Friday, 24 June 2011

Day 54 - A really tough day

I had to have an extra hour in bed this morning such was my tiredness from yesterday's 37.75 mile effort. I had stayed up late to update the blog too so I didn't start running until just after 0730. When I originally awoke at 0600 it was definitely the most tired I've felt on this tour.

You can normally tell how hot it's going to be for the rest of the day during the first few minutes of a run and today was no exception in Atwood, Kansas. For the 3rd day in a row the sun was beating down, providing a glorious warm heat. I've become well acclimatised to the heat. Struggling to run in the Mojave Desert seems like such a long time ago to me now!

What was obvious from the off this morning was that it was going to be a struggle. The foothills that I'd demolished yesterday were eating me up for breakfast and I struggled up 6 or 7 climbs until I met the RV at the 11 mile point. In recent days I've been meeting the RV for lunch with between 17 and 23 miles in the bag. Having  only managed 11 miles before lunch was very poor in comparison.

I didn't even have anything to eat when I arrived at the RV. A long tactical snooze was the only thing on my mind. I slept for just over 2 hours! When I got back out there for the second 11 mile stretch of the day it was still a struggle. The difference between this session and the morning session, though, was that I tried hard to pick up some speed. The miles did begin to pass much quicker and I was in 2 minds whether or not to take the second break at the 22 mile point. However, it was 6 pm, and I was very hungry!

The next 4 miles to Oberlin were pretty slow but I could start to feel the food kicking in. When I passed through Oberlin I realised that I'd gone through the 1500 mile point. It had turned dark at this point and I was surrounded by loads of fire flies lighting up the surrounding area with their mini firework display. Spectacular!

The last 6 miles were a lot quicker than any done during the daylight. I put my foot down in the dark as it was getting late and I just wanted the day to be brought to a close. Finishing the day with a bit of pace is always good for confidence.

I reached the RV having ran 32.25 miles. That's a haul of miles that I thought wasn't possible this morning. I stuck at it, though, and battled through the tough times. There were plenty of those tough times today and it would have been quite easy to call it a day at numerous points. I'm at the stage of the run where this isn't possible. Putting one foot in front of the other no matter what is the name of the game now. 

The photo below is me approaching the RV with my headtorch on.

I've now ran 103 miles in the last 3 days. I must continue to build on this and get the mileage deficit down to an acceptable level. Tomorrow morning will see me pass through the half way point, in mileage terms, of the run across the USA. That's going to be a brilliant milestone to pass.

As I mentioned yesterday, the big guns start arriving in just over a week. Steve Harrison, Mark Fleming and Dave Fairlamb will be helping me to get that deficit down. I hope they've been training or they may struggle to keep up! :)

And finally! Thanks to those people who made a donation today. If you would like to sponsor my run then donations can be made in a number of ways. have introduced a brilliant new free donation method. Did you know that you can now donate to the 2 charities using your mobile phone?

To donate an amount to St Benedict's Hospice, please text your desired amount and the following code RNGR98 to 70070:

To donate an amount to The Children's Foundation, please text your desired amount and the following code RNGR99 to 70070:

Donations can also be made direct to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation using the following links to

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Finally, 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.

Thanks in advance for any donations. I will get round to thanking everyone personally, via email, when I return to the UK in August.