Friday, 3 June 2011

Day 33 - Bites!

This morning I issued a statement on Twitter "1000 miles by Saturday night is firmly in my sights. Failure is not an option.". Bold words indeed! It wasn't today's high temperature, the tough climb or fatigue that put the chances of 1000 miles by Saturday in jeopardy. It was the number of bites that I have on my legs and arms.

They are so irritatingly uncomfortable that I ran in tracksuit bottoms today. This isn't a pleasant experience at 24 degrees Celcius let me tell you! 

Following a planned lie in, I started very slowly this morning with 6.25 miles done before breakfast. As well as eating porridge, I used the first break to dictate yesterday's blog post to Shelli before I uploaded it. 

I decided today that lie ins aren't for me. I really don't like it when I'm not into double figures by noon. Tomorrow, we push off from the RV stand at 7. This will give me a good chance of completing a half marathon distance by 12 pm.

After the first break there was a superb climb to run up. It wasn't too steep but it went on for about 7 miles. I was baking hot in my tracksuit bottoms about half way up it. I had to resort to taking my top layer off leaving only my base layer. I tweeted the following at the time - "I'm so sorry Utah but I've got to strip down to my base layer. Be thankful this didn't happen 28 llbs ago!". About a mile later, a car pulled up with 3 women in. They asked me if I needed a lift. I gave the standard answer explaining what I was doing and thanked them for their kind offer.

As I neared the summit of the climb a lone cyclist was riding in the hard shoulder where I was running. I pulled onto the side where the dirt was allowing him to pass without him having to pull onto the road. In the blink of an eye we exchanged a low five. It was a spontaneous moment of mutual respect between 2 strangers on their own missions. Corkie on my Facebook page described it as "Life Time Moments...The worlds scattered with them if you can only open your eyes through the sweat of toil long enough to notice them". That pretty much summed the situation up. He was one of 2 heavy laden cyclists I saw today. I reckon they were both going coast to coast.

At the 15 mile point I decided to call it a day. Shelli had arranged for us to stay at a nice RV park. All of the laundry got done by Shelli and Kirsty (aka Geordie's Angels). I had a load to do! Shelli had brought some DVDs with her and I spent a few hours watching Rocky IV. That's one of my favourite movies. We then ate chicken wings and pizza on a picnic table outside the RV. Fantastic! Although, Chef Stephen had a salad as he's on a diet!

As the itching on my legs became unbearable, Geordie's Angels then went to get some tablets and cream. I used them both and hope tomorrow is a better day. I've had some bad bites in the past but the quantity and size of these ones has to be seen to be believed. I've no idea what did the biting but I'll be wearing tracksuit bottoms again tomorrow I reckon.

Tomorrow will be the last day in Utah and 35 miles to Dinosaur in Colorado is the target. There is now a realistic chance of making 1000 miles by noon on Sunday. I've been well rested this afternoon, confidence is still high and I have Geordie's Angels spoiling me rotten during the breaks. 

Before the itchy tablets take effect I'll end with a plea for your hard earned cash. To make a donation to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation please use one of the following links.

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Alternatively, a donation can be made via cheque payable to 'The Children's Foundation' or 'St Benedict's Hospice' and sent to the following addresses:

FAO Libby Nolan
The Children's Foundation,
PO Box 2YB,
Sir James Spence Institute,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.