Today will be remain in my memory for two things:
1) The weather got hot, my heat training has started – today it was 85 when I finished at 4pm. Tomorrow it’s supposed to get into the high 90s. [I’ve given up converting to numbers I’m more familiar with – you can google convert yourselves! I know that 50 is pretty chilly; 60 ok; 70 warmish and over 80 hot. Over 90 and 100 are unbearable.]
2) Today will mainly go down in my memory as ‘The Day I Strained My Back Whilst Avoiding a Dead Turkey Vulture’. Yes indeed, you’ve read that correctly and the heat hasn’t gone to my head, yet. There’s a lot of roadkill in Montana, more roadkill than people is my estimation. Today’s delights included 4 snakes (one over 1.5m long), several birds of prey (at least one eagle’s wing and a few small hawks/falcons) and the ‘usual’ deer and of course lots of prairie dogs. About 18 miles into the run, feeling good and actually just thinking that my legs were getting used to this running every day malarky, I was looking at some deer (alive – yes there is the occasional live animal) in the distance when I kicked something with my right foot and managed in a gymnastic pirouette to land my left foot about an inch from the head of a dead Vulture. A big one at that. So I avoided getting my trainers messy but in doing so I strained something in my back and spent the next 10 miles jogging in quite a lot of discomfort. Then it started to get really hot and the final 14 miles of the run I was not only sore but a little dizzy. Not my greatest day, over 9 hours – and that was only kept down by the first 18 miles of good running!
We also came across a group of cyclists riding from Seattle to New York (proving again that there really is only one main West to East road in Montana!) none of them took me up on the offer of a swap for the day…
We’re in Montana for another 6 days, last night on TV they showed Ground Hog Day – quite appropriate for the feeling of getting up and running everyday in Montana! Though tonight we’re staying in Billings, which is the largest ‘City’ in Montana, and a good change from the tiny towns we’ve been to the last few nights.