8 weeks to go
Saturday’s 10 mile walk was a bit of a shambles. I had an appointment in Edinburgh early that afternoon so calculated I’d need to start walking by 8AM at the latest. I got everything ready on Friday night – iPod loaded, route mapped, clothes laid out; favourite socks nestled into shoes to prevent the usual outraged cries of where the hell are my Good Socks.
Gareth was also leaving early to go hillwalking with Steve, so he got his stuff ready too. His preparations didn’t go far enough if you ask me. I suggested he place his thermos and piecebox on the kitchen counter ready for morning (piece is a Scots word for sandwich, how educational is this blog!?) I even volunteered to pre-slice the cheese for his cheese’n’ pickle pieces so all he’d need to do was slip them between the bread. No faffing with knives and chopping boards. But he declined the offer!
Alas, all the prep in the world can’t account for laziness. The alarm went off at 6.30AM which I’d figured would accommodate getting dressed, making and eating of porridge and sufficient hydration and digestion before the 8AM kick off (step off?). Instead I hit snooze, over and over again, muttering to Gareth, "Geddup. Time to geddup" and him muttering back "I know, I knooow".
Finally at 8.05AM I goddup, precious schedule destroyed.
"8.05!?" said Gareth, "I gotta make my pieces!"
"You should’ve pre-sliced your cheese!"
I dressed, had my cuppa and porridge and raced out the door at 8.45 – forgetting my knee support and heart rate monitor and water bottle.
I blitzed the first 4.5 miles, despite the strong winds. At the loch, I saw an elderly man on a scooter, tossing breadcrumbs and being chased very slowly by a herd of ducks. At the boring housing estate, I saw 900 bazillion identical boring houses.
And then I got LOST.
I’d written down all the street names, but didn’t realise there were two adjacent roads with almost identical names. If there are any town planners out there, WHY DO YOU THIS? Why do you put Moron Street next to Moron Way across from Moron Crescent? Why not have completely unrelated names… Moron Street then Banana Avenue?
So I went down the wrong bloody road and found myself at the motorway entrance – next stop Edinburgh. What the hell!? I was too cranky to go back; I couldn’t face walking past all those boring houses again. I turned down another road heading back towards town.
I ended up back at the Boring House junction and truly wanted to kick something. My pace was ruined and I had no idea how many miles I’d done.
In the end I repeated the first part of the route, up the hill and back past the loch again. I figured with my average speed I’d need to do between 02:30 and 02:45 to make sure I covered the distance.
At the two hour mark my hamstring started to ache and it occurred to me I didn’t have my water. My legs just got heavier and heavier after that. But I was determined to get in the miles, so finished with a shuffling lap of the local park then limped home and sat on the couch for half an hour like a stunned mullet.
For the first time I worried about my ability to finish the Moonwalk. If I was completely shagged by just 10 tiny miles, how the hell would I do 26.2?
(Incidentally Gareth and Steve returned that evening having walked
18 21 miles*, including 3300 feet up a MOUNTAIN, the smug gits)
* thanks for the correction, G.
But I still have eight weeks. Let’s not panic. I should get there if I keep training consistently and heed Saturday’s lessons:
- Take water bottle.
- Read street signs properly.
- Obey the alarm clock.
- Pre-slice all cheeses.