Jun 7, 2021
Another 73 second 400 metres this morning, which felt easier than on Friday. I think I’ll aim for sub 70 secs some time in the coming months. That feels like a worthy challenge for a 60 year old.
Meanwhile, enjoy the world run video, blog posts, and photos from this time nine years ago South Dakota.
Jun 5, 2012
Distance today = 48.91 km; Total distance = 7318.38 km; Location = Watertown – 44 53.360′ N, 97 08.493′ W; Start time = 0836, Finish time = 1615
Ahhhh, the joys of a cooling wind and a wide shoulder on the road!!! That was the difference between yesterday and today.
I ran out of the town of Clark and past a couple of ‘Historic Site’ plaques (I really enjoy seeing these short explanations of the local history. They are starting to pop up in Australia now too). I learned the story of a little boy who lived on a farm near the train line just outside of Clark in 1888. Every day he used to wave to the engineer as the train passed. The engineer didn’t know his name , and simply referred to him as the ‘Little Fellow’.
This went on until one day in 1890, when the Little Fellow stopped appearing. The train engineer eventually discovered that the boy had died. He was buried beside the train tracks. Each year after that, on Memorial Day, the engineer would stop the train and lay flowers at the boy’s grave. When he passed away, the engineer’s family continued the tradition. In 1951, Rotary took on the role and the tradition continues to this day. No-one knows his real name, but laying flowers at the grave of the “Little Fellow” is unique to the town of Clark.
At about the same time, a local from the town (current population of about 1200) became a lawyer. He went from strength to strength, eventually becoming Governor of South Dakota – one of Clark’s favourite sons.
I know these little historic facts are trivial on the world stage, but reading about such things gives me a much better feel for the region I’m running through.
I later ran through a very nice town called Henry. As always, when I pass through a town with a person’s name, I like to dedicate the occasion to a friend with that name. So, just as Watsonville was dedicated to my old mate Watson from Wagga Wagga, Carmel to Carmel, and Blunt to Roger Sharp, I dedicated my passage through Henry today to Henry Jennings. There will be plenty more dedications to come, so keep watching this space. You never know when I might pass through a town with your name.
Carmel met me later with a scrumptious lunch. I’d like to reiterate what a positive it is to have a support crew. Carmel, and until recently, Libby, have made a huge difference – I would probably be averaging less than half my daily distance without them.
Jun 6, 2012
Distance today = 50.03 km; Total distance = 7368.41 km; Location = Summit (5 km west of) – 45 18.697′ N, 97 06.196′ W; Start time = 0826, Finish time = 1646
Sorry folks, today’s offering is going to have to be short. Lots of other commitments to attend to.
The day involved a TV interview with KDLT, an NBC affiliate, which featured on the South Dakota News tonight. The clip will be up on this web site soon. Also an interview with Terry from Watertown’s People’s Opinion newspaper.
Had a problem with my right leg today – it felt like it wasn’t working, and the left leg had to do all the work – something I’m going to have to work on.
I passed the 45 degree north latitude today, which means I’m now closer to the North Pole than I am to the Equator.
The tracker shows me about 15 km further south than my true position. Also, due to many stoppages today, the watch battery gave out, so there are two Garmin links.
Finally, I’d like to give a huge thanks to the Bittersweet Lodge for putting us up tonight, virtually free of charge. It was a very generous gesture, which we greatly appreciate. The place is great, and I’d honestly say that, even if we had received no reduction – a gem of a place, sitting right in the middle of some lovely rural countryside. It’s very reminiscent of regional France.
Jun 7, 2012
Distance today = 48.46 km; Total distance = 7416.87 km; Location = Sisseton – 45 39.641′ N, 97 01.271′ W; Start time = 0838, Finish time = 1611
After yesterday’s trouble with my right leg, I was filled with trepidation when I started out this morning. But let me first fill you in on events between runs.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s missive, my right leg felt like it wasn’t working yesterday. This was not entirely a new problem. For the past few years, until about July last year, I’d had a problem with sitting – my right buttock area would ache whenever I sat for more than ten minutes or so. It didn’t really bother me when running, but I could feel it lurking below the surface.
I tried just about every treatment for this problem, before the right diagnosis was made. I had let my “core” muscles become weak and ineffective. These are the muscles which stabilize you when sitting, standing, walking, and running – they work all the time at a low intensity. Consequently, other muscles – ones designed for occasional but high intensity activity – were doing the job of the core muscles. These other muscles, therefore, were fatiguing, resulting in the aching feeling I had. The best way to describe it is to imagine the ache you get in your stomach muscles when you reach your limit of sit-ups. The muscles are screaming out for you to stop, because they are fatigued. This was what was happening in the muscles around my right buttock – the gluteus maximus and others.
After being put on a program of core strengthening exercises, my problem rapidly evaporated. But since I’ve been on my world run, I’ve neglected my core strength, and the problem has resurfaced. I am now physiologically “unstable” while running, and various muscles are starting to take on roles they shouldn’t have to perform. So I have begun my regime of core strengthening again, and I’ve already felt the benefit. After a painful start to the day, I finished feeling much more balanced and virtually without that ache I had yesterday with every step. I didn’t think it would improve that quickly.
I still have some way to go. I reckon it will be a few weeks before I’m back to my best. In retrospect, I should have realised the drop in my pace over the past month or two was a precursor to this problem. At least I know what the problem is and how to fix it. To clarify, the pain is not due to an injury or inflammation. It is case of muscle fatigue. There is no cure other than to stop using the wrong muscles and start using the right ones.
Last night, as part of my program, I tested various muscle masses. I was horrified to find my right buttock felt only half the size of the left. I know some will find this amusing, and I can just hear the jokes, such as “you were always only half-arsed anyway”. But loss of muscle mass in my case is a reality that comes from performing certain physical activities regularly (long slow running) to the detriment of others (faster running, jumping etc.). Many of my muscles, like the glutes, have atrophied to large extent. I now need to work on getting my bum back – maybe not an Andrew Johns lard-arse (or the even more grotesque case of Mr Reefton Humblewood), but something that will provide me with some balance.
So that’s the wrap-up on that issue. I’ll keep readers informed of progress. As for today’s run, I took it slow and easy, mixing some faster than normal running with short walks between. It was almost a fartlek session. That was until the heat really kicked in during the afternoon. It was pretty extreme (my guess is around 35C in the shade, and about 45C for me in the direct sunshine on the tarmac). I was pleased to finish and have a cold drink.
Tomorrow it’s on to North Dakota.