I started off on the 21st May on the gentle charity walk for Bowel Cancer IOM, a 3.5 mile walk along Douglas Prom on a glorious evening. I walked with Carl Senogles, who I played football with at Laxey for a couple of decades. In those days Carl was one of the few Laxey players with any real talent. Carl finished the Parish last year in about 20.15 and his ambition is to better the time of his father Norman who finished third in just over 18 hours in about 1962. Norman walked with us that evening as well and is still going strong.
Carl has carried on training non-stop since the last Parish and put in some rapid times in the Winter Walking League and I have no doubt he is set for a good time this year - he gave me some useful tips about his training, mostly involving Compede. He is a natural athlete*** and I remember years ago he decided to run a marathon, and with minimal training, clocked 3 hours 18 on his first, and I think, only attempt.
Since the Bowel Cancer walk I have done an eight mile walk in 1.35, around Lonan Old Church and Baldrine, a ten mile walk in 2.03, on the same route, and another ten mile walk in 2.02 where I started at the Shore Hotel in Laxey, up the Glen, Captains Hill, and then the long slog to the top of Bulgham and to Glen Mona and then back.
The return back into Laxey is an exhilarating and speedy downhill from Bulgham, but of course there is the inevitable headwind to take the edge off it. I have noticed recently that despite the reasonable weather, all my return journeys are into the wind, and that does have a real effect on your times. Does anyone ever notice a tailwind? I suspect they don't exist, and the Headwinds leap into existence from nowhere just as you turn around.
They are watching you.
A couple of days ago I did my longest training walk yet, a fifteen mile walk, again from The Shore, and out the the top of Slieu Lewaigue in Maughold and back, this in a disappointing time of 3.07. That was a bit of a struggle, mainly because of my knee, but I also find that sometimes you fly along, and other times things just don't feel right.
The Shore Hotel is a great place to finish a walk. As Mrs Merton said to George Best, "Tell me George, did all that running around make you thirsty?"
For those dietary and medical experts out there, I do have a pint of water before slaking the rest of my thirst with Bosuns.
As to my Promises, I think that means on my promised schedule of at least five miles a day, that I owe you all about 19 miles. This week then, it is head down and no excuses. Does anyone else find the countdown of days on Dave's blog a bit worrying?
Finally, isn't the Island a wonderful place this time of year? It is staggeringly beautiful out in the country this week - the great pleasure of training for the Parish.