Apr 20, 2014
Yesterday I ran a marathon. It was the first time I’d run 42 km since September 10 last year. It took me 4 hours 28 minutes, which is certainly not fast, but I was happy all the same. It’s a far cry from the one kilometre runs I was doing at the height of the Achilles tear problem. I’ve now gone from running just one minute at a time to covering 42 km in just six weeks.
But I still have 100 km in front of me in just twelve days. That’s going to be my biggest challenge since running around the world. In some respects it could prove harder, as I am clearly underdone. The big question is, can someone go from a situation of being virtually unable to run for months, to successfully completing 100 km with just several weeks of training under the belt? I’ll soon find out, though I suspect it will not be without a lot of pain.
For that reason, please make it worth my while by donating to Oxfam via my Trailwalker team, appropriately named Ouch. All you have to do is click on the link below. A tax receipt will immediately be emailed to you.
On This Day
Apr 20, 2012
Distance today = 53.57 km; Total distance = 5314.43 km; Location = Saguache – 38 05.343′ N, 106 08.258′ W; Start time = 0832, Finish time = 1618
Wow, 53 km on a dead straight flat road. I actually noticed myself cresting the horizon. I’m glad I had the mountains to give me some perspective.
I awoke to a beautiful day, with clear blue skies and no wind. I made the most of the conditions early on, until the breeze picked up around noon, and those wretched headwinds made themselves known. I still maintain that it’s much better to be running than cycling into a headwind, but that doesn’t mean I like it. The worst thing is not the buffeting, though that’s bad enough. It’s the lack of silence – there’s always a cacophony of rushing air assaulting the ears, making it hard to concentrate on anything. This contrasted drastically with the morning when, between traffic, there were periods of sustained relaxing silence, where all I could here was my own footsteps and breathing.
That said, I was certainly pleased to get into town this afternoon and out of the wind. The motel does not have internet, so I’ve headed down to a bakery. This is where the tracker position is indicating I am, which is not too bad, seeing as my official run position is only just up the road a couple of hundred metres.
I’d like to add, once again, what a great job the support crew are doing. It’s not just the provision of food and drink, should I need it, at strategic locations along the day’s run; it’s also the administrative aspects, with accommodation being researched and booked, meal options investigated and dealt with (sometimes there is no option but to cook in our room), and other issues solved, such as internet access.
Without the crew – Carmel and Libby – I would not be able to do anything like the average daily distance I’ve been managing so far. I really appreciate it when I think of my fellow journey runner, Tony Mangan, who is without a support crew. His daily average is less than mine, and it’s not because he is a lesser runner (in fact, he is definitely better than me – I could not run anything like 426 km in 48 hours). I’m sure Tony would be churning out stellar daily distances if he had the benefit of a support crew like mine. I am very lucky indeed.
As you can see from the link above, the Garmin data uploaded perfectly today, yet yesterday’s is still just sitting there, refusing to upload. At least it was just a one-day problem (I hope).
Apr 20, 2013
Distance today = 41.37 km; Total distance = 19,716.93 km; Location = Kakucs – 47 14.662′ N, 19 21.148′ E; Start time = 0817, Finish time = 1455
I ran a shorter day, to balance out the long one yesterday. Once again, the weather was spectacular, with a top of 27C and an average of 23C. And not a cloud in the sky.
The boys ran a few kilometres with me through the city this morning, and then I headed off on my own. Heading out of the city wasn’t as bad as I had expected. The traffic was quite heavy, but I always had somewhere to run that was away from the cars. The second half of the day was on flat country roads. Dave came and picked me up, and we commuted back to Budapest.
You’d think the plants are trying to make up for the late start to spring. They seem to be growing so fast, and each day the vegetation looks more and more lush. After all, it’s perfect growing weather at the moment.
Tonight is our last with Jo, Dave, Sue, and Greg. It’s been great having friends along for the past week, and running with others has certainly provided a great mental break from all the time alone on the road. But it won’t be too long before we see them again in Australia.