Blisters of mercy

There’s no need for me to get really fit yet, but there’s no harm in it at all. The weather was still warm but certainly not stifling today so I set myself a quite reasonable target of at least 20 miles. Before next year’s L2B do, I will need to be able to have walked a minimum of about 30 miles, so I was pretty pleased to get just over 23 under my belt today with a been-there-done-it-before-but-I-can-do-it-again walk to Cosham and back. This is the longest walk for some time, perhaps since the Wight Challenge in May. I don’t keep any records to hand and would have to trawl this blog to check – and I really can’t be bothered, and does it really matter anyway?

I like listening to sport and particularly football when I am walking. The distance passes much more quickly, it feels, and at this stage of the season there isn’t really much stress involved in the league positions with still so many games to go. Even more entertaining is listening to the phone-ins after the matches have finished and the passion with which some fans speak. I see this from two sides. One is that football is just a game, it’s entertainment and, though I love it when my team wins, if this really is the most important thing in a person’s life, they ought to get some perspective in it. On the other hand, I have been there and certainly Pompey was the most important event of the week for me in my 20s and virtually every Saturday for three or four seasons I was either at Fratton or travelling up and down the country, even as a poor student. Meeting Pammy and having a son in Matt changed the perspective massively, and I only go now and again just to remind me of how great some live sport can be. But, come on lads, wishing people out of jobs based on the first two games of the season is a bit much……

It’s not long after I get home that it starts getting dark, reminding me that summer is almost breathing its last. 23 miles was a fantastic distance today and I had three sprint-walks, where I turn on the after-burners for 20-30 minutes, walking about the speed that you might if you were about 10 minutes from home and just wanting a wee, though not absolutely desperate for one. I wasn’t that surprised that I found the final three miles or so a bit of a struggle but you can only get fit by pushing yourself just a bit further than what you are comfortable with, says he, finishing a convoluted sentence with a preposition. In the end it was a noun. A couple more tense Saturdays at cricket to come and Sundays are for walking. This sort of distance needs to be comfortable by February or so. Feet should be sufficiently resilient not to have blisters, like the couple of small ones I am bearing at the moment. A trifle painful indeed but that will pass soon enough. It’s tempting to burst them but if you can resist that for a couple of days, it doesn’t half help your feet long-term with this long distance walking lark.

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