Friday, 22 July 2011

Day 82 - Unbelievable finish!

I seem to be thinking this a lot lately - This was as tough a day as I've ever had on this run. Soaring temperatures well above the average for this time of year, high humidity and no breeze meant a punishing first 11 miles. Due to having a terrible sleep the night before I had to have a tactical snooze during the first break. The RV was so hot last night it was unbearable. I slept all night with a battery powered fan in my face. Warm air was better than no air!

After the restart I felt very groggy indeed. I was faced with 2 choices at this point. Further rest in the air conditioned rennal car or just to run and get on with it. I chose the latter and during the first mile after the restart my knees buckled a bit. I was not in a good way but thankfully Dave and Mark took it in shifts to run with me and supply me with fresh water and icy towels every 2 miles. I had one icy towel around my neck and one over my head all afternoon as the temperature hit 115 at one point.

I'll never figure out how I was able to keep running in that temperature. The banter from Dave and Mark had a lot to do with it as it kept my mind off the horribly difficult conditions.

I had another break at 23 miles and then a final one at 32 miles. At the final break I had to ice my feet, take pain killers and play my usual ace card; consume an energy gel. Once the sun dipped, I was like a different runner. I had my technique back to what it should have been and my breathing was spot on. It was a quick final 8 miles. I wouldn't have put a penny on that kind of finish when I was almost on my knees earlier in the day.

I can only liken today to a boxing match. I tried my utmost best to stay on my feet round after round when the going was tough. I waited for a break and when the time was right I struck the knockout blow. Hanging in there during such extremely difficult conditions had really paid off. It also helped massively to have Dave and Mark in my corner.

Oh I should also mention that I managed to run 40.4 miles which is a new record for me. It's no wonder I burned 5250 calories!

I should also mention that Dave's face was a picture during the last mile when a howling noise was heard in the dark woods to the left of where we were running. I told him that they were coyotes. He panicked and I laughed as I think they were probably just racoons or rabbits!