Saturday morning, not working until this afternoon, so I would normally walk out for a newspaper and lotteries. Normally, as my walk into town is 4 miles, with 4 miles back, so keeping the feet hard and muscles used to the action. I have a 10 mile race tomorrow in Coventry though, so yesterday mornings 10 miles was the last, and rest today, carb up, good food stored in the body for tomorrow, mainly carbs, porridge etc, and 1000 calories over the norm because ten miles will burn it off easly. Should burn 2000 calories+ just in the race! Some stretching though, later and tomorrow morning, and definitely warm up tomorrow.
Warming up. For something like the Parish, warming up doesn't involve two minutes of half hearted stretching, especially when you'll end up possibly half an hour stood waiting for the start! In the last couple of years I've gone off too quickly which I've paid for later. Last year I tried to keep up with the leaders up to Santon, and it was nearly 5 miles in before Jock had warmed up and shot past me and the others to take his place at the front. It's 85 miles, and the first 5 miles is the most important. walk gently, slow pace, and you'll feel the aching muscles gradually ease as the muscles warm through thoroughly, lactic acid development is cleared, and the chamce of muscle damage or injury by pushing cold muscles is drastically reduced. Remember, even if you only walk at 3mph, you're only losing 10 or at most 20 minutes. Time that can easily be caught up in the next few hours, leaving you better prepared for the longer distances.
In the same vein, if you stop for any reason, changing shoes or clothing, blister treatment, food and drink stops, you'll feel stiff and ungainly when you start up again, even to the point of pain. This is the muscles warming down too quickly and not prepared to start again. Once again, take a couple of miles slowly to warm up again.
As I'm sat doing nothing, I've sky plussed Wainwrights coast to coast walks with Julia Bradbury. 190 miles from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire. Through some of the most beautiful country including the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors. 5 days of rolling countryside, fresh air and walking. Five years ago I would have watched this (I lie, I wouldn't have watched it, I would have put the Simpsons on...) and said it was mad. Now though, I watch this and wonder, could I do it in four days, and when can I fit it into my schedule. All down to doing the Parish. When I first took part in 2007, it was a personal mental and physical challenge, but once it was done, the plan was to go back to my sedentary lifestyle, pub, telly, etc, and that would be that. I changed though, and I urge you to do the same. If you are taking part for the first time just because i's there and you want to tick it off the things to do, go on and find other challenges, other achievements to tick off. Most people see mountains as pretty things to look at, but out of reach. I look at them and wonder which way up and down will be the most interesting, and, in the end, rewarding.