Jul 7, 2014
Last time I ran a lap of Centennial Park I reduced my time from 14:45 to 14:33. That was a 12 second improvement over 21 days. This morning I ran the same course 11 days later. I could be excused for expecting a smaller improvement. However, today I ran 14:10 – that’s 23 seconds faster in just 11 days.
There are a few reasons why I’m finally starting to see the bigger improvements. The main one is likely the extra rest I’ve given myself over the weekend. I think I’ve become so used to being fatigued over the last few years that I’ve tended to think it’s normal. When you’re running around the world, you can’t expect anything but constant fatigue. However, it just doesn’t work if you want to run faster. Rest is vital.
Secondly, the sit ups and other strengthening exercises I’ve been doing for the pelvic and groin muscles (allowing me to left my legs higher instead of shuffling) seem to have helped too. Now I just have to drop a few kilograms, as this morning’s run was done at 79.5 kg. That’s about 8 kg heavier than I was during the world run, although some of that extra weight is due to added muscle mass in the legs and backside area. All the same, I reckon a two or three kilogram reduction won’t go astray on City to Surf day.
On This Day
Jul 7, 2012
Distance today = 52.56 km; Total distance = 8900.50 km; Location = Berlin, Wisconsin (5 km west of) – 43 58.171′ N, 89 00.465′ W; Start time = 0848 Finish time = 1731
The joy of running in 29C temps!!! It might have been a bit hotter than most runners prefer, but it was bliss for me after the past week. I actually enjoyed the run today.
I found some very quiet roads through thick forests, and made the most of them. I even saw a tiny snake on the side of the road, but one that I’m sure was not poisonous. It was so small it was almost cute.
For something different, I called Carmel early during the run (she was still in the hotel room) and got her to place her phone near the TV, which was showing the final part of the first mountain stage of the Tour de France. I put my phone on loudspeaker and listened to the commentary of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin as I ran. It was a very exciting finish too.
Today I passed the milestone of 7,000 km run in the US. Soon after, as I was approaching my finish for the day, a car pulled up alongside me. Inside was Kailee with her mother and grandmother. They’d seen me on the TV news last night, and stopped to get photos and for me to sign Kailee’s shirt. It was a nice way to end a much more enjoyable day.
Jul 7, 2013
(There was no internet reception on July 7, so I’ve included the blog post for July 8 instead).
Distance for July 6 = 55.31 km; Total distance = 22,683.84 km; Location = Mundrabilla, WA (41 km west of) – 31 52.985’ S, 127 47.652′ E; Start time = 0810, Finish time = 1643
Distance for July 7 = 56.34 km; Total distance = 22,740.18 km; Location = Mundrabilla, WA (15 km east of) – 31 48.618’ S, 128 21.994′ E; Start time = 0809, Finish time = 1646
Distance today = 52.56 km; Total distance = 22,792.74 km; Location = Eucla, WA – 31 40.622’ S, 128 5.044′ E; Start time = 0753, Finish time = 1551
I mentioned previously that the plain I’m running on had thousands of fossilized shell creatures scattered everywhere. Well, there are actually millions, and probably billions of them – mainly molluscs of some shape or form. There are clam shells, conical shells, snail shells, and others, mostly attached partially to, or in, rocks. I have been running along, imagining how it once was, when the area was part of the sea floor.
A number of people stopped along the way on Saturday. One girl wanted to run with me while her father took a photo. Another guy pulled up in a silver Jaguar and gave me $70 toward Oxfam. Others asked if I was OK.
Michael rode another 62 km on Saturday, while Jeff ran the last 13 km with me. They are really upping the ante, both doing a lot more than they have been used to. Jeff rode 54 km on Sunday.
On Sunday, I passed the 200 km mark for cumulative ascent. This means that, over the course of the world run so far, I have climbed the equivalent of Mt Everest more than twenty-two times.
We have been regularly passing, and being passed by, a nice couple, Pete and Elle. They drive ahead, find a campsite, and stay a few days. Later I get passed by them again. On Sunday it was my turn to pass their campsite. I’m sure I’ll see them again in a few days.
And Sunday saw the arrival of our very good friends, Jane and Peter. They have driven here with their caravan, and will be keeping us company for a while. It should be good fun with the six of us. There will be more arrivals in the coming weeks.
Today I ran to Eucla, getting my first vision of the sea since the Indian Ocean at Cottesloe Beach in Perth. Today it was the Southern Ocean. Just before the town there was another RFDS emergency airstrip. I’d love to see a plane landing on the highway.
It was a bit of a tough day, as there was a stiff headwind for much of the day. Michael had an even harder time, riding the 66 km into the wind, with no shelter at all.
I got in later in the afternoon, but all the others went down to the beach to see the huge white sand hills and the historic building, including the old telegraph station that is now half under sand.
There has been an unmarked police car that has been making the long round, back and forth from Eucla, the past few days. Each time he approaches me, looking like any other car, he suddenly flashes the red and blue lights to say hello.
Tomorrow I’ll run across the SA/WA border, and will have nearly 200 km before the next settlement. I am resigned to another stint without phone or internet reception, but let’s see how it goes.