Walking Home From Work

‘I can see a pair of eyes ahead’ I heard Helen say. Already rather spooked by the perfect darkness of the towpath apart from the little circle of light cast by my head torch, this rather casual statement filled me with cold fear. Who, or what else was walking near the canal at two o’clock in the morning?

Following our aborted attempt to walk home from work to Helen’s home in January we had decided to do it again; only this time we were going to literally walk home after work instead of walking at the weekend. We both showed up in the office as usual on Friday (after dropping my car off at Helen’s), put in a full work day then changed and walked out the door with everyone else at 5pm.

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Training for a Long Distance Walk

As I write this, the Coast to Coast is less than a week away. Crazy! I have wanted to do this walk for so many years- and now it is almost time. All the planning, all the training have led me to this point.

I hope I’ve done enough. I think though that when you have committed yourself to a tough physical challenge there is always going to be that nagging doubt at the start line that you could have done more…

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Event Report- The Baslow Boot Bash

Phew that was a scorcher! Considering that the last time I did this event (2015) it poured all of the night before and most of the day, it couldn’t have been more different.

I had the pleasure of introducing Helen and Sue to each other and we also kept leap frogging Steve, who walked with Sue and I two years ago, and his friend Linda.

The start of the Baslow Boot Bash is just near the field which serves as a car park, but we needed to walk to the village hall to register- I think queuing to get through the cage- style gate into the grounds of Chatsworth took longer than the walk!

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A rather wet weekend in Wales…

It was the first time I have had to queue for the privilege of standing on top of a mountain. There was no view apart from cloud, mist and more cloud, but a 200 yard long stream of people had formed a line and were patiently waiting for their chance of a ‘summit selfie’. The irony is that most of them had not actually climbed the mountain.

We were on top of Snowdon- Wales’s highest peak. As it was a Bank Holiday weekend we had elected to climb the quieter Rhyd Ddu path and to descend by the Ranger’s Path. When we started our climb the weather was glorious but by the time we reached the South Ridge leading onto the summit the cloud had descended like a blanket, leaving us to traverse the (mercifully straightforward) ridge in near white-out conditions.

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A long walk in the Dark Peak

Eek! I start the Coast to Coast five weeks today!! How the heck did that happen? It felt like ages away and now it’s knocking on my doorstep…

I have been training. Back to back walks at the weekends, walking in the evenings, running up hills and hitting the gym- concentrating on inclines on the treadmill and using the summit trainer. I have had a bit of a niggle in my right Achilles though so have had to ease off a little this week- can’t risk injury now!!

Helen and I completed a long walk in the Dark Peak on Sunday. We haven’t done much walking in the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire- we both confessed it scares us a little- so when Helen found a route in a walking magazine we decided to go for it.

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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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Back into it!

I went to the nurse to have the dressing changed on my wound for the last time Friday- she pulled it off and announced that my back is now healed so I need no more dressings! This is great news- it is so lovely being able to shower properly- although she did advise me to leave it another week or so until I swim.

Of course, this means that sadly the Half Outlaw is definitely off- I should have been really building up my swimming and cycling over the past few weeks and doing some open water stuff and of course I haven‘t. This is really gutting, but the Coast to Coast in July is still very much on and I am now concentrating all of my efforts on this!

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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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Training update for January and February

As promised at the start of January 🙂 here is an update of my training progress…

I have been gradually building up the running and walking in preparation for the Millennium Ultra and have been regularly running 8- 10 miles with a few longer walk/ runs, although a nasty cold this week has meant things have hit a hiatus. Helen and I have done a couple of walks, one from Castleton up Mam Tor and along the ridge to Lose Hill and Back Tor. It was a gorgeous day, and as it was the New Year bank holiday predictably busy- we could have literally danced a conga along the ridge!

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Event Report- the Wilmot Wander

A couple of weeks ago saw me taking on my first challenge of 2017- the 32 mile Wilmot Wander. Run by the Chaddesden Scout Group, the walk starts from Chaddesden in Derby and takes in a circuit around the city.

They have this slightly odd system where walkers and runners are sent off in batches every two minutes, and as my start time was earlier than Sue and Elaine, my walking companions‘, I hovered outside in the dark trying to keep my balance on the icy pavement.

Reunited, we set off through Chaddesden Park- one drawback of not having a mass start is that there was nobody in front to follow. We had some rather poorly printed maps and a route description that was sparse at best so had to ask a local lady for directions on leaving the park.

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