Thursday, 19 May 2011

Day 18 - Run to the hills

It was a quick start to the day in St George, Utah as roadworks on the Freeway and an intermittent hard shoulder meant that I had to sprint to prevent being squashed by several HGVs. It was also a cold start to the day with several showers and a temperature of only 15 degrees celsius! This meant that I had 3 layers on and my wooly hat. And to think that only a week ago I was running in the baking heat of Las Vegas! Madness!

St George looked like a really nice town and I enjoyed getting off the Freeway and running through it. I met the RV at the 6.5 mile point with very little energy. Having eaten loads of pasta and porridge for the last 17 days I fancied something fatty and salty. Comedy Jon bought me 2 McGriddles from McDonalds. They were delicious and just what I needed at the time. 

The next 10 miles, including a nice climb out of Washington City, flew by and I was able to talk to Katy and Jack on Skype at the next rest point. After the Skype call, Comedy Jon told some funny stories and, as per the last few days, the team's spirits were lifted. He is an absolute hoot is Comedy Jon.

The next few miles into Hurricane were straightforward and by now I could see some huge rain clouds to the south (See picture of the day). I could also see a huge climb to the east. It was like a red rag to a bull and, once again, I attacked the hill with a bit of pace (by my recent standards!). Yet again, I was left confused about how much quicker I can run up hills that on flat. My endurance levels are so much higher compared to when I left Huntington Beach almost 3 weeks ago.

Part way through the climb I changed into my winter gear due to the cold rain that was pouring down! The rest of the climb revealed lots of nice scenery in Apple Valley and I reached the summit of 4690 ft at the 30 mile point. 

The total mileage for the day was 32.3 miles. Comedy Jon has played a blinder for tomorrow in light of the fact that I have failed to get permission to run through a tunnel in the Zion National Park. It turns out that  Comedy Jon knows this area well from his bus driving days. He has suggested a 20 mile off road shortcut. It'll be a route I'm taking tomorrow and will help clawback some of the mileage deficit. Genius!

Comedy Jon took the following picture as I fell asleep while updating this blog. It's quite difficult to update the blog on a daily basis after a tough day's running. It's something that I feel compelled to do however. Engaging and sharing the run with you the reader is very important to me. Judging by the number of hits and quality of feedback that I'm getting on a daily basis I must be doing something right.

And finally goodznight from a happy RV and thanks so much to those kind and generous folk who made a donation today. And one last thing, that's the 500 mile barrier broken today!