Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The countdown is on...

I can't believe that it's been 3 weeks since I last blogged, but time can easily pass you by when you are focused on family, training, work, training and even more training. The only thing more difficult than all this walking is actually blogging about it!

So the nights are now lighter and the weather is (marginally) better, so I've been out quite a bit, trying to do between 10 and 14 miles twice a week and about 20 miles at the weekend. The problem I find is that I'm doing the same routes and they are getting a bit repetitive. Last weekend, I decided to walk the first part of the course to Rushen, the first time I've done so since the 2011 Parish Walk... Lets just say that the roads seemed longer and the hills seemed steeper this time round! I tracked my mileage/time and I think I may have been walking slower that I did in 2011, but you always walk quicker on the day with the competition element and the atmosphere created by of the participants and supporters. I got to Santon and was called by my wife to remind me that the Billown course was closing for the Pre TT racing, so I walked to Malew Church and carried on into Castletown (to get off the course before it shut) and wandered back towards the airport and into Ballasalla where I was picked up by my wife and daughters. I was tired, a bit thirsty and sunburnt (note to self: buy sun block before that race), but my legs and feet felt fine. I'm still not sure if I've trained enough for this years Parish Walk, but I can only do what I'm able to and if that's not enough, then so be it... It's more mental than physical anyway!

We have a nice family holiday coming up and although I will be relaxing (probably not the right word to use as my 1 year old and 4 year old daughter's will keep me on my feet and busy), I'll probably feel guilty that I should be training... Scrap that, I'll be sitting in the sun with a beer, so the guilt should be short lived!

I hope to get back to the blogging more frequently as the 22nd June gets closer and I start to taper my  training, the trouble is finding enough things that people will find interesting, I mean, I'm not even sure how many people actually read this?

You can't go wrong with a nice picture in a blog, so this was my view 10 miles into my walk the other week (just before I turned round to walk back home)... Watch out for the pavement from here to Laxey, it's terrible... but the view out to sea is amazing!

Monday, 6 May 2013

To Peel and back...

Well it's been a few weeks sine I last sat by the computer and told you about my walking habit. A few days after, I had the realisation that miles and times are probably only of interest to me, so I'll try to keep the stats to a minimum.

I'll now pick up where my last blog left off...

I went out for a walk with my sister and whilst the pace wasn't consistent, it was good to have someone to talk to instead of listening to my iPod for hours on end! Time definitely seems to go quicker when you are chatting and the level of gossip was certainly high and better than reading the latest red top newspaper.

Many people have asked if I did actually walk if rom Liverpool City Centre to Goodison Park, well I'm sorry to say that I didn't walk it, but happy that my mate Higgy was kind enough to give me a lift to the Everton v Fulham game and it would have been rude to refuse it (I did do a fair bit of walking around Liverpool One during the morning though). Everton won 1-0 and the game was a bit flat, but I love watching them play, so am content with sacrificing my training that weekend for it!

I've done a few walks during the last couple of weeks, but it was only this weekend where I decided to take a different route for my first 20 mile effort (sorry for mentioning miles there). Peel was the destination and the day started off quite cloudy and cold, so I dressed accordingly... short sighted of me, as the weather forecast had predicted sun and didn't disappoint (but more of that later). Walking a route that is familiar to you when driving makes you realise how much you actually don't see (as well as making you think that the distance is shorter). The trip out to Ballacraine via the TT course was enjoyable, although I'd had a few glasses of wine the night before and was feeling a bit dehydrated. The onward journey through St Johns and towards Peel saw the clouds part and the sun come out (not good for someone with 3 layers on), nevertheless I got to Peel police station and turned around to come back.

The return leg left me feeling anxious to get home, not only because I knew I had at least another 2 hours and 15 minutes of walking to do, but also because I was worried I might not actually get back in time to watch the Merseyside Derby! The walk back was more uncomfortable than I remember any other walk I'd done in previous years, my feet were getting sore (although, luckily enough I didn't get any blisters), my legs were getting tired and my mentality wasn't right. I got home, but my early training confidence had been dented somewhat... Is knowing what completing the full 85 miles feels like, affecting me in a negative way? I've spoken to 2 other finishers recently who told me of them feeling it more and it being more difficult to training over longer distances... maybe for me it's a mental thing? I just hope that my mental strength matches my stubbornness and I will overcome it, "Watch this space"!

My legs and feet are fine after a night's rest, so all being well, I shall be pounding the streets of Douglas tomorrow evening in an attempt to prove to myself that a second Parish Walk finish isn't beyond my capability! Bye for now...