Sunday, 20 May 2012

USA Day 16 - Revisited (16/05/2011)

There was quite a slow start to day 16's running. This was probably due to yesterday's record breaking haul of miles. On the plus side, conditions were overcast and cool at the start time of 07:39 (Still on Pacific Time). If things went to plan, I would be in Arizona by the end of the day. That would be the 3rd state of the run across the USA after California and Nevada.

The first 2 miles were on a road parallel to Interstate 15. That road soon veered in a different direction.  Luckily, Jon "found" a gap in a fence and I joined the Interstate again. I was on it for the next 16 miles.

I got stopped by a Police car at the 8 mile point. The officer just asked if I was ok. I went through the now familiar drill of stating who I was, where I was running to and what for. He wished me good luck and I continued on my way down the hard shoulder of south bound Interstate 15.

The scenery was stunning with huge sandy cliffs. As ever, this made the miles pass by a bit quicker. I was always mindful of watching out for the traffic. I never let the scenery disturb my concentration too much.

The first break of the day was after 10.5 miles at an intersection. It was during this break that I discovered that I could update Twitter by sending a text on my mobile phone. It was a very old phone with very few features. It was very cost effective though and, thanks to Shelli, I was able to send texts to anywhere in the world for free. It was a lifeline to the outside world and the main method of communication with my family. I also discovered that I could receive a text for any mentions of @rungeordierun on Twitter. This was to prove very useful until later on in the run when @rungeordierun trended on Twitter and my phone went crazy. You'll be able to read more about that in a later blog post.

The banter during the first break was first class. I liked this configuration of the support team. It was a lot of fun. Jon soon earned the nickname 'Comedy Jon'. He had a lot of life experience and, with that, a lot of stories. I loved listening to his tales of travelling the world and meeting various people. In the absence of a TV he soon became the entertainment. Kirsty would play along with the banter and Stephen would too when he was able to understand what was going on.

After a steady descent in Mesquite I stopped for Pasta and salad. I'd managed 19 miles and was very close to Arizona. Mesquite seemed like a very nice little town and it was a relief to be off Interstate 15 for the first time in a while. 

I crossed over into Arizona at 22 mile point. I stopped to change my running shoes (Brooks Glycerin 8) a mile later. I could start to feel the road in my current shoes and it was time for a new pair. It wasn't a problem changing into a brand new pair of shoes. My feet were no longer swollen and my blisters were no longer causing a problem.

While I was changing my shoes I became very angry to find that Stephen was still using a lot of water in the RV. This was still the case despite lots of attempts to explain to him just how thrifty we had to be with the water in the RV. It was cheap enough to replenish but costly in time and fuel to do so. Time was one of the most precious commodities of all during the run across the USA.

After making my opinion known, I left the RV really wound up. I calculated that, at my usual pace, I was on for a 20:45 finish. My anger, combined with a desire for an earlier finish, saw my pace increase dramatically. I managed to get the pace up to 11 minute miles and made my way quickly through the twisting canyons of County Road 91 with the Virgin Mountains as a pleasant backdrop. 

That final effort knocked 80 minutes off my projected finish time. The end point for the day, after 31.4 miles was a very small town called Littlefield. It was situated just prior to the Interstate and was a sensible place to stop before tackling the very tricky next section. It was all set up nicely for day 17. 

The overnight stop was at the Four Seasons RV park in Littlefield, Arizona. The owner, Harold, gave us what he called "a very special rate" to stay the night there once he learned about the reasons for the Support Team and I being in the USA. 

I spoke to Gary and Lisa on Real Radio while having a massage from Kirsty (below) that night. I managed to collect a few stats before speaking to them to include in the interview. I'd ran 450.51 miles in 16 days, burning 58,188 calories and climbing 18,901 ft.

Due to the time difference the interview with Gary and Lisa was pre-recorded at about 05:30 UK time to be played on the show at about 07:30. I foolishly stayed up to listen to the interview not realising that there had been a change in time zone. My final tweet of the day read "Just realised, we're in Arizona now so we lose an hour. It's 3 minutes to 1 am. Pants!".