|28th Oct||Rest day|
|29th Oct||Rest day|
|31st Oct||Rest day|
|2nd Nov||Rest day|
|3rd Nov||Rest day|
|TOTAL||1253.49||2017.48||10 days 01:09:21||27,479||27,076||140,564|
Challenge distance complete !
One of the reasons I set myself this challenge was to ensure I carried on walking after the Parish Walk rather than doing very little except a few dog walks and plenty of eating and drinking, and then basically starting all over from scratch in October when the Winter Walking League starts.
Of course this year I had the added incentive of the US Centurion to keep training for after the Parish which certainly helped with my motivation.
It's taken me much longer than I expected to get over the Centurion walk (I still have a few niggles to iron out), so as you can see from my weekly stats my mileage has been pretty low since then.
Now I know walking 100 miles in 24 hours will take a while to recover from, but I bounced back pretty quickly from the 85 mile Parish Walk so I was hoping I could do it again.
Last Sunday saw round 1 of the Winter Walking League at the NSC and I was in two minds about entering. I was really hoping I could complete the 10k in under an hour, but with my lack of miles over the past 5 weeks I knew it would be pretty unlikely.
On the Friday beforehand I was in Douglas with my wife, Maeve, and after a few tipples she announced that she was entering the walking league (she blames it on a trip to the new Hooded Ram pub) so I guess I had no option but to enter too.
As expected the 10k was tough. My breathing was heavy and my hamstrings weren't happy either, but on the plus side my left foot was absolutely fine! I passed the 5k mark in exactly 30 minutes but I knew I was slowing down so there was no way I could do another 30 minute 5k.
I eventually finished in 62:01 and actually felt really good, the best I have felt since the 100 miles.
I was a little disappointed not to break the hour, but to miss it by only 2 minutes after considering not entering in the first place was pretty good. After checking my stats when I got home I also discovered that it was a PB, by about a minute, for round 1 of the league so as far as I was concerned I achieved my original goal of 'keeping fit' after the Parish Walk and not starting the Winter League from scratch.
Maeve entered the 5k and finished in around 35 minutes according to the official results, however her watch recorded 38 so not sure where the extra 3 minutes went.
She was a little worried before the start of the race thinking that she would be disqualified for bent knees as she had never tried race walking before. I told her there was nothing to worry about as the league is open to all levels of walkers and welcomes all newcomers which is what makes it such a good place to start.
Obviously if you are clearly running or otherwise gaining an unfair advantage the judges will have words with you, but if you just walk sensibly, try your best and listen to the advice that you do get from the judges you will be fine.
She enjoyed taking part but had sore shins the following day, however I told her that was a good thing as it means you were trying. I remember when I first started walking it was a few weeks before my shins toughened up enough and stopped hurting as much, although now and again they will give me a bit of grief, just like they did from mile 4 in this years Parish !
This walking lark is addictive so who knows, maybe the two of us will walk the Parish together one year? That would be pretty cool, even if it was just to Peel.
My only other walk of the week was a steady 5 miler. With the clocks going back this was my first walk in the dark for a while and I forgot how grim they are as you spend most of your time looking at your feet trying not to trip over pavements or tread in something unpleasant.
Towards the end of the walk I clocked 2016 KM and it was a huge disappointment, but I think I was just cold and fed up. Now though I am really happy it's over!
Around about March I was well ahead of target and I started to think I had set my target a bit low, but 2016 KM was just an obvious number to choose and was still double the distance I had walked in previous years.
Just before I went to the US I considered increasing the challenge to 1,500 miles, an extra 250 miles, however I'm really glad I didn't even though I still have 8 weeks to go.
If I had, I would have just been out walking 'junk' miles for the sake of it and no doubt burning myself out by the end of the year, just when I would normally start to pick it up again in January for Parish Walk 2017.
Now that I have finished the challenge I can focus on technique and speed work through the winter rather than worrying about miles. I can relax now, and be satisfied with a 2-3 mile hill/interval session whereas up until now each time I went out it was all about the distance.
I'm also looking forward to mixing in some running, something I haven't done at all this year as it's all been about logging walking miles. There have been many walking sessions this year where my hamstrings have tightened up or some other niggle has cropped up and I know breaking into a jog will ease it up slightly but I have stayed true to my challenge and just carried on walking.
So, what of 2017? Well, as usual the Parish Walk is on the list but the main one I am tempted by for next year is the South African centurion. Hopefully it will go ahead again in October, and hopefully it will be around Robben Island so I'll just need to see how it fits in with some other holiday plans I have for next year.
Don't worry, I haven't finished with this blog just yet, although I don't think I will be posting updates every week from now on.
Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you found it interesting. I have just checked my blog stats and there have been just under 4,000 visits since it started, with views from the US, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, all over Europe and of course the Isle of Man.
I checked the box so it wouldn't track my own visits so it's not just me hitting the refresh button!
Finally I would just like to thank everyone who has sponsored me this year. There are still a few donations in the pipeline from people who are waiting until I complete the challenge which should take me over £1,000.
It's not quite the £2,016 target I set myself but it's still a fantastic amount so again a big thank you from both myself and the charity.
It's not too late either, the just giving page will always be open to accept donations, and you can access it here.