Sunday, 25 March 2012

Is Summer here?

A pretty uneventful week, but got still some decent training sessions in. Monday was a run after work, followed by the 'Kewaigue Loop' on Tuesday. I hadn't eaten much during the day and literally ran in from work, got changed and down to the NSC. 5 minutes into the walk I knew it was a mistake as my energy levels felt particularly low as I dragged myself around chasing Dave W up the hill past the school. I had to give circuit training a miss on Wednesday as it was an End to End Walk Committee Meeting. Things seem to be going to plan, even if the entries haven't started to flow in yet, plus we have also had another company approach the Committee wanting to get involved alongside the other sponsors.

I plan to enter this year's End to End, to walk with Kyley, but the only problem is that it falls a week after the Roubaix 28 hour walk. This annual event in Northern France has been running since 1953 and the objective is to see how far you can walk in 28 hours, with the current record standing at an impressive 255km (158 miles). As publicised on Murray's website there are a number of people from the Island planning to have a go at this year's event, so our support teams should be able to a establish a Manx quarter somewhere on the circuit. As well the fact that physically I won't be able to be competitive for the End to End, it wouldn't be too clever to go for it due to the high probability of doing some permanent damage to myself only a week after Roubaix (assuming I can still actually walk at that stage!).

On Thursday night the two Daves, Vinny and I met up at the NSC and we headed out along the promenade, up Summerhill and Blackberry Lane and back to the NSC. On Friday evening I wasn't feeling too good and as Kyley was out with work I took the opportunity to lie on the sofa and do nothing part from watch Sport Relief. A superb effort from the comedian John Bishop as he cycled through Northern France, was delirious whilst rowing across the Channel before running 3 marathons - with millions raised for charity. Whilst the Parish is obviously on a smaller scale to Sports Relief, it shouldn't be forgotten the money that is raised for local charities through this great event.

Had a terrible night's sleep and got up on Saturday morning not feeling like walking at all. However, I didn't want to miss the long walk of the week so decided to see how things went. Vinny, Dave M, Michal and I met up at Dave W's on Ballanard Road at 7.30 and Dave's wife Sally joined us for the first few miles as we set off through East Baldwin, up past St Luke's Church and down the hill to Injebreck Resevoir. It was at this point I started to feel very intrepid about lay ahead, in my delicate state. If you haven't ventured up the hill from Injebreck to Brandywell then I recommend it as an excellent training walk to build stamina for tackling the hills in the Parish. It is very steep at the start and then is a long slog to the top, plus there is very little traffic on the road. Dave W and Vinny set the pace and I had to dig really deep to hang on to them.

It was a very warm morning, by comparison to the last couple of Saturdays and the concern was we wouldn't have sufficient fluid, as the route we were taking was around the middle of the Island with no shops to get any supplies. Fortunately, we needn't have worried as Dave W had been out on his bike the day before and had strategically placed bottles of water around our route. On reaching Brandywell we continued on the road before taking a left turn past the entrance to the former Sartfield Restaurant and down the hill to Little London, which really feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. It was at this stage we expected to see a 'good ol boy' sitting out the front of his house playing his banjo, with his shotgun propped up beside him! On joining the TT course at Cronk-Y-Voddy we traced it backwards to Union Mills before returning to Dave's house for refreshments, finishing a little over 21 miles.

Unfortunately, I was unable to compete in today's Manx Harriers 10km Racewalking Championships, but congratulations to Alex Eaton and Michelle Turner, the men's and ladies's winners. Instead my morning was spent in the glorious sunshine in Ramsey watching Tom playing for Corinthians V RYCOB in the U17s football. Tom is currently studying PE at A Level and one of his assignments involves documenting and filming a sport he participates in. As such, I was on camera duty for the morning. RYCOB had already won the league and when Corinthians only had 10 players to start things didn't look good. However, at half-time the score was 0-0, which was a fair reflection. During the second half RYCOB made the extra man count and matters weren't helped when Corinthians went down to 9 men as a result of injury to one of the team. The match finished 3-0 to RYCOB but a really committed performance from the 'Super Whites'.

This afternoon Kyley and I walked down into town to pick up a few things and as the weather was so nice carried walking along the promenade instead of heading straight home. We wandered up Summerhill and then through the Glen that brings you out by Governor's Bridge. I hadn't walked through the Glen in years but I have really fond memories of it as a child when me and my brothers would pester my parents to take us there to see the lights at night and then work on them to take us to the chippy at the bottom of Summerhill afterwards. It was a little bit of a let down this time around! Walking past the Grandstand we noticed some of the new fitness equipment installed by Douglas Council in Nobles Park at a cost of £20,000. We only found 5 of the 7 pieces of equipment but tested them out and were both impressed. It looks to be a good circuit running between each of the 'stations' and I just hope they remain untouched by vandals. All-in-all a good day out in the sun and hopefully the start of a long, hot summer!!!

I am in Guernsey this week, so will unfortunately miss the Parish 'Walk Talk' on Tuesday evening, which starts at 5.30pm with doors opening at 5.00pm. If you have any concerns about the Walk and need some advice I would recommend you get down to the Manx Museum where a panel of experts will pass on their experience. Also if you need a little motivation or are undecided whether to have a go at the full distance, this is a great opportunity to meet fellow entrants and pick up useful tips.

Anyway, I plan to bring my sports gear with me this week, but when away with work it is often difficult to find the time or the enthusiasm to use the hotel gym. However, now that the training schedule is increasing I will be disappointed in myself if the kit comes back unused!

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