Thanks for stopping by, it's so good to have you here. Today we continue our retrospective look back at the Step by Step journal I wrote while training for the first charity challenge in late 2009. If you missed the first couple of posts about it, you can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2. Both links open in a new tab to make it easier for you.
We begin part 3 with December 8, 2009...
December 8, 2009 - Walk minus 20 days!
WOW this really is going quick now! I was in a business meeting all morning, so did just 4 miles today; back to 12 tomorrow.
It's with a very heavy heart that I have today learned of the passing of the 100th British soldier to lose his life in Afghanistan this year. It's HEROES such as L/Cpl Adam Drane who inspire me to give all *I* have on the hike.
Rest In Peace soldier, I salute you! Another heroic angel.
December 9, 2009 - Walk minus 19 days! Wow it's gonna be here before we know it! I'll be doing 12 miles this morning. Thanks to Seb for sending my t-shirt I really look the part now.
I've now set up the ""HELP for HEROES" Hadrian's Wall Christmas Hike" album on Facebook and added the first 3 photos. More will be added before the hike and of course, many, many, afterwards.
December 10, 2009 - Walk minus 18 days! Training today was good, another 12 miles complete. Thanks to everyone for your support. It really does keep me going when it's hard out there.
It's about time I mentioned some of the other brave, albeit younger, people who will be doing the hike with me. They are:
Seb F.- It's all Seb's fault. He's the organizer of this feat of endurance.
Terry F.- Seb's Dad. He will be our support driver.
Zach S., Bea’s younger brother.
Claudia M., the youngest of the group, CJ is just fourteen years old!
December 11 - Walk minus 17 days! Did a shorter than intended 6 mile training hike, due to fog. I had hoped to do another 12 but the fog meant visibility wasn't good. I'm feeling great. Thanks again to everyone for all your support. It really means so much to me. Wow! I've just counted the miles completed in training so far. 85 miles completed in training already. That's the full distance of the hike! I intend to at least do the same again before the hike begins.
The 12 mile route I have been taking during my training is really in two parts. The first half of which is along a well lit road, with a sidewalk. The second part of the route takes me down an unlit road, with no sidewalk. Hence why in bad weather, such as today with the fog, or if I'm out later than usual, when it's dark, the route changes for safety reasons.I hope you're enjoying looking back at the entries as much as I am. In my next post, on Wednesday afternoon/ evening, I'll be sharing my latest training notes from this year, as well as some more of my thoughts, so I hope you'll join me again then.
The route is in no way flat, there are two or three steep gradients so the thigh muscles and lungs get a workout!
The mid-range 10 mile route, follows the 12, except it cuts off a couple of miles at the midway point. The second part of it is still unlit, so I'll do this one if the light is beginning to fade.
As for wildlife, I do pass by fields with horses in, on both routes.
The shorter four and six mile routes are along fully lit roads, with sidewalks. They are both completely safe. I do the six mile route if I go out in the dark and it's a loop around the neighborhood. The four mile route is the one I do if I have to go to any business meetings, as it's the venue for the meetings is two miles across town.
Everyone I've encountered, so far at least, has been really friendly. Everyone acknowledges me, at least with a nod or a wave, including the drivers along the more rural part of the longer routes.
It's my intention to take the camera out with me on one of the remaining 12 mile training hikes, so you will be able to see what I can see along the route. This will include at least some of the eight bars I encounter! Yes, there has been occasions when I've been tempted to stop for a drink LOL.
I'll add the pics to the album ""HELP for HEROES" Christmas Hike 2009" on Facebook, which I've already started and mentioned a few days ago.
I'm doing all bar the four mile routes in one go, without needing to stop for a meal break. As I'm doing all routes, I ensure I keep well hydrated by drinking an isotonic sports drink, that I make up from powder before going out.
During the hike itself, we'll be doing an average of 14 miles a day. This won't, of course, be all in one go, we'll stop for lunch on the route. All meals; breakfast, lunch and supper; are being provided for us, by a corporate sponsor.
The main bulk of our kit; tents, sleeping bags, camping equipment; is being transported in a support vehicle. We'll only be carrying our daysacks with us, with waterproofs and anything needed during the day, drinks bottles and lunch, for example.