Sunday, 31 July 2011

Day 1 - Land's End to Hayle 18 miles

First day done and we (Darren and I) have had what can be described as a learning experience! My pack is weighing in at around 3 stone. This is comfortable IF I have the straps done up correctly. The first 4 miles were fine, we then stopped so I could put on some Lycra! (chaffing is a terrible thing, Lycra for me is a winner). I then put the pack back on but didn't adjust the straps correctly and so ensued approximately 6 miles (2 hours) of pain! My shoulders felt like they were being ripped from their sockets. I had to stop and just by sitting the pack on my hips and tightening the belt, the pressure immediately abated. Relief!
Other learning included:
  • "Public footpath" does not necessarily mean MANAGED footpath and are best avoided on rainy days. Carrying thick soil with you does not help.
  • Ordnance survey maps at 1:25,000 scale are awesome! And our map reading skills improved massively today.
  • Cobble stones that are wet and on a slope of more that 5 degrees should be banned! They turn to the consistency of ice.
  • A program of 5 miles, rest, 5 miles, rest, 5 miles, rest, 5 miles should be the most effective way of staving off muscle pain.
  • Carrying 3 stone on your back is not like running a marathon. Different muscle groups hurt and the mental challenge changes hourly.
Tired now so time for bed. Hoping for less rain tomorrow.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The night before the off

So here I am. It's the night before the off and I am as set as I'm going to be.
The first of many OS maps.

Darren (brother) wondering how I got through life by being so disorganised

The weather for Cornwall is looking favourable and better still the owner of Trevarth Holiday park has allowed me to stay for free for the next few days! Kindness already with a tale thrown in of Ian Botham walking past this site back in the 80's during his 'End to End'.
It's been a long day and I can feel bed calling. It's the first of many long days tomorrow and the mood is one of excitement.

Heading to Cornwall.

It's early... Well it was early when I woke. Today we head for Cornwall. En route I'll be dropping my daughter off with her Mum at the Leigh Delamere services. Never a nice time saying goodbye to Delyth and it's making the knot in my stomach worse.

I'm super excited about the off but also I have the "pre race nerves" that I've only ever experienced before Marathons. Nail biting time!

I have a fully loaded Osprey Exos 46 ruck sack bought from Snow & Rock at Harrods. The very engaging sales assistant, Marta Gut, also advised me well on base layers with their 'non-stink' technology(!) thank you Marta they will come in useful considering clothing is being kept to a minimum.

The Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 explorer maps I have purchased from Dash4it all turned up on time but will no way all fit in my pack so I'll be looking for delivery points for future maps.

Thanks to Nigel Hunt who I purchased the Terra Nova Laser Competition tent from on eBay. Nigel ensured speedy delivery of a near brand new item that I am extremely grateful for.

My Brother and his wife will be walking with and supporting me (respectively) for the first few days. This is brilliant as I don't feel alone for the start. Thanks you two.

Signing off to get some travelling zZ's while I can!