With Eddie being South Sheilds already, and my departure back to London imminent, and Dad getting worse rather than better under the current training regime, my reign of terror as Training Captain seems to be over before it really had chance to begin.We have decided that we will all persue our own training methods for a while, until the first 6 weeks is done (which happily co-incides with my reading week) at which point we are supposed to up our walks to 6 miles a day. I'm happy for my brother (by which I mean seething with jealousy of course) who seems to be doing well, comfortably clocking in times on and around the hour mark, so I'm sure he'll continue to progress well. Without my motivational "Come ON Dad!"s however I can only hope I'm wrong in my prediction that the method Dad follows (gradually building up speed and stamina he calls it) will most likely drop back to the Allison family traditional journey between sofa and fridge. I myself already have a convenient 4 mile circuit basically on my doorstep at my London home on the Isle Of Dogs, so will be fine, nay brilliant I'm sure. The decision to trust Dad with his own training is a big one, as at the 6 week marker we move from 4 miles in an hour per walk to 6 miles in an hour and a half, and if Dad hasn't kept up, or made up the pace (crippled as he is by shin sprinkles) we may have to adjust all out prospective times and the big day (3 mountains in 24 hours) may have to change to a big weekend; which could still be considered an admirable challenge for people so lazy that if there was an Olympic event for eating and sleeping we could represent England and fill the podium. (Dad as the best all rounder would take gold I think, then between my eating and Eddies sleeping there could be an exciting jostle for silver, maybe I'll get in touch with the Olympics people, I'll already be in London afterall...) However we can all cross our fingers and toes that Dads shin springs clear up and he'll be OK, sturdy old mule that he is.
Today I set off late-ish, having taken Grandma to asda and the hairdressers. Once her ladyship was suitably coiffed I was dismissed to my own devices. Knowing I would be without Dad and Ed, and sure in the knowledge that I couldn't complete the walk without having someone with me I could use to get throught the extreme physical labour by wishing to kill, I reluctantly picked up the dogs lead as I left the house. First Newbie was excited by the sight of the lead; there was leaping around, tail wagging and barking, then at the sight of the person attached to it things got serious, the leaping stoppped, and the barking stilled (the only thing he couldnt control was his tail) as we squared up, cowboy and indian movie style, except hes a dog not a cowboy, and neither of us had guns, but you sense the atmosphere. Mam has a rather ridiculous check chain-collar-lead system for harnessing the dog, which may look simple to your average Joe, but to me it was something of a technical nightmare. I squatted down beside him, and the idiot animal began trying to lick my face, having batted him away, then managing to call him back, I wrapped the collar around his neck. It promptly fell off, and the dog sat down, obviously realising that this may take a while. 3 attempts later (thats as many as I'll admit to anyway) following much yelping and whining (from me you understand, not from the dog) I mastered it. Proud of myself I made to stand up, and Newbie, who had sat quietly and patiently waiting for me to manage, with mischeif in his little doggy eyes, as if he knew I owed him one for waiting like a good boy, sprung up before I was properly upright and pushed me over. Little monster.
So already muddy (thankyou Newbie) we set off, I kept Dads little warm up loop in the walk, as although its not at speed every little helps doesnt it, and today I'm amazed to tell you all that I almost enjoyed myself, if I hadnt been toiling along swinging my legs crazily to keep up the speed, sweating like something very sweaty and generally looking ridiculously unattractive, but these things one just has to bear. One thing churning inside me however was my pie. On a Friday, Grandma goes to the hairdressers, I think the comings and goings of Grandma are fairly well documented. Anyway near the hairdressers is the local butchers, where they do a cracking range of pies (being from the north I think I'm allowed to consider myself something of a pie connoisseur) and the custom has developed to have a pie after the hairdressers on a Friday. Luckily I havent been letting this walking malarky affect my eating (I'm the sort of girl who spells diet C-A-K-E) so I am still able to chomp down a hearty pie. I tell you this because I consider my time today of FIFTY NINE MINUTES to be pie powered, so I may just go have another one!