May 28, 2021
Nine years ago today I was deep in South Dakota, enjoying my time running across the prairies. It was real change from the previous few months, in which the Rockies and the Californian coastline and desert had been the prominent landscape. The blog posts from those days are below, along with a few photos of the region.
As for my current running, I did another 1 km time trial this morning. I was disappointed to only do a 3:42. I seem to be getting slower. I’ve now run a fast 1 km four times in the past ten weeks, and each has been slower than the previous – 3:24, 3:31, 3:39, and today’s 3:42. There’s usually one simple reason for this sort of trend – fatigue. I think I need to freshen up if I’m to get faster.
May 25, 2012
Distance today = 52.79 km; Total distance = 6751.28 km; Location = Wicksville (8km west of) – 44 05.775′ N, 102 41.320′ W; Start time = 0903, Finish time = 1654
The third day of rain in a row. That’s more than I’ve experienced in the past four and a half months. But it wasn’t heavy, and proved quite comfortable to run through. It was also the coldest day for quite a while, but I was suitably rugged up.
Not much to report, except that I passed 3,000 miles in the US. The tracker is showing me in the town of Wall, although my run position is some 42 km to the west. I’m based in Wall for two nights, so there’ll be no tracker update tomorrow. There are also two Garmin links today, as the cold weather caused the watch battery to die earlier than normal.
I’d like to finish with a big thank you to Jay and Alicia at the Big Sky Lodge in Rapid City. Besides being very nice people and running a top-notch motel, they also provided the room free of charge. Thanks guys – another example of fantastic generosity.
May 26, 2012
Distance today = 52.61 km; Total distance = 6803.89 km; Location = Wall (10 km east of) – 43 56.194′ N, 102 09.174′ W; Start time = 0915, Finish time = 1700
What a horrible day for running!!! It was cold and foggy all day long, and the breeze was against me. Even though it wasn’t raining, there was so much moisture in the fog that I ended up soaked anyway. It’s not nice when you have a cold breeze blowing on wet clothes for hours on end.
But I survived, and managed 52.6 km. It was also the first day of running below 1,000 metres in altitude since March 16.
However, another downside to the day was all the running I had to do on the I-90 Freeway. Running on a freeway means keeping way over on the shoulder, and the shoulders here in South Dakota have a pretty severe camber. Running the same camber all day long is the quickest way to get injured. I’m fine so far, but it has made me a bit asymmetrically sore.
I passed though the town of Wall (which is where the tracker is showing me, although my true location is 10 km further to the east) around 3 pm. For about 50 km leading up to Wall there are giant billboards – about 50 of them – advertising Wall Drug. It turns out to be a large tourist shop – methinks they try too hard.
Tomorrow I press on through the Badlands.
May 27, 2012
Distance today = 55.10 km; Total distance = 6858.99 km; Location = Kadoka – 43 50.308′ N, 101 30.866′ W; Start time = 0903, Finish time = 1704
Another tough one today, due mainly to soreness associated with the constant camber on the roads over the past couple of days. It was also a long day of 55 km, made even harder at the mental level by the long straight treeless roads. The last 31 km into town was along a dead straight line of tarmac.
I also ran through the Badlands National Park earlier in the day. This is an amazing region of eroded landforms, a little like a mini Grand Canyon. Apparently it used to be an ocean floor, and there are innumerable fossils of ancient sea creatures amongst the hills and spires.
I also had another run-in with a snake. I had walked a few metres off the road and into the grass to answer the call of nature. Suddenly I noticed a brown coloured snake, about a metre and half long, slithering about six inches past my foot. I was back on the road so quickly I almost ran straight out into the freeway traffic.
Libby left today to head back to Australia, via Santa Barbara. Her contribution to the run has been truly invaluable, especially with the setting up of the publicity. I’d like to offer her my deepest gratitude for her contribution. Thanks Lib.
May 28, 2012
Distance today = 53.22 km; Total distance = 6912.21 km; Location = Okaton – 43 53.256′ N, 100 53.417′ W; Start time = 0816, Finish time = 1602
During the run today I tried to think of what I’d write this afternoon. But I’m afraid I failed.
OK, there’s a few things I can mention, but nothing too interesting. That’s the nature of the prairies. They have a certain beauty, but there’s a large element of “sameness” to them. When the view essentially stays the same all day long, it starts to wear on the mind. And I’ve got plenty still to do.
One small point of interest – I passed the 5,000 km mark in the US. And my official position is about 16 km west of where the tracker is showing me.
I hope I have something more interesting to relate tomorrow.