Saturday, 5 May 2012

USA Day 4 - Revisited (04/05/2011)

Day 4 of the run across the USA started at 07:53. The start times were slowly but surely getting closer to the required 0630. The first 4 miles were through a very tricky and steep maze of sandy bush trails. The 1700 ft climb over that particular stretch was the least of my worries. The huge and very fierce dogs were making the start to my day very unpleasant indeed. As soon as I heard the bark of a dog I'd look to see if it was kept within an enclosure. This was to become standard practice over the remainder of the run. 

I found myself being on constant tenterhooks because of the dog situation. With future blog posts, you'll see how this changed over the course of the run. In the early days, if those dogs were unleashed I just ran away from them as fast as I could. This wasn't easy with so many miles in my legs but I made sure they never caught me!

At the first meeting point, Richard told me that he'd had breakfast at a local diner. The great news was that he'd negotiated a free meal for me with the owners! Brilliant! The picture below is a very chubby me with Mike and Wendi, owners of the Outpost Cafe near Victorville. 

I described the hot beef sandwich at the time as "easily the tastiest meal I've had in California so far.". It was full of the fat and salt that I was craving. Delicious!

I left the Outpost Cafe having soaked my base layer and headwear in cold water. The breeze that I'd previously benefited from in the San Bernardino Mountains was no more unfortunately. The temperature peaked for the day by the time I got to the outskirts of Victorville at the 17 mile point. I'd clocked up over 100 miles since leaving Huntington Beach and it was time for more food! This time it was one of Richard's pasta dishes.

I started running again at 1800 with Stu for company. We took it in turns to lead the line and this really helped pick the pace up. I didn't feel particularly safe in this neighbourhood and that also helped the new found speed too.

That night, I wrote on my blog that this was "arguably the finest running I've ever done.". The increased speed came out of nowhere. Although, Richard's pasta may have had something to do with it.

I ran the final 4 miles by myself and unbeknown to me at the time, Richard rang 911 to report a suspicious vehicle that was being driven erratically around the area in which I was running. I actually ran past that vehicle later on and the occupants had been arrested. It was quite obvious what their crime was as the bonnet of the car was littered with large packages of white powder. At least 10 packages of white powder if memory serves me correct. Good old Richard. Not only had he cooked porridge, negotiated a free meal, cooked some nice pasta, driven the RV and, at the end of the day, lanced my blisters. He had been responsible for a drugs bust! What a support man he was! I wrote the following on Twitter that night:

"There was another quirky occurence tonight involving driver Richard but safety and security prevents me from expanding on it.".

The last few miles were done in complete darkness, which I wasn't too happy with! With just a head torch and the headlights of passing vehicles to light the way I called it a day after 29.2 miles. This prompted Richard and I to have a conversation about starting the run much earlier the next day. I wasn't due to to start my daily running at 0630 for another few days. Given the late finishes in the dark on the run so far, it was time to take action.

The final action of the day was to see to my blisters. Richard did a really good job lancing them. There were 7 major ones to contend with! The poor lad must have wondered what he'd signed up to!

It was 0015 by the time I'd finished updating my blog. There was a 0530 alarm call to look forward to! The lack of sleep time was an all too common occurrence on the run across the USA. I wouldn't have had it any other way. As I've stated many times before; taking people on the journey with me, via the blog, was so important.