The Short Distances Add Up!

Posted on: 13 Jan 2018

Hello Buzzers and a belated Happy New Year to you all 😀

I’ve been trying to write this blog all week and life keeps getting in the way as usual! It’s great to see so many blogs being posted and 2018 looks as though it’s going to be an absolutely epic Realbuzz year! I’ve already added another challenge to my list to hopefully encourage me to develop the running a little more - the London 10 mile on May 13th in Richmond Park. 

I’ve also entered a virtual challenge to cover 1500km in 2018 so that should keep me motivated! I don’t usually track my short daily walks but decided to this year as I’ll need every km walked or run to reach that goal I suspect, especially since while I’m on the Bath course later this month, there’ll be two weeks without much training plus if I manage to get a week’s skiing in as well, that'll be another week out 😬 

I should have started the New Year with a double Parkrun really but we spent the latter part of New Years Eve at the top of Leith Hill (highest point in Surrey and second highest point in the southeast). There were about 50 people up there all told and the air was incredibly clear. We could see the firework display at the London Eye as well as across a large swath of the Weald. A National Trust chap even came along and opened up the tower, inviting anyone who wanted to, a view from the top 😊 We didn’t get back from Leith Hill until 2.30am and didn’t get to bed until 4.30am so the Parkrun plan went out of the window! However, this made me more determined to walk or run every day after that. 


That includes one very muddy Parkrun last weekend. I tried so hard and as a bit dismayed to be two minutes slower than my course PB 😕 I was trying out a ‘no fuelling’ tactic and I have to say, it didn’t work for me at all (although to be fair I didn’t get the usual indigestion while running!). I could feel myself running out of energy the further I went and the muscles were starting to cramp by the third lap and after asking my legs for their usual faster finish they totally refused to cooperate and I must have looked like Bambi crossing the finish line 😂😂 Interesting five minutes afterwards, I had no problem at all jogging across the field to pick up my jacket though. I might try it again in a couple of weeks though just to make sure. 

Last Sunday, long walk training finally resumed with a 10 miler planned. If I feel rubbish trying to rest a bit, then I may as well feel rubbish and put the legs to good use 😊 We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day, although the wind was absolutely icy as we walked the Thames Path between Walton and Hampton Court and back. Half a mile in I asked Rich if he’d locked the car. He couldn’t remember and I knew that I hadn’t locked it so back we went. It turned out that he had locked it but we were fine with that - all extra yards are good ones 😊 That planted the seed in my head that maybe we could make it into a 13 miler. A very pleasant walk it was too with loads of water birds to look watch although sadly, no kingfishers spotted this time.  Our usual little tea shop by the river at Hampton Court was closed so off we went to hunt a cup of tea in nearby East Molesey. It took so long to get the tea that I managed to eat my lunch outside while Rich queued for the drinks in the warm. Not good though as by then I was chilled to the bone. At least the wind was mostly behind us going back but it still took a good half hour to warm up again. 


It was almost dark by the time we were approaching Walton bridge again but it made it even more picturesque


As we approached the car park, I suggested that we continue on upstream for a bit as we both still felt OK. We hadn’t taken head torches and it wasn’t long before we couldn’t see where we were putting our feet so back we went. By the time we got back to the car there were 12.5 miles on the clock. Well, it would have been rude not to wouldn’t it? Rich doesn’t share my enthusiasm for making up distances so went back to the car while I did a couple of circuits of the car park. Then it was back to the car to break out the flasks of coffee and munch down on some home made soft amaretti - I wouldn’t dare carry them with me as they’d definitely be eaten en route. Pretty pleased with that as a first one 3:43 (with half an hours stopped time) a relaxed pace 😊

So, the running - well first I needed new trainers before I make a start. My current road running (Salomon Sonic Pro) don’t offer anything much in the way of cushioning and I really needed to replace my walking boots too. I tried a bit of run walk in the boots this week and it wasn’t ideal 😂😂 I use Salomon Speedcross 4 for Parkrun and despite the lack of cushioning, the grip is fantastic on our local extremely muddy trail Parkrun. I’ve always loved my Salomon walking boots. The first pair I had five years ago could have been made for me, and never a single blister was had, but when they wore out, their replacements (and I’m currently using two slightly different pairs) seem to have a much narrower footbed and every challenge last year brought blisters 😕 

Yesterday it was off to Fitstuff in Guildford and after gait analysis and much trying on of different trainers, I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Brooks Ghost 10 for running and a pair of Altra Lone Peak 3.5 to replace the boots. It was a horrendously expensive day though and what is it with purple and pink this season?? Here’s hoping they do the job 😊 Got to say I’m impressed with the Altras in how finally, my feet are in something that’s foot shaped, but it’s going to take a few weeks of alternating to adjust to the zero drop I suspect. I was pretty gobsmacked though when I needed a 7.5 I the Brooks and and an 8in the Altras - what is happening to my feet? 😂😂😂 The Brooks too are super comfortable so now I have no excuse not to start a bit of road running although I suspect there’ll be a great deal if prevarication first! I find that a very scary prospect as I have a genuine fear that the knackered neck will not react kindly 😬


Today was another Homewood Parkrun day and it was less muddy than last week thank goodsness - not messing up the new trainers just yet though! The lady who started Homewood Parkrun was leaving today - a new job in Ireland with the Ladies Gaelic Football movement - so we were invited to go dressed in green or in fancy dress. I was glad to bring a smile to many faces with the ridiculous costume but was also grateful that it kept my backside warm 😀 A minute better than last week but still a minute off my PB there and to be honest, I really wasn’t feeling the love this morning. Where my ankle developed a stress fracture 9 months ago has been a bit sore again this week. Maybe I’ll ice up tonight then ease off the speed next week to give it a chance to settle again, I really don’t want any problems developing his early in the year!


So that about wraps up 2018 so far. To my surprise, I’ve already covered 63 miles (almost 102 km) and over 1000 feet of elevation (not bad in a relatively flat part of Surrey) to date, so the short distances really do add up! Tomorrow, the first little warm up event of the year - the 20km London Winter Walk so you’ll all be annoyed on Facebook with automatic updates tomorrow 😉 At least this year it won’t be pouring with rain - win 😁

Happy training everyone and take care out there 😊 


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