Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Halfway up the stairs......

Well, I had an interesting week...having now passed the 4 weeks to go mark my feet are still firmly in the nervous/terrified camp. I think logically I know that I have done a lot of training, and should be fine but there's still part of me that worries that I haven't done enough....

Had a bit of an odd weekend training-wise. On Friday evening I read an article which say ' walking up and down the stairs 275 times is the equivalent to climbing Snowdon.' As a novice on the marathon-stair-walking front my first thought was that 275 didn't sound like that many and so resolved to give it a go. If anyone else agrees that this sounds like quite a simple task I urge you to give it a go, and please, please tell me how you get on. Despite setting up fans at both the top and bottom of the stairs I was pretty much exhausted after around 15 times. However, as anyone who knows me will confirm, if I say I'm going to do something there is no way I'm going to give in, no matter what happens. So for the next few hours I struggled up and down those stairs, finally reaching the 275 mark. I'm still feeling the pain in my legs 2 days later, not fun!

The plan had been then to do a long walk on Bank Holiday Monday. Unfortunately I woke up with an irritating cold. I took a lot of persuasion but I eventually agreed that training while ill wouldn't be the best idea, however close to the challenge it is. I'm going to make up for this with long training walks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week instead! Outside of the training walks I'm still going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, on the days that I don't I'm going for evening walks and I'm spending my lunchtimes walking up hills where I can so the training's definitely still ongoing, despite this weekend's blip!

And just because the momentum seems to have slowed I'd like to end with a quick plug of the fundraising page.... http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Amys_3_Peaks_Challenge

Monday, 22 August 2011

getting scared...very, very scared......

This weekend saw me pass the 5 weeks to go mark, and saw me move from general excitement and into something far closer to paralysing fear...! The challenge suddenly seems very soon and very very real. Hopefully I'll soon move away from this and back into excitement soon.....

Yesterday's walk was, I have to say, pretty dull. I didn't want to go too far from home so contented myself with the two mile, along city roads, walk to Mousehold Heath followed by 8 miles traipsing back and forth over the heath before heading home. So I got ten miles in, which isn't bad, and luckily Mousehold provides lots of 'up and down' opportunities but goodness was it dull! I think the problem was that I just wasn't aiming to get anywhere. In all my walks, however much I've not wanted to go out I've always had that achievement of getting somewhere, yesterday's walk seemed, well, pointless. The one aim I did have was to try to cover as much of the heath as I could, as this GPS screenshot shows I didn't do too bad a job....

Next week I definitely want to go back to a 'proper' walk. Not sure where yet, the coastal walks are definitely the best but I'm reluctant to venture that way over the Bank Holiday weekend. It may therefore be that Wherryman's Way is graced with my presence once again.

One highlight of yesterday's walk (I use the term loosely) was this stone (I said lightly!) - maybe I was just desperate for some light relief but I'm sure there's a smiley face in there;

In other news, I think I've finally bought all my kit, including my new head torch which I could resist trying out this evening.....

Just a quick thank you to everyone who has sponsored me to do this challenge to date - I know I go on about it a lot but it really does mean a lot and I am very very grateful for your generosity. Of course, if would be remiss of me not to say, if anyone out there still wants to join that list of great, generous people there is is still time.... just click here 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

3 a Day - Part 3

I can't lie - the idea of getting off the sofa to go out for my third ad final walk of the day was tough. I made the silly mistake of having a short nap (20mins) which just had the effect of making me more tired.

When I eventually did manage to haul myself out of the house I went for a short 4mile walk, round to Eaton Park  and back again, repeating much of today's first walk but today was about endurance, not nice views. One thing that did surprise me was, despite how tired I felt going out, physically I didn't seem to struggle too much. The bigger challenge psychologically making myself keep walking even when I didn't want to, a taster of what I'm going to need for the challenge itself I think!

All in all a total of just over 17 miles today - not bad work if I say so myself and I think I deserve the ice cream, glass of wine and trashy TV I'm now sitting down with.......

3 a Day - Part 2

So, just completed the 2nd of today's three walks. This one was a 6.4 mile walk to Whittlingham Country Park, along one side of the broad before turning round and coming back. A fairly non-eventful walk, much of it is along the road and it covers ground that I've covered in many walks before. Still, always nice once you get to the broad, so long as you can avoid being attacked by swans which one family I saw was failing to do.

I didn't feel particularly keen on going out for this second walk, having completed the last one only 2 hours previously. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't feel particularly more tired than I had this morning. My pace slowed from 17m 44s per mile this morning to18m 30s per mile this afternoon so yes I'd slowed but not horrifyingly slow, and the change in temperature may have something to do with it too! Will see how my third walk today goes.....

3 a Day - Part 1

I had a bit of a break last weekend, I went to a friend's wedding in Essex and the long journey, accompanied by a late night didn't leave enough time for training.

I have however decided to more than make up for that break with today's mission. So far my training has taken in long walks, hill walks, endurance etc, but the one element of the Three Peaks which I've not really trained for is the recovery needed to do one peak, sit for a few others then do the next etc. Now, I'm never going to fully recreate this, without doing the challenge itself but today I'm going to try to recreate something similar. The aim is to complete 3 walks, each of around 6 miles, throughout the day with a couple of hours break in the middle. The plan is to start one walk at 9am (done, see below) one at around 1pm and the final at around 5pm.....

look at that enthusiasm...!

So, this idea seemed great when I came up with it earlier this week, when my alarm went off at 730am however it has to be said I was less enthusiastic. However, I was out the door by 855 which I'm quite pleased about. As I need to fit so many walks in today I need to make sure the walks start and finish at my front door, which means they're not the most attractive walks I've ever done. For this first walk I took a route that I've often used for running, a total of 6.6miles. I started walking up the usually busy Newmarket Road, this was eerily quiet at 9am on a Sunday morning, I guess most sensible people were still sleeping..... from here I headed to and crossed Eaton Park before following the road into Eaton.

Eaton Park

From here I took an off-road track that follows the path of the river through some common ground, eventually  coming out at the lake at the university. From here it was then back to Eaton Park and home to sit for a couple of hours, have something to eat and then venture out again..... and on that note, with only an hour to go I'm off, will report on walks 2 and 3 soon!

the river