A day can turn so quickly when you are travelling… This morning I woke full of the joys of life looking forward to completing my latest newsletter and exploring La Libertad, El Salvador. I popped to the hotel next door and grabbed a “tipico” breakfast which consists of frijol, fried eggs, fried bananas and cream (Pic included). I then went to the nice hotel and set up office with coffee, watermelon frappes and a nice Caesar salad. Everything was fine till I hit send on the newsletter. At first it was just a rumble, nothing more. Then it started to get worse. I have been travelling for nearly 8 months and dismissed the symptoms, there is no way this hardened adventurer could be toppled by a dickey stomach. Determinedly I carried on with my day and explored the streets of La Libertad. Strolling up to the town centre and then down to the waterfront where families were congregating to start their Easter holiday celebrations.
It was great to see everyone having fun, drinking, eating and buying seafood from the most amazing stalls. The long peer that juts out from the coast is fascinating. The first half is covered and houses stall after stall of stalls selling seafood and gifts. The stall keepers shout their adverts about what they have fresh in and in the case of the dried fish what has probably been around for a while! The second half of the pier is where the fishing boats are kept and while they are on the decking they are converted into a wide range of different stalls, some selling tiny fish or crabs and others brightly coloured second hand clothes. At the end of the pier is the wince and a crowd surges forward to see what the latest boat to be winched ashore has to offer. Everyone has their camera phone in one hand and most an ice cream in the other.
I try to absorb as much of the atmosphere as possible but there is a feeling that all is not as it should be. I make my way back to the hotel and let’s just say it was in the nick of time. Montezuma has got his revenge but seemed to have wait for me to arrive in El Salvador to inflict it! I am not going to go into detail because we have all been there… lie down, don’t eat, drink lots and endure the cramps.
Three things rush to mind… Firstly, how did this happen? I have been on the road for months and not taken any precautions and been fine… Secondly, how am I going to run tomorrow – I had 53km planned! And thirdly when you are not at peek performance you feel alone!
The first is easy as there as so many potential causes. Was it the water from the tap I brushed my teeth with or the water I swam in last night. That is probably the main cause as it is an ocean shared by a large town full of badly plumbed houses…. It could be the salad or the breakfast or the ice but whatever it is there is no use in focussing on it, just lessons to be learnt.
Running tomorrow… That is a hard one. I have become a slave to the road. It feels a little like my master. If I am not running I feel a little lost. I think that is because I am alone when not on the road with my bright yellow t-shirt and stroller that scream look at me!!! (I guess there is another post there!)
Thirdly, I may feel alone but I am not. I’ve made friends with a chap who sells water on the corner and he has offered to get me some coconut water if it persists. My friends and family are on the end of my phone and luckily one of them had insomnia and shared a laugh about the situation. I just needed to look for support.
A final thing is feeling weak or thinking I am perceived as weak by those who follow and support me for having to take another day off. Doing such a huge expedition builds up a self-expectation but what I need to release is that it is exactly that – self-imposed! I don’t think anyone would judge me if I hung up my running shoes tomorrow (not going to happen but hypothetically) as I have achieve so much already.
Now it is time to focus on recovery… You can check my website in 24 hours and determine how is panned out!