Feeling Positive…

I have been feeling rather panicked about the Coast to Coast as there is so little time left! As I start walking on the last day of June, I have just six weeks from this coming Friday… that’s five good training weekends and one taper. I can’t believe that it’s come around so quickly, and feel frustrated at the training opportunities I missed through that infected cyst.

I have just over six weeks to prepare my body for 12 days of continuous walking, carrying my gear, over some tough terrain with three 21 mile days in a row… in hindsight I maybe should have booked myself a rest day but that would have further stretched my already limited budget.

However I have felt more positive this week as I’ve had a good week of training. Following on from last Sunday’s 18 mile walk I walked to work Monday with my pack, then walked home at the end of the day the long way round, climbing up to Sharphill Woods and clocking up 9 miles.

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Just a little training walk…

Phew- I have not done an event for some time that trashed me as completely as the Millennium Ultra did last weekend! I almost felt incapable of taking care of myself… I could hardly move my legs, couldn’t get up without pulling myself up on something, had to crawl up and down the stairs… I couldn’t walk properly until Wednesday.

Luckily I had last week off work as I had intended to take my mum to Limoges in France for a couple of days, but thanks to the French baggage handlers strike our flights were cancelled and our trip was off. Determined to still take a break, we booked into a spa hotel and made a proper holiday of it, visiting the Denby pottery centre and having a short walk along the cliffs above Matlock Bath before checking in.

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NottinghamWell, the Easter weekend was mostly typical Bank Holiday weather- thick cloud and rain- until Easter Monday. Waking up to bright sunshine and a clear blue sky I wanted to do something active, a little different… and cheap.

I have been wanting to explore more of my local area, and putting ‘Nottingham’ into Google Maps I noticed that there are quite a few parks and green areas within walking distance of the city centre. I decided to make it my mission to find and explore the ‘green lungs’ of the city and scribbled out a route that would take me to nine parks.

I walked into the city centre, planning on buying a sandwich to eat later in lovely surroundings and sunshine, but this little plan was soon scuppered when I realised I had left my purse at home, so I had to make do with a bottle of water and a granola bar.

Leaving the city by way of Goldsmiths Street, I reached my first green area, which actually turned out to be a cemetery. Ah well, the Arboretum was just over the road. This is a large park that was opened in 1852 following the Nottingham Inclosure Act of 1845. This Act was a visionary project to provide green spaces in the rapidly expanding city for recreation, exercise and clean air.

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Lost in Sherwood Forest…

Sherwood ForestIt was getting dark. I was having trouble seeing the faint sliver of path as I fumbled my way along it, overshadowed by the tall pines of the forest. I could just make out the silhouettes of the trees surrounding me, black against the dark inky blue of the sky, the slightest sliver of daylight still visible on the horizon.

Soon, very soon, it would be gone and I would have real difficulty finding my way. I stomped along the track as fast as my aching muscles would allow, hoping that this was finally the path that would lead to where I had parked my car, several hours before.

If it didn’t, I was hopelessly lost.

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The Bassetlaw Bash

Bassetlaw BashThe Idle Valley Nature Reserve is a pretty, peaceful spot just to the north of Retford in North Nottinghamshire… or at least it is peaceful apart from one Saturday in April. For on this day scores of ultra runners and walkers descend on the visitors centre ready to start what has become an annual fixture- the Bassetlaw Bash, named for the area in which it takes place.

As it’s fairly local I thought I may as well give it a go. There are a variety of routes to choose from-  5 mile and 10 mile family walks, plus 20 mile and 25 mile challenge walks.  I checked in, told them I was walking the 25 mile route and got the cheery response ‘actually it’s 27 miles!’ Although it was only the second running of the event, it was very well attended, and there were hot drinks at the start which is always a bonus in my opinion.

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