May 29, 2014
I was reasonably conservative in my 5 km time trial this morning, so it was pleasing to see I stopped the clock at 18:55. My splits were 3:56, 3:54, 3:47, 3:47,and 3:31. It did hurt a bit – they always do, otherwise you’re not really trying – but it wasn’t the sort of psychologically damaging pain that deters future attempts at improving that time.
As pleasing as the time was, it also makes me aware of how far I have to go. Even if I could maintain that same pace over the very hilly, and almost three times as far, City to Surf course, I’d still only run around 53 minutes. Admittedly, I’d be ecstatic if I could do that, but I’m a world away from keeping the same pace over that course. However, I’m currently about 5 kg heavier than I’d like to be on race day. If I can drop that weight, that alone will account for several minutes in itself.
At least I know what I have to do. I just have to do it.
On This Day
May 29, 2012
Distance today = 47.78 km; Total distance = 6959.99 km; Location = Vivian (South Dakota) – 43 55.378′ N, 100 19.140′ W; Start time = 0900, Finish time = 1606
I am discovering that the prairies, despite their relative uniformity, can be quite scenic. I reached the top of a hill this morning to be greeted by a 360 degree view, and in every direction the Earth appeared to drop away over the horizon. It’s an effect – the curvature of the Earth – that I’ve only seen previously when looking out to sea.
I have been running the past couple of days on the US16. This is another old highway that has been superseded by an interstate freeway. There has been almost no traffic, despite it being an excellent surface. I wished I could run on roads like this all the time.
I had a fairly strong tailwind behind me most of the day, which at one point blew my cap off from behind. It went tumbling down the road like it was trying to escape from me, but I was in no hurry to chase it – it was going in my direction. I eventually caught it some distance further on – bad cap!!!
There were no shops on the route today, so Carmel brought me a very nice roast beef, avocado, and mustard potato salad sandwich she’d made up for lunch – delicious!!!
I also passed a series of beehives in the afternoon. I didn’t think anything of it at first, until I realised I was amongst a swarm of bees. Luckily they weren’t in an angry mood, as none stung me. It’s still quite frightening, as I’ve heard of cases where the whole swarm can attack for no reason, leading to a potentially fatal outcome.
I have also crossed another time zone. I am now in the same zone as cities like Chicago, which is currently nine hours ahead of Sydney (minus a day). When I started running in the US in February, I was only five hours ahead of Sydney.
A big thank you to the Sioux Motel in Murdo for a great discount rate on the accommodation the past two nights. It’s certainly appreciated. Thanks Bonnie.
PS The tracker position is showing the same as yesterday, but now my official position is about 32 km to the east.
May 29, 2013
Distance today = 33.04 km; Total distance = 21,263.19 km; Location = Pontian (Malaysia) – 01 28.672′ N, 103 23.240′ E; Start time = 0948, Finish time = 1508
It was a great day to finish running in Malaysia. Overcast skies and a gentle breeze made me wonder what I’d been complaining about. It was so much easier.
I only had to traverse a relatively short distance to Pontian, much of it through palm plantations. Once again, there were plenty of road side vendors selling drinks and food, always keen to find out what I am doing. Carmel particularly enjoyed a little fishing village we passed through, with colourful fishing boats and lovely people and their fun-loving kids.
I would have to say that running through Malaysia is perfect in almost every way ……. except for the weather. Unfortunately, the weather is never going to be anywhere near ideal here (today was perhaps as good as it gets), so it’s hard to recommend it to other runners. However, if you can handle extreme heat and humidity, then Malaysia is the place to run.
Some people have asked why I have run in Asia at all, and others have asked why I am not running all the way across the continent. Remember, I need to run completely across four continents, from “ocean to ocean”. These will be North America, South America, Europe (all completed now), and Australia (the last leg). Anything else is optional. I included a stint in Asia (as well as New Zealand) because I wanted to do at least some running on the continent, and I also wanted to run near the equator. This came at the cost of the extremely uncomfortable humidity, but it was worth it.
We will now be heading to Australia for the fourth and final continent. I will be starting in Perth on June 10, and expect to finish in Sydney around the middle of September. By the way, if anyone out there knows of a car that is free to be used from Perth for about a month, please let us know. We would need it from June 10, and it would be returned to Perth by July 5, as we will be transported by a different means after that.
I will include some intermediate updates before I begin in Perth, so stay tuned to this space.