Moonwalk Training – 10 Miles

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.

38 thoughts on “Moonwalk Training – 10 Miles

  1. I think that “preslice all cheeses” should be rule for life, and not just training!

    After my 10-miler a couple of weeks ago, I learned the very important lessons: 1) always warm up, 2) always stretch, and 3) always bring more water than you think you’ll need. I will be adding the cheese rule from now on, of course.

  2. ARRGH! Stupidbullet point code. Cheese rule has been reinstated!

    Totally agree with your rules Amy. I need to STOP and STRETCH more instad of worrying that I will not Make Good Time if I stop. I’m not George Costanza!

    Perhaps next walk I shall balance a big Edam on my head…

  3. I find it helpful to buy an alarm clock w/out snooze and then put it somewhere that I have to stand up to get to.

    That way I get more unbroken sleep and really HAVE to get up when it’s time.

  4. If you do go out walking with a cheese on your head, I think it’s only fair that you have photos taken and then post them. For educational purposes, of course.

  5. I have got lost that way too. If it’s any consolation (which it probably isn’t) today’s town-planners seem to have realised what a stupid idea that way of naming streets is.

    My husband’s parents live in a recently built development where the streets all have different names (called after Scottish islands, oddly – they live in England). But all the streets are Something Avenue. Presumably they used up all their imagination on the first part of the name…

    I never have any willpower in the morning at all. I reckon 8.45 isn’t at all bad for a Saturday!

  6. 8 weeks is plenty of time.
    Have you tried taking gels with you? One every hour + water = energy.
    No advice about the getting lost (i do it all the time when I’m out on my bike then have to gmap it to work out how far I’ve gone)
    8 weeks is plenty of time.

  7. I just bought your book! Had a voucher for 30% off at Myer, so of course I was looking at recipe books. Then I spotted Dietgirl and it was the only book I walked out with! I’ll send you a piccie to put in the gallery…

  8. Shauna – have you looked at the BBC Radio 4 podcasting page? There’s all kind of interesting stuff and it’s all FREE – just brilliant for listening to on a long walk.

  9. Hey Shaunna – you inspired me to do a 9 mile charity walk last weekend. I completed it in 2hrs 41mins so quite slow I guess but then I am nowhere near my target weight yet so I am quite pleased.
    Thx for the blog posts + book… you are a total inspiration
    Jo xxxxx

  10. Just a girl – Hello! I’ve been using which has Gmaps built into it… which makes it even more stoopid that I got lost, eh? πŸ™‚

    K – Hmm… do you think this similar street names thing is a British phenomenon? I can’t remember it happening back in Oz, then again I hadn’t really been in any new housing estates.

    LBTEPA – Ahh that is reassuring to hear from a sporty legend like you… cheers matey πŸ™‚

    Jo1 – COOL! Thanks very much…

    Jo2 – Well bloody done, woohoo!

    Phillipa – I have been listening to the Women’s Health Hour from BBC4 but methinks i will check out some others… thanks!

  11. Arrgh! I have just started walking again.

    I have lost 36lbs over the last 15 weeks and felt that I could venture out on the streets once more!

    Did 1 mile last night and broke a sweat! LOL

    Did 2 miles today and it wasn’t so bad- so I gues I’ll build up slowly!

    Good luck for the moonwalk.

    Buy pre-sliced cheese!

  12. It’s another gadget you need. A GPS is the answer. They had some on the Gadget Show recently and one was brilliant and one was a total dud. Suggest you research to avoid dud as the tester on the telly ended up horribly lost and had to thumb a lift back to where he should have been!

  13. No, no, noooo Shauna; getting a late start, and then, worst getting lost just MADE YOU STRONGER! If you can get through all of THOSE obstacles in a training session, the Moonwalk will be a piece of cake (or whatever word Scots use for THAT one..chortle chortle)…

    You’re SUPPOSED to shake out EVERYTHING in training; then you’re prepared for ANYTHING on race/event day.

  14. Hi Shauna,

    I am sure you will find that the actual moonwalk will be much easier. I was in Edinburgh 2 years ago & saw all the walkers going by my son’s flat at about 8:00 AM & they all seemed to be having a wonderful time together. It is a great cause & a great way to raise money for that cause! Good luck!

  15. My alarm is on my husbands side of the bed and hes a VERY heavy sleeper. We have the alarm tuned to the most annoying radio station EVER, so I HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off before it does my head in. Not nice in the middle of winter but it works.
    From your previous escapades, Im sure you wont have any problems completing the Moonwalk, but I can sympathise with getting bored walking. Just keep listening to those books.
    BTW my boss is from Manchester and they call sandwiches butties, so it always cracks me up when he talks about his ‘butty box’. (especially as he likes men)…………., nuf said.

  16. Hmmm…Well, I guess I’m terribly spoiled because I have my cheese sliced for me at the store in the deli section πŸ™‚

    AND they make these alarm clocks that go-off and runaway from you and you have to search for it to turn it off…talk about getting you out of bed.

    I think your walking is going to be just fine. My friend Ann did a 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer and there was no way she could train for the 60 miles in one fail swoop, so she paced herself and it just added up…but boy did she end up with blisters. Moral of the story, proper foot gear and build up those calluses on the feet.

    Oh and no, it’s not just a British thing…there are stupid street naming people all over…in my hood alone I live on Jewel St. and two streets down (after Diamond) is Newel St. (that my friend lives on)…oh and there’s also a Jewel Ave. in our hood too…try telling that to your taxicab driver.

  17. Preslice all cheeses… you are so cute.

    You’ll be fine by the time of the Moonwalk. Imagine how unimaginable 10 miles was just a few months ago. And you won’t forget any of the important stuff on race day.

    I 2nd (3rd? 4th?) the GPS gadget for your walks. It’s the best to track miles and keep you from getting lost.

    I hit the snooze button all the time. I have put my clock across the room, gotten out of bed, hit snooze, and gotten back into bed and fallen asleep. It’s not the position of the clock that encourages or deters me from hitting the snooze button. It’s my immense resentment that life requires us all to be morning people. Just not fair.

  18. Re alarms DG…please feel free to borrow my children as alarms…19 yr old came in at four am drunk…4 yr old got up at 6 crying cos Yo Gabba Gabba wasn’t on!! I, however, have managed to fit in an extra breakfast today so could do with walking your ten miles for you……

  19. I assure you that the stupid street names are not an exclusive UK thing at all. In one area of my city absolutely every street name has the words park or spring in it. Because this area is also Early 21st Century American Suburban Hell, there are no landmarks. Every single corner looks the same with the same stores and fast food outlets every mile or so. Hopeless.

  20. Even in adversity, the humour still keeps coming! Clever DG!!!

    Here’s the thing…you will STILL feel you can’t do it (the Moonwalk, that is), on the night itself. And during the walk. And almost at the end of the walk. That’s just the way it is.

    That pesky wrong turning just triggered all those crappy/crabby feelings. But guess what? In true DG style, you turned it around. Totally agree with the warm-up/stretch after routine.

    Anyway, methinks you have your next book in the making. “Who moved my pre-sliced cheese?!” (Apologies, Spencer Johnson.)

    I know you’ll be crossing that line at the end of the Moonwalk with a bl**dy great smile on your face. I can see it already.

    Go DG!!!

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxx

  21. Do you want to know how sad we are? My husband actually dismantled our alarm clock and DEACTIVATED THE SNOOZE BUTTON! Neither of us could be trusted with The Power of the Snooze, so now we can only turn it off entirely. No snoozing in our house, no sirree. The odd “Sh*t, who turned the alarm off?!!!” but no snoozing.

  22. Shauna,

    GREAT Blog. I’m on the way to losing over half of myself and your story is inspiring. Can’t wait to get a hold of your book and have a proper sit down read of it!


  23. Shauna,

    I just want to say a big thanks for your ‘Bike the Big Apple’ tip. I booked a place and we survived the day – not just survived but thoroughly enjoyed. H was far more sceptical than I, he spent the morning muttering ‘she’s trying to kill me, kill me I tell you’ but it only took him 10 minutes to get into the spirit and vibe of the ride. A brilliant day, absolutely brilliant.

  24. I can quite literally get lost going to the corner store. I think I’m reasonably intelligent, but I have the worst sense of direction known to man. Hence, I have totally gotten lost during runs when I go alone. When I first joined a running clinic, the entire impetus to keep up with the group (even when I reeeeeeally wanted to stop!) was that I didn’t know my way back to the running store!

    One of my running buddies has a Garmin GPS running watch doo-hickey and it is supercool-it tells you your pace, calories burned, how far you’ve gone etc. I covet it, but sadly I’m too cheap errr… I mean, frugral, to spend $300 on one for myself. That said, I was just given a GPS for my car, and it rocks my world. (On a side note, I picked a British guy’s voice for my GPS and it says cute British phrases like motorway-we say highway in Canada, but it makes me think of your cool Scottish sayings sometimes. Perhaps when you get really famous, you could be one of the voice choices for downloads-how I would love Dietgirl telling me how to get to my destination…)

  25. Well done on your run anyway!

    Ah what a great example of the secret of success – when something doesn’t go to plan, figure out why it didn’t and plan how you’ll avoid the hiccup next time!

  26. The trouble with your blog is that by the time 35 people have commented there’s not much left to say except – well done for having done the 10 miles under adverse conditions (eg morning) and – very funny blog post. As for 21 – that’s simply showing off and should be ignored.

  27. We’re going to hopefully (waiting to hear back from them) stewarding at the moonwalk so shall hope to spot you there somewhere! I’m so glad that we don’t have to do the training, but maybe I will sign up for it next year!

  28. I once had to take the city bus somewhere, and I accidentally got off at Oak instead of Elm because I got my trees mixed up. Oops! I’m glad you didn’t get so lost that we never heard from you again. I’d hate to lose a blogger to marathon training.

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