Gradually things are getting better, and things got gradually better during today’s walk. People have been ever so kind and thoughtful this week and that has made so much of a difference. Thank you all.
I wasn’t thinking of a long walk today since I was always going to watch England win the World Cup, the Under 20 World cup that is, and we duly beat Venezuela this morning. It’s now past 9pm so here goes, “Three lions on the shirt,……….eight hours of hurt……”. Disappointed already to read negative comments – absolutely nothing will please some on social media. But let’s get past that, only positive things surely can come from winning the World Cup.
Setting out after 1pm would restrict me to a good, rather than a very good distance. Perhaps that feeling pervaded my thinking – it often doesn’t take much to instil negativity at the moment – and I felt I was walking for the sake of it and that it would be better than not walking at all. I stopped early and it was only to be a brief stop since there were no newspapers and I don’t generally take my tablet with me, just a radio that was broadcasting various sport, predominantly the tennis. The restart had me puzzling to decide the route and I opted just to go down a few roads and back roads that I was less familiar with.
It is not the first time, and probably not the last, that after about 8 miles I suddenly got a mildly fuzzy feeling that what was happening was good. Yes, it was worthwhile having a walk today, and that I could do a bit more. I even stopped at a roadside van and bought a cheeseburger and really relished it, despite there being no relish. I know that is not the healthiest thing I could do but, what the hell, I was going to burn off all the calories anyway and I just felt like it. Without having a real spring in my step but certainly feeling much more positive, I took a few more unfamiliar roads before making my way home on a more normal route for the last hour and a bit. Around 18 miles.
The Thames Path Challenge is signed and sealed. My fitness is decent but still a bit below where I have been in the past, but I have almost three months to build that up. It is hard to do that with cricket on Saturdays, when a really long walk (25+ miles) would at least give me a lot of Sunday to recover. I like to be able to do 30 miles in the month prior to one of these ultra challenges and as the time gets closer I do have days of immense motivation. I think that’s what I need now. I won’t have a Week of Pain this year but perhaps a three-dayer with 60 miles or so. Need to find somewhere nice for that, but not necessarily so tough as to be counter-productive.
Ah yes, the Thames Path Challenge. 100 kilometres from Putney Bridge to Henley on Saturday 9 September, continuing through the night into the Sunday. It is going to be fairly flat and likely to be hard on the feet. But this is what I am aiming for, and I have already entered and booked accommodation. This is for the Rocky Appeal in memory of a fine cricketing colleague who recently passed away – please see http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/get-involved/fundraising/rocky-appeal.htm for details of the charity. I am aiming for a minimum £1,000 but anything you can offer will be very gratefully received. I am sure you got bored of me jabbering on about Fantasy Football in the spring – I did ultimately win the league (yay!) and the £20 prize money was always earmarked for this. Many many thanks.