Mar 18, 2021
I was really surprised this morning when I ran 1 km in 3:24. That’s only four seconds slower than my best time in the past several years over that distance. It’s certainly a huge post-60 PB. My aim now is to beat the 3:20 I ran last October. Until 2018 I didn’t really record time trials over 1 km. My best ever was 2:37 in 1983, but that’s a distant memory. It’s now like I’m starting a new running career with a fresh slate of PBs to set – my best times over 60. So far it’s 3:24 for 1 km.
Today’s world run revolves around running in the slow in Arizona as I approached the Grand Canyon. I hope you like it.
Mar 17, 2012
Distance today = 56.87 km; Total distance = 3605.61 km; Location = Mayer – 34 23.966′ N, 112 13.807′ W; Start time = 0940, Finish time = 1808
Had a late start today after a fantastic breakfast of Huevos Rancheros at the Happy Hidden Ranch, cooked by owner Govert. This B&B is another gem that any visitor to the region really should stay at. And you get to experience his bar and games room, which is constructed from old train carriages buried underground – a really novel touch. Thanks also to Govert for a special discount – it was greatly appreciated.
I ran for much of today on the I-17, which is a major freeway. Getting on to it proved a little tricky. I had to climb over a barbed wire fence, but the barbed wire fences here in Arizona are sturdier than most. They have vertical reinforcing, so you can’t bend the horizontal sections apart to squeeze through. Consequently, I had to lift one leg completely over the fence at a time. For a brief moment I was suspended with a leg either side of the barbs, the family jewels in distinct danger of being excised. Their survival is a tribute to the few seconds in which I was able to exhibit the agility of an Olympic gymnast.
Today I reached a new high point, not only for the US leg, but for the entire trip. The 1,330 metres I am currently at easily beats the previous high point of 1,100 metres on the Desert Road next to Mount Ruapehu in NZ. But this won’t last long, as I’m heading to the Grand Canyon, and that’s nearly 1,000 metres higher still.
Tomorrow I am heading to Prescott, and the prediction is for snow in that town. At least I won’t have heat and dehydration to worry about.
I received a few Twitter questions in the past day, mainly about the data collection. In short, my GPS watch records exactly where I go each second. This is downloaded to the Garmin site, and all this data can be seen each day by clicking on the link at the top of this blog. The Tom Tracker on this web site, however, works off a signal sent via my i-Phone. It can only send a signal when I have mobile phone reception. Therefore, the tracker will sometimes appear to go AWOL , but it’s just because I don’t have reception. This problem does not afflict the GPS watch data.
Finally, I ran out of GPS battery today, so stopped it at 52.90 km, just before it went dead. I had forgotten my backup GPS, so I immediately invoked Google Maps to measure the distance to my end point as 3.97 km, resulting in total for the day of 56.87 km.
PS Here’s a funny story for you. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I appeared on Channel 12 TV in Phoenix on Thursday. It was a talk show format, and the video of this should be up on my website in the next few days. Just before my appearance, there was another guy called Joe Nichols appearing. We met him in the “green room” before the show, but didn’t know who he was. Carmel went over to him with her camera and asked him if he’d take a photo of us. He was a little surprised, but we soon found out why. His natural reaction when someone approaches him with a camera is that they want to take a photo of him. You see, he is a major country and western singer in the US, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and has toured the world, including Australia last year. It must have been quite a change for him to be asked to take someone else’s photo. He was a really good sport about it, and happily took the photo, and wasn’t fazed in the slightest. We all had a laugh about it later.
Mar 18, 2012
Distance today = 43.40 km; Total distance = 3649.01 km; Location = Prescott – 34 32.514′ N, 112 28.211′ W; Start time = 0945, Finish time = 1605
Today I ran 43 km in a heavy snowstorm.
We woke to a cover of snow, and soon after heading off, the snow resumed and didn’t really let up all day. Sometimes it was light, but much of the time it was very heavy.
I was really enjoying running while it was snowing – until the temperature dropped to well below freezing, my feet got wet and the water in them froze, and the wind picked up and was driving stinging snow flakes into my eyes. I either had to run with my eyes closed, only opening them briefly to catch a glimpse of the road ahead, or run with sunglasses on, which was the other “vision impaired” option.
The other problem I had was when taking off my gloves to answer my phone or check Google Maps to ensure I was heading in the right direction. My hands would get to the painful stage within about ten seconds.
My shoes were frozen solid, including the shoelaces, and it was a great joy to make it to the hotel and hop into a hot bath. However, as many would know, never step straight into a hot bath with freezing feet. It actually took me about half an hour before the pins and needles and itchy feeling subsided.
The weather is supposed to be similar tomorrow, before improving during the week. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience early on, but novelty has a funny knack of wearing off in the presence of pain and discomfort.
I also reached a new record high elevation for the world run today – 1,735 metres (5,800 feet). That’s almost as high as Alpe d’Huez. This may go higher tomorrow. I still have another 400 metres of elevation rise to go before reaching the Grand Canyon at the end of the week.