Thursday, 4 August 2011

Day 95 - Fight, battle and triumph

What a start to the day! There was a brilliant piece on the Chris Moyles show on BBC Radio 1. As a result there was a flurry of donations and the charity fund was soon up well over £46,000.

Day 95 in the Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania, saw what I think have been the 2 steepest climbs on the run across the USA so far. The first climb was in between Sidney's Knob and Gobblers Knob! Seriously! Who gives these places names? It was a dangerous section of road and I had to have my wits about me.

The second climb was up and over Kittatinny Mountain. It was only 6 miles but very, very steep. Once again, maximum concentration was needed as their were a lot of passing cars and lorries. I found going down the other side of the mountain very difficult. My toes were badly swollen and the sole of my left foot is now causing me a lot of pain. Carlton did a sterling job keeping me company during this difficult stint. He really is a massive asset to the Support Team.

I had to have a longer than usual rest at the 23 mile point. It was raining heavily outside and I had very little energy left.  Getting to 30 miles never mind 40 would be a good achievement I thought. 

I decided to employ a strategy that I'd used the previous day. That was to get kitted up with my back pack and waist pack and go unsupported. Not having the distraction of the RV really does help me get my mind in the right place. The finish to this run is all about mental strength. I have the fitness. I just need my brain to tell the rest of me that I can run through this pain. It needs to tell my body that I can run a bit faster. 

It was darker much earlier than usual, it seemed. And my head torch lit the way very well. I focussed on each mile only, forgetting all about the couple of hundred left to New York. Each mile was a one off run. I also took great comfort and encouragement from the amount of messages sent to me on Twitter. There were hundreds! Finally, it serves me well to remember exactly why I'm running across the USA. St Benedict's Hospice cared for my Mother and gave her a comfortable and dignified end to her life battling lung cancer. The Children's Foundation support all kinds of research and projects that benefit the happiness, health and safety of children. Have you ever heard of the Limbs Alive or Whoops! Child Safety projects, for example? Inspiration and motivation, all of a sudden, was not a problem.

Once I ran over the 30 mile mark for the day, I seemed to get faster. I saw the RV at 39 miles and quickly told the support team to go another mile as I ran past. I stopped running for the day after 40.25 miles. I reckon I easily had another 5 - 10 miles in me. That distance is being saved for the weekend. I'm determined to get as close as I can to a record breaking 50 miles on Friday.

Today's breakfast was sponsored by Chris Oliver, lunch and the RV waste dump by Martin Chisholm, and dinner by Mark Longbottom.