Health check

So, a rest day but still things to do.

The most important is to do something about my boots. They are wearing at some of the crucial points on each heel. A bit disappointing given I paid over £100 for them and they’ve only lasted about 700-800 miles; the norm should be at least 1,000-2,000. So I am endeavouring to get some new ones today that will last me to John O’Groats. I have a few shorter days to wear them in; I fear if I don’t do something now then I might be in serious pain and injury territory in a few weeks.

You might, or might not, be interested in a health check. No pictures, I promise!

From top to bottom,
Head: bashed it a couple of times on a low beam, and a bit tender for a day or two but now fine. Lost my woolly hat a few days ago so need another one for those cold winds.

Brain: feel mentally quite strong. I know I can do this now. A couple of shaky days when I might have jacked it in without the fantastic support of friends, but pretty sound at the moment. Loneliness might kick in later so keep in touch here and on Facebook. Currently in Costa in Stroud, so in a good place!


ENT: have had sniffles since about Day 2 but doesn’t seem to be affecting energy levels.

Shoulders: Surprisingly OK. Aching starts at about 12 to 15 miles, but making the bag really tight to my back is the key. Does loosen during the day, but my shoulders are not a great concern, very surprised how I have adapted to carrying that weight. Bag slowly getting lighter with a few maps and paperwork now redundant, less toothpaste in the tube etc.

Back: had serious problem with a worn disc about 20 years ago, but few problems for some years. Seems OK, touch wood.

Hands: sometimes get skin problems if really stressed or if very cold. Do have cream in case of this, but no need to use yet.

Groin: mmm. Some chafing issues, plenty of Vaseline being dolloped on specifically tender bits. Certainly no pictures available otherwise Plod will be round knocking on my door, whatever door that might be.

Thighs: like solidity personified. You don’t need to go to a gym to get beauties like these. Available for a feel for a donation to SANDS!

Knees: one (two) of my areas of concern before I started. Some twinges here and there but not bad.

Calves: Usually pretty achy after walking. Grin and bear it.

Achilles: left one causing minor concern. Suspect not getting sufficient support. Crucial to get new boots with decent support.

Ankles: no issues as yet but it only takes one twist on a loose stone. Just taking care.

Heels: a bit tender – see references to boots. No blisters there.

Soles: tender at times, but one might expect that if they are hitting the ground a thousand times each per mile, or thereabouts.

Balls (of feet): danger area for blisters but nothing of note yet. Right ball a bit red!

Toes: one big blister plastered up and causing no problems now. Otherwise not bad at all. A little sore where toenails not cut so carefully.

Feet: getting strange achy cramp on top of right foot a couple of times. Probably tying laces too tightly (but alternative of too loose invites foot to slide around and cause blisters).

Overall: better than I thought I might be. New boots a must and plenty of stuff in my first aid kit still. As one of Sarisbury Athletics captains would say, onwards and upwards….


2 thoughts on “Health check

  1. Health check detailed and you sound in good nick. I can understand that in the early stages you felt trepidation bordering on panic; quite a normative psychological reaction and one I’m sure I would have had too! Now you’re a good % of the way into things you can ‘relax’ into the venture and start to really enjoy it. Plus you’re in more of a routine and the Spring is being sprung all around you. Looking good! NB I grew up in the Cotswolds and can recommend the Donnington Bitter and Whitbread PA in Gloucestershire. All best! Chris

    • Yes thanks Chris, feeling pretty positive now. Slightly broke the routine with this rest day just as I was really eating up the miles, but I had to do it for the best in the longer term. A few shorter days now due to issues with accommodation mix up on my part. I’m not a great drinker, a bit of a lightweight in fact, and I am probably not going to drink on this walk at all! My body is my temple and all that! I might have a little glass of wine or something to celebrate if and when I finish. Best wishes to you from Keith.

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