|7th Oct||Rest day!|
|9th Oct||Rest day|
|11th Oct||Rest day|
|13th Oct||Rest day|
|TOTAL||1228.07||1976.56||9 days 20:26:13||27,143||26,752||137,410|
Just combining the last 3 weeks into this one post to get back up to date!
There is no doubt that a 100 mile walk takes a while to recover from, and my recovery from this has been one of the longest.
After the Parish walk I suffered terribly with shin splints but I was back out training again 2 weeks later, however I have only managed 3 very short and slow sessions in the 3 weeks since the 100 miles.
The day after the 100 miles we left Owego and I drove 300 miles down to Washington DC where we were going to spend a few days before returning home.
Other than a little bit of muscle soreness in my legs and an exceptionally large blister across most of the front of my left foot I felt pretty good. Luckily 99% of American cars are automatic so I didn't need to use my left foot which made the drive down much easier.
After checking into the hotel we headed out for some food and a couple of drinks just a short (10 minute) walk from the hotel. We were both still tired from losing a nights sleep on Saturday so it wasn't a late night and we were back at the hotel by around 10pm.
I went to the loo around 1am, but about 2 minutes after getting back into bed I needed to go again, and then again a few minutes later, and so on. Each time I went it got more and more painful and straight away I knew what it was as I had something similar about 10 years ago.... a kidney infection.
If you have ever had one before you will know it's no laughing matter. You end up being scared of going because it hurts so much #razorblades.
This carried on for about 4 hours when I did eventually nod off for a few hours, but as soon as I woke up (around 7am now) it started all over again.
I knew I needed antibiotics ASAP but with them being prescription only that meant a visit to hospital so we jumped in a cab and off we went. Luckily the constant 'need to go' had eased off otherwise I probably wouldn't have managed the 15 minute taxi ride.
The hospital staff were great and after running some tests and taking a few samples they confirmed I had a 'rip roaring kidney infection', to use the doctors exact words, most likely caused by dehydration from the 100 mile walk. He was pretty impressed with the centurion challenge though!
He recommended I take a first course of antibiotics via an IV as it would get to work quicker and they could provide a higher dose than tablet, so I gladly accepted.
I was at the hospital for about 3 hours in total, so not the best start to the Washington part of our holiday. After a quick sandwich from the hospital Starbucks I went back to the hotel and slept for most of the afternoon while Maeve went out for a bit of sightseeing.
I was feeling a little better when she got back and she did manage to drag me out for dinner.
Here I am looking less than impressed with my cranberry juice and water, and what made it worse was that we were in a good bar with dozens of craft beers that I couldn't have!
The following morning things were much better. The razorblades had eased considerably so the next few days were spent doing the usual touristy things. Washington DC is a fantastic city, packed with excellent museums, buildings and memorials to almost everything. I'll definitely be going back to explore in more detail.
We flew back from Dulles airport to Dublin on Friday night, a flight time of just 6 hours which is brilliant, and Saturday was just spent dozing around on the sofa at home.
When I got up on Sunday morning I had a huge stabbing pain in my left calf muscle. It wasn't cramp, and it didn't feel like a muscle strain, or anything I have felt before in the 6 or so years of long distance walking. It didn't hurt while I walked, but as soon as I stopped it burned.
Lifting my left leg so my knee was at 90 degrees, thigh parallel to the ground gave instant relief, but as soon as I put my foot on the floor it started again, even if 99% of my weight was shifted onto my right leg.
It was exactly the same on Monday, although my calf had now swollen and was about 2cm bigger than my right calf.
The doctor in Washington had asked me to make an appointment with my own GP when I got home just to check the kidney infection had all cleared up and there was no underlying cause so I gave them a call, thinking if my leg still hurts I could talk about that too, and the earliest appointment was Friday.
I'm sure everyone does it, but I made the mistake of Googling my symptoms so was now convinced I had developed DVT. I ticked many, but not all, of the boxes so for the next few days I just continued to wear my recovery compression socks and hoped I didn't develop a pulmonary embolism which is where a blood clot breaks off from somewhere in the body (my leg) and blocks the pulmonary artery.
One of the symptoms of a PE is shortness of breath, which I was convinced I had too! Just climbing the stairs at work left me out of breath whereas usually they didn't, so I convinced myself I was imagining it.
My leg was still swollen and giving me the stabbing/burning pain when I saw the GP on Friday but he didn't think it was anything to worry about and was just the after effects of 100 miles. He did a few tests (leg measurement, checking for pitting, blood pressure etc) and concluded there was probably a 1% chance it was DVT so just see how it goes and make another appointment if it doesn't improve.
My kidney infection had all cleared up too, however he did send me for some routine blood tests just to make sure.
Now that I had the 'all clear' from the GP I decided to go out for my first walk since the 100 miles.
My plan was just to do a really slow zone 1 HR session, heading out through Onchan along the coast road, through Groudle and up to the Liverpool arms before turning left back into Onchan, a distance of 7 miles.
I like that route because there are plenty of places to cut it short if it's not going to plan, or even extend if it's going well.
By the time I got down to Port Jack chip shop it wasn't going well. My calf muscle felt fine but my left foot was giving me a lot of grief (same as after the Parish and through the 100). As I started the 'climb' past the old White City and out towards Groudle my breathing increased and my heart rate was way too high for the pace I was doing.
There was just no energy in my legs either, so I cut the walk short by taking a left at the entrance to Groudle village and back into Onchan for a distance of 5 miles in 1 hour 4 minutes. When I finished I felt like I had just finished the 100 miles again!
The shortness of breath brought me back around to the google symptom checker and I was now convinced I had a PE!
By Monday my calf wasn't quite so angry, but still swollen, so after work I thought I'd get back out and try another recovery walk, this time from Onchan out to Cronk ny Mona, down Scollag road and then back along Ballanard road to St Ninians, and a left back to Onchan past the TT Grandstand, 5.5 miles in total.
The pace was much quicker than Saturday but that was helped by the long descent of Scollag road and the fact my left foot didn't hurt. Despite the pace and the downhill my breathing and heart rate were still way too high, and after about 3 miles my right foot decided to play up instead!
It was definitely a better session than Saturday but still way off where I should be. On Thursday I repeated the same Groudle loop as Saturday but just added an extra bit at the end to bring it up to 6 miles. Both feet were reasonably okay this time, but my breathing and HR were once again way too high for the pace.
Week 42 started with a long weekend (4 days) in London where I did lots of 'tourist' walking and felt absolutely fine. I was hoping to get out training when I got back but unfortunately I picked up a cold at some point so week 42 was another 0 mile week, and so far week 43 is 0 miles and I don't think I will be out this weekend.
The good news is I only have 39.44 km to go to hit my 2016 KM target, and 9 weeks to do it so if I'm completely honest I'm just enjoying a break from the routine of walking at the moment, although the downside is I can't stop eating everything I see.
As they say, "Feed a cold, starve a fever!" so who am I to argue with that?
The Winter Walking league starts next Sunday, 30th October, so I'm really looking at that as the trigger to get back into a proper training routine.
Based on these last 4 weeks of too much eating and not enough walking I'm pretty sure I will be way off the 60 minute mark next Sunday, but that's okay as it gives me something to improve on for round 2.
The Syd Quirk half marathon is a few weeks away too but I haven't entered that yet as I'm really not sure if I'm ready for 13.1 miles. I'll make a decision on that after next weeks 10k.
Just as I finish the post the inaugural South African Centurion walk will have been going for just over an hour. There were a few times through the year when I was tempted to enter in the hope I could suitably recover from the US centurion, but I'm really glad now that I didn't.
A huge good luck to everyone taking part. I'm sure there will be many (hopefully all) of the Manxies completing the distance, many of which will become triple Centurions (UK, Continental and S.A.) which is absolutely fantastic.
I need to decide which country my 3rd attempt will be in now.........
And don't forget, the second part of my challenge is to try and raise £2,016 for Finley's Tracks and all donations are welcome here. A big thank you to everyone who has already sponsored me online or offline, and to those who have pledged to donate later.