Mar 18, 2016
I ran 25 km this morning, feeling particularly good after some shorter days recently. I averaged about 5:30 per km, with the last K in under 5 mins. Once again, not fast, but done easily and without effort.
Six months ago I was hoping to be running 400 metres races on the track around now. Then I was looking at the 50 km race in Canberra in early April. However, two calf strains over the Christmas break put and end to those ambitions. Now I think I have a realistic aim. I intend to run 50 km at the Sutherland Relay for Life on April 30. It’s the same event where I ran my first 100 km in 2008. Now the Relay for Life has an actual marathon race – 105.5 laps of the 400 metre track. My aim is to run that race, but continue on from the finish for another 20 laps. It will essentially be a 50 km time trial for me.
This is a world run photo with a difference. It’s Carmel preparing lunch for us. I think this was taken right about this time of year on the French-Swiss border, just before I reached Germany. Carmel did a great job sourcing the food for lunch each day and then making it into a delicious meal. It was a vital part of my ability to maintain my effort each day.
On This Day
Mar 18, 2012
Distance today = 43.40 km; Total distance = 3649.01 km; Location = Prescott, Arizona – 34 32.514′ N, 112 28.211′ W; Start time = 0945, Finish time = 1605
Today I ran 43 km in a heavy snowstorm.
We woke to a cover of snow, and soon after heading off, the snow resumed and didn’t really let up all day. Sometimes it was light, but much of the time it was very heavy.
I was really enjoying running while it was snowing – until the temperature dropped to well below freezing, my feet got wet and the water in them froze, and the wind picked up and was driving stinging snow flakes into my eyes. I either had to run with my eyes closed, only opening them briefly to catch a glimpse of the road ahead, or run with sunglasses on, which was the other “vision impaired” option.
The other problem I had was when taking off my gloves to answer my phone or check Google Maps to ensure I was heading in the right direction. My hands would get to the painful stage within about ten seconds.
My shoes were frozen solid, including the shoelaces, and it was a great joy to make it to the hotel and hop into a hot bath. However, as many would know, never step straight into a hot bath with freezing feet. It actually took me about half an hour before the pins and needles and itchy feeling subsided.
The weather is supposed to be similar tomorrow, before improving during the week. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience early on, but novelty has a funny knack of wearing off in the presence of pain and discomfort.
I also reached a new record high elevation for the world run today – 1,735 metres (5,800 feet). That’s almost as high as Alpe d’Huez. This may go higher tomorrow. I still have another 400 metres of elevtion rise to go before reaching the Grand Canyon at the end of the week.
Mar 18, 2013
Distance today = 50.67 km; Total distance = 18,120.92 km; Location = Orchamps, France – 47 08.878′ N, 05 39.375′ E; Start time = 0840, Finish time = 1711
A solid day at the office, with a nice morning and not so nice afternoon. After yesterday’s rain, the morning showed glimpses of sunshine, and I was on relatively quiet roads – my favourite sort. I even ran along a path that bordered the Saone River. It was just like running along the levee of the Shoalhaven River.
By early afternoon I’d reached the town of Dole. I had never heard of Dole until yesterday, yet it is a large town with grand old buildings that have really seen some history. France has so many of these “unknown” treasures worth discovering.
I had only run a few kilometres out of Dole when a hail storm hit. I was really lucky, as I had just reached a petrol station that Carmel was filling up at when it started. Honestly, I was about ten metres away from cover when the first stones came down. It didn’t last too long, but I sat it out for about twenty minutes until it eased to rain.
That meant a wet afternoon, but the worst part was the road. The shoulders on the roads in France are atrocious. Actually, they would be atrocious if they existed. On the whole, they are the worst of any country so far on the world run. Contrast that with adjacent Spain, which has the best shoulders for running. Road shoulders and the mobile phone system are the two worst things about France. Everything else I love.
I’m now in the Jura, a part of France I’ve never been in before. So far it looks really good, and I’m looking forward to a couple more days of it as I make my way toward the Swiss and German border.