Saturday, 20 December 2008

I haven’t done as much walking as I would have liked this week, but I don't think I should be to disappointed because I've learnt a lot from others. On Monday I went for a 1 hour and 10 minute walk after work (this is all I had time for.) I literally walked as fast as I could. I managed to go up and down the prom twice which I was pleased with.

On Tuesday, I went to the NSC to learn the technique for race walking, it's the 2nd session I've been to and I will continue going every Tuesday but I don't know if it will benefit me much?
Because.... it sounds bad, but I’m not really bothered what time I complete the Parish in, obviously the faster the better, but to be honest I'd be the happiest person on earth if I just complete it....even if it's outside the 24 hours. My plan is to walk 4 miles an hour consistently throughout the course and although this will feel really slow in the first half, I'm hoping it will pay off later.

I'm capable of walking almost 5 miles an hour. This is the pace I have been going in previous Parish walks, but I think this is too fast if I am aiming to complete it. If there is any chance if me finishing, I really need to pace myself.

In a way, this years Parish walk will be more enjoyable, because I won't have the pressure of beating my time or winning the "under 21 ladies" to Peel. I'll probably have more people to talk to because I'll be in the middle where the bulk of people will be rather than closer to the front where people are more spread out. Although, I suppose, I'll have a lot of pressure to finish, considering I’ve written a blog and talked about it non-stop for the last 6 Months.

Anyway, back to what I was saying, everyone was assuring me that if I learn the technique to race walk, it will definitely help which is why I am going to keep going. My only concern is, I have never used this style of walking in any long distance race before and I am worried that changing the style for the Parish might be risky. I'm very grateful that the Sara Killey (7 station challenge) event is before the Parish. I can use this event as an experiment to see if it works for me.

I saw Mark Hempsell and Lez that night and they both gave me loads of advise on what I should eat during the walk and what I should wear. Lez said I should do weights to get stronger.

Since Tuesday, I have gone to the gym 3 times, 1 session was just weight training whilst the other 2 sessions was cardio. I realised whilst doing the weights, how weak I really am. I only did 2 sets of 10 or 12 on most of the machines using what most people would call light weights. But I am aching all over.

I was going to walk home from Kirk Michael to Douglas this morning but I have such a bad cold at the moment and when I woke up in the morning I felt so ill that I decided not too.

During the week, I froze my membership at Courfour gym because I thought this would help, by getting me out walking. I also thought that I wouldn’t get my monies worth because of the walking I’ll be doing. But since, I have been told that you need to be extra fit to complete the Parish and having strength helps.

I'm worried that if I do nothing but walk for the next 6 Months, my fitness and stamina won’t be as good. For this reason, I cancelled freezing my membership and I'm going to go to the gym most lunch times during the weak to do weight training. This leaves the evening free to walk.

Another thing which I've started doing is dabbing surgical spirit on my feet and under my arms with cotton wool. I suffer from blisters and rashes under my arms from friction when I walk. I'm starting this now as a daily routine so that my skin will be hard for the event and hopefully won't suffer from this much. It might be a bit early to do this but in the past I've always said to my self that I must harden my skin for all long distance walking events and I don't ever get round to doing it and I always regret it. So this time, I’m just doing it now otherwise it won’t happen… again. (There’s no time like the present.)

In the last years End to End, I was only 20 and I couldn't officially do the full 40 miles but I ended up taking my number off and carrying on regardless. I did this as training for the 2009 Parish walk. Anyway, I bought some new socks from Intersport the day before-which guaranteed “no blisters or your money back.” I stupidly wore these socks for the end to end for the 1st time and you wouldn't believe how bad my feet were-even early on. I didn't have any skin left on my heels. It looked red raw. I didn't dare look at my feet because I was in that much pain and when I did finally take my shoes and socks off-when I finished, I couldn't believe it, it was worse than what I thought and worse than anything I’ve ever saw before. Thinking about it now, I don’t know how I finished. If I had of looked at my feet whilst walking or tried to patch it up with plasters, I don’t think I would have been able to carry on. (I haven’t worn those socks since). I went through all that pain and I wasn't even recognised as a finisher in the newspaper or in my certificate. This is an example of mind over matter. Somehow, I always manage to reach my target no matter what. This will help me on the Parish walk day.

However, I am definitely not making that mistake again. I'm going to buy all the clothes I might need in the January sales using the Intersport vouchers I won for coming 2nd in the Ladies under 21's to Peel. For the last 3 years, I've always saved the vouchers for the January sales and have managed to get all my sports clothes for free. That's one thing I'll miss. I'll also miss not winning anything anymore, walking or running. (now that I'm not in the under 21 category.)

Again....I am highlighting any exercise I do for my benefit. It helps me keep track of my training.

1 comment:

Dave Mackey said...

Hi Julia, I am enjoying reading your updates.

Going to the training sessions at the NSC during the week will improve your technique but you are right - don't worry about changing it for the Parish, keep to what you know. A good technique will come in useful at some point though during the race when you want a burst of speed or to conserve energy.

If you can make it,I highly recommend doing one of the winter league walks to test your technique and to get some speed in your legs - Sean Hands,Michael George and Jock are the best examples of how the series improves walkers.There are 3 left with the next one on January 11th at Ronaldsway Industrial Estate. Good luck !