At 0730 this morning pacific time, I thought that it would be very difficult to clock up a decent set of miles due to the heat. It was absolutely baking hot! It just seems to get hotter over here every day!
I made my decent into the Mojave Desert and felt so tired as the scorching heat bounced back up off Route 66. Speaking of which, the road surface has been very bad today. Probably the reason why I've only seen 8 cars all day. The jagged edged road has played havoc with the large blister on my left foot. Thankfully, all my other blisters continue to respond well to Driver Richard's treatment and aren't causing too much trouble at all.
Due to the poor road surface I switched my running shoes from Brooks Glycerin 8 to Brook Cascadia 6. They are more of a trail shoe and the difference they made was brilliant.
There are lots of abandoned properties alongside old Route 66 in this county. I often wonder when I'm running past them, how long they have been abandoned for and whether the introduction of the freeway had something to do with it. Just like the passing cargo trains I see many times a day, I have lots of questions.
The final 5 miles were done in darkness with only the moon to light the way. For safety reasons, I made the decision to stop running at 2115. A GPS reading was taken and I placed a visible marker at the side of the road so I know where to start running from tomorrow.
I managed to run 26 miles today. I see this as a victory when I didn't think it would be possible to do so this morning.
I've now ran 206.4 miles in the last 7 days. This is a new record for me over a 7 day period. Had I not broken my ankle last year, the record would have been set earlier. I'm now 10.6 miles behind the average of 31 miles per day. Given the very tough start to the run across the USA it's a deficit I'm more than happy with. I expect the deficit to be as much as 40 miles at some point but, just like yesterday, I'll be trying to keep it to a minimum.
The Support Team and I are in a good routine now with Driver Richard fetching, carrying, cooking, driving (of course) and lancing my blisters. He has set a high standard for the other Support Team members when they join the team in the coming weeks. Also, Publisher Stu has been good company on the sessions in the dark.
All in all it has been a solid week. The challenges that face me in the second week are twofold. Firstly, I must get out of the other side of the Mojave Desert and into Las Vegas with not too much of a mileage deficit and in decent shape with minimum physical damage. Secondly, there is a change of crew at the end of the week. The logistics of this must be carefully considered and executed. Other than that it's a case of keeping on keeping on, as they say.
If you have a couple of quid to spare then please consider sponsoring my run across the USA using one of the secure links to justgiving.com. Many thanks.
(St Benedict's Hospice)
(The Children's Foundation)