Rest is as important as running When on an expedition like mine it is very easy to get it into your mind that every day you have to get up and run at least 40km. You get into a routine of pushing yourself to the limit and if you stop you think that you are not doing what you are meant to be doing and strangely it can feel like you are letting yourself down. I’ve just read Sean Conway’s book about his swim from Lands’ end to John O’Groats and you could sense he had the same thoughts when he was forced to take rest days.
Well today I had to take a rest day. My body was screaming out that enough was enough. What makes it harder for me is that I took a forced day off two days ago – it’s been very seldom on this expedition that I have had to take rest days so close together. I keep trying to analyse and work out what is wrong and more often than not there is one simple answer. I am not a machine and from time to time I need to rest. It’s not a sign of weakness it’s just simple fact of being a human.
Over the last 52 days I have run nearly 2000km. During that time, I have had about 12 days off and have averaged roughly 50km a day on the other 40 days. The terrain has also made things a lot harder both mentally and physically. Peru has pretty much been a desert from the start. This means long stretches of nothing, logistical hurdles (water, food, shelter) and tackling heat and wind. The wind has been the main problem of late as it is blowing directly from the south straight into my face.
Taking a day off can be mentally hard to deal with but it is 100% necessary. I am currently in Chala and have c.220km till the next town of any size. On the right of the road will be the Pacific Ocean and on the left huge sand dunes. I have been informed that there will be times when the sand has encroached over the road. I have also been told that I will be getting the most thorough exfoliation as the sand will be blowing directly into my face! To start a stretch like this when feeling less than 100% is just not clever. At the end of the day I just need to get to Buenos Aires, I don’t need to do it in a heroic time. Sense before bravado!