Mar 5, 2013

Distance today = 48.28 km; Total distance = 17,470.53 km; Location = Ganges – 43 57.473′ N, 03 41.240′ E; Start time = 0906, Finish time = 1652


Days like this serve one purpose – they make you realise how much better all the other days are.

It started poorly from the very early hours. I must have eaten something that disagreed with me, because I awoke during the night with bad stomach cramps that quickly led to a bad case of diarrhoea. Carmel thought I was pouring a bucket of water into the toilet bowl. This went on at least ten times during the night, and by morning, there was nothing left inside of me.

Then I looked out the window. It was raining, and the wind was howling, and it was a headwind, and it was freezing cold. I headed off, only to find that the first six kilometres were all uphill – more than a thousand feet of climbing, before I’d even warmed up.

Once up on the plateau, the wind really picked up. The rain was hitting me in the face with such ferocity that I could only occasionally look up at the road, before putting my head down to protect my eyes. It hurt badly just to be hit by the rain on my face. A direct hit by a drop of rain in the eyeball could have been dangerous.

There was then a huge amount of downhill. The only saving grace was the small volume of traffic. It would have been a beautiful run on a nice day.

Carmel was there in the car, and a few times I had to get her to stop so I could spend a few minutes sitting inside, warming up a little. I was so cold that I was making gibberish-like noises with my mouth that I couldn’t control. The only time I recall being so cold on this world run was nearly a year ago in Prescott, Arizona, when it snowed heavily, and I was running in shorts with no thermal top. The problem with today wasn’t that it was intrinsically colder than, say, a week ago when it was snowing. It was that the rain thoroughly soaked me, and the resulting wind chill from the gale then dropped the temperature on my skin to well below zero. My fingers were hurting like they were being hit by a hammer.

The afternoon got a little warmer, but it was still cold. It’s times like these you find yourself dreaming of a hot shower or bath.

Carmel found that the sensors on her camera weren’t working properly, probably due to the cold and rain. She wasn’t happy with the photos, so will only be posting a few. She is also having trouble finding hotels, as many of the ones shown on her Garmin GPS are closed during the winter.

I was actually proud to finish the day. The combination of the weather conditions, mountains, and the lack of energy caused by last night’s bug, made this the hardest day so far.

PS The tracker is showing me at the hotel, a few kilometres from my finishing position on the D999.