Feb 16, 2015

As I mentioned on Saturday, my Achilles pulled up sore after a big week, particularly successive days where I ran faster than I have for months, then further than I have for months. In total, I did 120 km of quality running during the week.

The soreness continued yesterday, so I made the decision to have several easy days of running. The tendon was noticeably better this morning, so a few days of rest should do the trick.

It makes sense to take it easy for a few days as I intend to do a full day of running in the country on Friday, followed by a half day or so on Saturday – specific training for the Anzac Ultra. I’ll be covering plenty of kilometres on those two days.

Kevin Carr is now at the Hotel Portillo, at an elevation of about 3,000 metres in the Andes. Carmel and I stayed there in November 2012 during my run over the Andes. Tomorrow Kevin will crest the Cristo Redentor Pass at nearly 4,000 metres above sea level, securing one of the most spectacular views on Earth, with Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas, visible in the distance. Below is a photo Carmel took of some amazing hairpins on the road Kevin ran today. If you look hard, you can see me about half way up.

Climbing the Andes


On This Day


Feb 16, 2012

Distance today = 50.58 km; Total distance = 2126.43 km; Location = Carmel, California – 36 33.425′ N, 121 51.181′ W; Start time = 0852, Finish time = 1654


Today had more diversity than usual. I started by taking out the stitches in the side of my face. I decided it was too much trouble to find a doctor’s surgery. Seeing as I officially hold the title of Doctor, I reckon it qualifies me to do minor surgery on myself.

The running started early, and I headed along the Monterey Bay coast. For much of the day I was able to run on the Monterey Coastal Cycle Trail – much better than the busy highway. There were huge numbers of sea lions in a town called Moss Landing, along with sea otters.  I also saw large numbers of what looked like squirrels, but they went into burrows. Maybe they were prairie dogs – I must find out.

I finally passed through Monterey itself, which is definitely worth a visit for anyone in the region. From Monterey, it was up quite a big hill and down the other side, past Pebble Beach (where the US Open Golf is often played), and into Carmel, the destination for the day. Carmel is the town that Clint Eastwood used to be Mayor of, and it’s a real gem of a place. It is also a source of some amusement to us that Carmel is now in Carmel.

During the day Libby coordinated an interview with the local TV station, KSBW. I have just finished that interview, which will air on the news here tonight. Hopefully we’ll be able to upload some footage of it later.

I am finally now physically settling into the US leg. Today I felt much better (less quad soreness), and I expect tomorrow to be better again. Bring on the Big Sur.

PS I went the wrong way when I arrived in Carmel and had to double back. This meant subtracting 280 metres from what the Garmin records indicate. Therefore, the official distance for the day is 50.58 km, not 50.86 km.


Feb 16, 2013

Distance today = 50.85 km; Total distance = 16,605.03 km; Location = Belorado, Spain – 42 25.373′ N, 03 09.119′ W; Start time = 0854, Finish time = 1705


I changed my shoes today. The previous pair had done 2,070 km officially, but that didn’t count what I ran in them during my Christmas break – probably another 100 km or more. Many people will tell you not to run this far in shoes before changing them, and that’s generally sound advice. However, I’ve found I can go a lot further than I used to, having changed my running style from a heel striker to a forefoot runner. I probably could have gotten another 1,000 km out of this last pair if I’d wanted to, but that would have been pushing it.

I must admit, the new pair felt great, and I had not problems at all, despite not wearing them in. They are actually an old pair from about two years ago. I didn’t much like them at the time, so didn’t wear them. They feel good now, however.

I hadn’t realised it until I saw the signs, but I found myself running alongside the Camino de Santiago today. I thought it was further north. For those who don’t know, this is a track that religious people walk, culminating in kissing a stone idol in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, in the north-west of Spain – a bit like a walker’s version of the Blarney Stone. Not my “cup of tea”, I have to say.

While on a business trip in 2005, I was actually taken to visit the cathedral in Santiago by my hosts. I believe it’s the second oldest cathedral in Europe, and a lot like Notre Dame in size and style. Amazing history that so many people know nothing about.

To my surprise, the Camino de Santiago involves a lot of walking on the highway, or right next to it. And I only saw one walker all day. I guess they like to do it in the summer.

I often get asked how I handle blisters. Simple – I don’t get blisters. Since starting this run nearly 14 months ago, I’ve had no common blisters – just one small blood blister about a year ago, and I didn’t even know about it until I took my shoe off. I have also lost two toenails in the early months of the run (one on a big toe, the other on a smaller toe), and neither of these involved any pain either. The toenails are all back to perfect health now.

I’d like to conclude by mentioning Burgos – a great little city, with a mix of antiquity and modernity, and very vibrant on a Friday night. Another must for the tourist to Spain.