Sunday, 21 April 2013

The things you see...

It's amazing what you see whilst you're out walking, on my latest couple of jaunts out to Laxey I've seen the obligatory wayward one shoe on top of a wall and the single glove on the kerb, but the winner this week was found by the road in Baldrine... It was a fish slice from a BBQ set! It looked pretty new and wasn't there when I did the same walk 2 days earlier, so if you are one piece short of a BBQ set, then you know where to look! It might seem odd to write about mislaid items, but when I'm doing the same walk over and over, I tend to look for markers of where I should be and at one time... I also place bets with myself on whether or not the glove will still be there when I get that specific part of my walk. This sounds ridiculous (even whilst I'm writing it), but I think it's important to find ways of entertaining yourself when your walking, so that you can battle the long stretches of road on the big day (especially during the hours of darkness)!

This week I finally feel as though I'm making progress, 2 x 14 mile walks under 3 hours and 10 minutes and my confidence is growing. The only thing I'm worried about is the possibility of wet weather. Last Thursday night when i walked from Douglas to Laxey, I got to Mines Road and turned around to walk back to Douglas and the heavens opened... My jacket got soaked almost immediately and after about half an hour the rain eased for 15 minutes before it started up again. My trainers were wet and so were my 1000 mile socks, not a good combination if you're planning to do 85 miles! This got me thinking that I would need to have 2 pairs of worn in trainers before June, so I picked found a pair of 'comfortable' back-ups and took them out for a 'test drive', thankfully they survived a good 3 hour stomp without causing me any blisters (touch wood), which has put my mind at ease somewhat... I would still love it not to rain during this years Parish Walk though!

I'm planning to give my sister another chance on the training front (after her dismal efforts a month earlier) so I'm hoping we'll get a good 9 or 10 miles in either tomorrow or Tuesday evening, here's hoping the weather will be nice! It'll be good to do a previous favourite route of mine, the old railway line from Douglas to Peel, whilst I know we won't go that far (probably and hour out and an hour back) I want to get as much walking in as possible this week. Next weekend will see me travel to watch my beloved Everton against Fulham, so I won't be able to do any official walking, unless I save my bus fare and wander the 6 miles there and back between from the Steam Packet ferry berth and Goodison Park?

I've gone on for longer than I intended, so will wrap things up and leave you with this question... How does someone lose one shoe and not notice?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Time for a reboot?!...

Well my training has been very stop, start this year (as one or two of you may have noticed from previous blog posts), but after watching the videos on MTTV from the Manx Telecom Parish Walk launch event, it got me more enthusiastic about competing and I wanted to get out there and get some miles under my belt.

The first opportunity to train came over the Easter weekend, however, I had promised to take my girls swimming and not wanting to break that promise, I sacrificed my walk that day, the next day saw us going to a Christening and then lunch at my parents house, where Lucy took her first steps after months of trying to walk on her own! Easter Monday arrived and I was reminded that Holly and Lucy had been invited to the Easter Bunny trains at Groudle for their friend.s Birthday party, and not wanting to miss seeing their faces when they met the Easter Bunny I chose to go along (which I'm really glad I did as they both loved it)! A big Monday night roast at the in-laws followed so my long weekend of what should have been filled with walks across the Island, was spend with my amazing family. I know this blog is supposed to encourage all the reads to get out there and start walking, I'm conscious that I don't want to miss out on the days out with my wife and kids, which is something that looked like happening!

Prioritising is something we all must do and I know that I may have missed out about 30 miles worth of walking, but missing Lucy's first real steps on Easter Sunday would have been gutting (I can always make up the lost miles)!

The past weekend, we went to my cousin Ellan's wedding (congratulations to Ellan & Tony!), and there I was speaking with my mate (and fellow Parish Walk finisher), Liam Parker, who is a former under 21 winner in 2011. After a few drinks we agreed that starting training too early didn't seem to suit members of the football fraternity (as the season doesn't finish until May)! Liam mentioned that he starts his training in April as he looses his enthusiasm if he starts too early... I finally realised that this is exactly how I had been feeling. We both agreed that training should start properly the next day and I was pleased to read on Facebook that Liam had completed 15 miles during the afternoon (whilst I'd been sat watching Everton miss out on 3 points against Spurs). I felt guilty, so headed out for a couple of hours and got about 9 miles in... Not as much as I wanted to do, but better than nothing.

Tonight I agreed with my very understanding wife that I would finish work a bit earlier than normal and get out walking the old tried and tested route from my house in Douglas to Laxey and back (15 miles). It took me just over 3 hours and 15 minutes, which wasn't too bad, I lost time on the return leg where I lost a bit of focus, something that can happen on the big day, so it's worth working on. The training is now well and truly rebooted and I hope to kick own from here!

Though I should mention that in my last post I stated that the use of earphones/MP3players was banned, well I was reliable informed by readers of the blog, that they were not banned, but were not encouraged (as you may not be able to hear instructions from the marshals), apologies to anyone who I misinformed. I genuinely remember reading in previous years that they were not allowed, but maybe this rule has changed in the last few years?

One concern I do have is will my iPhone battery last throughout the full 85 mile walk, or should I acquire a non smartphone, whose battery will last considerable longer that Apple's otherwise amazing phone! I think a mobile phone is a must in order to keep in contact with your back-up crew. Let me know your thoughts?

Well that's all for now folks, keep an eye out for the next exciting instalment of my Parish Walk blog!