The Famished Road – Part III

Hours Since Last Food: 48 hrs

Hours Since Last proper meal: 72 hrs

Miles Run Today: 10

Miles Run Overall: 25


12:02     Wow, didn’t expect that!

Having suffered 1 day with little,  then two more with no food, and having run the combined distance of a marathon with no fuel, one would imagine feeling a little predatory about the first meal. The pan is ready to go in the galley with a wholesome pikelet-cross-crumpet mix (a hybrid known in our home as “pumpettes”) prepared before this last run frothing nearby, the tea is brewing, a new jar of homemade plum jam is smelling sweet and shoulder-to-shoulder to some lightly salted butter, and my head is lodged heavily on the bench, as is a tired body in the foetal position. I can’t face the thought of it, my stomach is churning, I’m going to be sick. No I’m not, maybe I am.

We woke at 0800 after a fitful night in which Kath spent the hours of 3am til 6am tic-tacking on laptop keys writing a press release and I struggled to sleep again on our lumpy bed.  I don’t know if it was hunger related or not. We hit the road at 1000, slowly easing into it confidently,but after the second mile we were slowing up. The first 5 was competed in over 50minutes, and the next 5 took over 1hr and 5. It was tragically slow. Kath especially simply had nothing in the tank but amazingly soldiered on. I, having long legs suited to a lazy glide, found the slow pace sapped my energy and didn’t allow me to daydream away the reality. We thought about the 5000mileproject a lot. But didn’t talk too much.

The events between Mile 5 and the finish were metronomic and tedious but Mile 10 arrived from somewhere and we made our way back, free to smile once more in the knowledge we could eat what we liked! We were feeling hungry. All the way home in the dinghy we talked of food. We put the kettle on and tried to stretch out a little, and then went down to see about this breakfast we had yearned, and that’s when it happened. I downed a “Supligen” energy drink, and then keeled over onto the bunk. Immediately the sickness kicked in. Kath wisely did not have the drink but slumped too, on the other side of the table, between us the food our bodies had longed for but no longer could tolerate the thought of.


So was it the right thing to do and have we learned anything from the “running lean” experiment?

  1. Water is more important than food to a runner, but running with a colorie defecit should not be underestimated
  2. The effects of lack of nutrition were more physchological than physical in the short term at least. Little niggles and frustrations bubbled over a few times today, its hard to be diplomatic when your feeling drained, and little things like the noise of your partners rucksack russtling because they havent tightened it sufficiently drive you mad
  3. Physical effects whislt running were not so much pain as exhaustion, not sure which is more tolerable?!
  4. If we are forced to run lean on the 5000mileproject, we can make 25 miles and 3 days without major drama
  5. Eating at the end must be handled with care – easing the body back into it with simple, steady foods not high-protein and energy rubbish.
  6. We need to do much more research on this, where the limits are, what is acceptable exhaustion? – any ideas, people?


Hours To Go: 0 !!

Miles To Go: 0 !!


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