Tonight was arguably the finest running I've ever done. Probably even better than my last 107 mile effort from Edinburgh to Newcastle. It was a case of head torch on, head down and start clocking up the miles.
Prior to the final session of the day, progress had been quite slow in the scorching heat and I was on course for a finish after midnight! Which was not good! As soon as the sun dropped, however, the pace increased dramatically and I absolutely flew up the hill out of Victorville. Publisher Stu was keeping me company and we took turns to lead the pack in order to make good progress. Just before it got completely dark I changed into night mode. Sounds technical and dramatic but it's simply a fluorescent vest, head torch and flashing lights.
By this time we were on a very dark and lonely road but at least the traffic was quiet. The pace got quicker around 2100 and Stu dropped out at 25 miles as he was lacking in energy. He'd ran well and served his purpose. I was only on my own for the last 4.2 miles. It was quite daunting at this point. However, running in the dark, in the middle of nowhere-ville is very good for focussing your mind on the task in hand and increasing the pace.
I finished at 29.2 miles in complete darkness with the road deteriorating slightly. Just like last night I had a feeling that it would be very unwise to continue. I finished the run very happy indeed that I'd managed 117.6 miles over the previous 4 days. That's 6.4 miles behind the 31 miles per day average. I have a rest day in Las Vegas on day 10 where I will be "mopping up" any miles not run.
What is evident now is that I must shift the start time of each day to 0630. This has always been my plan but to accommodate a supporter friendly start last Sunday the first day kicked off at 0900. Driver Richard and I have agreed to put the 0630 start into place tomorrow morning. I was hoping to phase it in but I can't risk another late finish in these conditions. It's going to be tough tomorrow with a shorter recovery period but action must be taken.
Driver Richard lanced my blisters tonight using a technique much better than my own. I've got 3 cracking blisters on my left foot and 4 on my right. I had some chafing issues on day 1 - 3 but that's all under control now thankfully. Other than that, I'm in excellent shape. Drinking Cherry Active every night after each run ensures that I have no aches in my legs the next morning. I've said it on numerous occasions but that stuff is miraculous! I had a small issue with my left calf on day 1 - 3 but ice overnight seems to have rectified that. I actually came into the USA run with that niggle.
Finally, if you are enjoying the journey and feel that my efforts are worthy of sponsorship then I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me. A couple of quid, in these difficult economic times, would be greatly appreciated.
The following links can be used to donate securely and directly to the charities. Thanks in anticipation of your kind support.
(St Benedict's Hospice)
(The Children's Foundation)