Day 13 - Williams to Flagstaff - 40.3 miles

Another strange dream started today, perhaps subconsciously they are telling me something. I was in the street and an old lady had fallen over, looked quite hurt and no one would help. I went to her aid and decided to call an ambulance. Before the ambulance arrived she just got up and walked away. Then everyone else just laughed at me saying “yeah that’s old miss whatshername, she always does that”. When the ambulance arrived and the victim had fled  I was made to look like an idiot. At least this one did not wake me.

The day started with the usual disappointment of putting my foot on the floor and feeling the pain. I wasn’t sure whether it was an improvement on yesterday though and in my head that meant it was better.

It was very chilly at the start, I was wearing short sleeves but the first few miles felt very fresh. Again we seemed to just go up and up, we finished yesterday at 2100 meters but think we went up to about 2400m today. Deb and Dave mentioned that they felt the altitude on their runs in the evening. I am not sure whether it affects me or is hidden in everything else such as the heat, the tiredness, the running 540 miles in 12 days. I have felt altidude when I have run the Davos ultra before (2500m?) and then at the end of Badwater where it climbs to nearly 4000m. All I know is going up makes it feel like more of a slog.

We were on and off the trail today, we were warned that today would be “incredibly difficult” – that there is a stony path with lots of side paths and we are to be careful not to get lost as our crew will not be there for this. She made it sound like a death labyrinth. There was plenty of nice and easy trail though which I enjoyed and Laure said to enjoy it while it lasted because the days of long straight roads would be back soon.

I prefer running on the trail but it is harder work and there is no white line to follow. One advantage of running on the road is that you can keep your head down and go in a straight line. On trail I am wobbling all over the place. We were bunched up near the start and I noticed that Alex made 2 kit changes in the first 6 miles. “You are just like Lady Ga Ga” I said, though obviously not with the ambiguous gender issues, his beard is quite manly.

Italo stuck with me again and he was running without his compression gear for the first time for a while as a sign that his shin problems were near the end. Today I felt progress, where as I found it painful to walk yesterday it felt ok today (running was always better). It meant I could powerwalk up the steep hills of which there seemed to be many again.

The miles just seemed to roll off today, I felt like I was at half way in no time even though there was lots of climb. Shortly before the death labyrinth there was a service station with a McDonalds that I did not go into. Then on the trail Dan (Markus’ support) jumped out of the car and asked if I had gone to McDonalds and could not believe that I didn’t. Actually I did not eat an awful lot today, I felt a bit sick.

The death labyrinth was actually just a few miles of bumpy ground. I walked most of it as I did not want to risk anything but it’s nothing harder than you’d get on say the South Downs Way. I think the almost certain death was overhyped.

The trails today were beautiful, pine trees and people out there camping. Made me want to just come out here and live here for a few months in the wilderness. There was plenty of shade today though I got a bit sick from the sun as I did not cover up properly.

This was the last day with Deb and Dave which made me sad as I finished as they have been so great in all this. Organising all my stuff, being there every 2 miles with something fun to say or just a smile and a “you’re doin great” has really helped me through these difficult 4 days. I’m going to miss you guys.

I finished in 9.20, a good way south of the cut-off of 12 hours and I am seeing more daylight between those times. Deb and Dave got me a burger, fries and milkshake at the end (Jack in the Box) which I enjoyed with a beer while I iced my foot. My ankle swelled a little today but I did not feel it.

Tonight was the first time I am now properly “solo” along with Italu, Jenni and Anneke. Laure had mentioned that I have too much stuff and last night we purged it, getting rid of all the things I have accumulated over the past 2 weeks as well as ditching lots of the clothes I brought originally. I have just about managed to squeeze it into the 2 bags, I am using a lot less clothes than I thought.

Flagstaff is a proper big town, shame I have pretty much slept since I finished. I used the pool again. The next few days are back to the same, start – run 53 miles in a straight line – arrive at finish. Glorious.

Boring Stuff

Weight Before – 80.1kg, after forgot

Kit, Newtons, Kathmandu shorts, kooga pants, socks, Columbia top, nf hat (partially), calf guard, camelpack

Consumption – During 1 slice pizza, 2 cliff bars, 1 energy gel, 5l Gatorade, 1l water, 1 monster, 2 cokes AFTER – American water, milkshake, burger, fries, chicken steak, fries, CARROTS AND SALAD, 2 iced teas.

Injuries – Right shin – getting better.