Today, Angela, Cheney and I completed our second long training walk for Shine 2010. Shine is an overnight 26.2 mile walkathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK and is taking place on Saturday 17th April, around the streets of central Manchester. This is the first event of its kind, and as the days pass, I am getting quite excited!! With only 2 weeks to go, we have really been trying to ramp up the amount of walking we do, and I have been walking at least 3 miles every day.
Today, we decided to try and do another long walk, following on from what we thought was about 14/15 miles last weekend. Despite being a easter bank holiday and potentially the first lie in for a while, and despite rolling in at 1am last night following pre birthday drinks with work mates, myself and Angela were up and wide awake and knocking at Cheney’s door at quarter past 8 this morning!! (Thats commitment for you eh!?!)
The weather forecast was not good!! Over the last few days I had been checking the forecast on the met office every day, hoping that we would manage to avoid the rain, but clearly it wasnt going to happen!
We started the walk at 8.30 and having a quick glance at the canal it soon become clear that there was no way we were going to be able to follow the toepath on the same route as last week. It was already raining, and the heavy rain from the last few days had made the ground incredibly muddy – so we made a decision to stick to the main roads this time, but still with the same aim of getting to Hatton.
I had taken my nike plus with me, in the hope that I’d track our distance accurately, however after about ten minutes it went and turned itself off, so I gave up! As we were taking the roads this time, it was a lot easier for us to measure our distance, so I let it go, reluctantly(!) and put the iPhone away!
About half an hour in and the heavens truely opened, so much so that my hands were freezing and bright red, and I had water running down my forehead, but still we carried on, as I’ve said before, we have to get used to the idea that it might rain on the actual event, so we cant let a little moisture put us off!!
We headed off down the main warwick road to Knowle. The Warwick Road has to be one of the longest roads ever (lol) – so it felt like a very long straight run for a while. When we finally reached knowle we walked past a traditional sweet shop which I didnt even know was there! About 7 years ago I used to work in Knowle Centre on my placement year, and the shop had been something different then. I made a mental note to go and pay that shop a visit on a later date!! It had loads of jars of sweets lined up in the window, just like they used to have in Morgam News when I was little! Me and my sister always used to pop up and get a quarter of midget gems or sherbet pips! At that age, I wasnt entirely sure what a quarter even was, but it kept me quiet for a little while at least!!
By the time we reached the Herons Nest (which is where I had to stop for a wee last week!), the rain had thankfully stopped, and we were getting our stride back!
After knowle we continued on through Chadwick End, which is a very lovely little town, with beautiful houses. We passed the Orange Tree pub which is one of my favourite places to eat, and the little row of houses called Bakers Mews – me and my boyfriend had looked at one of those houses when we first moved in together in Solihull, but it was a little far out for what we wanted.
On we continued, following the roads and having to change to different sides of the road every so often (I never really understand why that happens but I find it very annoying!) lol The sun tried to come out and it started to feel a little bit warmer. Spring is definately on its way, despite what the rain might be telling us. There were lots of baby lambs in the fields and the daphodils are starting to pop out all over the place. They added a little sunshine to an otherwise dreary day!!
We then walked on through Wroxall, and past a town called Hazeley Knob (dont ask!) and by this point, myself and Cheney had a feeling that we were making a lot better time than before. Not being on the toe path, it was quite hard to find our bearings, but we soon started to see signs for Rowington, and started to feel a little hopeful.
The weather started to change again and started to go colder as we headed off through shrewley towards Hatton. At one point I turned round to check if Ang was ok and she had pulled her hood up so tightly round her face that she looked like Kenny from South Park!!
Amazingly before we knew it, we had reached the Falcon Pub in Hatton, and were amazed at how quickly we had got there!! Cheney wasnt convinced that we had quite done the half marathon and being the stubborn souls that we are, we decided to have a quick pit stop toilet break and then carried on for another mile before turning back on ourselves and heading back to the pub for a drink and a bite to eat.
The food at the Falcon was amazing, and I dont think thats just because I was starving. On the menu this was listed as
“Probably the Best Chicken Pie” and it actually was!! I dont think Ive ever eaten anything so fast, it was presented beautifully, and tasted amazing! Will definately going back to that restaurant again, so if ever dan decides to treat me to a nice lunch, Im glad iv found a nice little eatery on my travels!!
So the Verdict Overall?
Time taken – started at 8.30am – finished at 12.15 – 3 hours 45 mintes.
Either this was a shorter work than the one we did last week or this week we walked a lot faster. To be fair, the ground was easier this time round, being mainly road based, so maybe the muddy paths last week did slow us down.
I feel good after this walk! I felt a lot more comfortable this time round, my feet didnt hurt really at all,other than just feeling like I had been walking for quite a long time and one very tiny weeny start of a blister on my baby toe but nothing to write home about. My legs dont ache and I had an ever so slight twinge on the left side of my back but otherwise I am feeling fine, if not just a little tired.
What I am most pleased about is that I did feel like I could have actually carried on, and if we had eaten whilst walking instead (something lighter and probably a lot less enjoyable mind) I think I could definatley have walked at least another 4 miles completely comfortably. This makes me feel a lot happier as although i know the full 26 miles is going to be a killer, the fact that i can now do a half relatively comfortably has got to help! I am glad that I have put in the practise, and feel like some of the hard work is finally starting to pay off at last!!
On Monday, our plan is to try and do the journey in reverse and make it ever so slightly longer. We have decided to get dropped of in Warwick, which is 5 miles further out, and do the journey back to Solihull. That way, we will know where we are headed, and have a better idea of when we are reaching our destination!! Nothing like a bit of change to keep us motivated as well!
Right, now if you will excuse me, I think Im off for a well deserved nap!!
If youd like to support me in my marathon walk for CRUK please see my sponsorship page here – www.sponsormetoshine.org/loosea