My word, what an eventful last few days. An absolutely wonderful wedding in Belfast and two really good days wandering around doing the touristy thing, Botanic Gardens, Ulster Museum and the Titanic Exhibition. Not that much walking yesterday since the Gardens and Museum are reasonably close to where we are staying, but today we did what most would call a serious distance. Quite difficult to work out exactly how far – about 5-6 miles on the road with an additional I don’t know how much wandering around, both in the Titanic Exhibition but also in the nearby SS Nomadic. Enough just about to get some much needed aches in the calves.
It has reminded me how quickly I lose the edge off my fitness. I must get some miles in on Sunday, that is for sure, and try at least to get to double figures in returning to regular Sunday walking. Once the cricket season finishes, in the first week of September, I can build up again. I have no problem walking good distances in the colder climes of autumn and winter.
Plans? Not sure yet at all. The Monopoly Trail of around 55 miles (I am not going to call it a Challenge as such) will be a good spring event over 3 days, perhaps as part of the traditional Week of Pain, building up to something bigger and better some time a few weeks later. One that I won’t be doing is the Isle of Wight Challenge, which hurt me so much last year, both physically and mentally, that I very much doubt whether I could complete that, whatever the weather. London2Brighton did heal some of those scars and was quite emotional to finish.
So I think I’m regaining a little enthusiasm for long distance walking after a period where it wasn’t all that, and only the thought of London2Brighton kept me going. Even then, I wasn’t that far from pulling out after some tricky weeks with the Achilles and some odd blisters that didn’t heal as quickly as in the past. Just checked, and the record for the oldest person to complete Lands End to John O’Groats is still 74. That is still the (very) long-term target. I have just reached 52 and a half, so it’s getting closer.
But one step at a time, at least one challenge a year, a couple of hip replacements and knee operations and perhaps it will happen, in 2039. Probably need a visa to get into Scotland by then……..
So to Sunday. Time to get back to where I belong, out on the road.