Having been buoyed by news of the inspirational Emily Peacock wiping the floor with the Wight Challenge, I was up for a slightly greater distance today in getting back to fitness. Emily was one of the two girls I walked with on last year’s Challenge, and this weekend she knocked almost three hours off last year’s time! I really enjoyed keeping up to date with Emily’s progress on the event website, even staying up way after I should have gone to bed to learn she had reached the next checkpoint.
I was looking to walk some distance between 11 and 20 miles today, and ultimately managed 18. Pretty pleased with that though a little bit of aching near the knee was concerning enough for a second break about five miles from the end. The good news is that the Achilles appears to be fine. Whether I can manage the London2Brighton Challenge depends on a few things – particularly whether I can build up the confidence that I can do it. I would like to get somewhere near 25 miles on one of the next two weekends, which should be sufficient. I don’t feel anywhere near as fit as before last year’s ultimately failed challenge, but I feel a bit more determined this time. I reckon I was a trifle complacent last time and didn’t realise how hard it was going to be, and the weather didn’t help on the day. Once I got past 50km, around halfway, I was in unknown territory in the dark of night, and as I got wetter and colder and old injuries flared up in my back, there was only one decision I could make – but it hasn’t stopped me on many occasions wondering if I could have done it, if I had rested for an hour, got warm, stretched and eaten some breakfast.
Because that’s what I do. I beat myself up over things I have done, in every aspect of my life. I am forever replaying incidents and conversations back in my head, regretting, regretting and regretting. In the long term, that is the route to the loony bin, I’m sure.
But this time, on this challenge, there will be no regrets. I will give it everything and I will only give up if it is physically impossible, or I am advised by a medic not to continue.
Just starting to look at long range weather forecasts. I remember I did that a couple of months before my very long walk and it looked like a couple of days snow as I was going to be in Derbyshire. Ultimately it was dry and pleasant and the perfect 10-12 degrees. This year, London on Saturday 28 May is maximum 20 degrees with a chance of a shower, and Brighton on Sunday 29 May is maximum 17 degrees with a chance of a shower. I would settle for that – perhaps a bit warmer than I would have liked, but it’s not so hot that it should put completion in danger by itself. A shower, as long as it’s not too heavy, might just freshen the air and keep me cool. But this is a long range forecast, 27 days away. Won’t be snow though – that’s for sure? Surely?
So I do feel just a little more confident now than I did 24 hours ago. Have to keep on this upward trend. Think positive and think positively.