After work I try to get out for a short, fast walk at least twice (preferable three times) a week. I have a standard route which takes me just over an hour and incorporates uphill's and one big downhill. Last week I made a promise to myself that I was going to cut the time to just below an hour by the end of the month. Thursday I did it in 62 minutes, Friday I did it in 59 minutes 17 seconds! It just shows you what determination and an achievable goal can do.
Saturday - rest day and coffee with the girls (all afternoon!)
Sunday - 15 miles along the prom, Groudle and then back up through Onchan and past the grandstand. My legs felt like they were made of pure lead. I still managed a respectable time but it was hard-going and the last couple of miles were very, very long miles. It's on walks like that one that I wonder how I could possibly manage over 5 times that distance. However, having the occasional walk where you really have to work hard makes the sense of achievement so much stronger and the next one so much easier.
Last week I left Parish Walk 2012 with bleeding hands in Laxey.
I did get up (or was picked up) and carried on. There was never an option to stop at this point. My hands were too cold to feel too much pain anyway and I hadn't damaged any other body parts, so soldier on it was.
I think that Brian was starting to get really tired by this point as he was counting down the miles and the minutes to the end. He was encouraging me to pick up speed on the final leg of our journey. I have to say that I have lots of respect for the people who do the support for the full distance. It's not easy driving slowly along the route, getting in and out of the car every mile or so. I think that walking is probably the easier option!
Lonan Parish came and went without a hitch, although why the church is up the top of such a steep hill is anyone's guess.
Onchan Parish came and went without a hitch, but the church is at the bottom of a hill which you need to climb to get back up to the main road. When I dibbed in at Onchan the marshall there checked his watch and told me that if I hurried I would still finish in under 20 hours. I didn't need any further encouragement, I thanked him for spending his evening, night and early morning dibbing in the Parish Walkers and continued on my "merry" way.
By the time I got onto the prom - only a mile to go - I was desperate for a pee! There was just no way I was going to make another mile so I had to stop. Unfortunately this is where Tony Mackintosh overtook me. I went from position 46 to 47 because of a full bladder.
Back on the prom again and I was about 20 yards from the war memorial when I spotted Michelle Turner. I looked at my watch it was 3:49am (19 hours and 49 minutes walking time). I had 11 minutes to walk 20 yards but I still told Michelle that I thought I wasn't going to make it!
19 hours 50 minutes and 11 seconds was my official time. 47th finisher overall and 11th lady to finish. Those are numbers I will always remember!
Tony was waiting for me at the end to thank me for having to stop as he had been chasing me for quite a while and didn't think he was going to be able to catch me. We have been good friends ever since!
My tip of the day - whatever distance you aim to get to in the Parish Walk believe you can do it, put the training in and make it happen.