Thursday, 2 June 2011

Day 32 - Through the 900 mile barrier

It was another good start to the day. I got 6 miles done before breakfast and I managed to speak to Katy which always puts a spring in my step. I spoke to Dave Fairlamb also, who was full of utter encouragement and motivation. It was a warm morning, which is generally a good indicator of the temperature later in the day. I am really enjoying running in this warm weather.

When I arrived at the first stop of the day, I had I a very slight pain in my right shin. This oh- so- familiar pain is something I’ve been on the lookout for since day one. I think the pain at this stage usually means a tendonitis is not too far away. Wee Kirsty didn’t hesitate to pack ice around my shin. The same approach was taken during the second break of the day. That second break saw the longest tactical snooze I’ve had to date. The reaction in the next session of the day was not untypical of a post tactical snooze run. There was more sustained pace and both my body and mind felt refreshed.

The downside to today, in comparison to recent days, was the busy, dirty, dusty road that I was running on. On top of that, I’ve got numerous nasty bites on my legs and arms. If I think about these for too long, they become very itchy and irritable so the simple treatment is to block their presence out of my mind. I was pretty tired at the 26 mile point but still had enough in the tank to sprint away from a big black dog. A second dog was obviously keen to have a closer look and crossed the busy road to see me. I made it over to the other side of the road. The dog tried to follow and nearly got knocked over. Wee Kirsty accompanied me for the last 6 miles, which always makes the end of the day a lot easier.

Chef Stephen had made meatballs that were very nice. After that, instead of updating my blog, I spent an hour shaving off my beard. A few days ago, I had asked the opinion of my followers on Twitter as to whether the beard should stay or go. The majority of women said, “Loose the beard” and the majority of men said, “Keep the beard”. More women voted and the vote was cast. The support team said that I looked 10 years younger.

Today saw the 900 mile barrier broken. I'm now aiming for 1000 miles by the end of Saturday.

While I was running today, something occurred to me. When I opened one of my two contingency letters last week, it was a very easy thing to do. Now I only have Mark Flemings letter left as I did when I ran from John O’Groats to Lands End in 2007. Back then, I did not open Mark’s letter until the finish line. I anticipate opening his new letter at the same point on this run. It gives me great comfort to know that it is there but there is a fear factor present that once it is opened, I have no more letters to get me through the dark times. Who knew that such a simple piece of paper inside an envelope could be such a powerful motivational tool. Sometimes, in my experience, motivation and inspiration come from those sources that we least expect them.

Thank you to everybody who made a donation today. The generosity of people who sponsor me is also a great source of inspiration and motivation. In these tough economical times, the volume of donations has really surprised me. Without those donations, this coast to coast run across the USA would be a complete waste of time. So again, I say thank you to everyone who has given great meaning to my efforts.

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.