In the Cruel Light of Day

Dawn did indeed lift my spirits, but it also brought with it the realisation that I no longer had the ample lead I had had the day before. We had lost a lot of time with the route problems, and this situation didn’t seem to be showing any signs of changing.

As I ran into the dawn with Vilaprat beside me on the bike, we went through a strategy plan. I was to try and pick up my pace somewhat, and the team was going to try to prevent any further delays with the route – though I had doubts as to whether this would be possible. Actually I had serious doubts as to whether I would be able to arrive on time. I was certain that I would arrive, but there was no certainty at all as to if I would be able to run the 315 km and arrive at half time. This worry would plague me throughout the day and into the following night, and would continue until well into Saturday. It was definitely becoming a true challenge…

This meant that from this stage on I was to run with a high level of stress, on top of all the other problems. The good part was that I had survived the cold of the night – my clothing from Distance running store had actually done its job. I seem to have been the one who suffered least from the cold; the team had had a tough time of it.

..A welcome break in the stress was a visit from an old school friend of mine, Eamonn Canning, who had driven out to find me before work that day. After he caught me totally by surprise, his visit helped buoy my spirits enough to allow me to pick up my pace.

I managed to keep my pace for several hours – I fought on along increasingly dangerous roads up and down hills.  The relative flat of the night had once again given way to rolling landscape, and I found myself struggling up many long hills. The down hills served little in the way of relaxation, as that was when I made up for my slower pace on the up hills – I had to push hard on the down hills so as not to lose more time.

My left gluteus began bothering me again; I had had to stop for a massage during the night, and found I needed to stop again around midday. Following my 10 minute massage in the back of the van, my gluteus and subsequently my whole leg became increasingly painful, particularly on the relentless up hills. My pace dropped considerably along with my spirits, and by mid afternoon I was truly miserable, crying from time to time in pain, and less certain than ever that I would be able to arrive for the half-time whistle…

More tomorrow!

This time last week I was right in the middle of the challenge – It’s wonderful writing this from the comfort of my sofa, knowing that this evening, instead of battling exhaustion along the UK roads I’ll be happily being interviewed on Canal Teledeportes by Moisés Rodriguez on his show “Conexiión Teledeportes” at 7.30 pm CET.

Kilometrarte!

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