Friday, 29 May 2009

I haven't done any form of exercise since Monday and I'm really struggling with it. I can't sit still. I am constantly fidgeting and walking around the house. It's like I have too much energy inside me and I just want to get rid of it in order to relax. I always get rid of it by doing exercise, usually running. However, I have been forcing myself not to do any exercise in the hope that my knee will get better.

Having said that, I've been counting down to the weekend as I am playing badminton on Saturday and Sunday with work, which I'm really looking forward too it as I love the sport and I'm quite good at it - I used to be in the Isle of Man squad and I want to get back into it. I'm going to join a club in September when badminton season starts again.

Whilst writing this post it's only just occurred to me that I could probably go swimming without causing any harm to my knee. I'll probably do that next week.

Right now my knee feels fine, however, earlier today I could feel it wasn't right again which is worrying because it normally only hurts during or recently after running or long distance walking and like I said above, I haven't done any exercise for four days.

On Wednesday evening, I walked 2 miles to the bus station to catch a bus to Kirk Michael, (which I would normally have walked) my knee started hurting for the last 5 minutes of the walk and even once I got to Kirk Michael walking to Daniel's house (only 400 meter away) hurt my knee. This made me really upset, it still does, because completing the Parish walk means everything to me and I'm so worried that this knee is going to stop me.

Daniel says it's because I've overdone it and done too much training and my body can't cope with it. However, I disagree, because I have always done a lot of exercise but only for the last 6 Months have a walked so much, but I've just replaced it with running and going to the gym which is supposed to be easier on your joints.

My friends and family are convincing me that I am doing the right thing by resting but it feels so unnatural to me, I don't know what to do with the spare time that I have. I'm also being told that theirs always next year but in my head I'm still doing the Parish walk and I'm going to complete it. I made my mind up 10 years ago when I first discovered the event! I have to be optimistic to have a chance.

On the plus side of having all this spare time, is that I have been able to apply generous amount of surgical spirit to my feet. This will harden my skin and help prevent blisters.

Last night I made sweet mashed potato and I'm so glad I did because I discovered that I didn't like it. I'm going to mash ordinary potato instead. My friend lucy is going to make me risotto and I might make some pasta as well. The mash and risotto especially will be easy to swallow without much chewing. (I find it difficult to eat during long distance walking, it's usually the case of forcing it down)

I'm also going to buy lots of fruit - strawberry's, blue Berry's, grapes, oranges, melon, bananas, peaches. I enjoy eating fruit, especially whilst walking, it's refreshing and contains natural sugar.

I'm going to go for a big shop a few days prior to the event and it will probably be expensive. It will be one weeks worth of shopping intended for the one day. Another reason why I must complete the Parish - I've spent a lot of money - buying clothes, trainers and food.

All in all it doesn't look good to the outsider, but I'm staying positive, I've got it inside my head that I am completing it and that my knee will be fine on the day. The Month leading up to the Parish is not exactly what I would have liked but I can't help it and I'm doing the best I can in the situation I'm in.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

knee pain

I'm afraid this post isn't going to be as positive today.

One aspect I didn't mention in my last post - re the IOM walking festival, is the fact that my knee did hurt at times . I used 2 walking poles and painkillers to get through it. I forgot to mention it because I honestly thought that my knee only hurt due to the uneven grounding. (Something I wouldn't experience in the Parish)

I was very surprised when I first experienced the pain on the first day. We had only a few miles to go and mum had a pain killer to give me. I honestly thought it was due to the uneven ground because before then, my knee never hurt whilst walking. It only hurt when running and after running for a couple of days.

This is why I haven't been running recently. I want my knee to get better or at least not get worse, but it's horrible, I hate not being able to put my running trainers on when ever I want. It's what I love doing, especially after a stressful day at work or if your angry or upset about something.

Anyway, everyday last week whilst walking in the IOM walking festival, I experienced pain in my knee at least once, but I was able to walk through it. I used 2 walking poles to ease the pressure off my knee and took a pain killer, which did the trick.

Since then I walked to Kirk Michael via Peel (after firstly walking to dancing followed by 2 hours of dancing) and on Bank holiday Monday, I walked home from Kirk Michael via Injebreck which is the shortest route. Both times my knee started hurting after the 10 mile mark and on Monday, it hurt more. This is when I really started worrying because my knee hadn't bothered me whilst walking on road, like I said, it was only when running.

However, something I have been avoiding is walking to fast because I can feel my knee when walking to fast as well. I just stick to a very comfortable 4 miles an hour, I think a lot of this was actually subconscious. Also, since my knee injury I think I have been walking a bit funny, something I haven't noticed until now. It was actually my mum and work colleagues noticing it. I think I was walking on it funny because I'm aware of my knee and I'm scared of hurting it, but, I'm probably not doing any favours by walking funny on it. Right now, I'm conscious of every step I do as my knee even hurts walking around the house.

I think it is probably best if I don't train anymore, I'm prepared as much as I can be, I have been out walking regularly since December 08. This is why I'm even more annoyed at the situation. I have trained, I have been eating healthy and I been keeping myself fit, I've been hardening my feet to help prevent blisters, but this knee injury is out of my control. I am able to walk through horrendous blisters, muscle pain and chaffing - I've done it before, I don't know how, but I manage it by putting the pain to the back of my mind and keeping positive. But this knee injury is a different type of pain, when it gets really bad I physically can not walk on it or my whole leg will give way and I will fall to the floor.

The sort of pain I am experiencing now or after 10 miles over the weekend is manageable as long as it doesn't get worse, it will probably slow me down, make the whole experience not as pleasant and probably make the knee even worse but I could cope with it. However, the likely hood is that the pain will get worse and worse for every mile I walk.

If this knee does stop me from completing the Parish I'll be so upset because it's not only the Parish walk that I have to do all over again, it's the training as well. I've worked out that I have walked roughly 500 miles so far. Miles that I have purposely walked in order to complete the Parish walk. On top of that, I would feel silly if I, for example only make it to Peel because of this injury and I would feel bad on those people who have given me sponsor money on the intention that I was on a mission to complete it. So I feel that I would be letting others down as well as myself, even though it is not my fault.

I really don't know what I should be doing? I think it's best not to train anymore but what about my dancing class twice a week, which I again love and don't want to miss. I don't know if dancing it doing my knee harm or not? What about walking to town and walking to meet my friends, walking to catch the bus, walking to dancing etc, it's not training because that's what I always do but I'm confused about doing to much and harming my knee and not doing anything and harming my knee.

I had an x-ray on my knee a few weeks back and nothing came of it so my next step is seeing a physio therapist which costs £48 per session. So not cheap, but it has to be done. My appointment is a week tomorrow. Lets just hope that the session helps.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Can do attitude

Last week I walked over 100 miles by walking around the isle of man coastal paths following the the way of the gull signs. I did it with a group of other walkers, mostly from overseas. However, there were a couple of locals, such as Bethany who completed the double Parish last year.

It was nice to listen to her story, and others experiences and tips they had.

If anything is going to keep me going it's - if Bethany can complete 2 laps of the Parish, I can complete 1 lap. Another little saying I say to myself when I am really struggling is pain is temporary but quiting is forever and pain is temporary and pride is forever.

Also, when I am feeling low in the Parish and feel like quiting, I'm going to think of the high that's coming, it might take 10 minutes or 1 hour but it will come. I am always optimistic and I think anyone who completes the Parish has to be. When I'm struggling, I will visualise the finish at the war memorial, even thinking about that now makes me really happy, that will be another technique I'll be using to help me finish.

At the beginning and end of everyday of the walking festival, a taxi drove us to the start and back. The taxi driver we had completed the Parish walk last year in 2008. He told me everything which happened in great detail - we drove along the Parish walk route for a while and showed me which fence he was slumped over and where he stopped for 20 minutes. He had tried to complete the Parish for the last 2 years and almost quit again at Lonan Church but his back up team encouraged him not too. He made it within the time limit with 10 minutes to spare.

That's another story I'll remember when I'm walking it myself. He completed it in the pouring rain. Hopefully, the weather can't possible be worse than what it was last year. I'm so grateful that I was under 21 in last years event and therefore not allowed to walk beyond Peel.

Anyone who completes the Parish walk has done a remarkable achievement. They should be proud for themselves for the rest of their lives but I personally think that the longer you take to complete the Parish, the more the achievement is. As you have had more chances to quit and felt the pain for much longer.

I'm feeling very positive about the Parish today because after completing over 100 miles in 5 days, I am very pleased to say that I feel absolutely fine. No blisters or sore feet, my muscles aren't hurting, I don't even feel tired, I could walk again today. Although, I'm not, as probably should rest - I don't want to over do it.

I'm thinking of resting today and Sunday and then walking 20 miles on Bank holiday Monday. I'm planning on training up to the last week before the Parish. Yesterday, I had the thought of walking to Peel or even Kirk Michael - the route of the Parish walk which is 32 / 38 miles but now I'm thinking it might be too much? I'll see how I feel but I am scared of either doing to much or too little.

I'm already starting to get nervous, it feels very real now that it is only a few week away. I'm also under alot of pressure to complete it, but I am confident that I can. It's not going to be easy, I'll be in a lot of pain and I will feel like giving up as certain points but I am mentally strong. I will keep plodding on and say to myself, I can do this. I think about what other people achieve which is even harder, for example mount everes. I have walked Kilimanjaro in Africa and I have experienced altidude sickness to a certain degree and it isn't pleasent. Kilimanjaro is nothing compared to Mount Everous. If people can do such achievements then I can complete the Parish walk.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Raising funds for Autism Initiatives

I cannot believe how fast the Parish walk is approaching, 1 Month and 3 days to go. How scary is that?

I am going to train really hard tomorrow and throughout the week as I am taking part in the Isle of Man walking festival. I am walking around the Island in 5 days and including the walk to the start and back, I will be walking 24 miles a day for 5 days which will give me good confidence - I think.

However, not all of the walk is on road, the walk covers road, glens, beaches (etc) so it will be a variety of surfaces (which I think is easier on your feet).

I really do hope that the weather isn't going to be so unpredictable as it is now. Everytime I have been outside this weekend its started pouring with rain and as soon as I go indoors, the sun comes out?

Last Monday and Tuesday, I walked to work and back which is 9 miles all together and on Wednesday, I walked to Glen vine again (where I work) and afterwards, I continued walking in the direction of Peel and continued to Kirk Michael to see my boyfriend.

It took me just under 3 hours to walk from Glen Vine to Kirk Michael via Peel. The weather wasn't the best but it could have been alot worse. Everyone at my work thought I was mad when I refused a lift in order to walk.

I have decided to raise money for Autism Initiatives which is a charity I work for. The funds will provide a sensory room for individuals with Autism on the Isle of Man. The facility costs £5000.00. I am going to do my best to raise as much money as possible.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

I have just scrolled through my entire blog very quickly and roughly adding up all the miles I have walked in 'training' sessions. The figure does not include miles walking to work and dancing etc and also does not include distances I've ran.

According to this blog, to date I have walked 389 miles.

It seems quite high, but the miles soon add up and sometimes I do wonder if I am doing enough?

Throughout Monday - Thursday I walked to work and back which is now based in Glen Vine. This is probably about a 9 mile walk including the walk home.

On Saturday, my boyfriend offered to pick me up from Douglas and give me a lift back to his in Kirk Michael (but after the football) I decided to walk towards Peel as it would add miles to my feet and would be less effort for him. In the end I got as far as Ballacrain (2 miles from Peel). I probably walked about 9 miles.

On Sunday morning, I left Kirk Michael at about 07:15 and walked to Douglas via Interbreck. I really enjoyed the walk and felt really comfortable at the quaterbridge. I decided to continue walking and not take the most direct route home (which is what I usually do) I walked to the Quay and along the prom, up Summerhill and back to my house from Onchan. Soon afterwards I walked to dancing and back. Probably a total of 20 miles.

Next week I'm taking part in the IOM Walking Festival which is following 'The Way of the Gull' around the coastal path. It will cover 100 miles in 5 days, I hope this will be good training for the Parish.

In the mean time, I will continue to walk to work and back when I can. Sometimes, it isn't possible because on Monday, for example, I will be based in KirkMichael.

Monday, 4 May 2009

I completed the Sara Kiley walk in just under 7 hours 30 minutes which is a speed of 4 miles an hour. This was the time I was aiming for as I hope to walk and maintain the same speed for the Parish.

I walked with Jenny Patrick for the entire distance. I had done a few walks with her prior to the event and we intended to walk together - it was great to have her company.

I found it harder only walking 30 miles as apposed to walking 50 miles in previous years. I think it is because I didn't prepare myself mentally because I didn't think I needed too (as I only care about distance, not speed) and I felt that I could walk 30 miles comfortably. However, time did not fly by and I wasn't comfortable at all.

I felt guilty about the shorter distance this year, so I decided to walk to Jenny's house which is 2.5 miles away from where I live, Jenny's mum then gave us a lift to Peel.

I wore reasonably new shoes and I replaced the insoles for better ones. I also wore 2 pairs of thin socks. I'm not joking when I say my soles of my feet had a burning/stinging sensation only after a few miles of walking. I have never experienced this type of pain before, especially so early on. I could only guess that perhaps it is because I'm wearing 2 socks? Or are the shoes to new? or perhaps their isn't enough room? At Kirkmichael, I took one pair of socks off too try anything to ease the burning sensation. It continued to bother me until the finish, and all I could think about was thank god it wasn't 50 miles after all. This walk was supposed to give me confidence for the Parish, but I think it's done the opposite.

On the plus side, I didn't get any blisters and my muscles were fine.

At about half way I felt really queezy, like I wanted to be sick. I wasn't sure whether is was because I had eaten too much food or whether is was because I was Hungary? So I didn't know whether to eat or not. I decided not to eat, only because I didn't fancy it and my queezyness soon went away. I eat far more food in the 1st half, but this always happens to me because later on in the walk, eating is the last thing I feel like doing and this might be a big problem in the Parish. I find it hard to know how much and how often I should be eating.

Jenny's mum was a star, she backed us up the majority of the way (which I am not used to) and she provided me with a cheese roll. I definitely prefer savoury food on long walks, however, without the back up it's hard to eat savoury food as I can only carry energy bars, chocolate and sweets in my bum bag.

Now that I know this, I plan to buy lots of different types of fruit for the Parish, this is savoury and also contains natural sugar.

2 days ago, I walked the Parish Walk route from Ramsey to Laxey, I intended to walk all the way to Douglas, but I'm too good to my friends as I decided to get a bus home to meet them all in time before going back to Laxey and seeing a bit of the Blues festival.

I have now walked every part of the Parish walk route, just not in order and not in one go.

I now work in Glen Vine which I have already mentioned and tomorrow, I intend on walking to work and back which will be just over 8 miles in total.

Jenny and I are attending the Sara Kiley presentation tonight which is at the Cat With No Tail at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.