Sunday, 29 August 2010

20 mile verdict.

First up I would just like to say that although I logically know that 20 miles is an awfully long way to walk, the comparative ease with which I completed the 18 miler back in July may have meant that I set off with a slightly cocky bounce in my step yesterday.

Like before I chose to use to plan my route for me. A big circular route through and around London stretched out in front of me as I left the house just before 8.30 yesterday morning.

Leaving Lewisham, I walked familiar roads up to Southwark Park, then along the Thames' South Bank before crossing the Millenium Bridge to St Paul's, then... Well, then I got a bit lost. My walkit route tried to take me through a locked gate and I became rather flustered as I tried to find a replacement route. Even though I know the area well, it threw me. I got back on track eventually, walking through the edge of Angel before heading onto Regent's Canal.

Regent's Canal is fast becoming my nemesis. A mile or so along the towpath and I started to hurt. Unlike last time it was my left hip rather than my knees and, also unlike last time, it was a sharp stabbing pain rather than a dull ache. My bouncing stride soon slowed to a hobble as I limped along the canal. I was certain that I would have to stop. I made plans on how to get myself home. And then, right when I was at my lowest, I looked up and saw this:

Regent's Canal, Canary Wharf glistening in the distance

The sight of the towers of Canary Wharf glistening in the distance almost brought that bounce back into my step. I felt a boost from knowing that I was on the home straight, albeit one that was going to last for at least another 6 miles.

At that point I decided that I must carry on. I knew that I had to beat this pain.

And I did. I arrived back home 20 miles and 6 hours 2 minutes after setting off. My hip was so painful that I could barely walk through the door, and had to crawl up the stairs to the cold bath that was waiting for me.

Today, I'm still uncomfortable. Should I have carried on with an injury? Possibly not. Am I proud to have beaten the 20 miler? Definitely. Am I ready for another week of training? Ask me when I come back from my 4 mile walk tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

It's moments like these that I realise it's all starting to get serious.

I just audibly squealed when two parcels were delivered to work for me. This is what I opened them to find.

New trainers!  New milkshakes!

I knew that's what was inside the boxes and I was actually excited about them...that's a worrying thing.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Walking is attempting to take over my life.

Today I had to do one of the hardest things I've had to do in this journey so far. I had to hand back my allotment plot to the council.

I've known that this was coming for a long time, but still found myself staring at the screen, unable to click send on the email to the allotments officer for a good few minutes. But the truth is that although the walking is the reason for giving up the plot at this time, we had found it hard to get back into working the land after the break for our wedding and honeymoon at the end of last year.

Although I feel sad that I'm having to give up things that I love (I've already had to postpone a course I wanted to go on) it almost gives me an extra kick to know that there's not much in the way to stop me now. I have less excuses, less guilt, and that can only be a good thing.

Besides, I've asked to be put back on the waiting list for another plot sometime in the future. In the meantime I'll have to make do with veg pots in my garden.


This week sees me taking on one 4 mile, two 8 mile, and one 20 mile training block. I am apprehensive, but undoubtedly excited.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Still walking...

I've been quiet the last couple of weeks. That's because I took two weeks off work, offline and, yes, off training. I didn't really mean to, but I moved house in those two weeks and became rather preoccupied with unpacking boxes, visiting IKEA and exploring my new kitchen.

But the time off made me hungry. I managed to beat my usual 4.5 mile training walk by a minute this morning (which doesn't sound like a lot, but that extra minute has been annoying me for a long time) and am itching for the 8 mile walk home tomorrow evening.

I've got about 8 weeks left until my first marathon. And I can't wait.