Just a quick note to say I am alive and kicking and doing just fine despite the heat wave and bizarre storms. Every decision since my last post has been well thought out and only good fortune (except for the heat) has befallen me. My navigation has been spot on. Well, almost.
I’ve been at the Solon Motel since about 1:00pm today after ~8 hours of running. I don’t think I could have run much longer in the heat and I was glad to have booked the room last night as camping would have been the only other option and probably not very pleasant. I arrived here just as the sun started baking me. The motel is a dive but there is also comfort and familiarity now in the cigarette burns, leaky faucets, and scary carpets that these places represent. The motel bar has a row of tired men in baseball caps and behind a blast wall is a killer deep fryer and underpaid cook staff. These fries are pretty incredible. And after ~32 miles of running, with a lot of mind numbing heat, even the $1.75 Budweiser drafts taste good.
Indiana was a lot of heat with a mixture of good and bad roads. With the exception of south Gary, it was much better than Iowa and I was happy to run on some roads where my stomach wasn’t in knots or where I wasn’t pushing the jogger over a bunch of loose gravel. The most noteworthy things for me were some really spectacular country roads lines with natural trees. I don’t know what else to call them, but after so many miles of no trees or planted trees, just seeing trees growing randomly makes me giddy. I take advantage too often and try to disappear deep in their groves. But this is at a cost, my legs are covered in pricker scratches.
Ohio came fast. Home of my mother’s peeps and a ten hour drive from my home town in ‘upstate’ New York, I’ve been here for many a summer and Thanksgiving visit. A relatively lame sign greeted me on the highway. But across the train tracks I found a nice mile post that had a little more character.
Speaking of mile posts, I updated my mileage logs three days ago and realized I had passed the 2620 mile mark; marking the equivalent of 100 marathons in 86 days. Not bad eh? Maybe worthy of more fries and another beer?
The best thing about Ohio has been seeing family. My sister Robin, her daughters Claire and Kate, and family friend Courtney drove down from upstate New York to crew for me and to help celebrate my birthday at my Aunt Mimi’s along with other relatives and family friends that I haven’t seen in too many years. It’s hard to express how nice it was. It has also been pretty neat to run through towns and roads that were the stomping grounds of my grand parents. Today I took a break in the Cuyahoga National Park; our grandparents James and Margot Jackson strongly advocated for the creation of the park during their lifetimes and it made me happy to sit in some shade and to remember and thank them.
Pennsylvania is a couple days away and only a corner of a state at ~45 miles. I’m mostly excited for it because it smacks of the east cost much more than Ohio does and psychologically I think that will give me a boost. I also have a new route across New York which takes me past the finger lakes, Syracuse, and Albany before throwing me into Massachusetts. It’s a lot less remote than my previous route and hopefully less hilly. I haven’t mapped out all of my remaining days but a rough guess, based on 32m a day and no rest days, has me finishing around July 21st. At this point, I’m disinclined to pick a date or to encourage anyone to ‘be there’ at the finish because frankly I don’t want any time pressures with this heat. Sorry. Twenty days and 600+ miles of running still seems like a huge amount and I’m still very much in the day-to-day survival mode since the heat started in Iowa a month ago.
I’m behind on everything, including thanking people for recent donations and replying to different emails and messages. Please bear with me! Until then – one a step at a time.
|Puppy love after all nighter described in my last post|
|Kate, Courtney, Robin, and Claire met me in Clyde, OH|
More pictures on picasa.
Miles to date: 2723
Total days: 89
Rest days: 4
Average miles: 2723/89 = 30.59