Friday, 20 February 2009

Just a little hill

It was only a stroll up Ben Rinnes, but I thought it might count. If nothing else, it proved how incredibly unfit I am, hence it having been extremely sensible to give myself sooooo long to plan for The Challenge. (Wasn't really planning I needed...)
So, 5 miles, 1,691ft ascent, 3.5 hours in total including stops and prolonged pauses.
Not much in the way of kit, lined trousers, waterproof trousers and gaiters were probably a little overkill, but I was definately warm and dry. Not to mention thermal long-sleeved top, vest, fleece, buff and waterproof jacket. Merino mits with waterproof mits on top were essential.
Cloud base was a little lower than I'd have liked and boy was it breezy on the top! There was a resonable amount of snow in places, which slowed us down a bit.
The worst bit was being dim enough to take my gloves off at the top to consume the obligatory cheese sarnie. Why dim? I know refuelling is important, but I should have known better. Raynauds can attack at the most inconvenient times and this was one, a particularly nasty one at that. For one who should know better, particularly dim. At it's worst, the pain can cause real distress and reduce me to tears, if not the point of collapse, quite ridiculous and embarrassing and completely excruciating. I had visions of being helicoptered off a small hill with pain in my fingers! I had the urge to get off that hill so strong I virtually ran down. Was glad the view was obscured or I'd have felt hard done by.

Er, did I mention the headache? Woke in the early hours of Friday morning with an horrendous headache. After suffering a while, got up so as to not disturb David, but that was a bad move. Went from pain making me feel nauseous to being physically sick. Horrid. Managed to doze propped on the settee, then went to get a shower when David got up. No good, nearly fell out of the bath! Curled up on the bed and sent an S.O.S. for painkillers. That helped after a while, but I did have to take more a few hours later. This is significant to the walking, because after trial and error I have made a link to my Lowe Alpine daysac. It offers little waist support and no chest strap, so I suspect the weight is hanging in such a way off my shoulders that it is upsetting my neck. It doesn't feel uncomfortable or heavy as I carry it, but it's obviously causing problems. I hadn't allowed for replacing everyday kit at this point, just getting new stuff for next year. Pants.

I should apologise if this is TMI for any readers I may have out there, but it's as much to remind me when I read this at a later date what problems I've encountered or anything that has been really good.
I guess there was a hint of snow to warn us.I clambered up to the trig, then retreated to rocks for shelter and took a photograph of David instead. Before the sandwich and Raynauds set in.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Did a decent training walk on Saturday with friends. It was really as part of training for a sponsored 23 mile walk along the Dava Way on 20th June this year, but the training I'm going to do for that will prove really useful.

13.9 miles, walking between 2.5 and 3.2 miles per hour.
788ft climb over the first half of the walk.

I was carrying a small rucksac with about 2 litres of water in my bladder, a small amount of food, waterproof trousers, a hat and sundry small items. I wore my Karrimor walking shoes as I don't want to wear the soles of my walking boots by doing too much road work in them. The shoes were fine and I had no rubbing or blisters. In fact, apart from tired legs and slight soreness in the back of my pelvis, I've suffered no after effects and I'm really chuffed!

I now really need to get into the habit of walking everyday, even just for short walks and everyso often, two longer walks on consecutive days. Plenty of time, I'll get there.

Oh, and I really enjoyed it too!