Sunday, 23 February 2014

Peel to Lezayre

Another successful week for training. 32 miles in total. I think I'm actually getting used to the wind and rain now. The weather has got no chance of stopping me, possibly 3 foot of snow or very icy conditions may slow me down!
Last week's blog took us to Peel in just over 7 hours - bang on schedule. This is where Brian, my support met me. For me it was just a little too late, I was very wet and hungry. I was so glad to see him and my sandwiches. Mental note to self - meet up a little earlier next year.
Walking into Peel 2012
My next target was to get from Peel to Lezayre in another 7 hours. I felt strong still and definitely had no desire to stop. I think I was actually enjoying the walk. Brian seemed to be enjoying the support role as well, he was meeting up with friends he hadn't seen for a few years. They had quite a while to chat whilst waiting for their respective walkers! Walking through Kirk Michael was great - groups of people at The Mitre have a list of walkers and their numbers, as you walk past they all call out your name like they're old friends! These are the little things that keep us going. Without supporters the Parish Walk would not be the same.
It seems a long way from Ballaugh Church to Andreas Church. It is actually 13 miles but it's a long, straight and relatively lonely road. Getting into Andreas was a pleasure, there was a party going on and people were cheering the walkers through. I remember dibbing in at Andreas but I have no recollection of dibbing at Bride, although I must have because my time was recorded! There are various points along the way that I don't have a clear memory of.
A fair amount of my training was done between Andreas and Ramsey so I was in very familiar territory now. I was eating at regular intervals, just small, frequent amounts to keep me going but not causing any discomfort. I was also drinking enough that I never felt dehydrated.
I dibbed in at Lezayre Church at 14 hrs 3 mins, less than 7 hours from Peel. Still on target with a comfortable amount of time left to finish the 23.5 miles left.
My tip of the day : stop trying to find excuses to train. Just get out and do it!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Future, Present and Past

The Future : 
25th February is Strictly Parish - this is being held at Keyll Darree, next to Nobles Hospital. This is a great forum to get all those questions you have answered and also some you never thought to ask. No matter how far you plan to go on the day there will be information available to help you get to your goals. There is more information on when and where this is being held on See you there!
Sunday 16th Feb 2014
The Present :
Wow what a lovely day to go for a walk today. Sunshine and more sunshine. No rain and very little wind. Dare I say it was even quite warm once I got going. Today I walked along the prom and past Groudle Glen to Liverpool Arms then past the grandstand before heading off home. A total of 15 miles on a sunny day.

Sunday 16th Feb 2014

What a difference from last week. Last Saturday I caught the bus to Dhoon and joined Steve and Tom Partington and Michelle Turner for some hill sprints. Afterwards I walked from Dhoon to Douglas in a strong headwind. Luckily I managed to get all the way to Douglas prom without getting wet. Unfortunately as I got onto the prom I was hit by a giant wave - totally drenched and freezing cold.
On Wednesday, despite many weather warnings I still decided to go out for a training walk. It turned out to be more of a run in some places. The gusts were just too much for me and I couldn't keep to walking, luckily I did manage to stay on my feet at all times (I'm not sure how!)
The Past :
Back to the start line in 2012. So many people had told me not to start off too fast as I was likely to burn out around Bride but the adrenaline and excitement had hit and I was keen to get out of the NSC and onto the road. The first section of my plan was to get to Peel in 7 hours. My training and my races are always timed by my Garmin watch, without it I'd be lost. I had worked out exactly how much time I had between Parishes and I had also worked out the speed I needed to go to achieve my goal to Peel.
The highlight of the first third of the walk was the hot sausages somewhere around the Blackboards!
I made it to Peel in 7hrs 6mins. I was very happy with that time, at this point I was well ahead of the cutoff time. I can now say that the Sloc is not as bad as everyone told me it would be!!!
My tip of the day : if it suits your style - plan as much as possible so that you know how you're doing throughout your walk.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Reasons for Entering

There must be as many reasons for entering the Parish Walk as there are people who enter!

My reason for entering the first time was because I was cajoled, begged, pleaded with and practically bribed by a friend. He wanted someone to walk with and someone who he believed was determined enough to finish it. So I agreed, reluctantly!

I decided if I was going to enter then I was definitely going to finish. My training started in January 2012 so I had 5 months to increase the fitness and find out what was required to get to the end. That also gave me 2 weeks to rest my weary bones before the day of the Parish Walk.
My training program was usually 3 x fast 5 mile walks during the week and a longer distance over the weekend, usually between 15 and 20 miles. Each time I went out I tried to better my time, so essentially I was racing against myself. All praise goes to my trusty Garmin watch!
I was advised to take it easy for 2 weeks before the Parish Walk but it was the longest 2 weeks ever. I was so used to doing all the training that taking 2 weeks rest seemed such a waste of time. I was so excited and nervous and terrified. The night before the Walk I hardly slept - not good when I knew I had to stay awake for the next 24 hours as well.
The big day arrived and my friend and I had arranged to meet at 7:30am at the NSC. Guess what - he didn't pitch up! I walked alone! I thoroughly enjoyed it (except for Maughold and Ballajora!). The photo opposite is at the start line, my number is 1641 and I look like I'm praying. I don't think I was, but I don't really remember much.
At this point I had no idea what to expect. I'd never walked at night before, much less walked through the day, through the night and into the next day. My 2012 plan was to finish in under 24 hours.
My tip of the day : if you really want to finish the Parish Walk then go all out to finish it. This means training your mind as well as your body to get to the end.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Time to Distance Train

So that just about cover the preparation for the Parish Walk!
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Supplements
  • Clothes
  • Head Torch
  • Hi Viz Clothes and Gear
  • Support
  • Supplements
  • Shoes
  • Feet Preparation
All that needs to be done is training and more training.
The weather hasn't been the best for getting out walking. I managed to get out after work this week and thoroughly enjoyed the walks. I have a new recruit, Kayleigh who is planning on doing the Parish Walk and determined to finish. I wish her the best of luck and hope to get out training with her on a regular basis. We aim to walk the route together over the next few weeks.
The Winter Walking League draws to a close today (Sunday 2nd February), so it's now time to concentrate on some serious distance training.
The Parish Walk Talk is scheduled for Tuesday 25th February so if you have any questions this is a good place to get them answered.
My tip of the day - try out food, drink, supplements and feet preparation on your training walks.