Day 26 - A pink house to Clayton - 54.8 miles

Today is the kind of day that made me wish I had taken up golf to get my excitement quota. There was not a lot of it in the plains just short of Oklahoma. Long straight roads, wobbling up and down slightly so that you can not see more than a couple of miles ahead. You kind of hope as you approach each crest that something exciting would be behind it. A castle? A beautiful Lake? Herds of charging buffalo? Oh FFS I’d accept a tree, just a tree. I’d trade my right shoe just to see a tree. But no.

Well, I can’t really complain. If the days go without too much excitement and drama then at least New York is getting closer. There are trees in New York right? We were actually told that this has been the driest summer here for over 100 years. All this yellow is normally green, honest. I managed to get my phone to charge again and so was ready to take pictures but I just could not find anything to point it at.

Today I think was the longest so far, 54.8 miles. It was supposed to be 4 miles longer but we did those yesterday. The next 4 days are all over 50 miles too making this a very hard week, however the terrain lends itself to dramaless running and so it’s probably a good idea to get lots of miles done here.

It was an early start again as we had to drive 30 miles to the place we left off yesterday. 5am in the starlight we plodded on, all hopeful that today was going to be fairly “easy” like yesterday, despite the distance.

Early on we were treated to a little café that would be serving breakfast and coffee. I decided not to stay there but to go in and have a look. I hoped there might be somewhere to buy an ice cream later but alas no.

I chatted a lot more to runners today, I normally like to run alone and look at things and keep to myself but today conversation was welcome. I ran a few miles with Markus

It has been a while since it felt “too big”. Today was a big day but I know if I just take those green mile signs one at a time then the days will pass. Then as the days pass New York will come to me. In my times of despair I sent two distress flares. One was a text to Gemma to tell her to come out here. The other was an email to Bob Brown.

Bob is a legendary runner who won the last running of this race in 2004. I have met him a couple of times in races this year and he is a lovely guy. I just wanted to know from him whether it felt too big and overwhelming. He replied that yes it did feel like that a lot and at times he was in bits. I did not want advice on how to deal with it or anything like that, I just wanted to know that others who do this have felt the same. I know now that what I have gone through (and will potentially go through) is “normal” for running across the states.

His email really cheered me up and I am feeling more positive by the day. The days seem to get longer but I am coping with the miles and the time constraints. I still really want to keep this blog up, it’s hard sometimes when I just want to lie down. When I feel good the miles go faster and my worries about “other things” like room bookings, evening meals, kit, sleep etc are reduced.

It felt quite warm today, there were a few times where I’d walk a little to avoid overheating but the heat usually abated to let a nice breeze through. Oklahoma promises to be hot. People are already talking about it, “it’ll be much worse than the Mojave”.

I ran later near Alex, Serge and Koshita. My crew (today Anne and David) were brilliant once more and have become great at making the Budweisers which are going down a treat. I may have to open my own cocktail bar when I get back to London. Half a can of Sprite mixed with water? That’ll be £7.50 please.

Later in the day my legs started to hurt a bit. I guess it’s normal and usually if this is near the end of the race I’d try and keep up the pace but in this case there is little point, I slowed quite a bit near the end. It’s nice when on a 55 mile stage you get to the 50 mile point. I say “you know that thing you had to do 11 times today, well now you only have to do it once more”.

Well once more I did the 5 miles and ended in a Best Western that I forgot to book and had to pay the high rate for. Doh. 55 miles in 12.30 hours, no complaints.

Am really looking forward to tomorrow. AM told that after 23.5 miles there is a tree.