The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2016
I wasn’t sure what to expect from my ankle going into day 1. It was pretty well rehabbed and the onboard sports doctor did some testing and said it felt pretty strong. Huge props to my athletic therapist in Toronto (Janette) for getting me race ready!
I started the first lap slowly to see how it felt and about half way through it felt strong, seemed to have some spring in the step so I tested out running. As we run short course laps on a number of different islands, we are measured on number of KM’s run over a specific period of time. The course was 11.4KM long, split into two sides. A longer snow covered section and a shorter gravel and slush section where the scientists live. As the day wore on, it got warmer and the snow got deeper and deeper. I felt stronger with every step and decided to run as much as possible. There are a number of people I have run with before and have met many new friends. All the people here have run at least 2 races, with many 4-5 and some over 8+! A very experienced bunch. My roommate Kyle lead from the beginning and finished in first, running 92KM in 12 hours. I fared pretty well and finished 64KM and in the top 20. I really felt in the groove and the course basically reminded me of a Canadian Winter! If I am only able to run that one day, it will exceed my expectations for the race! The last 11Km lap the ankle was started to flare up but the brace held strong and I was really focused on good foot placement in the snow.
When I got back to the ship (we take zodiacs from the ship to shore), the legs were throbbing. I was concerned my ankle was going to be swollen. Often the pressure we put the legs under has you feeling some fire in the knees or ankles. But when I took off the compression socks and brace, it looked fine. I got it looked at by our sports doctor Nancy. She tested it and overall it was just over worked and she tried to help loosen up the ankle.
We didn’t have much time to recovery. A quick HUGE dinner at 10pm, some stretching, and getting our pack ready for the next day. We were up at 6am and ready to head out to start for Day 2 at 8am!
More to come, will post Day 2 separately.
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