Where it started

A list going round on Facebook, February 2016: "which of these items have you experienced" etc. Some yes, some no, some didn't interest me. However, it put some ideas into my head, and I figured it was time I followed some of my friends in committing them to (virtual) paper. And then trying some of them out. The first challenge was undertaken on 1 March 2016, and I have no intention of ever completing the list: the more I tick off, the more I'll add.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Walk not run

Back in 2007-08, I was an enthusiastic runner. For some eighteen months, running - albeit very slowly (a sub-10 minute mile was a big achievement) and not far (5K was about my sensible limit) - was a big part of my life, and my main tool in keeping my weight under control. I'd got to a stage when I would run for around two miles about 3-4 times each week. It was an efficient use of time - I could do a decent workout in around thirty minutes - and of course, the adrenalin hit was always special. I ran a couple of the Wroxham 5K races, and my personal best was 31'45" (August 2008).

Unfortunately, a nasty episode of plantar fasciitis in my left foot in the autumn of 2008 (which lasted for two very painful years) messed me up; and as I started to get back to serious walking, in June 2013, I had an argument with a pothole in the road, took a serious sprain to my right ankle (yes, that's one injury each side), and I knew that my days of high-impact activity were probably over. Even now, nearly three years on, the right ankle has a constant niggle of discomfort. So I stick to walking.

Watching, as I type this, the inspiring London Marathon, I feel somewhat wistful. It would have been such a brilliant entry on my Life List. So I was encouraged to find this article, which explains why there is no reason why one shouldn't power-walk a marathon. There are some wonderful events that encourage walking rather than running. I'd already added a similar idea to the List: "charity trek, e.g. Great Wall of China".

In both cases, I'll need to bump up the training. My present schedule is 70 miles per month, which I'm proud of achieving (I did 60 miles minimum per month for 12 months, and then last month was my first 70 mile achievement; on course for April success too). My usual walk is around 3.5 miles, with the occasional 5-miler when I get the chance. To successfully walk a marathon in a day (taking, I would guess, around 7-8 hours) I need to ramp up those distances!

One last thing. I have, in fact, walked a marathon (or very nearly) once before: when I was just eleven years old. It was a school sponsored walk, and I managed 24 miles. You can read about it here. So if I could walk that distance aged 11, I'm damn sure I can manage it more than forty years later.

Watch this space. Or come and join me.

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