Quite calm at the moment with things generally good in life and now looking forward to this walk thing in September. Another run out for the running shoes that seem to be ok, as are my feet, and 17.5 miles on a nice day for it. It was more important to increase the distance a little from last week for the sake of the feet rather than the mind, and that is generally a good place in which to be.
Nothing too memorable about this particular session – full of roads and hard ground and I need to think about my foot strategy for the Thames Path Challenge. I don’t tend to suffer inordinately with blisters but these are a big risk for this type of walk with little soft ground for relief. Actually, for me, it is the soles that are likely to be issue, if there is one. I will use the rest breaks (there are 7 of them) to help my feet as much as I can. I would imagine that they won’t be a problem at all until halfway at the earliest. So the sorts of things I do or consider doing:
- beforehand, patch up any places I know to be weak – definitely trim toenails too
- rub Vaseline into the soles of my feet
- consider whether to use inner socks as well as the specialist walking socks (I tend to anyway but long distances can be different)
- take spare socks to change into at about 60 km
- make sure I have ibuprofen with me (last time on London2Brighton I forgot and had to cadge some from a friend Katie, who was also doing the walk)
- take some other insoles or inserts in case they may help – that did help on Lands End to John O’Groats in Scotland when I started to have problems, but that was a different challenge entirely – shorter distances, but every day
- most of all, once they are hurting, grit my teeth and think of anything else but my feet
Blimey, I’m getting nervous about the whole thing now. I need to do about one walk a week until the big day, progressively increasing the distance a little, and perhaps one or two short walks during the week evenings just to try variants on socks and inserts. In any case, it will be fine – and I can cope with the knowledge that it will hurt. The feeling of achievement at the end will be massive.