We started today by saying goodbye to Justin as he was driving the Scooby Van, complete with duct tape back doors, to his home in Arizona. It was saddening to say ‘bye but we all hope he will be back running and training soon – good news was that his tests had come back ok for his kidneys; though the docs had been very worried about his ankle (tendonitis for 3 weeks) and his back was still clearly hurting – he was walking like he’d aged 50 yrs. I’m sure he’ll be hitting those trails soon and has some great times ahead!
We set off on pretty much the one road all day – WY 51 – which goes right passed tonight’s motel and on into South Dakota (which we get to the day after tomorrow I think). We set off well, Mike and I running together and me getting a briefing on the next few days (with very welcome news we’ll be back on the original course after tomorrow and on the 3rd July have a 36 mile day – tiny! – so we can see Mount Rushmore in the early evening!). All was going well, albeit into a pretty strong, exhausting, headwind and we stayed together until about 22 miles in. I felt tired but ok; the road was quiet and shoulder enough. But then around 23 miles in the road became incredibly busy; trucks, trailers, all kinds of heavy vehicles and speedy cars were suddenly coming down this small road that parallels I-90. From where we were running we could see I-90 and it quickly became clear that no cars were on the westbound lane; they’d been diverted onto our little road! I started to walk, battling the headwind had made me more tired than usual but also jumping out of the way of the trucks wasn’t fun. Then, to add to the mix, I had a nose bleed. Super. Within about 3 miles I’d gone from happy jogger to fed up, tired and bleeding! Luckily I always have emergency toilet paper on me but I was very relieved to see Mike M coming towards me – meaning I was nearing the car and van!
So after that I jog/walked most of the remaining miles, Mike S was having a good day and more steady than me so Heidi and Frank crewed him ahead of me while Mike M stayed with the car and me – he was great at chivvying me on and making sure I drank and ate.
Not my best day but glad to have gotten through it. Unfortunately I was too tired to go with Mike and Frank to the National Monument about 30 miles away – the Devil’s Tower – made famous in the classic movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. Dinner in bed with Vaseline up my poor dried out nostrils and aloe vera spread over my heat rash has been my glamorous evening. Rock and Roll in Moorcroft, Wyoming.
Also I completely forgot yesterday (possibly through trauma-related memory loss) that I’ve had a hair cut! I’d not had time before I left London so had arrived with too long hair and was struggling to get it into a bun, which is ideal in this heat. Having failed to get to any hair salons in opening times I finally bought a pair of hairdressers scissors in Walmart and last night Mike Melton added ‘haircutting’ to his already extensive crewing CV. I’d asked for a couple of inches off and there was a very scary point when I saw bits over 4 inches coming off but he did a good job – it’s straight and now forms a great little ponytail. And it’ll grow a bit by the time I get home!