Friday, 29 March 2013

The longest walk yet

For a while I had been thinking of doing a really long walk. I have to get used to walking for many hours as that is what I will be doing on Mount Kilimanjaro. Recently I found 'the long walk' whilst searching on the Internet. I completed a 16 mile walk today, I walked the 'Castleman Trailway' It is part of the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line which was closed down in the 1960's. The route took me from Ringwood to Poole. The terrain was pretty good, and it was flat. Today that was perfect. Although I do need to walk on big hills I think 16 miles over fairly flat terrain was ideal really. Today was more about getting used to walking for a long time both physically and mentally.
I found it very enjoyable.The weather was ideal for it. No rain, not too cold.  There seemed to be lots of people out with their dogs, I would run into clusters of people near residential areas, but as I pushed on, quite a lot of the time I found myself the only person on the trailway. A long way from home, just me, and my thoughts.The miles just seemed to fly by as I enjoyed my walk through woodland and heathland.
As I went through Wimborne Minster, and with about 4 miles to go I did start to labour. My pace dropped and my legs began to ache. I started to think should I stop now? After all, 12 miles is nothing to be ashamed of and a lot further than I have walked before. But what about the last 4 miles? I then thought, what if I start thinking like this in Africa? There will be no turning around on that mountain until I have reached the top. I refuse to do that, so today would be no different. I might have some aches tomorrow, but 'I WILL NOT GIVE UP!' I told myself. I plodded on and did make it to Upton Country Park, the finish line. The sense of satisfaction and pride I felt, having completed what I set out to do made me forget about my aches.
I feel like it was a very successful exercise, I pushed myself further than before physically, and when the doubts entered my head I pushed them away and achieved my goal.
It took me 5 and a half hours to complete the walk.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Rest and work

I took myself off to Barbados for a week at the end of February/beginning of March. I'd organised that long before I planned my trip to Kilimanjaro. It was good to recharge the batteries in some warm weather. Although if I said I relaxed on the beach the whole time and did nothing but rest that would not be true. I did make use of the gym in the hotel daily, and enjoyed a couple of early morning runs along the beach, but yes, I did get plenty of rest too.

I came home refreshed physically and even more determined mentally to crack on and get myself ready for the challenge of my life.

I visited Lulworth Cove again and retraced my route from my first training walk there. This time there was a real difference. I found the walk so much easier than before. I could feel that all the hard work I've been putting in, is actually making a difference. I am moving in the right direction..the direction of Mount Kilimanjaro.

I also went to Badbury Rings one afternoon. That is just outside of Wimborne Minster in Dorset. It is the remains of an Iron age hill fort. It's a nice walk up and down some gentle hills and a couple of large ones. But it is set in 'rings' so you can walk any way around it that you like.


In addition to this I have spent time at the gym working out. Generally my workouts last around 45 minutes to an hour. I start on the treadmill and run for 10 minutes at a pace which will just get me warmed up and my heart beating a little faster before I move on to the weights. The gym I use has a variety of equipment and I make sure I use each piece during my workout. I do 30 repetitions on each piece of equipment. 3 lots of 10,with a drink of water and a slight pause between each batch. I then get on to the rowing machine and burn off any energy I have left with a fast 750 meters. I say fast...Sir Steve Redgrave probably would not be unduly worried about me becoming a 6 time Olympic Gold medalist.
I then finish with the exercise bike very easy for 5 to 10 minutes just to warm down.

If I can't get out for a really long walk, and I can't get out to the gym, you'll find me out running. How far I run depends on how I feel at the time. Its a minimum of just over 2 miles and sometimes I will go to around 5 miles. I do find running as well as walking is excellent thinking time. I often try to picture what my journey up the mountain is going to be like, and reaching the summit. Just about 5 months until I find out.

I hope as we are now about to enter Spring, that the weather will improve. I don't mind walking in the rain or the cold but a walk in the sunshine would be very nice now and again.