Murray's guest bloggers over the years have given me some inspiration - in particular the 2007 Bloggers. Following the advice of Steve Partington and Mark Hempsall, I bought a pair of Saucony Fast Twitch trainers, which I still have. Lovely and light, they survived the meagre training of 2008 and the 20 odd miles I managed in the Parish, and I am still using them for training this year.
However, they are now a bit thin on the sole, and Slippery When Wet. They will be fine on the 10k distance for the Winter Walking League, but I think for someone of my size and weight I need something a bit more substantial, particularly over the full 85 miles.
So next week I intend to visit Colin Higgins at St Paul's Square and he will pluck out from his myriad of boxes a pair of chunky size 12 boats to cushion me through the day and night.
Saucony for Speed, Chunky Size 12 Boats to get to the finish.
The other device, which I now treasure, was advocated by Mark Hempsall. A Garmin 305 Forerunner. This picks up satellites and tell you how fast and exactly how far you have gone. It does lots of other things as well, including being able to be uploaded onto computer. I haven't bothered with the extras - reading instruction booklets is an alien pastime for me. I just have the speed set at Minutes per Mile and try to always be faster than 12 minute miles.
Sometimes, deliriously, you find you are going quicker than 10 minute miles and then like a dagger through the heart, you find on some stretches you have slowed to over 13 minutes. Those are black moments indeed....
And that Garmin is the Fish Wife of Electrical Gadgets. It nags. And nags. And never stops Nagging. If at a glance you see you are slowing down, you just have to speed up. It is a constant reminder and MAKES you go harder. I love it and hate it.
Training - still a bit barren, because of breathing problems caused by The Great Snot.
After my six mile walk last week, the next day I followed up with 5 miles on the treadmill at the NSC, and this week have been to the NSC twice, with a six mile walk, and a seven mile walk. It is getting easier, and while trying to build up fitness I have stopped sticking the Treadmill on "Hills" and starting at 8.5kph, - it was just too much in my present condition.
I have decided to be sensible in my build-up, so I stay off the "Hills" setting for now, and start off at 8.2kph and don't hit 8.5 until halfway through. By the last mile I can cope with 8.7kph, and I do believe I can detect a bit of the old swaying hips that the "real" walkers seem to use. Plus, I have stopped collapsing afterwards, which was happening last month.
So training is not going wonderfully, but much better than ever before. It normally takes a daffodil or two to get me out for my first walk, so doing the Blog is making a huge difference.
My Hi-Viz top is still a virgin though - next week for sure.......