Sunday, 30 January 2011

29th January 2010

             It's been a busy day, I finished work in the early hours, a few shorts hours sleep, then off to that there London for the Centurions Annual General Meeting to pick up a few things, which didn't go quite as planned. The trip to London was the usual panic... is my passport up to date, have I had all my shots etc. When I go to London, I usually fall off the bottom of the M1 and park up at Wembley then get the tube into central London. Unfortunately, most of the tubes were cancelled for some strange reason... I blame Boris Johnson! I could get as far as Euston, then it was an unplanned 4 mile "urban jungle parish training!" incorporating some pedestrian racing which was how my walking "career" started. Walking through the town, picking a fast walking target pedestrian, then keeping in front. It should be an Olympic sport...
            Anyway, I arrived a little late but was glad of the exercise, none planned for today, as I had just aquired my new pair of North Face Hedgehogs, my favourite trainers, a pair I had done not only two Parishes, my fastest two, but also the Centurion. The pair that the arse had recently fallen out of. They are lightweight, comfortable, strongly built, and are also goretex which make them shower proof keeping the feet dry. It gave me a chance to wear them in a little. I find that if you buy trainers from sports shops, then they are built as a fashion accessory and are not really made to last. I got these at Millets, where they are made for people who want to actually walk instead of just posing around town. The main conversation centres around the advantages of the Striding edge over the Swirrel edge of Helvellyn rather than which pubs you want to go in! Serious walking shoes...
          At the end of the day, they are built to last, be comfortable, and do the proper job. I know they will give me a couple of years good walking, and keep my feet dry. All an added bonus.
         By the by, I gratefully accepted Bernie's trophy for being the youngest Centurion, practising my Parish winners acceptance speech.. Only joking! I mumbled a few words of thanks then sat down with a free butty and a coffee, and wondered how I was going to get home! The Island was represented, not least by Centurion Committee member Charlie Weston, although during a break for refreshments I was asked by a few brothers which part of the Island I was from! I was a little disappointed to inform them that I was from Yorkshire, although having family from the Island, as I feel a kinship with the Island, I feel most comfortable there and regret not being manx. Anyhow, Yorkshire it is, for now.
I gratefully receive this trophy, blah, blah blah...

        Bernie should receive a special mention, at 29 she is by far the youngest Centurion, in a sport normally represented by veterans, and by veterans, I mean nearer my own age. It is a tremendous feat, and leaves me wondering what more she can achieve. The London Marathon coming up, but many more events in which to excell, and probably, more than possibly, a future Parish winner. 
       Back to work in the morning, a car carrier into Grimsby, but I'm on the ferry on Tuesday, weighed down with a fairly heavy trophy, and a few days catching up with friends and family. If anyone sees me while I'm across, mine's a guinness!


Thursday, 27 January 2011

27th January 2011

            I haven't been feeling well for the last couple of days, I had an infection somewhere in my jaw that showed itself physically as toothache, but on an emergency visit to the dentist it appeared there was nothing amiss. Still, she drilled out a couple of my fillings and put something in to combat any infection, then closed them up. Still, it was painful, and I couldn't sleep well so was tired, and it was just work and rest. The only respite seemed to come from cycling to work, which was probably the endorphins kicking in.

          Endorphins are chemicals generally produced by the brain, known as neurotransmitters. There are at least 20 different endorphins, each having a different role. With exercise, endorphins are released which make you feel better, and prolonged exercise can be strong enough to release enough to create a mild euphoria, the so called "runners high", which goes some way to explain the good feelings of Parish walkers despite the pain. Exercise endorphin release is different for everyone, and it has also been theorized that it increases with age, another possible reason why so many Parish walk finishers are in the so called "veteran" walkers group. Endorphins are also responsible for decreased feelings of pain, acting as they do on the opiate receptors of the brain and the nervous system in much the same way as morphine, although without the addictions. This goes some way to explaining my pain reduction when cycling to and from work.
          As well as exercise, endorphins are released during times of stress, which is what happens during severe injury when no pain is felt. People who are injured in stressful situations often feel no pain, allowing them to get out of further danger, or help others. The pain only kicks in when the situation causing the stress is over and the endorphin levels reduce.
         Whatever, exercise creates endorphins, which make you feel good. Eventually the body gets used to these feelings, making you want to exercise more. The bodies own mechanism for keeping us fit and healthy? Possibly, but it seems to work, exercise makes you healthy and happy, and more able to deal with stress.

         Endorphins are also released by eating spicy food, and also chocolate, making them addictive by chemical means, meaning you have an excuse when you decide to go out for another curry or reach for that last Quality Street!

Monday, 24 January 2011

24th january 2010

          A rest day yesterday after Saturdays exhertions, although it is warm enough, (and petrol is expensive enough!) to get the bike out for work. It's 6 miles each way, and at a decent lick, about just under half an hour each way, it's an hours good exercise a day. And more calming. I'm usually a mild mannered person, but sitting in heavy traffic behind some of the idiots who managed to bluff their way into a motor vehicle gives me a mild attack of tourettes syndrome! We have a cycle path that goes most of the way from my house to King George Dock, and mp3 player on, it's relaxing, almost enjoyable. I am a little competitive though, and another cyclist on the path gives me an urge to go faster and get in front. Childish, I know, but I get a smug feeling as I pass.
         During rush hours, which seem to last most of the day here, it takes a good half hour to drive to work anyway, so I'm not really losing any time.
          It is a good form of cross training. Cycling works different muscles to speed walking, so the walking muscles aren't pushed so hard so have recovery time, while the body and heart are still getting their regular workout. I also go swimming once a week, another good form of cross training exercise, whilst running, not a favourite of mine, is yet another. I did refrain from cycling to work while it was icy and stalled at the sign of any cold weather so it needed a nice day to finally blow the cobwebs off the boneshaker and throw my bike clips on, but now I've been a couple of times it's all systems go. The only problem is coming home late at night. I finished work at midnight last night, and the bike home was quiet and easy, but when I arrived, I was wide awake from the exercise!
         Not good when it's bedtime...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

22nd January 2010

            Waiting to go to work, listening to Hull City away at Reading. Not good listening, struggling against the home team. Still, it's early doors yet.

            A good coaching session this morning. If you want to be comfortable at reasonable Parish speeds then it's good to be able to maintain high speed for shorter distances. You have to average just over 3 and a half miles an hour to finish within the 24 hours. 4mph gets you 21h 15m. 5mph gives you 17hours. So it's easy to see, a little more speed knocks good time off, and if you practise at quicker speeds then slower speeds become more comfortable over longer distances.
          We did some warm up sprints, some technique, and then a timed 10k watched by the coach. Tried to keep to a 60 mins 10k to keep up the race walk style, and it seems to be coming along nicely. I can go quicker but start to lose technique, tripping over my feet and occasionally scuffing, but as I practise the speed slowly picks up. Got a 20k planned, and a possible 10 mile, then Northern area 20k for Yorkshire. I'm nowhere as fast as the young lads but in a team of four I can throw in a decent result, and there's no better experience than actual races.
        Also gotta keep my elbows in. If I don't concentrate I look as if I'm trying to take off. Do'h!

Friday, 21 January 2011

21st January 2010

              I was back at work in the Humber this morning, it was one of those moody winter days, grey and still with washed out sunshine, a nice day for a trip down the river. Immingham to sea, back home by 2pm.
        My coach is organizing a session in the morning, and, although I'm on standby, hoping to nip across to Lincolnshire for a couple of hours. He's coaching a promising couple of young lads as well, teenagers who seem pretty keen, and one teenage lad who's doing 52 minute 10k's and still improving so it's good to practise on the shorter distances with someone to try and keep up with. It is satisfying to see race walking attracting youngsters into it's ranks. Walking seems to have gone through a quiet patch over the last couple of decades, and a steady upsurge is most welcome. Although here in Yorkshire the numbers are only growing gradually, they are growing, and long may it continue. I still hope to get across for the March island winter 10k, looking at the photos it's amazing to see hundreds taking part, young and old, all enjoying the walk. It's a rare sight on the mainland with not enough publicity as in most sports here.

          I'm 99% certain to get across to the island on the 31st for a week, I'll be staying in Peel, and doing the usual walk to my dad's in Douglas, also planning on doing the sloc at some point with Helen, if not, she's on the route of the western 10 which is always a good back up. I've got to get back for the Yorkshire 10k though, which unfortunately is on the same day as the Island's winter league 10k. It's one or the other...

         Countdown? Just over 5 months to go. A long way, but it'll soon pass. Don't overdo it at first if you are thinking of competing for the first time. I do sometimes push a little too far myself, so rest days are important. The body needs training, but it also needs to recover from this training. Push too hard and you'll find yourself slowing down, suffering from cramps and muscle fatigue, and just getting bored with getting ready and going out every day. A few days off and you'll be eager to get the trainers on and put a few miles under your belt.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

19th January 2010

        Yet another hoax, fiddle, con, call it what you will, on the "health foods" account. The latest is the so called vitamin water which has claims on the bottle that it is "nutritious" and "cleansing". I've seen this in Asda, well over a pound a bottle, and it looks pretty convincing. Reality? It's made by the Coca cola company, a small bottle has the equivalent of 5 spoons of sugar in it, with barely more vitamins than other similar drinks. Not enough to be beneficial to health.
        The truth is, the health food sales area is a multi billion pound industry, and the companies involved are all too keen to exploit the unwary, willing to spend extra to put something healthy on their shopping list. They exploit the law and use fancy healthy looking packaging to appeal. If they reduce their fat content by less than a few percent, they put the words "Reduced Fat" in big letters. Low fat could still be packed with salt or sugar. Whatever, it's good to learn what allowances and ingredients are healthy, and to read the packaging. Either that, or buy all fresh produce and cook from scratch...

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

18th january 2010


        I believe this is very important.

And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

No, I'm only kidding! Everyone has their own opinion on footwear, everyone has different feet as well as different methods of walking, so it's not possible to state flatly which are the best walking shoes. Obviously the most important thing is that they fit. I walked my first parish in an old pair of nike air, comfortable enough although the biggest mistake I made was just after Santon I got a stone in my shoe and because all I had in mind was to keep going, it finally nestled in next to my second toe. I just took a couple of pain killers and kept going. It rained in the evening as I was passing Jurby airport and stopped before Bride, so I took an opportunity to stop and change into dry gear whilst having a nice cuppa. Socks off though, I realised maybe I should have stopped earlier. The second toe was black.
Shortly after finishing.

         Helen laughed whilst picking up my discarded wet socks with a long stick and said 100% I would lose the toe. I proved her wrong by keeping it. In a small box. I still have it now although it looks a little leathery and dried out. I use it to frighten the kids...
         The nail did regrow although it doesn't attach to the skin just flaps loose like a hinge, I suppose there was enough nail root for this to happen, although the nail and surrounding skin falls off after every race. It just goes to show prevention is better than cure. I now have special elasticated laces that are regulated to my shoes so that they don't require tying, allow me to slip my trainers on and off and expand when my feet swell up, which everyones do after a good few hours as water drops down an collects in the feet. A stone in my shoe now means slip it off, shake it out, and slip it back on again, hardly breaking stride. It doesn't need readjusting either. There are a few different types, I use xtenex laces, at around a fiver a pair are also good value. 

          There are three phases in the life of a pair of trainers. New footwear are built to a standard shape. I got a pair measured to my foot shape for the 2008 parish and they still weren't the right shape, had to be "worn in" so that eventually turned out to be a waste of money. Standard off the shelf trainers are fine. As they are worn, they gradually change to the shape of your feet. Depending on how peculiar the shape of your feet this could produce chaffing and blisters, so short walks are best for breaking in. I'm wearing in a new pair of boots at work at the moment and it's agony at times, but necessary. Once worn in the trainers are fine, but eventually damage to the fibres and the sole will mean they lose this shape, and although they look fine, they don't fit any more. I call this "the arse falling out of them" This is when they should be thrown away as they are no use for long distance walking. I've had a couple of cracking pairs of trainers go like this recently and it's like losing an old friend. So, get the trainers you are doing the Parish in at least a month before, and make sure they are worn in. Don't go with a comfy old favourite pair in case the arse falls out of them halfway and you end up with blisters. I usually have a couple of pairs of cheap standard off the shelf trainers for training, and separate shoes for races. I will be visiting Chris Cale at his shop, Up and Running, for another pair of race shoes when I'm across on the Island next, he has a great wealth of race walking experience and the facilities in the shop to check walking gait to find the best types necessary. I do have a  slight supination which I'm trying to correct with my coach. I walk on the outside of my foot, you can tell if you suffer from this by looking at the wear on the soles of your shoes. 
         Walking with either of these gaits can cause injury so it's a good idea to try and concentrate on countering this whilst training.
         My shoes? Currently I have a pair of Mizuno Wave Harrier 3, which technically are a cross trainer for fell running, but are very light, have a very thin sole so doesn't have much cushioning, which is needed for running as it cushions the landing, but not really necessary for walking if done properly. I'm contemplating the Adizero pro, which are even lighter. I will have 2 pairs worn in and ready for the race. Just in case.
        Training, just a couple of pairs of normal off the shelf trainers. As long as they fit. Alternate between the two so they dry out and stay fresh.
        Sorry this is a long blog today, our lass is watching the eastenders omnibus she sky plussed, and I've already been out for a quick 8 miles this morning. Nothing else to do, really. Sorry.

Happy training!

See, still got the toe. It's in a small collection of toes that have dropped off over the last few years.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

16th January 2010

      Back in Ulverston for the weekend, a couple of jobs done, and a chance to do some touristy things with friends, (friends who unfortunately came here for the museums and pubs... definitely not for the walking!) So a chance for a few days rest, (from walking) got a job bringing in a nuclear waste ship in on friday, then stand-by for the weekend in case any other ships cropped up. So, got to the Laurel and Hardy museum, visited the house where Stan Laurel was born, a bit of a pub crawl, then the Motor Museum and the James Bond museum, although we didn't have time for the Keswick Pencil Museum ('h!)
Pacific Heron, Barrow Docks.

       I managed to get out on my 8.5 mile circuit at the break of dawn this morning and was surprised to see no rain at all although up at the top of the hills I walked into the clouds. I was out last night, a small sherry with the vicar and bed by nine thirty, (Lying?... Who? Me?) but any alcohol lingers in the body so was expecting to be slow. Still, it was a chance to test my new toy in the lakes so off I set. The route is only up and down, no flat bits whatsoever, but I was surprised to find it was nearly a thousand feet climb. Forgot the heart rate monitor strap so didn't get all the results, but got a good indication of my current fitness, which is better than expected, so I can afford more rest days. I don't want to peak too early this year, Build up slowly to avoid injuries.

Sun 16th, 7am training walk data

           Back to Hull in the morning, (boring, flat, industrial grey Hull. Even the name sounds flat and grey!) a week off work so maybe out to the Yorkshire Wolds, the weathers milder so a chance for a good 20 miler, and also hopefully a Coaching session in Cleethorpes. My next 10k is 6th February so three weeks to work on technique and try for a new PB. I see the cancelled 10k on the Island is in March so might try and nip across for that one, and I'm off on 31st of this month which might give me a chance to get across and do some hill training, drag Helen and her other half, Kevin, up the sloc. The poor chap has been roped in as Helen's training partner as well as entering the Parish, although he's relatively fit, a runner, so we're hoping he gets up to her speed soon. We have three quarters of a team so far, still looking for someone whose confident of finishing, (who hasn't finished yet) to make a foursome. Being in a team might give another extra incentive, can't let your teammates down. 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

15th January 2010

         The parish is a mental challenge. More than a physical challenge. So much more. The first time I finished the Parish made me a much better person, both physical and mentally. I set out the first time, determined to walk the 85 miles. I told everyone I know that I would complete it, and the humiliation of telling everyone I'd failed spurred me on to the finish. I didn't want to face my family and friends and say that I had not completed what I'd set out to do, and this, more than all the training and preparation got me over the finish line of my goal. All the pain and suffering, no matter what it threw at me, pushed me on to the eventual prize in my mind. That's what you need to concentrate on. I set out to finish. And whatever your goal, you should set out on the start line with your goal in mind. Whether its the first church, Peel, Bride or whatever, give yourself a goal. That gives you the incentive. My incentive now, as it has been for the last four years, is to beat my goal, which is now my last result. I'm as proud of my first parish finishers trophy as much of my last, if not more. If people ask me now, what is my greatest achievement in life, my first Parish comes close to the top of my list.
        Life is about goals, and  you cannot think about standing on the start line thinking "Maybe I'll see how I'll do." Go for it.
       If you are intending to finish, good for you. Go for it. You will suffer pain. Probably more than you've suffered before (Except maybe childbirth, I can't vouch for that. My wife says its smarts a little...) and it'll hurt for days afterwards. I had to start for a toilet break an hour beforehand the first three days after my first Parish, with the humiliation of my family laughing at me while I tried to stand up. But, when I eventually got to my feet, I was smiling, saying, "at least I'ved finished the Parish!".
     It will hurt, and it will push you to your limits, but the knowledge that you have a Parish walk finishers trophy will be worth it......and so much more!

Happy training.

Monday, 10 January 2011

10th January 2010

            Feeling better today, so got out for a quick 6.5 mile lap, keeping above 5.2mph/11min 30secs per mile, heart rate steady at 135, so not too bad despite being well wrapped up and a layer of ice on the road. Working later on this evening so I'll have an hours session on the treadmill this afternoon for some cardio whilst catching up on recorded weekend telly. The treadmill only goes up to 15% incline so I've propped up the front with a piece of timber to give it more incline. This means that it still has an incline when it's level, but it's there for fitness so never mind.

         I see that some people have started Parish training, using sundays to put a decent couple of hours walking in. Make sure that you take enough drinks. It's recommended that you should weigh yourself naked, (we won't look, honest!) then put in an hours walk without taking any food or water, and (after towelling the sweat off) weigh yourself again. The more accurate the scales the better, if it goes down to fractions of kilo's then all well and good. The difference in weight is the amount of water you have lost. (1 kilo = 1 litre) This, in turn, is the amount of drinks you need per hour of walking to replace water lost. There isn't any real need to take expensive sports drinks, at about a pound apiece they are pretty much a waste of money. A good balanced diet will replace most vitamins and minerals lost through sweating. Get a drinks bottle, use 10% ribena (there are other fruit squash drinks on the market!) to 90% water, and this is perfectly good. If, after you've been training, you have that tell tale "tide mark" around the sweat on your training gear that shows you've been losing sodium (salt) then you can put a quarter level teaspoon of sea salt into the drink mix. Not table salt, which is iodized and refined so actually contains just salt but has all the beneficial minerals removed. Sea salt is rich in minerals including nitrates and potassium which are sweated out and are necessary minerals, and because of this contains less actual salt than table salt. Oh, and don't get your teaspoons and table spoons mixed up.
        Obviously more water is lost when you push harder during training, when it gets warmer outside, (soon, I hope!) and when you wear more clothing. Less water is lost when your fitness levels rise and your body uses less energy for the same results, so therefore you need to do the above weight/water loss test quite regularly. This will also give you an indication on your fitness levels. If you find you're losing less water, it shows that your body is using less energy to do the same work, i.e. your training is paying off!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

9th January 2010

          Still suffering, keeping it under control with high strength cold and flu capsules, ginger tea and lots of drinks. I've managed to keep working but have taken an enforced rest for a couple of days which is a shame because I was due to race in a 10k in York this morning and was confident of knocking a couple of minutes off my personal best, and with my new toy I could have analyzed the race at leisure later on. My next race is not for another few weeks, maybe I can kill two birds etc and get across to the island for one of the winter walking league 10k's. I see one has been rearranged for March which might make for a quick weekend trip across, and with a couple before then maybe I'll have to start rearranging my diary. I am planning to get across for a week at the end of this month, hoping to pack some butties and a flask to do the sloc from Rushen church to Peel for a good training walk.
          Weighed myself this morning, having kept strictly to my planned diet, roughly keeping to 500 calories below daily allowance and at least 5 miles a day at 5mph, and was surprised to find I'd dropped 4 and a quarter pounds of christmas excess, so the sensible eating, daily exercise and CLA seem to be working Kerry! I have a set of the weight watchers scales which measure body fat and body water amongst others and it seems to have gone from the right areas as well. I'm keeping to the reduced calories during the week and eating normally at weekends which become a treat day. I'm unfortunate to have a metabolism which stores fat easily so it's easy for me to put the weight on, difficult to get rid, but after a while the stomach learns what's going on and it gets easier to keep to a sensible regime, after a while fast foods and fatty titbits start to become unpalatable. It was my youngest daughters 14th birthday yesterday, and she decided to order KFC for her and her friends. It's funny how being civilised in the modern era means eating food from "buckets". I did have a piece, (my only slip of the week, but it did smell tasty) but took one bite and tasted only the fat. Saturated fat at work, keeping it inexpensive, "tasty" and dangerous. It was her birthday treat though so I couldn't deny her.

          Anyway, I'm hoping to feel well enough to get out for a good 10 mile walk in the morning. I broke my MP3 player, one that I've had for years. It was old and tatty but I knew how to work it, and I'd carried it on four parish walks so I'm a little annoyed, and I've had to learn how to put podcasts on my phone. Which made my brain hurt a little.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

6th January 2010.

          I've got man flu. A 4 mile walk round the block in the cold was mildly uncomfortable, hopefully sweated some of it out, I have to go to work in an hour, I know it's serious but with luck I'll survive until the next blog, but if I don't reappear, you know what's wrong.

 (cough, cough...... sniff)

Bye now.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

5th January 2010

         I managed to get out for a quick trip round the block with the new "toy", (1.33miles according to the results!) and was very impressed. Loving the mile indicator, a beep and vibrate, useful if your wearing earphones, and a visible readout of speed and minutes per mile. Constant timing and heart rate information, almost too much to be honest, but i've got time to get used to it.

      As soon as I walked in the unit communicates wirelessly with the laptop and downloads the information (before I had taken my wet shoes off, almost as if it was rushing to prove a point!) and I was left with a full page with a map of the route, distance, times, heart rates, places I slowed down and sped up, elevation, (the back of the house is 2 feet lower than the front where I started my walk) and many others, all cross correlated to give graphs, tables and sheets of information I could study all day. All this from a 15 minute walk round the block! It's definitely going to be fun using it, going to give me confidence, even the walk round the block in the rain and wrapped up, not rushing, averaged 5.18mph, and with an "Active Virtual Partner" mode which puts you up against someone a little faster than you, can do my training no harm at all.

       If you are serious about training, I recommend one of these products. There are a few different types available, and with christmas come and gone maybe ebay has 2nd hand ones for a lot less. Mine was quite expensive, but I can pass results over the internet to all interested parties for analysis, and I walk alone so it gives me constant updsates where usually my mind can wander. It also has a guaranteed minimum 20 hour battery (if operated on correct settings) which gives me another Parish target... finish before the battery runs out! Serious walking can be smoothed out and analyzed and now its not just a case of going out for a walk and hoping it's worthwhile.

      I'm not at work til midday so i'm off out for a longer walk.


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

4th January 2010

           Been a busy couple of days at work, although been lucky enough to get out for a quick 5 mile, sub 1 hour circuits, not training, just wake up, circulation starting, metabolism shake up stuff. Diet going well, being honest in the diary although the cook down at Spurn Point where we picked up the inbound ship had done a delicious smelling beef stew, took a lot of willpower but ended up with a banana, home made flapjack, and a green tea. Weights dropping nicely though, and feel good.

          Got home about 7 to find my christmas present to myself had arrived! I've been mainly training with a wrist mounted heart rate monitor, which, along with the university readings, helped me work out calories burned and liquid required. When I did the Centurion with Bernie Ball, she had a wrist mounted GPS which showed her speed and time per mile. I thought this was a good idea. Then, in the End to End, Richard Gerrard had a similar GPS, which showed us when we were slowing down and needed to pick up, but generally kept us informed of our rate, not too slowly, and quicker when we needed it. I started checking around, and decided on the Garmin Forerunner 310XT, and have just spent 3 hours setting it up. I'm like a kid with a new toy (literally!) and even though it's nearly midnight, I'm contemplating putting my trainers on and doing a quick 5 mile circuit. But, it's icy, late, I've had a glass of JD (120 calories for a large one, it all goes in the diary!) and work at lunchtime tomorrow, time for an early walk and I'll let you know how it goes. Probably all software gone t's up and frustration, we'll see.

Cheers, and goodnight!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2nd Jan 2010

          By now everyone should be over the effects of the new year revelries, and at least 50% of the country will have abandoned the new years resolutions. It's difficult here because the majority of people think chocolate in some form is a good present, so the house looks like a branch of Thornton's. Temptation, but stayed firm so far.
         I'll be back at work in the morning on the Humber, a long day, little exercise, and a seemingly endless supply of coffee which I'll try and avoid. Caffeine has a dehydrating effect, so the body, whilst taking on liquids in the shape of the coffee itself, loses water. this in turn makes you feel peckish, as I've said earlier, one of the early side effects of dehydration is feeling hungry. I'll have a couple of home made flapjacks in my bag, a couple of bottles of water, and maybe some glucose tablets for energy.
        As for exercise, I'll be getting up an hour early and a brisk 5 miles to the papershop and back, kick everything off and wake me up.

        If you are taking part in the Parish for the first time and haven't exercised in a while, it's a good idea to have a check up. Particular attention should be paid to blood pressure and cholesterol levels, a normal healthy adult on the outside can be different on the inside. If you are starting training now, (there are still almost 6 months to go so plenty of time) or are just inproving your current health in preparation, good fitting walking shoes and loose-ish clothing to allow the skin to breath, if you haven't exercised in a while there will be sweat. Build up gradually with short managable distances and rest every three or four days, or whenever you feel pain in the muscles or joints. Pushing too hard can cause long term damage. Warm up with stretches, especially hamstrings, calves and quads, and don't start straight off at a gallop, walk slowly and build up over a few minutes to get the blood circulating and warm up the muscles. On nearing the end of your walk, ease off and let the muscles cool off gradually, and a few more stretches when you've finished. Take enough water, and drink in sips, not all at once.
         If possible, you should be panting slightly and sweating a little (not gasping for breath, turning purple or getting dizzy, these are clues that you are trying too hard.) to benefit. Gradually building up over the weeks will push you further and make it easier.
      One more thing. try and find a like minded person to train with. You can motivate each other on those days when it looks cold and grey and you don't feel like bothering.