Saturday, 28 April 2012

Days 123, 124 and 125

On Thursday I was at a funeral, not fun and no walk. (so less said about it the better really)
Friday has becoe a busy and tiring day with no time or energy for walking, with an early start to have Grandma to the hairdressers for 11 then laps of Northgate the local high street to get her essentials (fags and pies mainly, we are in Hartlepool now) before wisking her home again to be at the bingo by 2. Bingo is more of a mental challenge than a physical 1 but still draining let me tell you. A dozen old ladies working 5 books at a time is a sight to strike fear into any heart, Sca Fell Pike looks like a pimple in comparison.
Today is a big day. As of today never agin will we have to hear "I'm 51 you know!" Instead it is replaced with "I'm 52 you know!" Although with the age of some walkers we've seen Dad still doesnt really have  a leg to stand on, a more relevant observation than you might think owing to the fact that he literally hasnt got a leg to stand on, as is still claiming a bad knee. However his birthday presents did include not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 knee braces and a pair of trekking poles for extra support. Despite now having the equipment necessary to run up and down the three peaks dad has chosen to use his birthday authority to declare a rest day. Pass me the cake soemone... Happy birthday Dad

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Days 121 and 122

Yestersday was a very early one (out at 7!) so that I could go in to uni and get my essay in, the walk was fairly uneventful, streets creepliy quiet at first, busying up with commuters towards the closing miles. I got my time back to 1 hour 15 minutes, AND went on to hand my essay in 2 hours before the deadline, sneaking in an extra odd mile walking between the library and the hand-in office. I added another odd mile when my flatmate asked me to go back to the library and print her essay, then  back to the hand-in office to meet her so that she wouldnt miss the deadline. I am super efficient, a wonderful housemate, and got some extra walking in. Successful day.
This morning I had to start early again, as (joys of student life) we've discovered mice in our house so I have to wait in for the pest control man today. I zipped out at 7am again today (a routine is not forming, I'm not interested in all these 7am starts thankyou) with grey clouds rolling in overhead. Keeping one eye on the sky I stomped around as fast as my little legs would carry me, and I was in the 5th mile when the first drops started. Looking like the cartoon roadrunner legs blurring, I hammered home, flopping through the door to a roll of thunder and the heavens opened. 1 hour 12 minutes, and the roadrunner blurred legs were jelly.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Days 117, 118, 119 and 120

On Friday we had a big day, with the hairdressers in the morning and bingo in the afternoon with grandma, so there was no time for a walk. On Saturday I was in Leeds for a 21st so didnt get one in then either. Yesterday I was in Kingd Lynn, and while it wasnt a sports bra worthy walking effort me and Marty did cover a couple of miles. Today I'm back in London and did make a sports bra worthy walk. This rain is getting out of hand however, and it even rained on the marathon runners yesterday I'm told. Not cool weather, not cool. So grumbling to myself dripping with rain water as wel as sweat I grumbled and stomped my way round, 6 miles this time (much easier power walking in trainers and without that infernal dog) in an hour and 20, time slipping. I blame the rain.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Day 116

Dad snuck out early again today, and wwhile the weather outside was still less than pleasant, uni work still seems by far the least preferable option, so I leashed up the dog and we set off. Las night I was in trouble for traumatising mams poor baby by taking him out in the wet (yes the dog, she scolded me as she ooh'd and ahh'd over the poor ickle thing as she dried him with a towel and snuggld him up on the sofa after "nasty rosie hurt you didnt she, didnt she poor Newbie..." but there are no favourites in our house...) After yesterday he did eye me suspiciously and wriggled away from the lead, resulting in me getting wrapped in his chain and as usual thinking hes rather more trouble than hes worth! So with the mangey mutt 2 nil up on me already we set off. Yesterday I dont know if you all know but it was raining, and neither me nor Newbie were particularly happy about it, but today it was just cold grey and ominously overcast, a treat in comparison really. Getting on fairly well now, in that neither of us seemed to have done anything to offend the other - I'd even manged a "morning" to our friend bird watching man without being dragged off too quickly (by the dog I mean, not bird watching man, who I'm sure is a lovely and harmless old man) - when we reachesd the 2 mile marker. This is where I realsied that the dog was far too used ot getting his own way; he sat down, had a drink from a puddle, a little stretch, and then nonchelantly turned for home "oi!" i squaked (yes I'm reduced to talking to a dog nowadays) "we've got another mile this way yet!" (because of course the dog understands distances and such) an epic battle of wills began, me walking the way I wanted to go, the dog walking the way he wanted to go, unitl we reached the end of the extendable lead. Stalemate. Realising that brazen cheekiness had failed Newbie whipped out the big guns; more donkey from Shrek annoying than puss in boots from Shrek cute he began to whine, and I'm ashamed to admit it didnt take long for me to crack and turn home. As soon a she knew he'd won the whinging stopped and he trotted back quite happily... little twerp. We were home in an hour and 5 minutes, but that does reflect the time spent on my waterloo at the 2 mile point. I fought bravely, but was out spoilt-bratted by the dog. Mummys little angel a million, me nil. Until next time.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Day 115

Dad made his excuses and departed early this morning, so it was left to me and the dog to get on with todays walk. The weather was grim and inside the house was pretty bleak too, as im approximately 3 weeks away from my final exams in my degree its coming up to the time when I should really be getting a move on with revision now. So I resigned myself to a mornings work hoping that at least the sun would put in an appearance later. By half past 1 I couldnt take any more (I cannot put into words how little I care about hundreds of pages of reading on the meta-ethics of Kant, long winded bugger that he is) and the rain had remained a consistent drizzle, so I decided to just get out there and get on with it. They say that the best laid plans can go awry, and while this was not the best laid plan, awry it certainly went. Firstly it was raining. Secondly with no-one in the house to assist me I couldnt fasten the dogs special collar, so had to take my chances with him in just a normal collar and lead. A mistake with our uncontrollable animal. Thirdly it was raining. Did I also mention that it was raining? Newbie didnt quite cach on to the rain at first and dragged me around for a mile or so, then Einstein amongst dogs that he is he seemed to have his eureka moment and promptly ran (already dripping wet) and hid in a bush. Taking that as my cue to turn around and declare todays effort a 4 miler I proceeded to drag him home, idiot dog darting from bush to bush, despite being already sodden. We made it home on the hour, not bad considering it was raining.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Days 112, 113 and 114

So after a few more recovery days... (I know I know, looks like I didnt learn my lesson after all) I'm back in London briefly to hand in an essay, which it turns out I cant actually hand in until next week, which is probably for the best since I havent finished it yet. While Im here though I thought Id take advantage of a nice flat pavement to get me back into the swing of things and relight my walking fire before I head back home and inflict my recaptured enthusiasm on Dad, if he'll ever walk again after his traumatic experience in Yorkshire of course. I woke up bright and early (7.15am dont you know), ready to get this show on the road (as I do make quite the spectacle of myself apaprently) and discovered very quickly that fire of any sort would struggle to be ignited in any form in this weather. Yes its raining. However I steeled myself Im not a witch (contrary to some comments) and therefore unikely to melt if I get a bit wet, so off I went.
Rain is wet. Seems like a statement of the obvious I know, but I dont think any of you can really understand until you've experienced it. And cold, so very cold. There were not many people about this morning (who would be mad enough to venture out in this icey torrent) and so I was reletively undisturbed, which was good because my attitutde following 5 minutes spent outside meant that even if my Orlando Bloom was to materialise today he wouldnt get much out of me, not that he'd want much with me rocking the drowned-rat-shuffling-along-with-my-soggy-hood-up-look. It was very much with a hurry up and get this over with view of the world today that I stomped around, resisting the ultimate temptation to flee back to our nice warm house when I passed it on the 4 mile mark, eventually returning to it 6 miles in 1 hour 15. So maybe it was jsut what I needed, it was certainly a cold wet hell but maybe also just what I needed...

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Days 108, 109, 110 and 111

Despite acknowledging our recent dip in training, we proceeded to do nothing about it, assuming it would be alright on the night (or in this case very very early morning) of the Y3P. So we set off (at 5am!) to be at the official start point by 7am, aiming to have conquored the 3 peaks, Pen-y-Gehnt, Whernside, and Ingleborough, by 7pm, a route covering approximately 26 miles. As soon as we set off into the cold morning, armed with bobble hats cold pasta and cold pizza to see us through the day we realsised that we were idiots to miss even a single training walk in the build up to this. We were overtaken quickly by a troup of ladies in their 40s (dad didnt care becasue he was still the oldest person we'd seen, that his excuse and he's sticking to it) and a man who definitely looked older then 51, but dad says he didnt... Still huffing and puffing and cursing every easter egg last weekend and pint on tour and lazy night in front of the telly we reached the top of the first peak at 8.15am, Ed, mr super-fitness-duke-of-edinburgh-gold-award was the last to make it up, which gave me a smug satisfaction. No urges to shove anyone off mountains yet. Feeling much better about it all after a good start despite lack of fitness I bounded on, this time we were following the group of 5 in front of us, who seemed to be straying from the route, we blindly followed them however, assuming anyone mad enough to be up here at this time of morning must be doing the same as us. We caught them on the downhill and checked (dad must have been feeling chirpy too as he actually ran on the way down the hill!) they were indeed aiming for the 3 peaks, but the man turned out to be a guide (wimps, we didnt need professional help) who we had been lucky to follow as he was leading the group away from waist deep bog, which would have been over head height for me. We followed them accross the fields and moors until we were at the foot of the next mountain at 11am. The flat(ish) walking took us all by surprise as much more strenuous than we had anticipated and Jeff (the guide) told us in the view of many this is harder than the N3P as there you just go up and down your mountain then in the car to the next one. he car sounded like a heavenly place, and with dad and ed bleating for a sit down I allowed 15 minutes break, as long as they promised to emerge from the sit down refreshed and speedy again, which they agreed to do. In hindsight I now know they would agree to anything to get their backsides onto those rocks. Amazingly for all of you who know how lazy I am, when it comes to walking I am not a fan of sitting down, its a waste of time and i'd rather just get on with what we're doing, knowing that once you sit down you cant help but think how nice it would be to never get up again. Dad and ed strongly disagreed however so I had to give in to them, Urging them to their feet 20 minutes later they were amazed to discover that I was right and they were just as tired after they sat down as before, and my smug hapiness had evaporated along with the time we had lost doing nothing. Beginnning the second ascent both their speeds dropped and they were stubborn as mules to my pleas to just man up and get on with it. Frustrated I admit I stomped off and left them, reaching the top alone at 1pm, back on time target and happy. They reached the top coming up to half past 1, still leaving us 5 and a half hours to get on with the final mountain, which I think even at their decleerated pace we could have achieved comfortably. It was just then however that the snow started. I kid you not, a freak thisck white blizzard emerged from nowhere and engulfed s. We decided we'd try and press on in the hope that it would pass but it didnt, and by the time we reached the bottom of the hill we were cold and wet and Dads knees had gone again (he claims, and he was highly averse to my reasoned argument that one is much more prone to injury when one is unfit) and he was relieved by the decision by all that it may be stupid to try carry on. From there things descended into something of a shambles - dont they always with us - after a struggle to find phone signal we contacted mam, who was emant to be picking us up, turns out she was over an hour away thinking she still had 5 hours to get back to the end point. Then there was the issue of us having little idea where we actually were, cue much blank staring at the map and pointing out of houses/rocks/trees that may be usefull landmarks. In the end we sent ed out onto the mainest road we could see in the hope that mam would drive down it while i waited with the wounded soldier, who was becoming more and more in need of medical attention (in his opinion) by the minute. Such is random good luck on that friday the 13th mam did drive down the road ed was patrolling and the cavalry came to pick us up. Dad has declared (again) that his 3 peaks is over, and wants to switch our challenge to the coast-to-coaster instead now. Im not keen on giving up on the 3 peaks yet though as im sure we could have finished yesterday without the snow, and may have told dad we can do the "flat wusses walk as well"... So we've learned what we already knew; dont miss training walks, except for today, as none of us can really move.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Days 97 - 107

How the mighty have fallen, from scaling Scafell to slobbing on the sofa is exactly how far I've fallen to be precise. Rugby tour in Italy (not Otaly as previously stated) involved about as much excersise as can be expected, then there was the hangover on return from Italy, and then it was Easter, and I think we all know by now that chocolate is the top priority in my life, so I'm well on my way down a slippery slope here. Dad, devoid of my encouraging presence has slumped too, but theres still time for us to get it back! On Friday we'll be hitting the next big milestone in our training regime - the Yorkshire 3 peaks. For those of you unaware (as I was myself in blissful ignmorance to the existance of most of the things I've encountered since training began) the Y3P (as the are known to us pros) are a sort of mini version of the N3P (national 3 peaks, keep up darlings) which is of course the end goal. Word on the street, or mountain may be more apt in this case, is that if a party can complete the Y3P in half a day, then the N3P should be no bother in 24 hours. Dad has elected to bravely soldier on, and Eddie and I will be presenting him with his early birthday present to help him on Friday - trecking poles (essentially walking sticks for mountain climbers) he is 51 - nearly 52 - you know! So I'm sure after the hell that this will undoubtably be we'll all learn our lesson and never miss a walk again...