Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eurovision ruined my training.

I went out for a 9 mile walk on Friday around the usual Baldwin route with Sally. It ended up being a mixture of paces, as Sally zoomed off into the distance when I had a brief stop, so the next couple of miles I spent trying to catch her up. So overall it was a good training session. I managed to get out for a brief walk last night after work and covered just over 3 miles but only at a slow pace.

I had toyed with the idea of stopping drinking alcohol in the run up to the Parish Walk (not the best time when the beer tent is being put up!) and decided to give it a go last night. Unfortunately, when I got in I found Sally was watching Eurovision on T.V. For any one lucky enough to have missed the program, there were no highlights to report. However I did think the Portuguese entry sounded like Mariah Carey with P.M.T. (she will probably turn out to be a portu-geezer). Needless to say, the abstaining didn’t last long and I woke up with a headache this morning for some reason.

The only good thing to come out of Eurovision is that I have now booked my summer holidays to Armenia having checked out their singer...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time passing quickly.

Time has passed me by this week. I didn't realise till I checked the blog today that it was a week since I last put anything on! I am trying to remember where last weekend went but I was working both days and went to a party on Saturday night so no walking then. On Monday, I went up to Ramsey with Sally and then walked back the Parish Walk route from Ramsey to Baldrine. I have previously walked the loop around Maughold in training but had never walked up to Lonan church - I'm glad I did! For some reason I had always imagined the church was just around the corner, I now know it is a third of a mile up a rather steep hill. Doesn't sound much when I put it like that but after nearly 80 miles on the day, I'm sure it will seem like miles. At least it's all down hill from there to the finish (apart from the hills at Baldrine, Whitebridge and Onchan).

Today I did another 16 mile walk but despite not doing anything for the past couple of days, my legs felt heavy and I didn't seem to be able to maintain much speed. Hopefully I should get out for a walk again tomorrow.

I was looking at the poll (who will win) on the Parish Walk web site the other day. My only observation is that I have seen the following athletes training in the past few days - Sean Hands (fast), Jock Waddington (fast), Mark Hempsall (fast) and Michael George(fast). However, I have passed them all (either in the car, walking in the opposite direction, or on the bike).

There is only just over four more weeks to go to the Parish Walk and the next two weeks are the TT the time will fly by!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is that a banana in my pocket or am I pleased to see you?

Only 36 days to go now and if you haven't already started, may I suggest now is the time to get training! I didn't get out on Tuesday but I went for a 21 mile walk yesterday and things felt pretty good. I should be able to go for a shorter one later today as well.

Having never got round the lap of the Parish Walk, I am not in a position to give advice about what to eat and drink. However, I have asked various seasoned athletes for their advice and like most things with the Parish walk, everyone does completely different things. Here is a list of foods that have been suggested - pasta, sausage rolls, crisps, jelly babies, jam sandwiches, chocolate, tuna, sweet potato, chicken sandwiches, chips with salt, baby food, meat paste sandwiches and flapjacks. Drink suggestions are as follows water, flat coke and cordial with just a bit of salt added - sounds fantastic.

The only consistent bit of advice is to eat little and often.

Oh, and the only food suggestion that everyone seems to agree on is bananas. So it will most likely be a banana in my pocket!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beware of heart rate monitors.

After threatening to go for a walk yesterday, I instead went cycling with the boys so today I had to get out for a walk. I went for a 9 mile walk around my usual route of East and West Baldwin spotting a few walkers en route. I was hoping that I would feel good after not doing as much the past couple of weeks but instead my legs felt heavy and so I was not as quick as I had planned. By the time I took the children down to race walking, I was flagging. I think I will need a refreshing beer or two to rejuvinate myself this evening.

The good news is that all this training is making me fitter. Whilst in the hotel gym last week, I ventured on to one of their high tech cycling machines with a pulse monitor. Whilst peddling away my pulse was around 130 even when I was pushing quite hard (suppose the monitor could have been faulty). It took me back to a few years ago, during the height of my couch potato days, when my friend invited me to his gym. I went on the running machine and duly attached the pulse monitor. After about 30 seconds, my pulse was racing and after about two minutes my heart rate had hit the 'red zone' and the machine started to alarm with noises and flashing lights - might as well have had a big neon sign above saying Fat b@***** on the treadmill. I played it cool, casually moping my brow before heading off to the weights and dropping 3kg on my foot.

I plan to get out for a walk again tomorrow as long as Will doesn't ring me...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Slacking off.

Its been 8 days since I last got round to posting anything on here and during that time my training has been equally slack! I have managed to get out and about approximately every other day with a 9 mile walk being the furthest distance covered in one go. I also travelled over to the UK for 3 days during the week and only managed to head to the gym once but I'm not sure how useful sitting in a sauna and a steam room are for the Parish Walk!

So the countdown timer tells me that there are now just 40 days to go to the big day and I will hopefully be able to get in a few more miles this week as I have more free time than I have had in the past couple of weeks. I will try to get some decent miles under my belt in the next three weeks and then I will be able to wind things down for the last 3 weeks before the event.

I was looking at the parish walk website last night and I was under the impression that the entries were due to close at midnight, however according to the link, it appears that you can still enter till midnight tonight so still time to get those entries in by the looks of things.

I shall try not to leave it quite as long till I post again but I should have some more training to talk about in the next couple of days!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More beers than miles.

It's not been a great week for walking so far this week. Unfortunately work commitments and meetings have got in the way of training. The only real period of free time that I have had so far was Tuesday evening but instead of training I went to the Cat With No Tail for the presentation for the Sara Killey memorial walk. So instead of training, I ended up (along with several other parish walkers) drinking and talking about training! - I'm sure it helped my fitness levels. I am going to have to be selfish this next few days and get a few miles in.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A new route.

I have been pounding out the miles these last few days and also had a busy weekend. On Thursday I went for an eight mile walk around Douglas and on Friday, I went for a nine mile walk around East and West Baldwin. The weekend was quite hectic as my son Max was taking part in the Youth Tour cycling event so it was a case of trying to fit everything in around the timings of his races. As a result I didn’t get out for a walk on Saturday.

Yesterday, I helped out with the Peel to Douglas race where Sally maintained her third place in the Women’s race from the previous year. Then it was off to cycling down the NSC. I had said that I wanted to get out and walk a longer distance each week to build up my stamina and I had a 4 hour window yesterday afternoon. I had a quick look on the map and found a new route. Basically, I headed out of Douglas following the TT course to the Cronk Y Voddy straight (not too dangerous - pavements most of the way). Then I headed down the right hand turn that takes you to Little London and then followed the B10 in the direction of Brandywell before turning off towards Injebreck and then back to Douglas. The total distance was 21 miles and there was a good long uphill section for several miles from Ballacraine to the top of Little London. I did find it quite hard going and my pace tailed off towards the end but it was nice to get out into the country with only the sheep for company!

P.s. I wasn’t worrying them.