It was fun until it wasn’t, if that makes sense. The rogaine was about 2.5 hours drive away and started Saturday morning for a twelve hour stretch, from ten to ten. As Wayne was working until around four, that gave us a choice of driving down at night and setting up our tent in the dark or leaving extremely early Saturday morning, setting up in a rush and not being able to plan the route properly.
I had the bright idea of driving down to a nearby town (Bunbury) and getting a cheap motel room for the Friday night and then leaving early the next morning to go set up, which is what we ended up doing. This gave us plenty of time to both set up our tent and plan the rogaine collection points we wanted.
When you do a rogain it makes sense to start out with at least a basic sort of plan. The collection points are markers tied to trees with pencils to record your team numbers and time of arrival; you also write down your next anticipated collection point and stamp your control card with a unique imprinter. Each control marker is worth a varying amount of points, depending on its degree of difficulty of access and attainability: all have to be navigated to via a contour map of the area and are often hidden in thick bush and literally have to be pushed through the scrub to get to. There are water collection refill points around the course and patrolled roads that you can get to be picked up, in case of trouble and the whole course can be as large as fifty square kilometres.
Obviously, we have no expectation of winning and, after the last one we did, where I let my enthusiasm run away with me, and we ended up doing 26 km and only finding 3 collection points, due to lack of planning and general bush hacking, I was determined we would use tracks where available.
It was really lovely and we enjoyed just walking around and finding the points we had preplotted on the map. We used the compass earlier on to work out the best routes and potential times and this half hour was invaluable in giving our walk a focus. Some of our SES friends had driven down that morning and were staying down overnight so we were looking forward to sitting by the campfire with them later on and just hanging out. There were much older folk doing it, much fitter folk (running through thick bush from spot to spot!), families with toddlers and babies and generally people who took it much more seriously than ourselves.
I told Wayne I wasn’t going to do twelve hours worth and we envisaged ending up back at the Hash House (evening meal tent and field tent camp ground) at around four. We stopped about twelve 12.30 for a little light lunch by a dam and then started off again and things started to feel uncomfortable for me.
I started to get a pain in my left front side, radiating around to the back. It was a mild ache at first, then grumbly, then persistent, then sharp. It definitely took the enjoyment out of the walk and I stopped talking as much and walking as fast and then I suggested to Wayne we headed back to camp (we had a deal whereby either of us could call it quits if weren’t enjoying ourselves any longer) picking up one final control point along the way. I walked slower and slower along the way and then he asked if we should flag down a car (by this stage we were walking along a patrolled road). I said no, then I said maybe and then I said yes and then I started walking along with breaks to double up as the pain got more severe.
Fortuitously, one of the Rogaine patrol cars came along and picked me and saved us at least an hour’s walk back to camp. They took me back to camp and straight to the first aid tent: then there was a fairly quick drive to the local hospital. By this time the pain was coming in waves and was about a 7 out of 10. Renal colic was the thought. I ended up overnighting in hospital on a drip on pain meds, feeling like a fraud. I didn’t pass any kidney stone but I still feel like utter crap today and my kidneys feel like somebody spent some time kicking me in them.
I feel so sorry for my husband because I ruined his nice weekend with his friends. I was having such a nice time up until then myself. I am annoyed with myself because I am probably not going to ride my bike to work today (I just don’t feel well enough; I actually don’t feel enough to work at all really but I don’t usually call in sick) and I worry that I am letting myself down by not doing so. Due to work logistics there is one day I already can’t this week and I worry I will get out of the habit.
Stupid body, letting me down YET AGAIN. It seems that this sort of thing always happens to me and I wonder whether it isn’t some sort of inadvertent sabotage; Munchausen at a subconscious level? I always feel like a hypochondriac.