My walk this weekend started at 7:00 am in the NSC car park. I was once again joined by Richard Creer and we decided to walk to Peel via St Johns. The morning was dark, as you would expect for this ice of year, however I didn't realise that there is no real street lighting after you leave Braddan Church... This meant walking in the dark, not a huge problem, but one that other walkers may wish to take note of?
Due to time constraints I suggested that we walk only to St Johns (I had underestimated how far Peel was from Douglas on foot). I had kept pace with Richard on the way to St Johns, but on the way back the wind had really started to blow against us and made walking all the more difficult. Richard was going at a really steady and good pace, which sparked my competitiveness to keep up, however my body started to tell me pretty quickly that my fitness was somewhat lacking. The upshot of this was that I was walking faster than I would have done on my own, but was really feeling it in my arms and legs (not a bad thing I know)! 2 hours and 55 minutes after starting, we were back at the NSC. A few lessons learned:
1) if you're starting out early, make sure you have a headlamp,
2) if your route is not one that you have walked before, check how faro it is and work out how long it should take you to get to your destination (and back if applicable),
3) work on a steady and constant technique that works for you (even if it's unorthodox),
4) know your limits... Don't run before you can walk (excuse the pun). Work up to a quicker pace in your own time.
The picture below was taken after I'd adhered to my own advice (point 4 above). The minuscule figure in the distance ahead is Richard on his way through Union Mills!