Saturday, 11 April 2009

Egyptian Mission Accomplished!

It was absolutely scorchio at midday today when I set off from the hotel on the final run of the week. As soon as I felt the strength of the sun beating down, I immediately put all thoughts of trying to beat Tuesday's time for this 11.5 mile run at the back of my mind. For me, getting safely round in under 2 hours would be an achievement. And get round in under 2 hours I did with a final time of 01:57:47. The first 6 miles were quite slow at 01:03:02. It wasn't until I was quite happy that I'd manage to get round with the small amount of water I was carrying that I increased the pace. And even then, only slightly! The last half a mile was done with Local Hero on the iPod at an 00:08:36 pace.

I raised a clenched fist when I got to the hotel in 1 piece and headed straight to the bar for a few litres of water! And then some more!

That brings this week's training in Egypt to a successful close with 50 miles in the bag. That's the mileage I was after and that's what I achieved. I'm very pleased indeed with that. I've learned a lot this week and will be reflecting on it all when I return to the UK next week. There is a lot of research to be done to back it all up and I hope to learn a lot more on the back of this week's experiences in the desert.

Thankfully, next week is a gym week and I will be doing a few classes as well as some strength work on my legs. There is also a tough gym session with Mark Fleming to get through. I'll be having another crack at 75 miles the following week with a variety of speed and distance. If that's successful then the USA 2011 training schedule can be considered as being well on track.

This week has given me a taster of the conditions I'll be experiencing in the early stages of the USA 2011 run in California and Nevada. I've had a bit of a shock, to be honest, at how tough running in the desert is. Now to think that I've got to run 31 miles, day after day is all of a sudden a very sobering thought. I've got a feeling that I'll be returning to the UK with a different attitude to running and moreover the gargantuan task that lies ahead. Goodbye from Egypt!