Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The finish

I'm back! 9 days 11 hours 49 mins.

Fantastic mate. Congratulations. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Day 9 wrap

Another long day 15 1/2 hrs including long stop in Nannup to eat and book bus and flight home. Then had to go back into town after leaving to get signal to find out where the fire was. Long road slog on this new section of trail. 26km with half that bitumen. Once on real trail in the dark nav was way dodgy as this has hardly been used and leaf litter path blended with bush. Made it to Donnelly River where staying in a bunk house. Last night on the trail! Foot holding together. Going to be rather sore when I finally stop. Otherwise legs feel good. Feet overall tenderized. Shoulder starting to get used to pack and not as sore. Will message when I reach the finish.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 9

Taped and padded ankle and can move ok. Bit of a limp going. Trying for nannup and reassess. Weather better. Just trashed.

Day 8 wrap

Another 14 1/2 hour day. Would have been quicker but another midday meltdown took its toll. And after10 hours with 3 more to go a major diversion added another 4-5km. And to finish the last hour was a hobble as developed bad flexor retinaculum inflamation on my ankle. Stuffed some foam down there and hope it settles overnight. This hut is in the middle of a dusty little village. A bit strange after all the lovely bush settings.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 8

'Light cloud helping and made good time so far today. Moving faster caused achilles irritaion but not too bad. Stillness creating pressure cooker feeling in the forests. Having little rest before tackling next section'

'Forced break. Getting staggers and very dizzy. Overwhelming heat. Resting in shade for a bit. Over halfway for the day so can afford rest'

'Very tough day at the office'

'Guess this is how I feel'

Hang in there mate!!

Day 7

Could it get any hotter!

Stopped in pub at Boyanup about a km off trail. Lovely shower. Fresh pair of Injinjis and rehydrating. Early start tomorrow to try for Jarradale. Would love a cooler day but apparently not coming.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 6 Wrap

After major meltdown spent an hour sitting hunched in shade of little bush at intersection to Collie. Contemplated just hitching a ride in and calling it a day. Was heat stressed and smashed. Struggled to walk 3km/hr all morning(footpod battery died so no measure except off map now).Decided to walk the hour to Collie track junction. This is an in and out track deviation I hadn't planned to take. Adds around 36km. By the time I got to the junction I had cooled off and realised I probably wouldn't reach the township until 11-12 on a Sat night. I didn't fancy sleeping in the town park so decided that option wasn't meant to be. Besides there was nothing major wrong with me. I was just beaten by the heat. As the sun got lower I felt better and picked up pace considerably. Went into Park campground at Honeymoon pool but it was full. So went another 4km to find an empty hut. Heaven.

My feet at the end of Day 6 reflect how I felt.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 6 Updates

Now next day and I am melting down. Staggering heat making little headway. Have heat rash bad on both legs. Achilles and now flexor tendon swelling.

Pack is ripping shoulders to shreds. Feel sick from heat otherwise going well :)

Thinking of stopping short and getting bus back tomorrow. If I want to be able to run again soon I need to stop.

Yesterday ended up arriving with about 4ltrs coz I was too scared to drink. 18hr day and only 500mls in the last 8hrs. At this point might finish Thursday. Will be lucky to reach hut tonight though coz already stuffed. Hotter than hell out here.

Day 5 Update

18hr day carrying 7ltrs to get here and cooking and then tomorrow. Turns out there is still a dribble in the tank. Just. Will be slightly shorter day tomorrow or I will meltdown.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 5 Trail Pics

Day 5

'Short day yesterday helped heaps, big day planned today if all ok.

Heading for Logue Dam now. Will fill up there and try to make Yarrie tonight. Apparently no water at Yarrie so big problem.

Stopped for vegie burger, chips, milkshake 6ltrs water, 1.25ltr ginger beer. Hope I can walk after this!'

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 4 updates

He is doing it tough but still pushing on...keep going Andy!.

'Had a crap night despite a bed in a donga at caravan park. Worst cold nightsweats i have had. Feel pretty crap. Left achilles has settled. Right still sore. Will try to get to next hut. Only 29 km if i cant make that i am in trouble'.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 3 Update

'Still dehydrated. Will just head to Dwellingup today and cut it short. Need some respite. Great view to wake up to. Just me and the mozzies. Better get packing. Will carry more water today.'

'Need to get back to using crew, with extra water and uneaten food this pack is breaking my back'

'Was doing good until last 10km. Both achilles have flared up after big downhill with heavy pack. Will try heel lifts and a short day tomorrow'

Day 2 Wrap up

'14hr day. Farking pressure cooker out there. Little shade but no air and really dry. Sucks the moisture out of you. I sucked my bladder dry crossing the dam wall with 3km to go. Had emerg reseve as back up. Carrying heaps of fluid but still dry. Pack way too heavy with food and water. Not eating much during day. Great huts. Missed unmarked turn tonight and huge descent to reclimb in dark. Garmin overreading off footpod but close to 70 today lots of loose gravel made hard work. Sleep time.'

Keep it up Whippet!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 2 Update

Having lunch at Jarradale. Heat unbelievable. Makes Congewai Rd (GNW100) look like a picnic. Everything ok except shoulders killing me. Patchy phone and need to save battery. Another 35km so another late night.

Day 1 Update

'Looong day. Over distance at 85km instead of 77km on guide map. Heat really drained me, couldn't get enough food or fluid in. Missed one turn, only added 1km. Couldn't find drop box in dark lost 1/2 hour or more there. Got it. Finished 10.46 for 16.05 day. Thinking of going short today will see. Bit sore bot overall fitness fine. Just heat with 10kg+ pack hard.'

Friday, March 2, 2012

Getting back to business

Every now and then a window of opportunity opens. For some of us we are genuinely lucky to have these windows open more frequently than others. Sometimes it is just a crack and you have to lever the window open enough to squeeze through. Well over the Australia Day long weekend in January I managed to squeeze through one of those window openings.

For many years I have wanted to run the Bogong Boomerang. For the uninitiated that is a beast comprising a continuous out-and-back on the notorious Bogong2Hotham race course. One way is 64km with over 3000 metres of elevation gain. Out and back is double the distance and the elevation gain becomes irrelevant as your legs turn to putty and any incline or decline becomes a test of mettle and a real test of the integrity of your knee joints. I completed it solo and self-supported, which means no crew and no food/gear drops. I carried everything I needed from the start and only collected water from sources along the course. It took me 34hrs and 34mins but was an amazing journey across the most spectacular country. It took me a lot longer than anticipated but I was very conservative and most importantly got through without any major hiccups with my heart.

Which meant I could look to my next big challenge. Before my heart went south last year I had been planning an attempt to run the Bibbulmun in WA. At nearly 1000km I would need at least 3-4 weeks to set-up and run it. I am still a long way away from that kind of fitness or overall health. But running parallel to the Bibb is the lesser known Munda Biddi trail. Primarily designed for mountain biking, it is not yet complete at around 580km. With huts further apart than on the Bibb it would require more careful planning but it was a much more realistic goal. So on Monday 5th March, I plan to start running south from Perth on the Munda Biddi. I will have little internet access but will try to relay progress via sms for Phil to post here occasionally. I will also be carrying the Spot tracker and you can access that via the link top of right hand column (once I start).

My heart condition has highlighted to me that when a window opens I need to jump through it before it closes again. The opportunity might not present itself again. And this run will allow me to test my health in a safer but still challenging environment before I start looking to the Alps yet again.