On February 1st, I was apprehensive about the physical part of this challenge but not the mental side. Even with 1000 miles under my belt, I still feel the same.
I have had minor wobbles during the last 77 days walking, including a very public vlog but on the whole I have prepared well for this part. Having read many accounts of this sort of challenge I know what to expect. I also know me very well now. My chimp sleeps most days now (see earlier blog) and having trained for the London Marathon, I know the mental tricks when pain takes hold. Good luck Amelia (BHF) and Linda (Anstruther) who are running this weekend. Enjoy it. There is nothing like it.
Today was by far the most challenging day so far. A disturbed night sleep didn’t help my body recover from 20miles on sand yesterday so I set off from Fraserburgh tired. The elevation, heavy rucksack, headwind and 15 miles sapped my energy and even several stops to tend to feet issues and sing to the sheep didn’t relieve the all over pain. I searched for distraction ideas. Some worked like trying to remember all my destinations in order but some made me loop back to the painful feet, tight calves, aching thighs and a desire to stop.
It was a farmer and his young boy in a tractor that fixed me today. He stopped the tractor and said he had seen me in the paper. We had a brief chat and his dog came and stood in front of me wagging his tail. I patted the dog and instead of attacking me (like the many dogs on this trip) he sat down gazing up at me.
The moment was brief, the story is simple but these few minutes of the 8 hour walk really spurred me on.
I got to Gardenstown and collapsed on my bed.
All day I questioned my fitness and feared the days still to come in NW Scotland but now, 4hours after the walk, I feel a lot better.
Fitness, like deterioration, comes gradually. On day one, I would not have been able to finish today. That’s how fit I am and I hope my fitness fears take a backseat after today.
“A pain that I’m used to” – Depeche Mode