I have now finally left the #walk1000miles Facebook group for reasons of mental wellbeing. We all get a little overwhelmed by needy people, well that group was kind of like their ‘hang out place’!
Here are some examples of typical questions:
“How far should I walk?”
“Where should I go?”
“How do I know when I’ve walked too far?”
“Do only ‘boots on’ walks count?”
“What does ‘boots on’ mean?”
“Can I include running?”
You get the point, God they piss me right off, so needy and in desperate need of confirmation and validation for every single last thought they have! It’s all about sharing, sharing every single last bastard brain fart they experience!
No hills – other than an ascent of the bridge on Birkdale Cop which traverses…a muddy stream!
This was my first walk for quite some time so I kept it short, and urban! I left our house and yes, I’m still very happy to refer to where I live now as a house and not ‘the flat’, and headed to Tesco at Kew. From here it was a nice, if somewhat noisy (lockdown, what lockdown?) amble in a south-easterly direction towards Ormskirk until I turned off at Turning Lane – I do like it when things work out like that! I’d only ever walked along Turning Lane once before and that was in the opposite direction and as part of an epic route home from work, so was a bit too knackered to appreciate its charms, of which it has many. Who knew that we had a caravan park quite so close at Alderlee Park? The gardens were pretty much standard, nothing spectacular, no houses were draped in Wisteria – a great shame as this can be a truly remarkable sight, of done just right. The views across to Kew were mesmerising and if I had not already been using my phone to track the route I would have taken a lot of photographs, which doubtlessly would have impacted on the time taken.
At the end of Turning Lane I took a right and on to Jacksmere Lane where again I was afforded more views of lots and lots of greenery. We may be expanding the town with regards to the amount of new estates popping up, but there are still large tracts of relatively unspoilt greenbelt land at which we are still able to gaze. After a short while the pavement ran out, not literally, although I think most people would pay to see such a spectacle, but physically the pavement was no more. And for the next mile or maybe even two (because it felt like ten!) this was not a nice perambulation! I rounded the corner and onto the road effectively known as Birkdale Cop – to me it was purgatory! The wind was driving into my face and for over a mile, the notion of a pavement appeared to have been a none-entity in the minds of the town planners. Given that this road incorporates a 50 Mph speed limit for most of the stretch that I was (by now) hobbling along, this was something of a nervy and debilitating slog. I have walked this stretch before, it was not quite as windy then and the traffic was around the same for speed in passing me and regularity. What was different? My preconceived perception! Because this road is essentially the backbone of our estate, I had expected the speed limit (which is now 30 in places) to have had more of an effect that it has really had. At some point in the future, there will be driveways leading to houses on the land that I was grudgingly traversing. It appears that I was wanting things to progress at a quicker pace than is occurring, ultimately my fault, but not that bloody wind!
Eventually, after much swearing into the dry maelstrom I reached Town Lane, this is closed for the most part, a determined trespasser could, if clean footwear is not a motivator, make it on to the estate by foot, the rest of us simply take a right then a left and onto the tarmac path at Kew Woods – South, I thought it best to give the area a name; given that the Ordnance Survey has not yet deemed this a necessary measure!
At last the bloody wind calmed somewhat! I could hear noises other than vehicular traffic and my own curses! Now distant bird cries of Herring Gulls, Starlings and the ubiquitous collared doves were all around…and the sun was out, to be fair it had been out for all of the walk thus far, it had just been hard to appreciate with traffic whizzing past and the wind trying to get me squished! Soon enough I had ventured onto the only-recently re-opened Wight Moss Way – my new favourite road, as it leads onto my estate. And from here it was only a few minutes walk to home.
It was by no means a big walk at a mere 4.00 miles and thirty-something floors (390 feet or thereabouts!). Further to this my overall speed was not one for the record books – well possibly for my slowest walk ever on flat terrain! I can’t let myself get bothered about these things, I’m still very injured as my right leg will attest. I have an appointment with a physio / consultant online next Tuesday. If I thought this walk was an arduous slog then words might fail me when attempting to describe the uphill battle for which I am attempting to prepare myself in connection to getting some help / therapy. Dam lockdown, I remain adamant that lack of exercise lead to this horrid condition which blights my every footstep one second and then leaves me alone the next.
But, I will return to the pavements…just not necessarily the ones covered on Tuesday 6/4/21, for a while…
Walked around Birkdale, crossed over Lulworth Road and on to Coastal Road, then all the way up to Ainsdale and Station road before returning home via Segars Lane, Guilford Road and Bentham Way and the northern section of Kew Woods.
I know a lot of people don’t like it when others end their sentences with “going forward”, personally I couldn’t give a rat’s arse!
Wow, it’s been so rainy this year. I know there have been many other far more pressing concerns in the world – like the coronavirus, and whether it’s real, and if it is will the vaccine be a real gamer-changer…or not! Agreed. However, I’ve had a fucked-up right knee followed and then joined by a fucked-up pair of feet (I’m going to see podiatrist today, don’t you know!), these issues can get fixed, or a workaround via pain management found. What can’t be fixed is the crappy weather we’ve been having since September…when we moved here! I don’t remember there being two successive days when it hasn’t been raining in my local area. If the doomsayers and foretellers of global climatic change are to be believed then this is only going to stay the same – oh shit where’s the rope? But then just a minute…how many times have there been predications of ‘rain all day in the north west’ only for my walk to be cancelled and then a beautiful sunny afternoon and vice versa? So, in essence, just because the meteorologists are saying the climate is going to hell in a hand basket, I’d be more impressed if they could predict tomorrow’s weather error free, and they don’t seem to be much good at that!
So, I’m going to start paying less attention to weather forecasts up to the point of if they predict it will rain – I’ll take some waterproofs, if they say sunshine – I’ll plat shit! No, if sunshine is predicted I’ll put my factor fifty on…and take my waterproofs any ole way!
Because this has been one shit year, from a walking perspective. Oh sure I just about got my 1,000 miles in (and how some people from those groups are beginning to get more than a bit tiresome!) but my last real countryside, no-roads walk was the Amble in February! Shit! I’m not doing that two-years-running, no sir! Next year I’m going out regardless! On a related note the LDWA have cancelled all of their planned Winter / Spring walks…fucking pandemic!
So in a bid to get myself back to some positive level of fitness, and because I genuinely do believe that solo walking (or walking with Karl and Sue) is good for me, I started to put together a plan of action. Now, I’ve done this before and proved myself to be a past master at ignoring plan of actions, so instead of saying when I’m going where, I’m just going to stick with where and try to keep them in order – for success:
A first glimpse of Rivington Pike’s tower.
Rivington Pike, and I’m not even adding Winter Hill and all of the other minor summits I normally traverse.
Pendle Hill, this will be when I’ve got a lot more fitness under my belt as we all no know, Pendle is no push over!
Then it’s back to the Winter Hill massif for a more circuitous round taking in Rivington Pike and Winter Hill and possibly Two Lads and the big drop down the north face to Belmont road before returning via Catter Nab.
Pendle (again) with Stang Top Moor thrown in and (if I’m fit enough then) going up Pendle via ‘the middle way’!
Pen-y-Ghent. And so it begins, the training for 2021’s Y3P – this is all very much pie in the sky at the moment, I’ll need a working pair of feet and knees for this let alone the bigger 24.5 miles challenge.
The Amble – solo obviously as they’ve called off the event, I plan to do the full thing solo, of course this will have to be after a relatively dry spell (anyone remember those?) and in later spring when the light will be around for me to see where I’m going – especially on Darwen Moor where the path is a bit, undefined!
Ingleborough, I’ll try to factor in Simon Fell and Park Fell as they are really overlooked in favour of the big attention grabber on the same massif.
Sefton Coastal Path. Well why not? I’ve been banging on about doing this for yonks and to be honest, it’s the right of every Sandgrounder…
Whernside. But, I will be going from Ribblehead, to be honest if I never get to do this beast from Chapel le Dale ever again, that’d be fine with me.
The Three Peaks of Yorkshire – solo, with a sensible amount of water – not half a gallon like last time!
Scafell Pike from Dungeon Ghyll and taking in Great End. Well it looks amazing so why not! (Photo to be added when I find it, stupid ass laptop won’t connect to my WD MyCloud anymore!).
If I get that lot in, with a few walks with Karl and Sue then it will have been a successful walking year. Not like this one!
We finally moved house. And that was fun! If I can offer one bit of advice to anyone, if you can, try and avoid completing and exchanging on two houses in one day, a bag of laughs it is not, especially when your deposit for your new house magically disappears for a couple of hours before reaching your purchasing solicitor, damn that was fun. All the same we did do the sensible thing of booking a night in the Premier Inn, a little bit indulgent but way better than trying to build the bed whilst the removal company were y’know, moving us in!
There will be lots more articles / posts featuring the moving in process and how our lives are changing (for the better) to the new home.
Sadly, we’ve both lost our dads this year. Richard, Christine’s dad, died in September and the day before his funeral, my died finally joined mum in the next world. I’m saddened, I think I’ve succeeded this time in not squashing my feelings into a repressed ball of degenerative anger (like I did with mum). Obviously, I’m going to miss the pair of them for the rest of my time here, but these things are part of life and to deny them…it’s just not healthy.
On a physical level, my body has been an absolute git this year! First there was the iliotibial band syndrome, affecting my right knee, which royally screwed up my walking. Now this has been either replaced or joined by Palmoplantar Psoriasis…which makes your feet look awful and hurts to even stay still. At least the treatment for the foot thing is an actual cream smeared all over my feet twice a day. The treatment for the knee thing involved exercises that I could just never do as this started whilst I was still living in a box-filled flat with no room to swing a cat, not that either of us is strong enough to swing ‘Pepper’ anywhere! On Thursday I (embarrassingly) fell downstairs and whilst this burned my right elbow, bruised my left forearm and gave me a bruise I cannot even see on my left buttock…it seems to have done something magical to my right knee! The evidence of this is that I went for a six-miles walk yesterday morning and although my feet were overheating to the max by the end of the walk, my knee was great, no pain at all.
Okay, so that was an extremely condensed version of my last three or four months. I do plan on keeping a bit more up to date as I can see myself getting more accustomed to our home office where I have a linux PC setup – with two monitors, just for net stuff !
I was grateful for the rain on Tuesday night as Monday’s walk had been a bit of a crippler. Likewise I set off in relative high spirits last night only to be brought to a painful halt a few times en route. Google maps has my route for last night down as pretty much dead-on five miles, my Fitibt (and me) would estimate this to be closer to six. I suppose in the end it doesn’t really matter that much, as long as I am still out there walking and getting in some exercise.
But it’s not just exercise which is leading me out of the house, no sir! More often than not I am going for ‘mindful walks’. Yes, I’m not a fan of buzzwords and new fangled ways of thinking but in this case it’s actually true, walking for the sake of getting out of the house and away from the TV does make me feel better, well not just better but good! Every so often this ‘good’ is punctuated by a bout of pain as yet another thing screws up in my knee, but when that subsides I do feel optimistic, upbeat even! This effect tends to intensify the further I go away from civilisation, on The Moss I’m practically euphoric! Of course every so often it does get squashed when I fear I may be taking the wrong route…but well we can’t let that stop me now can we?
Well, because I had to go into work – I promised for some reason, I thought that getting the 10K in would be a synch, just have a walk around the fitness trail at lunch – that always nets around 4.5K then get the rest at night. Ahem, storm Francis had a different theory which worked out as: ‘Let’s torrent it down all down with a 50 m.p.h. wind! Subsequently I only managed to get in 7K for the day, essentially walking to the car and back. To make matters even more sinful, what did we have for our evening meal? Well lets just say that this was inspired by a white-haired American gentleman with a deep south accent (or so the legend goes). So, I’m not going to dwell on this, onward shall be the silent cry and we’ll just deal with it.
Flushed with the success of last Saturday’s walk incorporating some of the best of Marshside, Churchtown and The Moss, I’m hoping for similar weather this weekend, and thankfully I have three days to aim at to get out and about. I don’t know where yet but it would be nice to get over to the coast road as it’s such a lovely place to amble when 1. it isn’t raining and 2. it isn’t closed – which it is at the moment but I don’t know if this is just for cars etc.
Still recovering and more importantly how quick was it before I got too busy to carry on with the daily updates? It’s always the same, normally I get to around day three then just never seem to make the time to carry on…hence the compressed version.
So anyway, the healthy eating kind of petered out – especially closer to the weekend, the lure of the chip shop plus we have been really bad at food shopping, we are such authors of our own demise, when we shop properly we do it healthily…Anyway, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to cut out the bread again.
On the urban walking side of things, the knee is slowly getting better, or maybe I’m just adjusting my walking gate so as to avoid putting as much pressure on the right as I am on my left? Monday to Wednesday I kept to the 10,000 steps per day then had a lousy Thursday and Friday which meant a tad of overcompensating on Saturday. Chris had to work at home so that left me free to do a fantastic walk which headed up towards Marshside, through Churchtown and onto The Moss which I followed all the way to Pool Hey Lane where I then dropped back down to Scarisbrick and picked up the road back to the Norwoods before turning off and filtering back through some of the quieter roads before joining Sussex Road and onto home. All told this topped out at 23,000+ steps and over ten miles so I was happy all weekend! I even managed to just about get in a 4.25 miles walk around the Hesketh loop and park on Sunday which made for a good start to this week. Tonight however, we have to go food shopping so I might not get out for a walk tonight and I’ll be chasing the daily total all week again. Maybe we should go food shopping on Sundays instead of ambling around garden centres that always have too many sheeple in them!
During this pandemic I have tried to stay active. With regret, I’ve done something wrong in the pursuit of this.
Although I wouldn’t say I’ve been pounding away and amassing many miles, I did try to do at least my ten thousand steps per day, and some times far in excess of this. However, my legs did start to hurt more and more. At first I wrote this off just to being Southport and its highly uneven pavements…but I did a google around and some of the descriptions of symptoms sounded a bit like mine and to be honest, our diet has been lousy with way too many chips and take-outs….and way too much alcohol on my behalf.
Anyhoo I contacted our Doctors – an event in itself that could turn one to drink, and was given an over-the-phone-diagnosis of “Iliotibial Band Syndrome”. Essentially this is inflammation of a tendon around the side of my right knee. A ‘sports’ injury’ no less, I was almost proud. However, given the GP didn’t even see me in my new found, portly++ status I think the diagnosis might be a bit off, we tend to assume people are relatively fit unless information to the contra is available. The GP has advised me to make an appointment to see the Physiotherapist at the Hospital and I do intend on following through with this…once I find out where I stand with this at work, as I need to be able to get to the hospital during the working day and currently I can’t build up any flexi-time in order to do this.
The above will be sorted as I believe there is a case to say that if I am not afforded the time off; they (my works), will be instrumental in delaying my recovery (and who’s to say that being sat indoors all day every day has not been a causal effect? But, let’s not pretend that I’m free from blame here, I’m not. Now, more than ever, I simply have to take better care of myself. With regards to exercise, for now, baby steps will have to be taken, but taken consistently. I’m hoping to keep to my 10,000 steps per day, there is no scientific evidence available to say that this figure is at all key, in any way. What this figure does do though is to set a target, 10K steps per day still has to be better than none! For my implementation of my recovery I believe that a morning, noon and night regime of around 3-4 thousand steps gained by walking either around Hesketh Park or by walking around the near-neighbourhood should aid without causing any further damage. This has not been possible lately, but only because of really feeble excuses and I think now it is vital to just get things done…in order to stay alive and not lose any limbs, it’s that important.
Also, I think keeping some sort of journal may help “Tad-ah!” I know that I do struggle to keep to routines for blog / diary type entries, but I have to give it a try, we don’t change without changing, and I really want to change.
Enjoy the header picture, two Willows at Hesketh Park.
Breakfast was: A conference pear with Blueberries covered in Tesco Greek Yogurt with Honey.
Morning walk was: from 07:45 to 08:15, around 3,200 steps.
Lunch was: a can of Sardines with a handful of olives, a large cup of spinach, some Aldi sun-dried tomatoes and three teaspoons of Tesco Chill and Tomato Pesto .
Lunch walk was: a circuit of Leyland Road, Roe Lane and Park Road returning via Queen’s Road at 1800 steps (The latter half of which were very painful). Then I had a chance to add to the total by going to McColls for a can of kidney beans – they had none, then back home and out again to the Spar for said kidney beans and some milk and some chopped tomatoes.
Evening meal will be a stew of red kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, a chopped pepper, onion, Worcester Sauce (1 tbsp) 250Gm of lean minced beef (5% fat), chestnut mushrooms, a clove of garlic…essentially it’s Chilli con carne but without the Chilli as Chris is a Chilli wimp!
Evening walk didn’t need to happen as I’d got most of my steps in during the day and cleaning the hallway got the rest.