I learnt a bit of a lesson from yesterday's hitting the wall experience and had a bowl of porridge and a cooked breakfast before I set off from Maybell, Colorado. This approach worked well and I was able to get a half marathon done before lunch time. It wasn't all plain sailing though as Shelly had spotted a huge horse like Sheep Guard Dog. We had been warned about these by the State Police the day before. They are trained to chase Coyotes and humans away from the herds of sheep. Armed with my trusty anti dog deterrent type thing and, wait for it, a butter knife, I ran in front of the RV for a few miles. In my mind I was on the look out for a "Hound of the Baskervilles" type dog. Thankfully, it never materialised and I reached the RV safe and sound.
I spent my lunch break updating the blog. Due to a lack of signal over the previous few days I hadn't been able to do any updates. It is quite a quick process as Wee Kirsty takes "blog notes" during the day to jog my memory when it comes to the nightly update.
I was soon on my way again into a high temperature and strong cross wind. The next 8 miles really sapped my energy. One thing I did notice was that Colorado all of a sudden looked a lot like Northumberland in Summer. It was very green and for the first time in a long time there were houses and people in the vicinity. It has been very barren and sparsely populated over the last 100 miles!
At the 23 mile point I was mentally drained. The battle against the heat and the wind was a tough one. I managed to use one of my mental tricks to get me going again and it worked a treat. At the 27 mile point, as I started the descent into the town called Craig, I realised that I was being followed by a few Mosquitos. Those "few" suddenly turned into "millions". Well not exactly but you get my meaning. It was horrible! I went from a 14 minute mile to a 12 minute mile to a mile in 07:52. It's amazing what a surge of adrenalin can do! During the 12 minute mile I had sent a text to Shelli stating that "I was being eaten alive by flies!". She had got the team to finish off the shopping in Wal-Mart and leg it to the RV. I was very pleased to see them and me and a "few hundred" mosquitos entered the RV with great relief.
After 28.5 miles, I was gutted that I couldn't continue. It just goes to show that after 1000 miles and especially after 3 weeks at altitude that the fitness is there. I was hardly out of breath after the 07:52 minute mile.
Looks like it'll be a day for long sleeves and tracksuit bottoms tomorrow. I'm also using strong insect repellent but it must have worn off with it being near the end of the day.
Thank you to everybody who made a donation over the last few days. I would appreciate any donations no matter how large or small to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation. Please use one of the following links to justgiving.com.
(St Benedict's Hospice)
(The Children's Foundation)
Alternatively, a donation can be made via cheque payable to 'The Children's Foundation' or 'St Benedict's Hospice' and sent to the following addresses:
FAO Libby Nolan
The Children's Foundation,
PO Box 2YB,
Sir James Spence Institute,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.