Yesterday was the only full day in Idaho – today we ran into our next state: Montana! We’ll be in Montana for over two weeks, it’s a long way to the east side of Montana, and it’s all running on road after today – though I don’t expect we’ll see many people as there’s only 1 million people in the state which is 1.5 times the size of the UK. Montana is known as Big Sky state – though so far I’d say it’s living up to it’s mountainous name!
Today we ran mainly on the Northern Pacific Trail through the east of Idaho and into Montana over ‘Look-out Pass’, a ski area. It was a grey day and rain was intermittent, though at least it was cool after a warm day yesterday. It has given my newest injury time to calm down – my chapped lips! David Horton, who ran across the US in 1995 had such bad chapped lips from sunburn he could only get calories from drinking milkshakes for 5 days (I can think of worse…)
As we set off this morning I was feeling good, it’s hard to explain but at the moment the first 20 miles or so I feel like I’ve hardly run all week and have relatively fresh legs but cant get them moving very quickly – so a 10 minute mile feels ok and is where I stay for a bit. Then I have been getting niggles and aches about 20 to 30 miles in and usually slow down a bit and/or feel more sore by the finish. Today followed this pattern but my left quad (previous issue was the right quad) was sore from about 20 miles and continued to annoy me, I’ve iced it now and hope it’s ok tomorrow.
Thankfully he was more scared of me than I was (if that was possible!) and disappeared as quickly as he appeared. So now effectively lost in a forest in Montana with a bear nearby I flew through the undergrowth (yes I now have scratched legs!) down to the path and hearing the Interstate in the distance headed towards it by going left. Half a mile later I realised I was headed away from the I-90 and had gone the wrong way. Eventually I was headed the right way, nearly breathing normally and singing very loudly – this being my anti-bear plan. My singing is awful so I’m hoping to scare them off or at the least not surprise them. The only song I could think of was ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes’ and was just thinking of the lines for the verse with the pink pyjamas in when Mike appeared behind me and I was very relieved to see him! He had a sore Achilles but was still moving pretty well so we jogged to the finish, with my left quad threatening to cramp at any moment.
So another exciting day and I’m delighted to be over the dreaded 2 week point – feeling ok and looking forward to seeing more of Montana. Today we also crossed a time zone so are 7 hours behind the UK not 8 anymore, getting closer! Also another first for me today – I had a Subway (yes I know it’s hard to believe but I’ve never had one). Sweet onion teriyaki chicken on oat bread with tomatoes and olives. It was actually really tasty!
*For those who don’t know Barkley is a 100 mile run in Tennessee without much of a trail path – probably the toughest race on earth, but without claiming it, and without a website as such.