Only just over a month away and, just for once, I didn’t agonise for days over a big decision. When I say ‘big decision’, I don’t mean whether to get married or divorced, buy a new house, nor even to pay £198 million for Neymar, but for a walker, the biggest decision there is. After the marathon distance + that I walked last Friday, there is the start of wear on my boots. If I didn’t have an event coming up, I would simply carry on with them for another couple of hundred miles and there would be no problem. But I doubt that I could get away with 60+ miles in one go with them without some avoidable pain. I will keep them and use them after September 9/10, but given that this is an event purely on flat hard ground, good running shoes with support in the right places will be absolutely sufficient.
So I left work early on Friday and picked up some from one of my local dealers, about the fifth pair that I’d tried on. I have found that my own walking footwear need to be about one size larger than trainers or shoes that I would otherwise wear, to allow for foot expansion through heat on long distances and with a wide fitting for the same reason. They are very light and have what feels like a very strong cushion.
So, after a Saturday when my football team Pompey won in Pompey and my cricket team beat Pompey in Pompey, I was in very fine spirits and looking forward to a walk on the Sunday. And it was all nice and dandy, wham bam thank you ma’am. Well, of sorts. The first outing of new footwear should never be too daring and is really to allow the feet to acclimatise to their new surroundings. So a road trip today of 13.5 miles was very much a light snifter and my feet feel fine. Some aches in the right places, through using muscles that are not used to being used so much, with subtly different pressures on the feet, and some parts of my soles just a bit sore but nothing much really.
So good progress and that 34-miler has worked wonders for my motivation and enthusiasm, as have various communications with the challenge organisers, and event information coming through does certainly focus the mind. It’s all a bit real now. An 8:40am start time, sponsorship creeping up: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Keith-Spicer3 even before any more focussed efforts in the couple of weeks around the event.
And – as always – some rather dashing gear that I can buy if I want:
Right. Brain and legs in gear for five weeks…..