Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time for a last.

Only three months later than intended Dad and I managed to finally synchronise diaries to get a day free for a walk. Training has really begun! Well almost - still not managed to get the Parish Virgin out with us on the course - ah well 2 out of  3 aint bad (ref: Meatloaf ). Intended route - Peel via the Sloc. Aim - to give the legs and feet a good pounding and see how we feel in the morning. If we can get out of bed no problem - then training is on track. Alas weather forecast not brilliant. 4 am this morning wide awake - rain lashing against the window. Flashbacks to PW2008 - top of the sloc  - extremities turned blue - horizontal rain and howling wind. Teeth chattering uncontrollably - and no shelter in sight. Sleep is difficult. Maybe I can write a note to be excused training today? Flashbacks to PW2011 banners and adverts appearing everywhere and decide time really isn't on my side. Crawl out of bed very tired - decide a pre walk cross training session isn't a good idea - so go back to bed. Eventually have to surface to minister to needy offspring... so decide to get ready and head down to meet Dad at the QB. Being the local he is Dad offers his advice on the direction of the prevailing wind and we mutually agree that the sloc should be avoided this time. Still head to Peel (still into a head wind) but consider opportunities for diversions along the way to add miles and some gradient. It is a horrid road at the best of times  - with a head wind and zillion tonne HGV's skimming the pavement - it's worse than horrid. We were glad to turn right at Ballacraine and head for.... first coffee break in St John's Mill. Carrot cake rather nice too. Up the incline to the Poortown Road (mental note to self avoid moving when having just consumed large slice of stodge) and blast into Peel. Hang a left to the Patrick Road, left at Patrick Church, then enjoy the relative peace of a walk back into St Johns. It is fabulous this time of year - if you usually walk with some sort of headphone device - try taking it out - you'll be amazed at just how good nature sounds. So heading into St Johns - dilemma - attack the main road back or try the old train route which can be a bit of a quagmire - and I had my nice white trainers on. Need cup of tea to make a decision so we stop at the cafe - no cake this time! Decide we can't face more traffic so march off down to the PROW and have good mostly mud free blast all the way back to Douglas. Dad's leg was good. Worked up a fair temperature heading home - and arrived back 7 hours later to a house like a bombsite, dishes and washing everywhere. All this and training too....


  1. Stephanie,
    Thank you for your advice regarding the training shoes. Shoes almost broken in.... still however having lots of problems with blisters, shin soreness and swollen hands (any advice would be gratefully received)
    I am also really struggling with training. Have now managed five to six 10+ mile walks, averaging around 16 minutes per mile. However, how do you manage the step up to 32 miles (if decide that Peel is far enough for the first attempt) or further.
    What do i need to do over these final two months to achieve my goal?

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  3. If you are getting blisters then your feet are moving around too much. Either your shoes are too big or you are wearing the wrong socks. Get your feet properly measured first. If it isn't that, try some different socks. I like 1000mile two-layer socks but there are loads to try out (I also tape my feet in duck-tape - but that isn't for everyone :) ).

    For shin splints - find a low step or curb. Stand with your toes on the step and your heels on the ground below. Now try to lift yourself up using your toes. This will help to strengthen the muscles and help to reduce the shin soreness. Also make sure to warm up and down properly with lots of stretching.

    As for swollen hands, keep them raised. Remove any Jewellery. Now bend your elbow to 90 degrees. When you swing your arms imagine your arms only extend down as far as your elbows. Don't swing the hands or wrists. JUST the elbows.

    Swing back high, as if taking something from the rear pocket and then swing your elbows down but not too far forward. It feels a bit weird at first but practice.

    As for getting up to 32 miles - given your 16 minute miles, I'd advise shortening your training first. Do a few weeks of 4-6 miles but quicker. Walk as quickly as you can for just a few miles. Then build the miles back up. You will find that the extra fitness quickly allows you to walk further.

  4. Many thanks to 'Bassey' for posting such sound advice. Just one thing I'd add. As we're not aiming for any record speeds just the finishing line - we don't worry too much about km/hr when training - just get the miles in. I am a nightmare to walk with if I'm 'against the clock'!