Really! I have absolutely no sense of direction! It’s not unusual for me to get lost going to work – even though I’ve worked there for nearly 4 years and lived in a 20m radius for 18. And that is with a GPS! If I have time constraints when I’m running , I instinctively plan in ‘getting lost time’. Could be a slight issue in my attempt to break the world record!
The World is Spinning
I’ve literally been spinning around the world this evening and my mind almost exploded with the amount of information: which countries, routes, flights, longitude lines, easterly, westerly, Antarctic or Australia or not? I started on Google Earth, which always blows my mind, and gave up after getting lost somewhere in the Antarctic! I’d spun the planet around and couldn’t find my way back to the northern hemisphere! Don’t ask!!
So I decided to give my brain a break and revert to my good old fashioned, touchy feely globe. I decided to create my starter for ten route. I needed to get something down so that I can now plot and refine until it meets the basic rules, avoids war zones or major natural hostilies and also meets my own criteria.
Run the World Route..maybe
Leg 1: Otley, England to Dublin, Ireland
Otley to Holyhead, via Snowdon – Ferry to Dun Laoughaire then run to Dublin. An easy and enjoyable first week because I want to have memories of the Yorkshire, Welsh and Irish countryside imprinted in my mind as I set off.
Leg 2: North America – Fly to Boston then run across to San Francisco, around 3000m so maybe about 100 days.
Leg 3: Asia – Fly to Hong Kong, China then run through Southern China, Thailand, Burma and Bangladesh to India before finishing this leg in Mumbai. This could be 2, 600 to 3000m but would probably take longer, maybe 150 – 200 days.
Leg 4: Africa – Fly to Dar es Salem, Tanzania, East Africa and run around Zanzibar before heading north through Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (May need tweaking!) This would be the biggy and needs a lot of thinking about, potentially 6200 to 7000m and will probably need splitting into 2 sections of around 100 days each – total guess at this stage!
Leg 5: Europe – Fly to Spain and run through Spain, Southern France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium and then fly to Manchester before finding a scenic trail back to home through the Pennine and Dales trails – maybe another 80 days.
I’m in a total buzz planning the route and I absolutely know it will change vastly once I start getting into the details like war zones and visas and mountain ranges and cost but all of that will evolve. I’m feeling totally positive and confident but very aware of the influence this challenge is having on me already. Its all consuming, but in a great way!
The Knee and the Desert Decision
A week of procrastination preceded my route planning Friday evening. A week reflecting on my short term goals and training approach. I finally got signed off by my consultant Nick Harris at the Spire for my knee injury from falling in Zagoro, Morocco before MDS. The soft tissue damage will continue but ice manages that pretty well now and MRI results on Wednesday confirmed all is well except some slight cartilage over use issues which can be rectified by strengthening my quads, stretching more and mixing up my running rather than all long slow distance. It was great to get a Nick’s approval to get ‘stuck in’ to my training and it made me think about focusing my training.
A few weeks ago, it was really important that I returned to complete the Marathon des Sables next ApriI but I’ve decided that although I’m going to Morrocco in April, I’m not going to run the MDS. I’m going to run one of the last legs of my Run the World route, across Morocco. That will be a much better use of time and money as I need to get as used to doing multi day runs solo in unfamiliar terrain as I do running on Ilkley Moor.
I cant wait to get back to the Sahara but I will be a little less kamikazee running down mountains now.