Sunday, 9 March 2014

Track vs Road Walking

Yesterday I did the unspeakable, unthinkable act of resigning halfway through a 10km track race, and not just any race but the Ascot Open.
When I arrived at the track my heart and soul were not in the race, looking back now I know that I shouldn't have even started in that frame of mind. But I did start and was doing a reasonably good time (for me) of 29:56 for the first 5km but then I got a yellow card for contact and it just threw me. For the time being I have decided to dedicate my time to road walking.
Ever since doing 100 miles around the NSC I have had a mental block against going around the track one more time. It doesn't make much sense to me, but there you have it. That's why I have temporarily (or maybe not) decided to retire from track racing.
So to pay penance for my stupidity for not continuing for the 2nd half of the race on Saturday I decided to catch the early morning bus to Ramsey and walk home to Douglas on Sunday. In total it was a distance of 15.8 miles done in 3 hours and 6 minutes. I enjoyed every minute of it, even the section where the wind was blowing a hooley, which wasn't forecast on Accuweather!
This brings me to the penultimate section of the 2012 Parish Walk from Glen Mona to Laxey.
Now that I knew I was on time for a sub-20 hour race I suddenly had a bit more spring in my step - as much as you can have after walking for 70 miles.
Michelle Turner was at the car park at Dhoon offering her support. The main highlights of my walk were all my friends who were out at various locations supporting. Without the supporters the walk would hardly be worth doing! It was at this point that Brian gave me a cup of coffee. The coffee spilt over my gloved hands and I immediately dropped it accusing Brian of trying to burn me. It was scalding hot - or so I thought - to this day he still insists that the coffee was hardly lukewarm. Brian realised then exactly how cold I was. I wasn't feeling the cold until he firmly suggested that I put on a heavier coat. Once I had the coat on and I started to defrost I started to move a little faster and feel a little more human.
The trip between Dhoon and Laxey is much longer on the evening of the Parish Walk than it is any other day of the year. I remember thinking that someone had moved Laxey Service Station. When I reached the tram lines going over the road at Laxey Brian was handing me a banana, insisting that I needed to eat something. But I wasn't watching my footing and tripped over the pavement. Because I had very little energy left I dropped like a stone, but Brian immediately lifted me onto my feet and told me to carry on!! There was another support car over the road and the gentleman in the car crossed over to Brian and said "That's a shame, she was doing so well" to which Brian replied "she's still doing well and will finish". That's the kind of support everybody needs. He believed in me even when I was cold, tired and my hands were bleeding!
My tip of the day - warn your support that you may get unreasonable at least once during the walk!

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