Monday, 27 February 2012

Day 64

I was right about rugby yesterday, and with more tonight I wasn't sure I would make it out of bed at all today, but I did. legs groaning under me I staggered out of the front door. In stark comparison to yesterday, I found the whole endeavour an uphill struggle today. The streets were crowded with Monday morning commuters and everyone seemed gloomy about it. Normally I can only really tell how sweaty I am by reading the looks of horror and disgust on the faces of passers by, but today either its warmer than it ever has been before, or my chronic sweatiness has reached new levels. (for the sake of humanity I can only hope for the former) I could feel my clothes starting to stick to me pretty early on, and I might has well have been swimming rather than walking by the time I got in. Even though I felt as though I was making even more effort than normal my time was slower, but I pulled it back (and bizzarely enough improved my mood) by torturing myself with effort in the last mile, and managed the 6 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes again. Despite not being able to get into the zone (blimey I do sound like a regular excersiser now!) I maintained my time, and hopefully will be happier (and less sweaty) with it tomorrow. Unless rugby training finally kills me off...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Day 63

Learning my lesson from Wednesday and Thursday I got up early today to get my walk in before rugby destroys me later. At 8am I set off on my 6 mile route round the isle of dogs, and (as you might expect that early on a Sunday morning) it was deserted. After the walking boots and rough ground and the dog doing my head in yesterday it was quite peaceful, I could almost say I enjoyed it! I saw some joggers (fellow excersise enthusiasts as I now like to think of them, even if my enthusiasm is only very fleeting) but no Orlando Bloom alike as yet. Something I did see very few of was busses, which is a poignant testement to Londons Sunday bus system, since I could count the number of them that I saw on the fingers of 1 hand and I was out for an hour and 15 minutes.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Days 61 and 62

Being Friday yesterday was as usual the busiest day of the week for Grandma, with a trip to the hairdressers, a visit from the cleaner and the weekly shop to do she's rushed off her feet. My feet, and legs were still in protest from Wednesday, after the effort exerted I deserve to have legs which resembe socks stuffed with coconuts, so bulging should the muscles be, but this is not the case, and I'm still struggling round bandy legged and bedraggled 2 days later. I must admit that all I could manage was a lap of Morrisons before I collpased into a heap of pain.
This morning though I was detrmined to overcome the adversity, and get at least 1 proper walk in while home. I was spurred on in this by the revelation that Dad has been slacking off to an unbelievable rate, and actually hasn't logged a walk since last time I forced him out of the house onto one. The last time I saw or heard from Ed was when I ran into him on a drunken night out in Newcastle last week, apparently he is home too this weekend, but has only moved from his bed in the hours before noon to hunch over his x box, so I think his walking is under question at the minute too. At 8am though he was of course nowhere to be seen, so I decided to take my victories where I could get them, and thinking that 1 out of 2 lazy Allison males wasn't bed, pestered Dad out of the house by 8.12. Of course the dog had to be included, guilting Dad into letting him join us with a few whimpers and tail wags. I am not so easily fooled by his cutesy act, and of course within minutes he was under our feet an in our way (the dog I mean, not Dad) The walkway often has more foot traffic on it on Saturdays and Sundays, people who Dad sneeringly judges "weekenders" although he himself has become rather a weekender such is his decreasing frequency at training. By setting off early though we managed to beat most of them, and only had to restrain Newbie from 1 over enthusiastic black labrador. Dads warm up mile which has become part of he settled routine now only held us back by 5 minutes, and after making life a lot harder for himself with his impromptu week off, and a lot harder for me coping with my own still weak legs as well as his whinging, we completed the 6 miles in a rather pleasing 1 hour 35 minutes, just 5 minutes off Brian and Steve's prescribed pace. This gives me light at the end of the tunnel of encouraging Dad to reconsider the 24 hour attempt rather than the weekend effort on the big day(/s) but I suspect he is more likely to fly up the mountains on a pig than complete them all in one day. Tonight I'm returning to London for more training tomorrow (we're in the final build up to our biggest match of the season on Friday, so hopefully things may slack off back to normality after that) and with Mam, Dad and Grandma out tonight, and Eddie hitting the pub too (not that that seems to affect the time he gets up in the morning, or should I say afternoon) I can probably predict that tomorrow I'll be the only one doing anything, and then on Monday may be struggling to walk again. We'll see if I'm right soon enough.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Days 59 and 60

Yesterdays rugby training was technically a day off I suppose as there was no walking involved, however this as no ordinary rugby training, we focussed on "fitness" (thus demonstrating my lack thereof, although performed slightly better than I would have done this time last year) Today then, my legs are NOT my friends. Every step involves twingeing tweaking and tears (ok slight over-dramatisation of the pain but it is baaaad) if my body parts could talk they'd be saying "why would you d this to us?!" and at the minute the answer is rally dnt know, suffice to say if ever squat again it wll be too soon... therefore sadly  i am unlikely to walk 6 meters today never mind 6 miles, but  i have confirmed something -  id rather have a nice walk any day, so hopefully ill be able to do some hobbling tomorrow

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Day 58

Today after a double dose of rugby yesterday and the day before, with my first London 6 miler under my belt, my legs are feeling like jelly; hard stiff lead jelly (because they are wobbly as well as heavy you see) However after consuming almost my body weight in pancakes with more to follow tonight I forced myself back out onto the pavement, setting off at half past 2 after a full morning of uni (and pancakes) I had left myself open to falling foul of school run time, luckily I flew round the 6 mile route like a little lead jelly on legs, rushing back to my pancakes, with a pe-mixed-just-add-milk packet at home I've got a lot to be getting on with, more tomorrow

Monday, 20 February 2012

Days 54, 55, 56, and 57

When we last spoke I was recovering from the traumatic experience that is a 3 mile sing along with Dad and Ed. Since then there have been trips to morrisons and the hairdressers for Grandma, a journey back to London for me, and a rugby match yesterday (for Grandma, not just kidding for me) which was won 51 - nil. In the confusion walking rather fell by the wayside, but no more! After the gradual and patchy return I've made to excersise, I'm ready to put my routine back together, starting this morning, and sticking to phase 2 of Brian and Steves prescribed training campaign, with my first 6 miler in London. The route I've selected is not dissimilar to the 4 mile circuit I've been using up to now. In fact it is the 4 mile circuit I've been using up to now, witht he additional 2 mile round trip to Canary Wharf (as previously discovered through google maps) tacked onto the end. I must have still been giddy on country air when I hoisted myself out of bed at 8am and threw myself out onto the streets in prime commuter time, however I made short work of the smug suits, and was declared by a lollipop man to be "quite galloping along" determined to set myself a time to be proud of and force myself back into pre-concussion shape, cut down in my prime as I was. The intitial 4 miles were relativley uneventful (Dad, a regular 6 miler now - in that he walks 6 miles 1 day then has a few days off - considers a mere 4 mile walk to be nothing more than a warm up now) and I approached what would normally be the end of the walk, the end of our street where I would normally be panting and staggering back to the sofa I realised the error in my route choice. Instead of panting and staggering in the attractive way I've just described up the street and back into our house, I had to force myself my tired little legs on past the warm inviting opening and took the lollipop man by surprise by passing him again, although at more of a shuffing trot than a gallop this time. I stomped on to Canary Wharf then, unsettling the security guards there by being so sweaty and unkempt looking in public, and turned round joyfully homewards. Lollipop man was agast as I passed him yet again, this time in the opposite direction on the home straight, and I threw myself across the threshold of our house after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 15 minutes faster than even Brian and Steve could have expected of me. There is a chance now though that all my muscles will seize up in protest to such a degree that I can never walk again, and as I've learned the hard way pounding the pavement in trainers is wildly different to clumping around the country in heavy hiking boots. Once I get my breath back though I'll be pleased with myself.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Days 52 and 53

Yesterday the dog remained in disgrace, that coupled meeting for Dad amongst other important things (defrosting grandmas freezer...) meant that walking got a rest day. Today I had to take Eddie (the imbecile who was incapable of going alone) to sort out his student loan, then various other sorts of faffing about ensued (ok ok I went out for lunch) so it was after 3pm when we set off. Half baked ideas about doing 8 miles to make up for yesterday soon went out of the window when Eddie, who deigned to join us on his jaunt off from college, accidently engaged Dad in a subconsious mind war. Dads routine (which I too have happily fallen into) now involves a slower first 2 miles, building speed after this warm-up period. This is the only way of dealing with hisstupid shins. Eddie however is cursed with giant legs, and was almost incapable of keeping to the slower speed... Thus followed Dad "setting the pace" with me and Ed falling into step behind him. Then without meaning to (he claims) Eddie would speed up slightly, and Dad, too proud to complain, sped up in cometition. In this ungainly staggered pace we tottered onwards and we had to turn round at the 3 mile point, having arrived there after 50 minutes (10 minutes quicker than we were planning) The dog was sad not to be allowed off his lead (I coud sense it) and Dad was grumbling about his legs, Ed was struggling to stay in sync with the group, but I was the saddest of us all. Why? Because Dad and Ed decided to counter the downsides of the day by singin to "raise moral" I can only leave you to imagine how many renditions of  'She'll be coming round the mountain' can be fit into an hour over 3 miles...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Day 51

Happy Vaentines Day everyone! Aside from lovey-dovey-wishy-washy vomit inducing cards and wilting-after-five-minutes overpriced flowers (I'm not a massive fan of the day you might have guessed, although you probably could have worked it out following my laissez-faire attitude to Marty) there is some sybolism in this comercialised cadaver of love. According to legend, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by the roman emperor. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer. (Thankyou wikipedia) I only digress onto this timely tangent as today Valentine, and any other Saint or martyr for that matter would have suddered at our suffering. In the movie (after the last few days progress I'm starting to think that there's a chance of Scarlett Johansson playing me again) there will be ominous music overlayed as we set off this morning, blissfully unaware of what was about to transpire...
Again keen to demonstrate (demon being the key part of the word with regards to that dog) that Newbie was capable of being let off his lead to walk freely with us Dad unclipped him. I should explain that the path we were on is on something of a valley, flanked on both sides by steep uphill slopes, atop these slopes there are fields one side, woodland the other. Newbie then took this instantly as his chance to barrel off up the slope and straight into said woodlands. "He'll be straight back," we commented to each other, unconcerned. Oh what fools we were. We kept walking for a while but Newbie did not re-emerge, eventualy we grew worried, and a mere half mile into the walk we turned back to look for him. To turn a negative into a positive I will phrase what happened next thusly - we got to practice on soime different terrain, and our search and rescue skills were improved tenfold. In reality we were forced to scramble up the slope, which we learned to be covered in brambles and all manner of other uncomfortabe things, and crash around through the woods bleating for the dog like little lost sheep. Eventually he appeared, totally unaware of the distress he had caused, and having also managed to lose his collar. Having recaptured him (with not inconsiderable difficulty) we returned home, scuffed, grazed and annoyed.
So screw you Valentine, I've scratched my knee, Dads cut his hand, and Newbie has lost himself all off-lead priviledges.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Day 50

Officially back into the swing of things now a six miler was on the cards for today. Dad had gleefully decared that he stared at 8am every weekday morning, so after cursing my alarm, stubbing my toe getting out of bed and struggling into my walking kit by 7.55 I was sitting in the kitchen ready to go, boots and all. The minutes ticked by and I wondered what Dad was doing, realisation dawned when I heard his alarm go off at precisely 8am. I should have known "getting started" meant waking up for him. It was in fact 8.31am when we eventually left the house (which according to Mam is still at least and hour earlier than Dad would have been out under his own steam) He wasn't feeling "too well" today; I suspect someone wasn't as ready for an 8 mile walk as he had let on yesterday and was in fact only spurred forwards by the sight of my suffering, nevertheless encouraged by the improvement in the ground conditions (only 50% of the ground covered by ice and snow today) and my hangover thoroughly vanquished (I cannot say enough for the healing powers of a good Sunday dinner) we set off fairly chirpy. Nodding happily to bird watching man as we passed him, our conversation soon turned to our very first walking attempt, where we accidently covered the 6 mile route we were aiming for today. Yes, our conversation I said, and one of the notable points indeed was that we could now have a conversation as we walked, and we remembered fondly (and slightly repulsed-ly) the horrific unfit creatures we were before, lurching and lumbering around gasping and groaning. We may not have changed much on the outside but inside I was pretty proud of us. I took a turn holding the dogs lead today, as Dad felt that we needed to "bond" and I discovered the source of my nemesis' power. It would seem that the person holding the lead, even if not pulling on it or really making use of it in any way becomes the master of the dog, and he obays them instantly, looks to them as leader, and most importantly stays out from underneath their feet! Dad went on to let him off the lead, to demonstrate "what a good little doggy he is" folowing which he promptly ran off and began to play with a dog coming the opposite way. Dad was not concerned, and calmly ordered "Newbie, come." which was of course ignored (I knew that dog couldn't stay good for long) the calm calling escalated quickly to "Come! Come here now!" and was soon a "Please come her eNewbie!" until we finally caught up with and collared the furry feind. Appart from that we had a surprisingly pleasant walk and completed the time in 1 hour 35 minutes, which was again closer to the 4 mile an hour pace we've abandoned than the 3 mile an hour pace we're supposed to have adopted, and no-one needed a lie down when we got home.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Day 49

Today is my first day back at walking after 2 weeks off. To celebrate finally being free from the headache of concussion I went out in Newcastle last night. With hindsight this was probably not the wisest move I have ever made, as I essentially celebrated getting rid of a headache by giving myself another one. Conditions were also less than perfect, by which I mean the walkway was so icey it resembled a sheet of glass covered with thick snowy sludge. That coupled with my decreased fitness (and incredible hangover) made for a hard morning. The only plus side being that the official decision has been made that owing to Dads shameful shins we will be completing the challenge over a weekend rather than in 24 hours, which means that training walks take place at 3 miles an hour now rather than 4. According to the training plan laid out by the great Brain and Steve about now we should be moving from 4 miles (in an hour) to 6 miles (in an hour and a half) but after 2 weeks away and with tricky footing ahead of us we wrapped up warm and set off, I comforted myself with the thought of a short gentle walk to ease me back into things...
... 8 miles. Dad had taken all these awful factors into account and decided that it would be brilliant fun to watch me toil through the longest walk we've ever done. Talk about a babtism of fire, this was far from the gentle reintroduction I'd been hoping for. Shuffling like a pair of penguins over the slippy surfaces - skidding when the infernal dog (whose presence was just the icing on the cake for me) yanked on his lead - we made painful progress. Dad, enjoying my suffering far too much chattered loudly (so loudly, my poor head) about what developments on the walkway I'd missed; "That's Birdwatching man, I don't know his name because we've never spoken but he's here alot watching birds so that's what I call him," and "This is the puddle the dog got his tongue stuck to on the ice," and other such trivia. My pounding head and churning stomach got worse and worse (and Dad seemed to enjoy himself more and more) as time went on until in the end I demanded we stomp the last 2 miles in silence. I was fairly pleased to note though that I haven't lost as much fitness as I thought I would (probably because there wasn't much to lose) as amongst everything else today that was the least of my worries.
Eventually, on the verge of tears, sweating white wine and swearing I'll never drink again I staggered over the threshold of the house, 8 miles completed in 2 hours 20 minutes. That's 20 minutes too slow for Brian and Steve, but 20 minutes quicker than we expected as our average speed went on to work out at 3.5 miles an hour, so although Brian and Steve would get away from them we wouldn't be as far behind them as we thought we would be.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Days 35 - 49

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes I'm making a comeback from my life threatening injury, I'm powering through the pain and back to the peak of my physique; "at least a week" got more and more extended with every doctor I saw, a brain scan came back 'inconclusive' which you can take to mean whatever you like (and I know how you'll all be taking that thankyou very much!) and I was loaded up with more and more painkillers of increasing strength. On Sunday though my two week concussion caused cancellation of walks is over, which aso coincides with a week off from uni, so I'll be going back to basics on my training, starting back in the countryside where I first wet my walking welies what feels like months ago now.
I'm chomping at the bit to get back on with training, and never thought I'd say it but I've actually missed it! I'm sure that the moment I struggle back into those smelly walking shoes my rose tinted specs will fall hard and I'll look back at myself at this point pining for the pace and laugh (or wheeze, since I'm sure sitting around for 2 weeks fondling my throbbing head and not doing much else won't have heped my fitness any.) I find mysef at a loose end for an hour each day as I had developed something of a routine in the time I would normally walk on each day, I've managed to comfort myself with my old friends chocolate and telly of course, but I can't help feeling that a fair amount of my previous hard work will have been undone. That's what I get for doing additional excersise, I can even make walking unsafe so I should consider myself lucky I haven't done more damage at rugby really, but that doesn't make me feel much better now. As well as declining fitness (Scarlett Johansson may be lost to me forever) I've convinced myself that my Orlando Bloom jogger may have materialised, only to be snapped up by some other power walking princess while I was lounging on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  I have to get back out there and win him back!
So I know I've been away for a while, but keep your eyes peeled for my epic comeback...