It’s a warm one today. We survived the night, which was a huge bonus. Actually slept pretty well. My nipples after yesterday have worn down to nothingness!
As always we have stayed away from the main highways choosing the smaller country roads. Our RV is 12 feet tall, the bridge was 10 feet tall. Sometimes it’s impossible for us to stick to the historic Route 66 so we have to navigate our way through the little towns and tiny roads till we meet the 66 again. I pedalled for an hour this morning before I even saw one car. At times I like the peace and quiet but the bike is already a lonely place, too much peace, soon becomes difficult. We passed through Mount Vernon this morning, one of the larger towns today. I always check the populations as I pass. Some of the larger towns might have 50,000 where others are 150!
The houses seem so isolated, I often wonder who lives there? Do they have a family? How do they see people? Where do they do their big shop at?
I hadn’t really noticed or felt the weight loss until today, clothes are not fitting quite the same. For me I’ve noticed it the most on my arms and chest. My arms look like pieces of string with a knot in the middle for my elbow.
I had the opportunity to put more miles in today and get back on track but yesterday has emptied me. I couldn’t face another hill. The hills in Missouri are massively different to home. They are not huge but just enough that I have to push a little harder and lose my momentum Some do drag and at that point the sweat pours like someone has turned on a tap. Talula creaked and groaned her way over the line today. She took some real hammer on one decent. The terrain was like the Paris Roubaix, by the bottom of the decent my fingers, wrist and elbows were in pieces.
How to Travel in Missouri Photo Gallery
As I came to a finish today eagles circled over my head. I had watched earlier in the day ahead of me in the road as three eagles shredded an armadillo roadkill. It made me nervous thinking they were circling, waiting for me to drop!
Tonight we are just outside Joplin. We are on the state lines between Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Tomorrow I’ll run into Oklahoma. As we move west the temperatures continue to increase. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Any day I have ever moaned about, any time I have ever felt pain, been too hot or too cold pales into insignificance after today. The heat today has been unbelievable. I know it only topped out at 32 degrees but there was just no hiding from the sun. The long stretches of road, haze in the distance as the heat comes off the road. Normally I breeze a six mile run. It’s a pleasant run that would take 50 minutes, maybe an hour if it was casual. Today took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to run the last 6 miles. I collapsed into Kerrys arms as I finished. I don’t remember finishing today, I remember feeling dizzy and stumbling. As I sat on the RV I just went cold, my legs like jelly, the team got me through.
I would love to tell you how amazing the scenery was today, but it was dull. Long stretches of road, I begged for a hill, a corner, a bridge, flipping anything but straight roads! It was like running a 10k race but you’re the only competitor and it’s just a straight line to the finish, but you can’t see the finish line as it’s too flipping hot!
As we left Joplin this morning, we crossed the state line into Oklahoma near Seneca. Passing through Wyandotte and fairland. At 10 miles in this morning we stopped, usually I would blast a bit further but I had crossed one of the very few bridges I would cross during the day. This one spanned the Grand Lake O The cherokees. A majestic place where every type of animal seemed to graze. We just stared at the water for a while, sweat puddled under me, I was mesmerised just by the sheer size of the lake, beautiful.
I was chased by two dogs today. While running for my life I thought to myself, we don’t need performance enhancing drugs in sport, just let them get chased by a dog and you can soon up your times. Pretty sure I was running 5 minute miles while they chased me.
We arrived in Vinita quite late on. Parked in a Walmart cap park. The life of an adventurer. I will leave you tonight with a post from my younger brother. You may not have seen it. I always think to myself “don’t let pain break you”. This broke me.
I have just spoken to Sam Boatwright through the magic of FaceTime and I am now more in awe of him than ever.
For me, I just think of when I am tired and hurting. I think about how at these times the little things like perhaps the noise of insects or the heat of the sun can/could drive me insane, even at home. However, after just talking to my brother I realise how mentally tough he is, how his incredible sense of humour enables him to make everything seem trivial and how this helps him to deal with all the difficulties he is being faced with.
Sam may not be superhuman in terms of his physical attributes – he works incredibly hard to be as fit as he is – but Sam is definitely a superhuman in terms of mentality because how can you possibly prepare for the torment, the challenge, the sheer exhaustion that he faces everyday?
I do not know and probably will never know how you do it bruv but I will spend my life telling people about your achievements and making sure they know just how proud I am to share my name with you.
So people please give my brother every bit of support that you can – like his page, share his posts and most importantly donate to Help for Heroes. This man, my brother, runs for those who can’t – all we have to do is help him along the way, it’s not too much to ask, is it?
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