Day T+5: Why is doing nothing so tiring?

Ah its been a lovely week of relaxation, despite it actually being quite hard to adjust to not running all day. I feel far more tired and lethargic now I’m not doing anything than when I was running for 8 hours a day. I did however take the advice of several people and have tried to continue running. It has helped; as part of the new James 2.0 I am trying to develop the habit of going for a run first thing in the morning, something I used to hate it. A stunning run along the coastal path between Coogee beach and Bondi beach has certainly helped my retraining.

 

Just a walk in the park – but what a park!

 
Oddly, I am a slower runner than when I left for Australia. I think it must be due to the type of running I’ve done, just slow and steady. Fast running is still just as difficult as it was before which is surprising. I guess it just proves the maxim that you have to train specifically for what you want; slow running won’t make you faster, and fast running won’t help your long runs. At least not much, anyway. Food for thought for all you runners out there.

So now I have take an aeroplane (AMAZING CONCEPT) to Cairns in Northern Queensland in search of warmer weather; something I have had some success with. The beach run is now replaced with… another beach run. But this time in a t-shirt! The sunrises are equally fabulous.

 

A wonderful start to the day

 
Finally just a quick thanks to everyone who bought a copy of my book – North to South: A man, a bear and a bicycle – on Amazon, and a special thanks to all those who said they really enjoyed it! I have decided to write another book around this trip, but as the last one took 6 years I would start with the current one if I were you!

http://www.amazon.com/North-To-South-bear-bicycle/dp/1502769085

Stay tuned for a ‘tricks and tips’ post coming soon.

James

Advertisements

Day 82: The Finishing Line!

I was up as early as I could, no mean feat after the previous day’s battering. I slowly sorted myself out and after eventually repacking my stuff I opened the curtain to the bay doors overlooking the river below. Rain and grey overcast skies stared back, a miserable start to the last day. Nothing for it than to get going though. Fortunately it was only really drizzling and I kept focused on the positive, which consisted of the moody and dramatic views plus the fact I had a bicycle lane. After a couple of miles I spied a McDonalds, time to get a coffee and muffin.

 

Urgh

 
I have never seen a busier McDonald’s at 7.20am on a Sunday morning. It was rammed; clearly a meeting point for various clubs and groups off to do things. I wrestled in and ordered, and was eventually on my way. In another 15 miles was the next one, a good spot to warm up a bit again before the hard section – the motorway. I saw the ‘no pedestrian’ sign as I pulled onto it, but bicycles were allowed and so I figured I was just a slow bicycle. After 5 miles the highway patrol decided I wasn’t. 

‘It’s too dangerous’ said the jobsworth who pulled up in his breakdown truck. He phoned his supervisor and they decided that going to the end of the cycle lane in 20 miles was crazy, so I needed to be escorted off the motorway; they wouldn’t even let me run to the next junction. Arguments of logic (100x safer than the mountain road, highly visible, huge lane just for me) and compassion (last day, I’ve already done 4,000km) had no effect, so the guy drove me from a 4 lane motorway with a beautiful 4m wide bike shoulder just for me to a 6 lane ‘A’ road with no shoulder and the same speed limit. Explanations that it was suicidal and irresponsible lunacy to leave me there was met with a blank smile – he was a removal guy and he was paid to remove things, not think, end of story.

 

More than my job’s worth, mate

 
And so with my ending time target in the balance I went to plan B, a cross town mishmash of side roads and main road with either broken footpaths or no footpaths. Oh, and over some ridiculous hills and bridges to make it unbelievably stressful. Not cool at all! I ran non stop as fast as possible for almost 5 hours until I eventually ran down through north Sydney and found my way to the harbor bridge. That was the first smile of the day. A kind fellow helped me up the stairs to the walkway and across I went. Suddenly, there is was – the iconic Sydney Opera House! That was it, a real symbol of what I had achieved, and I teared up to look at it. I was here, I had made it. I was so close to the finish!

  

So happy!!!

  

There it is!!!

 After a hectic run through central Sydney, always a little behind schedule, I reached the final road to Bondi. I met my dad on the corner and we ran the last 1km together. Down to the road, round the building and there it was – the beach and the finishing tape my friend Emma had strung across path. A final 20m and I was DONE!!!

 

Mad, bad and dangerous to know… not really!!!!

 
It was wonderful to meet my friends and family there, although i admit i was so tired and drained it was hard to appreciate. But it was also a moment I will always remember. It will take a few days to sink in I’m sure.

I want to thank you ALL for following along, really it has kept me going through the hard times. I hope you have enjoyed reading this even half as much as I have enjoyed sharing this adventure with you. I will post a couple of ‘epilogue’ notes but for now let me just say a heartfelt THANK YOU!

Until the next adventure…

James