I started running in the pitch black very early in the morning at 0530. The plan was to get as many miles done before the predicted hot day made things difficult. I managed 8 miles to Norton and was very, very tired. I sent a quick text to my mentor David Fairlamb and he was straight on the phone to me. The text simply said "Shattered!". Dave and I talked through a few things on the phone and, as per usual, the conversation ended with me being more optimistic than at the start.
I had a few large coffees and McGriddles with the support team at McDonalds in Norton. I felt a bit better when I started running again. By this time, though, the sun was starting to really heat the place up.
Further down Highway 36, I took some more phone calls from some good friends of Run Geordie Run; Peter McCowie, Nigel Cooke, Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer Chris Cook and my trainer Mark Fleming. Dave Fairlamb had obviously rallied the troops into giving me a call and I'm pleased to say that it had the desired effect. The next few miles flew by and I had a really good spring in my step.
I made it to the lunchtime break at the 22 mile point and I was absolutely shattered! The temperature had been in the mid 30s (celsius) and I was cooked! The main aim at this break was to reduce my temperature and drink plenty of fluids. I had ice packs stuffed in various places and several wet towels on my head and back. It was so hot that the towels didn't stay wet for long. The support team were also suffering a bit. There was no escape from the heat!
I set off again and felt very light headed. There was no choice but to battle through the heat. A tactical snooze certainly wasn't on the cards as the temperature in the RV was even hotter than outside. I met the support team in the RV every few miles for a fresh supply of water. I actually drank about 12 litres all day.
I saw the RV at the 32 mile point and decided to do a bonus 1.5 miles to get a total of 33.5 miles done. I could have done a few more miles but I thought enough was enough. The 37.75 mile day I had last week was actually too much. It had an adverse effect on the following day's running. I think 34 or 35 is the limit in these very hot conditions.