Apr 4, 2014
Each day I make progress. Today I covered almost 10 km, all of which was at a significantly faster pace than I have been running of late. And today marks exactly four weeks until the 100 km event in Melbourne. This suggests an interesting question: having done almost negligible running for three months, then having built up slowly to 10 km over the past month, is it possible to now go to that next level and successfully complete 100 km, when I only have effectively three more weeks of training? Would any running coach advise graduating from a maximum run of 1o km to 100 km in just three weeks? No, this would never happen, yet it’s what I’m going to now attempt. Will I succeed? We’ll see soon enough.
This weekend I will be attending the 50 year anniversary of my old primary school, Warilla North. I started in kindergarten at the school just two years after it came into existence. And I was fortunate enough to be a member of the school’s 4 x 100 metre relay teams which won the State Championships three years in a row (1971-72-73), setting two state records, both of which stood for over twenty years. Yes, sprinting was once my forte.
I thought it might be nice to start copying the blogs from previous years, rather than me just giving a short recount of those particular days. It will certainly be easier for readers than bringing up these old blog items themselves. So, enjoy this day from the previous two years.
Apr 4, 2012
Distance today = 57.82 km; Total distance = 4,523.90 km; Location = Aztec – 36 49.581′ N, 107 58.696′ W; Start time = 0903, Finish time = 1724
There’s something particularly relaxing about running on a quiet path by a river. That’s how I started today. However, it was all too short, ending after only few kilometres, and I was back on the main road.
The weather was much better, with blue skies and a light breeze. I passed an emu farm along the way, shortly before reaching the New Mexico border. The road on the Colorado side had a minimal shoulder, but just before the border it widened considerably, making the running less onerous.
All in all, it was a nice, if uneventful, day. I felt surprisingly good after yesterday’s big run. I’ve now covered more than 120 km in the past two days.
Apr 4, 2013
Distance today = 52.19 km; Total distance = 18,969.87 km; Location = Tachov – 49 48.017′ N, 12 38.148′ E; Start time = 0834, Finish time = 1718
Another very hilly day, and one in which I reached the 11th country of my world run – the Czech Republic, land of Emil Zatopek, one of the world’s greatest ever long distance runners.
And, believe it or not, there was a slight snow fall this morning as I set off. And it’s April!!! It was very cold, with my Garmin again registering sub-zero temperatures while I was carrying it.
The first part of the day was on very quiet roads, with the middle bit on an old rail trail through a pine forest. All the ponds were frozen over. I decided to test how thick the ice was, so I found a big rock and threw it as hard as I could on to a large pool of frozen water. The rock bounced off, merely chipping the ice. I reckon I could have safely walked on that water.
I have also found something quite unusual. When I go in to a shop and buy a drink, it’s actually warmer than the air, despite coming out of the fridge. It feels like I’m drinking a warm drink, because it’s at the 4C temperature that fridges are normally kept at, which is higher than the temperature I’m running in. Amazingly, the fridges are acting as heaters.
Early in the afternoon I crossed from Germany into the Czech Republic. There were billboards everywhere for casinos just down the road. They must cater to Germans who cross the border to gamble. Unfortunately, after knowing a little Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German, I’ve now reached the difficult stage, as I know absolutely no Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, or Turkish. The next six weeks will be interesting.
I finally reached my finish for the day in Tachov, where Carmel had had enormous difficulties securing new Czech SIM cards. She finally got it sorted, just as I arrived. We then struggled a little with accommodation, before finding a very nice pension, with a very friendly proprietor. She was most helpful, and her son asked me for my autograph.
One disappointing thing – today my total distance covered in kilometres finally passed the Oxfam donations in dollars. The dollars had always been ahead of the kilometres, but this is now not the case. I hope it’s temporary, so please donate if you can, to help my ratio go above $1 per km.