Hot in Africa: a list + Pa’s running

Day 11. 25km today, 256km total!  Banjul Calling!

Kalagi River Camp, 5pm

Today was a really strong day for me.  I easily got into my groove where time disappears and I met my fluid/get target with just a moderate amount of work.

I didn’t have any kids or mamas running with me today but I did have Pa Modou Super Sarr!  Pa ran a HALF MARATHON today!!! 22km total in fact.

I am so proud of him.  This achievement was a pleasant surprise to me and having him continue to push next to me made my running so easy. In my opinion, Pa conquered his first half marathon distance with a perfect mix these 5 variables: (1) athleticism (2) raw running talent (3) stubbornness (4) willpower: Banjul is calling and each step brings us close (5) competitiveness: desire to beat Kebba to this milestone.

One day this week during rest, I was lying under a tree on a farm and the rest of the team was in the truck- it was the day I was sick. A male farmer and his donkey cart came riding towards me and the farmer was yelling really loudly in Mandinka.  I didn’t move an inch, I wanted to die.  The guys said later that I was lying in the direct path that the donkey always takes onto the road and the donkey was quite inclined to stubbornly take his natural path to the road and run me over.  Obviously, the guys and the farmer stopping this collision from occurring.  I told Kebba and Pa today that they are stubborn just like this donkey J  Ashley and I have both given up trying to encourage them to use common sense when deciding how far to run each day.

Stubborn or not, huge congrats to Pa for his running strength today and the strength he shared with me.  I haven’t run a single step alone since my birthday.

Body report:

My legs were really comfortable today. I’ve just run 100km in 4 days.  I am as surprised as you.  They are just willing to do the work. My toe blister has somehow healed. The only tight spot is on the arch of my left foot.  I stopped wearing my arch molds (hard insoles) because I was concerned that they were making my right knee hurt. My right knee is no longer hurting. My left foot rolls in slightly and I’m not concerned about this tightness in the arch- I’ve been rolling it with a tennis ball. We are also back on the dirt road which has been nice to legs.

I haven’t posted my Garmin data in quite a few days because it requires a lot of internet time and the computer is hot. Additionally, it seems that my computer and Garmin are no longer communicating to each other and I can’t fix this without internet juice.

My weight is slightly down at 117 lb today after being sick 2 days ago. I just ate 3 chocolate bars.

To round out today’s post, Ashley and I have prepared an “it’s so hot” list.  I’ll preface this by telling you that I am dealing really well with the heat while running. My body’s cooling system operates very well and the heat isn’t the challenge that I thought it would be.  That being said, we are hot the rest of the non-running day. Hot like this:

  1. It’s so hot that Ashley and I are wearing pajamas/underwear at present and we spend most of our non-running day this like in the privacy of our room
  2. It’s so hot that while at our last base camp in Soma, where there is no electricity during the day, the shower water felt hot because the sun heats the water in the pipes so much
  3. It’s so hot that I need to type this post in a word document and post it on the internet a few hours later because the laptop emits so much heat that you can only sit with it for 15 minutes at a time
  4. It’s so hot that Ashley can’t apply nailpolish to her toes properly because it dries with each swipe
  5. It’s so hot that sometimes I can’t run with my sunglasses on because they trap heat behind them
  6. It’s so hot that even Kebba is hot
  7. There isn’t enough Vaseline in Africa to keep my skin intact. Chafing, chafing, chafing. Toes. Shoulders from hydration pack. Shirt pockets. Armpits.  I will never laugh at my Nova Scotia boys again about the bloody shirt run
  8. It’s so hot that we try not to take our 20 minute water breaks in villages because the people and the huts raise the air temperature
  9. It’s so hot that the puddles emit heat as you run over
  10. It’s so hot that a ponytail or bun is required. I tried to wear my hair in pigtails once and the heat under each pigtail was too much to handle

So Canadians, stay cool and keep sending us your love.  We love your messages.


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12 Responses to Hot in Africa: a list + Pa’s running

  1. Marcelle Thibodeau-Hennigar says:

    And I thought Fredericton was hot today 🙂

    Congrats to all of you on your run so far. What an amazing team accomplishment!

    Reading your updates is inspiring. Keep running the good run.

  2. Debby Hughes says:

    Well you guys are HOT:) Congrats Pa on the half marathon and glad to hear all is well! Maybe you’re burning up the road so quick on the way to Banjul that you’re creating some heat! Great job everyone:):)

  3. Kate Keast says:

    I went golfing today!I was sweating like a ocean! You are doing a great job! Keep it up (I know you will) I am ALWAYS thinking of you!
    Love, Kate

  4. Gemma says:

    24 degrees with a humidex of 29 probably sounds good to you but it was too hot for me!!! Well done Pa!! It’s also great that you always have company. As always STAY SAFE!!!!

  5. Cathy says:

    Ha haaaaaa.soooo I probably shouldn’t tell you about the heat wave that is going on across most of Canada right now, eh?! Wimpy Canadians… 😉
    Banjuuuuuuul is calling…..
    I remember talking with Jerry (owner of Kalagi River Camp) and talking about your run, and describing how it would work and we looked out at the road, and he said “Wow….she is really running to Banjul”. “yes”, I said…”After having also run from Basse”. He just looked at me. This was also the check-point where the cop asked me for my coke. Armed with an AK-47. And my response was “no. get your own coke.” The heat will make you strong, girls….don’t you forget it!
    One week from today……finish line…..

  6. Laura says:

    I will send you some of the cold weather from NL! The entire week is supposed to rain here. Congrats to Pa! You are making some pretty damn good runners out of your team!

  7. Dawn Hughes says:

    Congrats Pa. Great job. Erin is making distance runners out of all of you. Continue the great work. Try to think cool thought……I know easier said than done.
    Chafing is nasty at the best of times but under your circumstances, nasty probably doesn’t even touch it.
    Hoping it cools off for you all soon. Stay healthy and happy. Sending much love and support

  8. Megan says:

    I’m glad that you are finding so many ways to ‘beat the heat’!! Or at least ‘run with it’ in your case Erin!! Good luck with the nail polish Ashley!! And congratulations on the half marathon Pa Modou!!

  9. Mel Connors says:

    Congrats to Pa!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is AWESOME!!!!!! What an accomplishment!!!!!
    I loved the hot list! I ran this morning and it was overcast and 15 degrees but slightly humid and I overheated! I dipped my feet in the ocean afterwards but it was WAY too cold to swim (and I was going to jump in anyway in honour of you guys but there were too many jelly fish!)… Erin you make running across the Gambia sound easy!!! You are amazing! Have a great day tomorrow!!!!

  10. Liam Keast says:

    You are doing awesome. I’m not surprised your body has been able to handle those Ks. And this is why I wasn’t worried about you running a little less before you left. You haven’t been racing, you’ve been careful to run a reasonable pace so each run is like a training run…only your running 25K every day. That’s the part that’s new. But because you aren’t running too fast I think your body may be actually getting stronger as you continue. So keep eating, drinking, resting, and you are going to continue to cruise along. It is awesome reading and keeping track of what’s going on and see how you are doing. If you get mentally tired just think of all your fans over here reading, encouraging, proud, and excited for you! Keep running!

  11. Philip Rosson says:

    It’s hot in Halifax today! Finally after all the cold and gloomy days we’ve had this Spring and Summer. But nothing compared to the heat of running across The Gambia without home comforts at the end of each day. Hang in there guys, nearly there. It’ll be great for cathy to be at the finish line to greet you and bring greetings from the NSGA crowd in Halifax. Be well.

  12. Angela says:

    I’ve been reading each day as you tweet the updates! I look forward to your blog posts like I look forward to a new episode of my favorite TV shows!

    You and your team are very inspiring and entertaining.

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