Jul 23, 2021

Managed a 3:26 km this morning, despite feeling more tired than last week. So I guess that wasn’t too bad.

Today’s world run history is from when I was running between Chicago and St Louis. It was just before the start of the 2012 Olympics, and now we’re about to begin the 2021 Olympics. That was a fast nine years.


Jul 20, 2012


Distance today = 51.55 km; Total distance = 9454.27 km; Location = Kankakee (10 km south of) – 41 02.834′ N, 87 53.960′ W; Start time = 0933 Finish time = 1755



Maybe I’ve just picked busy roads to run on, but the traffic in Illinois appears to be heavier than anywhere else I’ve been to so far in the US. And the roads had no shoulder, so I found myself running on very uneven gravel off the side of the road. Not the most enjoyable conditions for running.

The weather was better though, as the temperature was down on recent days. I was very pleased to chalk up over 51 km, as I was feeling tired at the start.

I’d like to again thank Sissy and Bob for hosting us these past four days. They are such great people, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Chicago, due in large part to them and the boys. And Sissy makes a fantastic chicken salad, which she provided us with today for lunch. It hints strongly of a Waldorf salad, with celery and walnuts, but is much tastier.

A big birthday hello to Jo and to Vinnie, both of whom share their birthday with the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

I discovered today that my new Garmin watch automatically saves the data and begins a new activity whenever you connect it to the recharger. I did so in the car today at lunchtime, not realising this fact, which means today’s run is split into two data sets. I will only recharge it during the day in future if there is a high probability I won’t get through the day on a single charge.


Jul 21, 2012


Distance today = 50.30 km; Total distance = 9504.57 km; Location = Thawville – 40 41.133′ N, 88 06.112′ W; Start time = 0855 Finish time = 1703


I had another good day on the road, although it’s heating up again, and the 36C temps were too high for it to be comfortable. The landscape is back to green corn fields and soy bean crops, and it’s very flat. Without the heat, it would be very pleasant for running.

There’s not much more to report today – just making my way south (with a touch of west) toward St Louis. Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting – I know it’s predicted to be hotter.


Jul 22, 2012


Distance today = 51.29 km; Total distance = 9555.86 km; Location = Bellflower (5 km north of) – 40 21.786′ N, 88 29.887′ W; Start time = 0840 Finish time = 1644


The weather prediction was for 37C today, so I approached the day with some trepidation. However, the cloud cover and steady breeze made it a lot more comfortable than I had expected. In the end, I had quite a good day through the corn and soy bean fields.

There is quite a severe drought in this region, and I saw a lot of corn crops today that have pretty much been destroyed by lack of water. This is considered the hottest summer in the US in recorded history, other than 1936 – and that was a somewhat anomalous year where the high temperatures were partially due to the Kansas Dustbowl creating a desert-like effect that trapped the hot weather system. The Weather Channel announced that today there would be 60 million Americans experiencing heat at levels dangerous to a person’s health, with many cities in the 40s Celsius. And here I am running 50 km in it.

I’m sorry to harp on about Garmin watches, but I’ve been disappointed again. After buying a new watch in Chicago, the battery is already deteriorating badly. The first day was fine, then it lasted less the next day, and the next, and today it died before I had finished my run – it lasted less than six and a half hours, despite being advertised as having an eight hour range. I’ve always thought the Garmin cycle computers were good, but the watches leave a lot to be desired. The battery technology is simply not up to scratch. It looks like I am going to have to recharge it in the car each day, which will mean having two tracks per day.

PS There is no mobile phone coverage around here at all, and no internet at the motel (prehistoric), so we have had to go to a restaurant that has wifi. Please note, therefore, that the tracker is showing my position at the restaurant, but the real run position is about 15 km to the south west.


Jul 23, 2012


Distance today = 50.19 km; Total distance = 9606.05 km; Location = Clinton – 40 08.890′ N, 88 58.343′ W; Start time = 0805 Finish time = 1615


Despite the temperature reaching 40C today (in the shade), I again benefited from the cloud cover and breeze.  In fact, I was having quite a good day, at least for the first three-quarters of the run.

Then it happened. I tripped on a ridge in the road and went down like the proverbial bag. I lost a bit of skin on my hands, but the worst outcome was I suffered what feels like a tear in my hamstring, where it attaches to my buttock. It was excruciating at first, and I had to limp for some time afterward until the pain eased. It’s still very sore as I write. It also caused my ankle to start hurting again, after it had been very good for the past few days.

I’ll have to see how I wake up tomorrow. Admittedly, I run so slowly that a hamstring injury shouldn’t be a major problem, but I still need it a little during every step. And it looks like it’s back to square one with the ankle.

And to top it off, the cloud cover lifted and the temperature went up by about ten degrees. Added to this, the traffic increased significantly on the road (I think there may have been a shift change at the nuclear power plant I had just run past) at just the time the paved shoulder disappeared completely. I had to run on an extremely rough gravel surface by the side of the road, and the unevenness made the ankle hurt even more. Yes, it was a very tough last quarter to the day.

At least the battery in the new watch lasted through the day, although it did give me a “low battery” signal just before I finished. I don’t really know what causes it to last one day and not the next.