Day 9 - Kingman to Truxman - 42.3 miles -

Last night I went alone to the motel restaurant just before closing. The waitress was really nice and the food was not bad I just wasn’t that hungry. My left shin hurt, not too much but enough to get me worried about the rest of the race. I asked for the check (I remembered the correct word and spelling) and took some ice out of my lemonade and rubbed it on my shin as I waited for her to come with my bill. In the 60 seconds she took to get it my head heated up and I was about to burst into tears. That minute felt like forever as I just threw $20 down and limped out of the room. I managed to hold back the tears but not without thinking that I have taken on too much here. The injury is only slight but it’s effect is rampaging through my future days. How will I get through tomorrow? And the next day? I could not even bring myself to think of New York.

For the first time since I have been here I think the size of the task overwhelmed me. I managed to keep in under control, I stepped outside and looked up at the stars which always have a calming effect on me. I wandered over to the finish area where they were still waiting for Markus who was going to miss the cut-off again and he had decided to pull out from the race. Girard had pulled out earlier in the day too having to go to hospital with an infected foot. There are now only 8 left in the race that started with 14 people.

I slept much better. There was one turn today and that was after 100 meters. Then it was the same road for 42 miles. There was some variety today but the first 20 miles were a bit of a slog. Straight up a road into the mountains. There was another mountain pass today, a theme of the next 3 days or so.

The left shin splint did not bother me from the start and I was elated. The thing that nearly reduced me to tears the previous night was now gone. It really made me feel better that injuries can come and go like that. I was keeping a conservative pace so not to antagonise anything and was sticking with Alex.

[Orange Moan Update] – First of all thanks for all the wonderful people who have helped me badger Orange for some response about my problem. I got a call from their customer service department that was less than sympathetic. They said that the first they had heard that I wanted to unlock my phone was on June 24th even though I called on the 8th to request this. She said she could see that I called on the 8th but can not prove what that was about (I may have just called and waited on their holding system to have a chat with them? Or maybe I like paying international calling rates because I love being put on hold and listening to Craig David?). The bottom line is that it may still take TEN DAYS to unlock my phone, it may not be done at all if the manufacturer can’t do it and that any calls I have made since the date that it should have been unlocked will not be reimbursed. Their cock up and I end up paying Orange more money.

Around 10 miles in my right shin started to hurt. This made me laugh, now the other shin was hurting as if my mind was controlling where things hurt. It was not too bad and I could still maintain a decent pace and kept close to Alex who’s crew I were relying on a little today as I was unsupported.

Today I had no crew, my own fault for not organising one and it was only by really good fortune that I got a crew for the previous 2 days. It is much harder without a desiccated crew but the organisers did a fantastic job today. Italu and I usually run at a similar pace and it should have been easy to crew the two of us together but today he was suffering much more than I was and was quite a way behind early on. The organisers had to drive along, give me drink and food and then drive back sometimes 5 miles to see Italu. They managed to never leave a gap of more than 40 minutes for the two of us though.

As we went up the breeze started, I did not feel the heat again and I think it was around 38. The shin splint went away and I was really pleased as we entered a valley where there was no phone reception. I worried as I had agreed to call Gemma later that day and it looked like we were entering a town with no phone or internet. Imagine that?

Crossing the mountain pass we were treated to more spectacular scenery, it seems we have to earn aesthetic credits by plodding up long straight roads. Jenni and Anneke’s crew would often chase out after me with a wet towel to cool me down which was really nice of them. I know I am going to get looked after when I am unsupported.

With about 10 miles to go the shin pain kicked in again, not incredibly sore but enough to get me panicking about the next 61 days. When you have shin splints and are tired every small crack in the road becomes an obstacle. Like avoiding the cracks you have to carefully place each foot and look ahead. The concentration of it is tiring.

I called Gemma during a small bubble of phone reception to catch up on the gossip back home (I leave for 2 weeks and everyone seems to be doing interesting things). I had to hang up though then I realised that my bones were just all over aching.

I finished in 10.03, a bit slower than what I would want 42 miles to take me but writing that off as a bad day. On finishing the pain really picked up a notch, I had to get off my feet straight away and relax. I immediately made it for my room and lay down for an hour, on getting up I could barely walk as we went for dinner in a small café. I was falling asleep and in a lot of pain as we ate and all I could think of was getting back to bed.

I iced the shin, ate loads of protein and have been lying in bed since the finish. I hope this is enough to make tomorrow bearable but I am in the same position again now as I was yesterday (left shin) and the day before (chaffing). I really hope it goes away. I feel bad about not being around everyone else but this may be a wake up call that I need more time off my feet at the end of each day.

I am trying to think of something funny that happened today and just can't come up with anything. At the end of last night Italu asked me "So are you lonely tonight?" to see if I wanted to share a room. I laughed at the time but now I feel pretty lonely.

Debs and Dave have just arrived and it is really great to see them. It’s so nice to have some people who are out to look after you. I am going to need that tomorrow.

Boring Stuff

Weight – Forgot

Kit – Newtons (New), Kathmandu shorts, NF top, NF hat, CAmelpack, Socks, Shades, Nike pants

Consumption During (inc breakfast) Nuts, 2 bananas, more nuts, cliff bar, 4l Gatorade, 6l water (did not drink as much today), 4 cokes, 2 monsters AFTER – half bag beef jerky (44g protein), salad, spag bol, Gatorade, 2 cokes, 1 american water

Injuries – Right shin

Orange Update – Ha ha ha