May 22, 2016
Yesterday my calf felt better than it has since the injury. I’ve been noticing slight improvements each day. However, for some reason it started to ache last night. This morning it was still aching, and the swelling had increased. I’ve been icing it and using compression tights, so it’s not like I haven’t been doing the right things. The skin around my calf feels very tight from the swelling.
That said, running this morning was easier than it has been to date, and I can now even step off my toes for short distances, so long as I keep my knees slightly bent. So it does appear as if the injury is improving, though the ache is a mystery. I suspect I’ve somehow injured a blood vessel, resulting in some further internal bleeding. I hope it’s not a blood clot. I have the calf on ice and compression at the moment, with my leg elevated. Let’s see how it is tomorrow.
Here’s a photo of me running on the main highway across South America from the Pacific to the Atlantic. I’m the speck between the two foreground trucks. The traffic is often heavy on this road, as it is here, so a shoulder was vital to me. This dirt shoulder was fine, but often it was covered in thick long grass right to the edge of the tarmac. And there were snakes and huge ugly lizards in the grass. Given these facts, you might think I wasn’t enjoying it. But I loved running across this continent.
On This Day
Mar 22, 2012
Distance today = 52.02 km; Total distance = 6613.12 km; Location = Pringle, South Dakota – 43 36.487′ N, 103 35.353′ W; Start time = 0843, Finish time = 1648
Running on a 33 C day may sound bad enough, but when you’re out in the direct sun, with heat radiating off the dark road surface, the effective temperature is over 40 C. Add to that a dry wind and a lot of uphill, and it made for a difficult day.
However, the bonus was that I ran into the Black Hills of Dakota. I can see why they are so renowned.
Earlier in the day I passed through Hot Springs. I found this place quite charming, with its consistency of architectural style, based on the local red sandstone – quite different to other famous sandstone cities, such as Salamanca, which are mostly constructed from a golden sandstone.
As I ascended into the Black Hills, the girls, who had gone ahead, came back to tell me there was a herd of bison right by the roadside. Signs abounded, telling tourists that these animals were dangerous. And that was if you were in a car. I was a little concerned at first, but when I passed them, they were quite sedate and not interested in me at all. As a precaution, the girls were there in the car, should I have needed to be shielded behind it in case of an attack from a charging bull.
The tracker is showing me in the town of Custer (named after George of the Last Stand fame), although my official run position is about 20 km south in the village of Pringle. Tomorrow I run past both the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. Tune in at the same time tomorrow to hear more about those.