2017- My Review of the Year

It’s that time of year again… when we dig out that list of the things we said we were going to do in 2017, blow the dust off it and ask ourselves honestly whether we achieved them…

I think that reflection on this sort is very useful- not for beating ourselves up if we fell short of our goals, but in analysing what went right, what went less well, what challenges we faced, how we overcame them- or not- and the things we can do to make us more likely to get what we want to out of 2018.

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The Spires and Steeples- an Event Report

It was time for another Spires and Steeples rematch and to my delight Helen decided to join me again- makes it so much more fun when there‘s someone to walk with. The Spires and Steeples is a 26.6 mile walk from Lincoln to Sleaford, and as the bus leaves Sleaford for Lincoln at 7am this involved a very early start, driving half asleep through dark country lanes and trying to force down an instant porridge pot in the car park (Helen rather unwisely entrusted me with her not quite empty pot which inevitably ended up upside down under my seat on the coach)

We were expecting warm weather according to the forecast so had both donned shorts for the occasion along with many other people, but the sun didn’t make an appearance until about 3pm- it stayed rather cloudy with rain in the air a couple of times although it wasn‘t cold.

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The Pride of the Peak Walk

Pride of the PeakIt was pitch dark- all we could see was a little circle of ground a few inches in front of our feet, partially obscured by the persistent rain drops lit by the beams of our head torches as we trudged uphill through the mud. We had no idea what time it was, but we knew it was late… and getting home depended on reaching the exact spot where there was a gate through the woods- not easy when you are in a meadow a couple of miles wide…

Helen and I had decided that we needed a big walk as the culmination of our training for our Cornish Challenge in three week’s time. I had planned to enter us into the 26 mile Bassetlaw Bash, but decided that we needed to up the ante a little and do something tougher…

So I raided my walking books and found the 30 mile Pride of the Peak walk that I had done with mum and my two sisters several years ago… the difference was that then we walked it over three days, not one!

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Coventry WayIt was quite a shock to realise that I last completed this event 11 years ago! Where does the time go… I nearly didn’t do it Sunday as I had succumbed to yet another cold, this time accompanied by a bad cough, and had been feeling really poorly right up until Friday.

It’s frustrating- I seem to have picked up one thing after another recently- colds, tummy bugs, the lot! I am usually such a healthy bod so this is really quite worrying. I am due to have some blood tests taken next week (mainly to shut Mum up!) so we will see if there’s anything untoward going on or if it is just work stress and the result of constantly pushing myself when I am not feeling great…

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Hadrian's Wall ChallengeA friend suggested that we sign up for this challenge in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society as we see the effects of this horrid disease first hand, and we had been embarking on a few training walks over the past few months in preparation as she hadn‘t done any long distance walking for years. As you know, I am always up for a long walk in a different area and as seeing Hadrian’s Wall was on my bucket list (yes I have a pretty strange bucket list!) I was eagerly submitted my entry.

As this challenge was a ‘mere’ 23 miles, I felt confident in my abilities to complete it, especially as I had completed the Dovedale Dipper the week before… nothing is guaranteed however! A few days before the event, we found out it was actually 26 miles…ok a full marathon then…

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The Grindleford Gallop Revisited

grindleford gallopA few weeks ago my friend and I embarked on our second training walk for the Alzheimer’s Society Hadrian’s Wall Trek in August. As I have acquired quite a collection of challenge walk route descriptions, we decided on the 21 mile Grindleford Gallop and so we found ourselves emerging from the car into drizzle on Grindleford’s main street.

Luckily it soon cleared up, and once we had made our way through woods to Froggatt the sun was making a welcome appearance. Rain threatened several times during the day but we seemed to manage to skirt around it.

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Baslow Boot Bash- Event Report

Baslow Boot BashI had only done the Baslow Boot Bash once before as I have managed to be on holiday ever since. The Boot Bash is an event where there is no route description; just a list of check points which must be visited in order and so a map is needed.

I was in two minds whether to turn up as I got up at 6am, as, after a warm and sunny week, Saturday saw Britain lashed by torrential rain! It had started raining the night before and poured all night, meaning that it was going to be lovely and slippery underfoot.

But as this was potentially my first challenge event this year (shocking!) I thought I had better make the effort, and so drove through sheets of rain to the sodden field in the Chatsworth estate that was being used as a car park and waded my way to register at Baslow village hall.

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