It is time to be more healthy. I have a smoothie maker and have now replaced my breakfast cereal with a smoothie. What has surprised me is the cost of the superfoods but I thought it a price worth paying if it did help me. Certainly I have felt a bit stronger and fuller of life and energy during the mornings in the last fortnight. Have experimented with a range of ingredients, but the staple superfoods of goji berries, chia seeds and cacao powder with flax seeds have been supplemented with various combinations of some of the following: blueberries, grapes, plums, bananas, pears, cucumber, spinach, oats, dates, with water and juice. It is a very good way of using up those bananas and pears that would otherwise be compost-bound as they show their age after a few days in the fruit bowl. It may be a coincidence or psychosomatic, but even if it were the latter that would be no bad thing, that a cold that I contracted was shaken off within four days rather than three weeks.

Of course, along with this, I have to keep up my walking. We will be away for a few days around Christmas seeing friends whom we haven’t seen for a while, so it won’t be on the scale of 11 walks in 14 days over Christmas – New Year break in 2013-14 when I was preparing for 10 weeks worth of walking in February to April. And with the inevitable having been put off and put off until almost too late, one day of this weekend would have to be for walking and one for C******** shopping. It was a tough choice, but I fancied walking today and the other thing tomorrow. Once again, the mildest December since Santa had mere bum-fluff paid dividends with another dry, windless day with September-like temperatures. I managed to get lost for a few minutes as I investigated a recently completed path close to a local school and some quite pleasant woods, ending up in the Coldeast estate with identikit houses and no obvious way out but ultimately my random walk threw up the correct dice and a road that I recognised.

That apart, it was a remarkably unremarkable walk of over 16 miles except for a slight twinge in my left knee as I landed after leaping high in the air with a swinging punch as Conor Chaplin scored the winner for Pompey at Northampton. With still around 3 miles left, I was a bit concerned but, as they say, I walked it off and finished none the worse. It is clear that the inside of the left heel is a slight weak spot for blisters but that just goes with the trade, I think. Happy with the distance and my general condition but I am not sure that I have 20+ miles in me at the moment. That will come, and it has to eventually because I need 60+ miles in my legs for London to Brighton in late May.



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