Day 44 - St Robert to Owensville - 29 (TWENTY NINE) miles

29 miles, seriously what is that? Should I even get out of bed for it? Well I suppose I should as I need to stay in the race.

We all decided to start at 5am still, mostly to get away from the heat a little. I think now we are in a routine of getting up at 4am each day to do this, a routine I am looking forward to getting out of soon.

Today is the 1st August. We will be going to New York this  month. I have never been to New York before and as soon as I get there it becomes a holiday. I am counting down to it as if It were a holiday, I just have another 26 days of ball-aching work to do before that.

I immediately felt massive tightness in my hamstring and right arse today as I started to run and it did not go away after a few miles, it seemed to get worse. It was a little frustrating and today though the roads were again lovely and quiet the twists and turns compounded the problem.

Nowadays I run much nearer the back of the field. Usually near Alex and in front of Phillipe, Bando and Koshita though today Koshita ran out fast and finished way ahead of me. I am not taking any risks now. My body is hurting and slowing but it can still do the job. When something hurts I ease up a bit which means that I am perpetually easing up.

I stopped to stretch a few times and all of a sudden I was in last place. I’ve been here before when I was ill but started to wonder whether I am sailing close to the cut off times. IN actual fact I am comfortably inside them and have little to worry about in that respect but I still like to worry. Maybe it will stop in about 20 days.

We joked that Rainer would finish this stage before the people in the motel had left the rooms from the previous night, in the end he spanked it in 4.20. I took about 7.30 and suffering the worst humidity I have yet had. My clothes were soaked, I remembered to put my route sheet in a bag so that it would not dissolve like it has done in previous days. My phone is knackered from the humidity too, the 8 and clear keys do not work now which makes it fun trying to send Gemma a text that does not use a t, u or v and one where I can not delete any mistakes.

Still, it was only 29 miles and I knew in my head it will be over soon and there will be plenty of time to catch up on the things like sleep and eating. I’ve lost a couple of kg since Gemma left, down to 73 now which means I have lost 11kg since the start. Shit I just converted that and it’s 1 ¾ stone. I better warn Ealing Kebab when I get back.

I finished in around 7.30, pretty slow but with the undualtions and the aches I am pleased, still well over an hour under cut-off. I have plenty of room.

It’s funny at the end now that Laure makes her highest priority getting me to a McDonalds. As I lay down under a nice shady tree Berand drove to get my order of a big mac and fries and a smoothie. Laure has also bought some nice beers (Boston something, can’t remember but they are infinitely better than Budweiser). If Budweiser are the King of Beers then I am the King of organic fruit.

There is a new addition to the show now, Ludwig has been crewing Serge for the past couple of days and offered massages to the runners at the end of the stage today. Oddly I was the only one who took advantage of this and had a nice 20 minutes of relaxing massage on my legs. I think it will do some good and I can get the same tomorrow though. I told him about my usual massage person, Roberto the Butcher of Pimlico. How he likes to hurt me every time I see him. If this race does not kill me I think he may do first time I see him back in London.