Friday May 11, 2018

While last week was interesting, visiting parts of the Southwest of West Australia, within a day or two I was regretting not changing my flight. The Bibbulmum hike was the purpose of the trip to the west and it was over. Combined with a few injury issues that needed attention, I really just wanted to go home.

I started the Bibbulmun hike with a partially torn upper hamstring tendon, right where the hamstring attaches to the sit bones. It did not get any worse on the hike but I realised that it was also not getting any better.

My body just did not feel as strong as I felt last year hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I also had a lot more trouble with my feet on this hike compared to the PCT in the previous two years. This trail was just tough on my feet. The surfaces were rocky and hard, almost like hiking on concrete. The long rainy periods added to the foot stress. I had numerous blisters and was lucky to avoid infection. One of my big toenails has almost completely detached from the bed of the nail. This started months ago while trail running and hiking the Bibbulmun just accelerated the damage.

And lastly, it’s a strange thing to say, I was also homesick in a way. I missed Hammer and I missed all the comforts of my home. I needed to come home for some pampering, recovery and rebuilding so I can start dreaming of the next adventure. So what is next?

In six weeks time Hammer is off to the USA to take a school group to visit NASA in Houston, Texas and the Rocket Propulsion Lab in Huntsville, Alabama. I’m sure he will have some free time for some cultural experiences in parts of America neither of us has visited before.

While he is away I’m planning on hiking the Larapinta Trail in Australias Northern Territory. Winding its way 231km (150 miles) along the West MacDonnell ranges it traverses ridges and plains, and passes through some of the most amazing gorges in the country.

In early October I’m running the Chicago Marathon. I’m sort of half committed to running the six world major marathons before I hang up my running shoes. I’ve run Boston and New York marathons already and after Chicago I will still have Tokyo, London and Berlin Marathons to complete. I would also love to run the Boston Marathon one more time. I’ve run it twice, in 2007 and again in 2015. Both times it was in attrocious wet, windy and cold conditions. Just one more time to say godbye. It is THE marathon for me and one more to take me to my rocking chair. Not sure how or when I will do these runs. It feels like I’m living on borrowed time and time is running out.

So first up – next year Hammer and I will be returning to the US for six months to hike the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The CDT traverses five states, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border and covers more than 5,000km (3,100miles). It feels audacious and I want to be ready to tackle it.