Monday, 18 March 2013

In sickness and in health...

It's been almost a month since my last blog post (shame on me). Don't worry, you've not missed much as I've spent that time either injured or ill! I mentioned in the last post that I was going to be playing football for Ramsey combi against Marown, well I'm pleased to say that I played and scored a cracking goal (despite only getting a 2-2 draw), but playing came at a price... Injury! I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore knee and ankle as well as aching leg muscles, this was a major problem as I intended on doing a walk that day. Needless to say I didn't train for the next week whilst I recovered. The following week saw me out training with my sister Jo Healey, well, I say we were training, I wanted to get out for a couple of hours walking and she wanted to wander along whilst sharing the weekly gossip. The evening culminated in her getting bored with the walking, claiming she had blisters and whinging to go home after about 5 miles. I think this may be the last walk that Jo and I go on together before the Parish!

Later in the week my household caught the latest cold/flu bug which affected everyone over a two week period, not the sort of thing I need when my training involves walking in now sub zero temperatures. So I'm in bed feeling 'under the weather' and I've just started to watch the FA Cup quarter final game between Everton and Wigan (which was billed as a sure fire Everton win) half an hour into the game and Wigan score 3 goals in 4 minutes to kill the game and end my thoughts of a trip to watch the toffees at Wembley in the semi-final! The weekend couldn't get much worse... Until Liverpool got an unlikely win at Spurs to fire them above the blues on goal difference!

Fast forward to the weekend just gone and the end of my cold had arrived, but not before it was replaced by an annoying cough (which I still have now), however I couldn't put training off anymore, I had to head out and get some miles under my belt. A week after the dismal display at Goodison Park and I find myself inspired by a fantastic Everton 2-0 victory over current champion Manchester City. I decided to get up on the Sunday morning and do a 2 hour (ish) walk, wasn't sure what route I'd take, but thought that I'd make it up as I went along. The weather was amazing, and the view as I walked along Douglas promenade is something else... The Isle of Man is such a great place to live! About 11 miles later, I return home unscathed, which is a great relief, my training regime has started once again!

At this point, I wanted to mention to all those Parish Walk first timers, that having read the rules, I've just realised that you are not allowed to use an iPod (or other generic MP3 player) on the day! This is something that should have really bothered me as throughout all of me training for this years event (and the 2011 event) I wasn't seen without my headphones in listening to music or podcasts. For those of you like me, who wonder how you can walk for the best part of a day with just the sound of your feet pounding the floor and the occasional passer by wishing you well, it can be done. During the 2011 PW, I didn't reach for my iPod once (other MP3's are available), and that year I didn't even know if they were banned? I suppose having trained on my own, I wasn't used to chatting with other walkers, my support crew or even singing to myself, but on the day, thats exactly what I did and it certainly kept me sane (if you can call singing to yourself being sane?!). If there is anything that you are apprehensive of because you don't know how you will cope on the day, chances are that you're brave enough to take on the Parish, so will be strong enough to overcome whatever issue you fear you may have!

I hope to be back with a new blog sooner rather than later, but I'm not promising anything!...


  1. Hi Paul, glad to hear the training is back on !!

    Just a quick point of clarity over the mp3 issue. Rule 5 states that the use of headphones is not recommended, but it stops short of saying that they are banned or cannot be used.

    Have you seen this mentioned elsewhere just in case I've missed it? Although I don't use mine constantly, in all of my finishes, I've found it useful in short blasts to give me a boost at various low points.



  2. welcome back Paul!!!
    I agree with Ed and I only used mine for a short distance between Dhoon and Laxey, I was too busy shouting at my brother!!! :0

  3. Just to clarify. Last year, the rule changed from "recommended" to "banned". Some marshals strictly enforced the change, some didn't. However, for 2013 the rule has reverted back to a recommendation - so headphones are definitely allowed. However, if you fail to follow instructions from a Marshall because of headphones or are deemed to be a danger to yourself and others because you can't hear what is going on around you then you can be disqualified.

    I would always advise walkers to avoid in-ear headphones completely as they are designed to block-out external noise - good for music but terrible for road-safety. If you want to wear headphones, get the "old fashioned" on-ear headphones with the sponge ear cushions and try not to use them on stretches where you know there are lots of junctions to cross etc.