The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 22 April 2007

A Solo Training Walk

After yesterday’s half mile stroll along Ogden Water with his mother, Husband decided that his knee was not well enough to join me on our 30 mile jaunt today, so off I set by myself at 8am this morning.

It was almost a repetition of last week’s walk, with the main difference being that I started out by walking through and out the other side of the village to meet up with the canal, rather than cutting a corner off to meet it further along.

The next three hours were spent in the company of a huge number of narrow boats – they really were out in force today, before I reached the pub at which we had lunched last week.

I had just finished dealing with a blister on my big toe (it was actually the one that I got in the last couple of miles last week – I forgot to deal with it last week hence it was still there today) when Husband pulled into the car park, bringing my lunch.

After lunch in the car and a quick glass of sugary juice in the pub (once it finally opened at noon), I was off again, but this time with Podcasts to keep me company.

I’d not been going for long before the rain started – some six hours earlier than the weather forecast had predicted. It turned out to just be the edge of a shower, so I didn’t even break out the jacket and it soon passed by.

Fields were crossed and lanes were walked along until I found myself a couple of hours later nearing another pub. A quick phone call to Husband and he decided to come and meet me again for another glass of sugary drink. I was 22 miles down and feeling good – until I sat down in the pub.

Starting back up after a twenty minute stop went against nature. My body wanted to be lying on a sumptuous mattress under a duvet, not plodding along more lanes (without even Podcasts to keep me company; on the winding, narrow lanes it’s bad enough dodging cars even when you can hear them approaching from quite a distance away (why is it that you don’t see any cars for ten minutes, then two come from opposite directions and find that they need to pass each other just as they reach you walking along?).

Unlike last week, I took the longer route back home from the next village along, by which time my mind was fully embracing ‘last mile syndrome’ and on the one hand I desperately wanted to stop, but on the other hand I was thinking that to make the 30 miles, I should probably carry on past the house to do a quick circuit of a local estate (of the landed gentry sort, not the housing sort).

The desire to be home won, which turned out to be the right choice as Husband met me outside of the house to lead me to the garden bench where a bottle of chilled beer was uncapped and waiting for me. Top man!

Measuring the route that I actually took, I found (rather disappointingly) that I had only walked 28 miles. On the plus side, I did it faster than last week’s 26 miles.

With twenty walks and just over 300 miles having been covered in training (compared to last year’s 10 walks and 140 miles) I’m content that I’ve done a reasonable amount of preparation. The next two weekends will be walks of more sensible proportions before the big one in 3 weeks time.

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