May 16, 2015

I’ve recently started something I’ve never done before – complementary leg strengthening exercises aimed at making me faster. My training has always consisted of simply running, but I’ve heard a lot of people recently extolling the virtues of plyometric exercises like skipping, bounding, and jumping.

Apparently Paula Radcliffe, world record holder in the marathon, improved her best time quite significantly after such a program. One thing she did was was what might be termed standing high jumps – you stand still and leap up on to something that’s at a higher level. I’ve just started these and was pretty happy that I could easily make the 27 inches (68 cm) of the arm of our lounge. Now I’m going to have to begin looking for something a bit higher – but something soft enough that I won’t injure myself if I don’t make it and “come a cropper”.

It might not sound too important to do exercises like this, and I used to think that myself. However, during my run around the world, the lack of anything other than long slow running resulted in me losing a lot of muscle mass in my legs. I realised this fact quite dramatically in West Virginia when I tried to run up some stairs to reach a pedestrian bridge across a highway. I was stunned to find I did not have enough strength in my legs to run up stairs – I had to walk. Seriously, I just could not do it.

One final Arizona photo today, before moving on to California. I’m sort of going backwards in time with these photos, as this one was taken as I crossed the Colorado River from California into Arizona. The river isn’t as majestic as it once was, because so much water is taken out of it upstream for irrigation. And a lot is held back by the Hoover Dam, which is some way upstream in the direction you’re looking in this photo.




On This Day


May 16, 2012

Distance today = 52.99 km; Total distance = 6295.81 km; Location = Gering, Nebraska – 41 49.327′ N, 103 39.748′ W; Start time = 0929, Finish time = 1708


It’s Libby’s birthday today!!!! Woo hoo!!! So we began, of course, by presenting her with her gifts, balloon and all. Believe it or not, it’s her first ever birthday in Nebraska!!!

Then, for me, it was on to the road. It was a hot day, which caught me off guard a little. Like all hot days, one feels OK early on, but the heat wears you down over the course of a few hours. By lunch time, and with 28 km under my belt, I was struggling. The soreness of the past few days didn’t help either. Luckily, the sky clouded over by 3 pm, and the last couple of hours were more comfortable.

As you will see when the next video is uploaded, the late afternoon saw some real drama. I had stopped to walk briefly while I checked my position on the phone. Suddenly, just two metres in front of me on the shoulder of the road, a very angry snake was ready to strike. If I hadn’t looked up when I did, I would have stepped on it and been bitten for sure. I’m not sure which variety it was, but I’m guessing a sidewinder, and it was more than a metre long. I watched and filmed for a while, as it reared up at each car and truck that passed by just metres from it.

Tonight we’re out for Libby’s birthday, and perhaps some margaritas. Tune in tomorrow for the details.

I have checked the internet for T-Mobile reception regions, and it’s not looking good for the tracker over the next month or so. It looks like I’ll only be able to indicate my location at the end of each day via hotel wireless (and some of these will only be approximate when I finish elsewhere).


May 16, 2013

Distance today = 39.82 km; Total distance = 21,008.14 km; Location = Istanbul, Turkey – 40 58.591′ N, 28 52.951′ E; Start time = 0849, Finish time = 1522


Wow, what a day of milestones. Not only did I complete my run across Europe, the third of four continents I will traverse on my run around the world, but I also passed 21,000 km AND I passed the 80% completion mark. And, of course, that’s also three continents that Carmel has driven across – what a brilliant support crew!

The weather was beautiful again, especially with the sea breeze off the water. The road was very busy, but I had to expect that from a city with a population (so I’ve been told) of 18 million – the largest in Europe. I must say, Istanbul has grown significantly in the twenty seven years since I was here last. It is huge!

Amazingly, I was passed three times today by the four French cyclists I had run into a few days ago. I guess that’s what happens when you’re all heading in the same direction. Carmel snapped some photos of them as they went by her.

Despite the run being very close to the sea all day, it was also very hilly. The last part flattened out, which Barry appreciated, as he ran the final 14 km with me. That means he has completed exactly 100 km with me over the past 11 days from Sofia. Not bad for a previous non-runner (although I’ve seen him do a lot of running on the touch football field and tennis court). Well done, Barry.

We now need to deliver the car back to Munich before we can leave Europe. The plan is to have a look around Istanbul tomorrow, then take a few days to drive the car the 2,000 km to Munich, then fly to Kuala Lumpur for the short Asian leg. For those who are unaware, the rules state I need to run across at least four continents from “ocean to ocean”. My four are North and South America, Europe, and Australia. However, I want to do at least some running in Asia, so I will trek from KL to Singapore, prior to running across Australia.

I will be starting in KL on May 23, but will occasionally update the blog with relevant information in the interim. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we’re about to crack the champagne.