Monday 1 August 2011

Day 91 - Like walking on broken glass

Day 91 started 4 miles west of Washington, Pennsylvania at a place called "Club 40". I was amused by this after turning 40 a few weeks ago and running 40 miles the previous day. It was the coolest start to a day for a very long time. Probably since I was in the Rockies in Colorado.

Washington seemed to be a nice place with loads of climbs to get the day off to a challenging start. There were some fantastic properties on the east side, high up on the hill. Shelli had been on a run to McDonalds for coffee and some McGriddles and they went down a treat. Carlton had accompanied me through the streets of Washington. He navigated so I didn't have to think of anything other than running.

There were lots of climbs to be tackled and once the day started to heat up things got a little tricky. Throw into the mix the fact that the soles of my feet were so sore and it made for a very tough start to the day all round.

I made it to Monongahela (below) and had to go to McDonalds for a large coffee to keep me awake. The recent late finishes had really started to take their toll.

The route out of Monongahela was very pretty and I crossed over a bridge taking time to enjoy the view up the river.

Once over the bridge things took a turn for the worse. The road was no longer made of tarmac but small, sharp stones. It was absolute agony. The pain in my left foot was almost unbearable. Each step felt like I was walking on broken glass. 

I met the team 5 miles later and changed into my trail shoes (Brooks Cascadia 6). There was a slight improvement. My feet are now starting to fail on me big time. It started with the recent heatwave making my feet swell. The terrain over the last few days has been very poor. Very poor for someone who has ran 2600 miles over the last 91 days! The final nail (literally) in the coffin was the nail that had been stuck in my shoe for goodness knows how long. Despite all of the pain, I'm not even close to giving up on this run so please don't worry folks. 

I made it to West Newton after several more climbs. The climb out of there was very steep and after 35 miles of pain, tiredness took over. I fell straight asleep in the RV.

I woke up just after midnight in a very busy and noisy truck stop. Nightmare! Even my ear plugs didn't drown out the noise. I was wide awake so the decision was made to drop me back off at the end point and I would run a further 6 miles to get the planned 41 in for the day.

I finished running just after 2 am with a further 7 miles in the bag. That was 42 miles for the day and a new record. Although, the pain in my feet really overshadowed that.

Our RV resting place in Ruffs Dale was much quieter than the truck stop. Or at least it was for 5 minutes! A car full of youths pulled up alongside the RV and started pelting it with rocks. I opened my window and screamed threats of death and damnation their way. I was well up for taking them all on and they fled straight away. You don't mess with a man who is only 9 days away from finishing a run across the USA. You really don't. Especially when, upon successful completion of that run, he gets to go home to his wife and son. 

We moved the RV to a safer place and I got to sleep at about 4 am with a knife under my pillow. What a tough day!

Today's breakfast was sponsored by Owen McMahon, lunch and dinner by Mandy Baker and the much needed and well timed RV waste dump by Sandra Nelson.