I’m feeling immensely unfit. A bit of a hip problem has caused me not to have run since October and the couple of hours I’ve spent walking over local footpaths each week has not been anywhere near enough to maintain fitness. A bit of pre-LEJOG training is well overdue.
So, this afternoon, to start the campaign, we set out for a slightly longer walk over local fields and along the river/canal. It’s a route with which we are familiar, having been featured in our Keswick to Barrow training over the last two years.
Today the weather was kind to us and the fields were not as muddy as I had expected (although it was apparent from the position of the ‘tide marks’ that some of the paths by the river would have been impassable a short time ago).
Everything was going swimmingly well until about two-thirds of the way round, when we got to fields that usually contains cows. We entered the field just as the herd, which had been in the top field, decided to move en-mass down to the bottom field, across the path and to the pond beyond.
Cows scare me (along with horses and dogs; I’m really not well suited to walking in the country!), so I was hanging back a bit to see where the herd was going, when I noticed the bull. For no rational reason (I’ve heard in the news of many people trampled by cows; I don’t recall having heard about a bull attack) bulls scare me more than cows.
After a bit of dithering, I decided that with the bull occupied in the pond with his lady friends, I could make my way gingerly across the field. Alas, when half way across the herd decided that they’d had enough of the water and started making their way back towards us. With visions of being trampled, I gave scant thought to standing my ground, then made haste back towards the stile from where we had come, mentally scratching my head for a way around to avoid this field.
As it went, the herd soon ambled back up to the top field, leaving the bottom field empty for us to pass by unscathed. Phew!
A few fields later it was sheep. A non-scary animal, but noteworthy today for it seems that it’s been a bad week for sheep in our neck of the woods. We saw three lying dead in the field, and that was just in the vicinity of the path. Surely that’s not normal?
A bit of National Forest (one of the two-foot-high-seemingly-dead-twig plantations) and a crop field (I’m afraid that I exercised my right to follow the line of the ROW, even though it had been cropped over) led us to a golf course, where fortunately Husband was paying attention. Left to my own devices I probably would have been hit by a ball.
The last couple of miles, from the canal (the tow-path of which was comparatively teeming with people), made me realise quite how unfit I am. Okay, so we’d walked at a reasonable pace and without stopping, but it was a bit disconcerting to be feeling that ‘exercised’ after the distance we had covered.
The house came into view not a moment too soon and I’m pleased to say that a sit down with a cup of tea worked wonders; it nearly made me think that I could go out and walk the same route again!
The stats for the day:
Distance: 9.25 miles
Ascent: Under 400 feet
Max Wind Speed Measured: 25.1mph