July 16, 2011.
Day #8. 206km run!
Soma, TransGambia Lodge, 4:30pm. Too hot to nap. No electricity = no fan.
Celebrated the 200km mark today, whoo-hoo!
Today was remarkable because it was unremarkable. All parts of the runner’s body and the team were smooth. We got our kms in.
I didn’t run any kms alone today. Pa joined me for the first 5km. Ashley for 5-10. Kebba 10-20km and then both Pa and Ashley for the last 5km. That’s right, people, Ashley ran 10km today for the first time ever!
At rest today, we were under a tree on a farm as usual. A grandmother farming brought over her 2 year old granddaughter to the see toubabs and poor baby shrieked and cried. She could even look at us. Grandmother was delighted.
A few notes on how I’m feeling. Aka the injury report. I’m not injured. Ashley has an overuse injury on her abs from laughing.
Of course my legs hurt and of course it’s hot but I can manage both. The heat in non-negotiable so I continue to just put it out of my realm of conscious thought. I hurt in an acceptable way- my legs are fatigued from hard work in the general leg vicinity. I don’t have any “oh shit” injured parts. My gut is behaving and is accepting 4 litres of drink over my 2.5 hours running. I did anger my gut a bit by eating 4 bananas yesterday but they were so impossibly delicious that it was worth the risk.
Much of our run was through forest today so less community love for team Love4Gambia. We did stop to drink in the centre of Pakali Ba today and the truck was quickly surrounded by curious kids. When finished drinking, I asked them if they wanted to run with me and they all said “YES!” So off Kebba and I went with about 10 kids trailing us. I love the way the kids run. A few will “run” with good form, a few will “run” with a mix of skipping, hopping and arm waving while giggling crazily. Kebba led the kids in “Thank you Erin, thank you Love4Gambia” and all traces of fatigue vanished from my tired legs. If I could put the feeling that I get from running with these kids into a pharmaceutical bottle and sell it at Aerobics First, I would be a millionaire.
Happy report from the support truck. As we’ve written about before, my main man Pa Modou loves Akon more than life and Akon has accompanied us for many of the 206km we’ve run. But Akon mysteriously disappeared 2 days ago. The Akon cassette reappeared last night… Pa is much happier.