I keep reading the other blogs and thinking "am I doing enough training?" I think this may be a common thought amongst the walkers who are preparing to go the full 85 miles. How much is enough? Personally I try to do 3 shorter (5 mileish) walks during the week and a 15 - 20 mile walk over the weekend.
I usually go to college on a Tuesday night but this Tuesday I excused myself and attended Strictly Parish. I believe that no matter how many times you have taken part in the Parish Walk, regardless of how far you walked, you can always learn something from someone at a forum like this. There were lots of hints and tips to be taken away and thought about but one thing I felt really stood out was "PLANNING". Plan your training, plan your food, plan your drink, plan your support, plan your strategy to get to your finishing point, plan your clothing, plan your foot preparation. Really good advice for every walker out there.
I was out training on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening after work, I felt really sluggish and battled to get up a good, consistent pace. I was feeling frustrated because I knew I could do better. On Saturday morning I went out thinking it was going to be another difficult session but I felt great, I picked up the pace almost immediately and kept it up all the way. Maybe I'm just a morning person!
Back to 2012 and Lezayre - I had almost 10 hours to complete 23.5 miles, this was probably the point that I knew I could finish and I was feeling quite strong. This was also the point where my body decided that it could no longer stomach solid food. I was given a Nutri Grain bar in Ramsey but I carried it all the way to Maughold almost untouched. From Ramsey to Maughold church seemed an eternity, I can't lie - it's a long, dark road when you've already covered 64 miles.
From Peel to Maughold Brian had been waiting a mile ahead of me, seeing if I needed anything and then driving on another mile. From Maughold he decided to cut the distance to half a mile, I was tired, cold, wet but nevertheless determined to carry on. It's a hard walk from Maughold church up Ballajora and back to the main road, it was pouring down and it was like walking through a river with sticks floating all over the road, but I plodded on (yes "plodded"). I was so relieved to see the sign at the top of the hill saying Laxey and Douglas. I was on my way home!
When I got to Glen Mona my brain started to engage again. I was trying to calculate how long it would take me to finish. Alas, my brain was not all it used to be. For the life of me I couldn't work out how many miles I had to go. I figured I was reasonably close to a 20 hour finish - this was way faster than I could possibly have hoped for, maybe my calculations were way off. Next time I met up with Brian I asked him to work out my finishing time based on my current speed, which was around 4.5 miles/hour. He agreed, I was going to finish in under 20 hours.
My tip of the day - From Strictly Parish - start planning now, it's worth planning for.