Day Three of Segment 8

Day 3: June 2

Today was a breakthrough day for me!! I woke up feeling less stiff and sore than yesterday and somehow I just felt better and right away knew it was going to be easier today. And I was going to have company right away in the morning from a cross county and track coach from the area! I was very excited about that! When we arrived where I left off yesterday not only was the coach there, but another runner too! I told them I wanted to start off with a brisk walk to get my legs warmed up and they were fine with that. About two miles down the road another runner showed up to join us. Now my party was up to four! Awesome! And I was running without too much pain. Plus I am just getting used to the pain so it is just getting easier to tolerate.

About an hour into the run, more kids got dropped off, and the coach and women who started with me left. The two kids ran with me for like 9 miles! By the time I was alone again I was already at 14 miles! That’s almost half way! I can not even explain how much that helped me start out strong today! Not to mention a big stretch of that was on a dirt road and it felt so soft on my joints compared to the cement. The day was getting pretty hot already at this point and there was ZERO shade which I knew what going to the tough part of the day. The runners are going to join me again tomorrow which makes me super happy!

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Once I was on my own it was just Cornelia crewing and me running about 3 miles at a time before she was parked somewhere on the side of the road waiting for me. I started wearing my hat pretty early because the sun was already beating down and making my face burn. But I was TOO HOT still. Every stop we applied more sunscreen and put a cold rag under my hat to keep my body temperature down. It was my saving grace because without it I think the heat would have won. Not this time!!!

The road I was on for a good 12 miles after leaving the cross country kids was cement and surrounded by nothing but fields and cows. I saw a variety of farm animals including a horse friends at one of the spots Cornelia stopped to wait for me. We spent a little time resting and petting the horse at that stop. Then I went back on my way. It was hard to stop for as long as I would have liked to get a good break and gaze on some food because the sun felt even hotter when I stopped because then I couldn’t feel any air flow at all. So I would take off running again just for the breeze and to be making forward progress. And I was running! Not walking! And my pace wasn’t too bad considering! Definitely faster than yesterday when I had to walk some almost every mile.

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The most significant break I took was at the half way point of the segment, mile 90 because we were able to find some shade under a tree. So I actually got some better stretching in and ate a tiny bit. The heat definitely made it so it was hard to choke down much food wise. Soon after the half way point I entered a small town (but the biggest I had seen since Denver!) and traffic was heavier. That was pretty much my end stretch and the traffic made me even more antsy to get done. It was also getting harder by the mile because my skin felt like it was on fire even with 15 layers of sunscreen. And the pain was getting worse again every mile. I had the idea of trying to go 34 today since I was on a roll and making good time. That would make it so I ended on the 100th mile rather than 99 for the day and that would be so cool!

I had that idea in my head and was planning on making it until mile 98. Then the pain grew exponentially and I had to talk most of that last mile. And when I say walk I really mean hobble. My bad leg was done. My hip and knee were screaming with pain at me and I knew I had to call it a day at 33 miles. So tomorrow bright and early I will reach mile 100!!! Woo!

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The RV was getting serviced all day because we had a little mishap with a tree trying to kill it yesterday, so Cornelia and I had no where really to go after I was done running my 33 miles. We found a tree for me to hang out in the shade and she helped me get some good stretching in. Then after awhile of that we went in search of food and hung out and ate at a subway for awhile. We ended up getting a hotel room just to get cleaned up in and hang out and rest out of the sun until the RV was done. We stayed at the same RV park as the night before and got to see my kitty friend again. I will miss him!

To wrap this up, I am so grateful for how this day went. Someone was looking out for me, that’s for sure! It could have been such a rough day because of the sun and heat if I would have had to walk a bunch and taken another couple hours to finish. Ugh, I can’t even imagine a couple more hours out there! 6:30 am to 3 pm was long enough for me!! And the fact that there were point I felt so good running and the pain was dull enough that I could cruise along for a few miles before having to slow down again felt amazing. Thank you so much body for letting me run all day! Just like the good old days 😉

Time for bed, I am exhausted and not feeling the best from being sun burnt and battling the sun all day. I pray that tomorrow is just as successful! And Bryan arrives tomorrow night!! Yayyyy!!! I made it to Friday!

Run happy,

Love Nikki 🙂

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