May 8, 2013
Distance today = 48.41 km; Total distance = 20,617.02 km; Location = Plovdiv (8 km east of) – 42 08.798′ N, 24 51.555′ E; Start time = 0835, Finish time = 1710
I knew I was below par before I started today, and it proved to be a bit of a struggle. I’m not sure why, but I awoke feeling tired and knowing it would be a tough one. The roads were very busy too, which made it even less enjoyable.
I was the Pied Piper of dogs again today, with a female King Charles Spaniel following me for about 15 km. She was clearly a stray, which is strange for a KCS, and she only had a basic road sense. I was constantly yelling at her to get off the road, as she would often start to cross in front of oncoming traffic. After not letting me out of her sight for so long, I eventually went into a petrol station to get a drink, and she wasn’t there when I came out. I was glad, as I was a nervous wreck by that time.
I could then relax a bit, which wasn’t easy with the amount of traffic. After lunch with the “support crew”, I ran into the large city of Plovdiv. I recall Plovdiv hosting the World Junior Athletics Championships a couple of decades ago. It’s a reasonably interesting place. I believe it has some connection with Phillip, the father of Alexander the Great.
I met Barry in the city, and he ran the last 9 km with me. The girls then came out and picked us up to commute back to the city for the night. The tracker shows me in Plovdiv, but my real position is about 8 km further east.