Sunday, May 24, 2015

Camino de Santiago Sunday 24th May: Day 12

Ventas – A Rua
58.6km, total time on the way 11:15hrs

If yesterday was tough, then today was…well, tougher.

Rubbish sleep. Really restless and sweaty, and aware of my calf stiffening up all night. Had half planned to get going at 5am but quite honestly couldn’t be bothered and also, in my heart of hearts, I knew that 80km just wasn’t going to happen.

After massive taping of feet, I left at 06:00, eating an omelette bocadillos as I went.

From the outset, my left calf/soleus was incredibly painful and I was barely able to walk. I was close to tears. I couldn’t see how I could possibly get to Santiago and I just wanted to sit down.

There were none of the usual Camino waymarks for a bit and I passed through a village not on the map. I became increasingly concerned that I’d gone the wrong way – and, with the pain no better, I was beginning to panic. I dropped a glove – retrieval was a further black spot.

Reassuringly, I reached Ligonde, which was on the map. I stopped for a coffee and some toast. I was so hungry and so very tired. I was finding it really hard to get warm – I had 5 layers on my upper body and for the first time on the entire Camino, I had put on my running tights. Really miserable. I prayed for strength.

After 1.5 hours, my calf finally began to loosen and I could at least walk properly now. I even managed a mini-jog. “I will reach Santiago de Compostela. I will complete my pilgrimage”.

I reached Palais de Rei. Lots of pilgrims were starting their day here. I visited the church and cried…a lot. Today was going to be an emotional day.

Started chatting to anybody and everybody. Couple from Uraguay – a new country on my Camino list of nations. Realised 3 hours had passed now…relentless forward motion.

Entertaining chat with 2 Irish guys. The Irish are always a good laugh. They christened me “The Camino King of Lincoln Green” but pointed out that “Queen” would have fitted better!!

One can often tell someone’s nationality from a few murmurs before you can actually hear the words.

Passed a Mum pushing her toddler, who high-5’d me, in a buggy. They had started in Portomarin. Definitely the youngest pilgrim I had met on my travels.

Realised that I seemed to be having so many meetings and occurrences this morning, all of which were serving to lift my spirit. My strength was returning as was my positivity. I began to ooze positivity once more.

Met a Californian couple, who were raising awareness for Dewy’s dementia – their father had died from this last year.
“You’re nearly under the world record”
This was never about time or distance.

Through Melide, I started feeling rough again…just so tired. Decided to book somewhere just short of Pedrouzo, which would leave me 20km to do in the morning.

Passing through Ribadizo and Arzua, I was digging really deep. “It hurts so much. I’m just so tired”

Stopped for emergency food. Ice cream, pastry, chocolate, sweets and 2 cans of coke. The 5 main food groups!

I marched relentlessly on, and the kilometres slowly passed by. It felt so frustrating as today’s route was so runnable but my legs just wouldn’t allow it.

Eventually, I reached A Rua, where I had a room…with a bath!!! I had a very long cold bath followed by an even longer hot bath.

After dinner I felt very nauseous. Probably a combination of pain, exhaustion, dehydration and sunstroke…and anything else going.

Today was one of the hardest days in my ultrarunning/endurance memory, both physically and mentally. I probably managed to jog less than 2km – the rest was a forced march. But I asked for strength and I found it.

I fell asleep thinking of Santiago de Compostela. I will be both happy and sad to be finish.

Phrase of the day:
Relentless forward motion

Comment of the day:
Anything that stopped me thinking the pain!

1 comment:

Simon Douglas Thompson said... [Reply to comment]

A fabulous effort, my running is utterly kibosshed by muscle strain from thigh to thigh across my lower lower stomach. Grrrr.

Keep going!

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