Monday, 25 July 2011

Day 84 - A hattrick of 40 milers

Day 84 was yet another scorcher (for a change). I woke up at 0615 absolutely shattered from yesterday's 40 miler. I hardly said a word to anyone over breakfast. I could just about keep my eyes open never mind speak!

Thanks to Erin for last night's free stay at a fantastic RV park in Dayton. This one was in a beautiful forest setting. As per usual, I didn't see a lot of the park due to a late finish the previous night followed by an early start. It's a case of "take a look at what you could have won".

I managed to run 12 miles before the first break. Once again, Dave and Mark took it in shifts (blocks of 4 miles each) to run with me. I was so tired at the first break so I had an impromptu Tactical Snooze in the Air conditioned Rennal Car. I was out for the count for a good half an hour.

After the second session of the day another Tactical Snooze was required. Once again, I was out for the count. I've lost so much sleep recently it was much needed. Running at these high temperatures is very energy sapping too. Oh and throw into the mix the 40 milers of the last couple of days and 84 consecutive days of running.

At the 32 mile point, after an early evening break for a coffee, I was on my way again. Highway 40 now seemed as familiar as highway 36 ever did. I'll be on this road for quite a while yet but not the 1000 or so miles that I was on 36!

Because I don't drink coffee very often it had the usual effect of making me run quicker. Another 40 miles was a distinct possibility at this point, I thought. 

Mark ran miles 33 - 36 with me. It was his final stint of running with me in the USA and we recapped all of the miles that we'd ran together over his 2 visits to the USA.

Dave's final shift from mile 37 was brought to an abrupt halt. There was a "Road closed 5 miles ahead - Bridge out" sign at mile 39 and a detour was called for. It was getting late and I was almost ready to call it a day when Mark suggested we drive to see if the road was passible on foot. It was too dark to tell when we got there so a quick diversion for tomorrow was planned. A bit of time was wasted doing this but it would be worth it tomorrow.

I asked Mark to drive back to the 39 mile point so Dave and I could finish the day on a high. It would have been criminal not to run that last mile and get to the 40 mark. It was a decent finish, despite being after 11 pm! 40.2 miles were done in total.

I was so pleased to have managed a 3rd consecutive 40 mile run. Especially so in the extreme temperatures that were present in Indiana and now Ohio. I've been getting tweets such as "hottest day in 22 years" in Indianapolis and "even the locals are staying indoors" in Ohio. Without doubt, as an "everday athlete", the last 3 days have been one of the biggest achievements I've had in running. Mark and Dave's contribution to that was a telling one with Shelli looking after the PR and logistics of the run and the RV. 

Finally, I can't sign off without revealing a new ritual we started this week. The Andy Pandy song is now played in the RV just before lights out. This started because of the blue and white shorts that Mark wears around the RV. They are a ghastly sight and this photo really doesn't do them justice. 

I know that a lot of Mark's friends, family and clients read this blog. Please do me a favour and say thank you and well done to "Andy" from me.