. He had complained of pain his foot for most of the day which we assumed was just the old wounds reacting after the Christmas break. To my horror this was not the case – foot watch was back! Mark's sock was filled with blood, just as much as I was filled with dread thinking about having to treat his feet again! It appeared that a new toenail (if you can even call it a toenail) had grown through looking very nasty and deformed (think of a burnt cornflake) and had aggravated the adjacent toes causing quite a nasty cut.

I cleaned Mark's feet the best I could, as much as I cursed the RV it would have been so much easier to move about in if it was still on the tour. Nevertheless we got there and I added an overnight dressing in hope that this would prevent any infection from occurring.

Aside from all of these bad things, the absolute positives were that donations were still being made and there were now only 95 miles left to the finish line at Shellharbour.

"Ah...the 5 star luxury of the car. Extra leg room on the passenger side. :)"

Lights out here in hotel du car. You'll not find this little gem on Trip Advisor.”