Solo training disaster

Posted on June 24th, 2008 at 12:33 by Paul

Been a while since I wrote an update…

Last week I bought myself some alternative lightweight walking shoes, figuring I might wear them for the first half of the walk and switch to boots as night falls.

Wanting to give them a good try out we drove out to Clophill about 15 miles away. We had pub lunch, then Sarah and the kids drove back home while I walked home via footpaths and bridleways.

As I was also eager to try out a new polarizing filter I’d got for my camera, I didn’t carry my usual rucksack with first aid stuff in it. Oh no. Just my camera bag with a few drinks.

So….. new untried shoes? check! No first aid for blisters? check!

I started getting blisters on my heels after about 3 miles. After 6 miles the one on my right foot was getting pretty large. As I walked past RAF Henlow it became too painful to walk as I’d pretty much torn off most of the top layer of my heel.

I had to a phone home for a medical evacuation after 8.5 miles :)

It was pretty sobering that I could be brought to a standstill like that, I’ll be making sure the team treats blisters at the earliest opportunity as a result!

Still, I did get some nice pictures of bees.

(EDIT: Full recovered now!)

Alexander Street Press Rocks!

Posted on May 30th, 2008 at 16:59 by Paul

My employer Alexander Street Press has just pledged $1000! Many thanks to our CEO Stephen Rhind-Tutt for this gesture. This rounds off a great week as we’ve just completed a pair of exciting new video products too!

Onwards and upwards!

The Miracle of Zinc Oxide Tape

Posted on May 29th, 2008 at 19:27 by Paul

We had another team walk recently, albeit at a slower pace due to frequent geocaching stops! 15 miles in, oh, 10 hours or so. Still, good for general on-our-feet endurance. Talking of feet, I came away without a hint of blisters due to taping the usual areas with zinc oxide tape! Huzzah!

Oxfam let us know our start time – we’ll be hitting the trail at 8:30am, so will hopefully arrive the other end my mid-morning the following day.

Only 7 or so weeks to go now – if you haven’t sponsored us, but thinking of doing so, now is the time!

Team at full strength!

Posted on May 8th, 2008 at 08:20 by Paul

Following the disappointment of losing Andy to injury, we’re now back up and running with fellow geocacher Matt! Even better, his girlfriend Alex is going to train as a backup and will walk with us on the day. They are both super fit and should have no problem limbering up in the two months we have remaining.

Huge thankyous due to them for taking this on – you can sponsor Matt here!

Disaster Strikes – Man Down!

Posted on April 28th, 2008 at 20:12 by Paul

Andy has pulled out of the team on medical advice due to a troublesome Achilles injury.

As we don’t have a standby teammate we’re in panic mode now…hopefully we’ve have found someone by the end of the week!

Team walk #5 – Confidence is high!

Posted on April 21st, 2008 at 20:53 by Paul

On Sunday we repeated the 20 mile circuit we did for walk #3 as a full team. First time around, we all had some degree of injury, with Jo limping home with a blister the size of a space hopper.

This time we all fared much better – we romped home averaging 5km/hr with no real injuries at all! Jo was able to jog and jump up and down at the end!

We divided the route into 4 checkpoints of typical trailwalker length too, and had no stops between these checkpoints.  At the second checkpoint, I changed walking socks which seemed to be the perfect antidote to blisters – not a single one by the end!

Each of us found the going much easier than previous training walks and we’re starting to feel like we’re getting somewhere – next training walk will be on the night section of the South Downs hopefully….. onwards and upwards!

P.S. If you’re reading this and haven’t sponsored us yet, please do so if you can!

Preparation Session in London

Posted on March 29th, 2008 at 16:05 by Paul

I attended an Oxfam preparation session on Thursday night in London. It was generally useful, but by far the best element was a presentation by one of last years walkers, who brought it home how hard the walk was and how important packing in lots of training was. There seemed to be a few nervous teams who had yet to start any training yet too!

He also spoke about a phenomenon he called “fat hands”.  I’ve never heard of this, but you can read more about it here! Doesn’t sound like too much to worry about!

Easy Easter Break

Posted on March 25th, 2008 at 18:25 by Paul

Took it easy over Easter, did a short 5 mile walk with the dog to keep my hand in. Will be attending the Trailwalker orientation session in London on Thursday also, hopefully will not learn of too many horrors there.

I’ve added a “blogroll” over there on the right hand sidebar, this links to other team blogs I’ve come across. If you’d like a link, just ask. I subscribe to them all in Google Reader myself, it’s nice to hear of other team’s training efforts.

Team Walk #4 – 14 miles of mud

Posted on March 17th, 2008 at 12:05 by Paul

Well, not exactly a team walk, as Peter and Jo didn’t make it. Weather was pretty rotten but it was a good chance to check we could cope with rain and gales!

Andy picked a 15 mile route taking in hills around Butterfield and Barton-le-Clay on the outskirts of Luton. Here I am at the top of Warden Hill after 11 miles of nasty weather…

Warden Hill

We cut the walk a little short at the end, totalling 14.3 miles in 4hrs 45 mins, an excellent 3 mph pace for the conditions.

Andy coped well despite some worries over his achilles tendon. However. I think I’ve left it too long between this the last long walk I did, as I ached a lot this morning. Will have to do more, July is seeming closer and closer…!

Fundraising with Mosaic Posters!

Posted on March 11th, 2008 at 23:03 by Paul

I’m trying to generate some extra sponsorship by creating mosaic posters from Geograph images. Here’s my first effort – click for a zoomable version. It’s quite astonishing to see the thousands of photos this is made up of!

Mosaic - click for zoomable fun

There’s some more details on my blog but if you’d like one, leave a comment here. All I ask is that you sponsor me whatever you can afford!