124 days to go

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By 7am I was on the trail – it was early enough that no-one had seen me set off; the motorhome dwellers were still tucked up in their vehicles in the carpark, the axe-murderer was hopefully still tucked up in his bed at home. Five hours later I would get back alive. Fear faced. ((Somehow walking solo on tracks accessible on foot from my house seems less threatening than tracks you have to drive to – even though it’s the same bush….completely irrational)
Then I came across a stream. A wide stream. A wide stream without a bridge and without stepping stones. There was nothing for it, but to doff the socks and sandals and wade across. It’s an irrational fear, that one about crossing streams. Don’t know where it came from, but I do know last time I was in a similar situation I turned around and went back to whence I’d just come. This time I plunged in up to my knees. Second fear faced and conquered.

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Not too far up the path (and I do mean UP), it disappeared. The path, that is. In its place was a wall of rock with some silver chain hanging off it. I don’t do rock climbing. But there was no way I was going back into that freezing cold stream just yet, so I faced a third fear and hung on for dear life. I was so glad I did because it was all over in a under a minute and turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I had imagined it could be. Truth be known, you could have scrambled over the rocks unaided, but the chain was a nice comfort. I guess I still don’t do rockclimbing.

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Last week’s training:
4km round the block (recovering from bug)
11km interval training of sorts
14km demanding enough bush walk (up Zion Hill, down Buck Taylor, Pararaha Valley, up Muir, back down Muir, Pararaha Valley, get stranded in bog, play Bear Grylls and rescue self, trudge into head wind along the beach back to Karekare carpark)

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131 days to go

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Last week I bounded through 39km and was eager to set out for my first marathon this week. An extra three more kilometres – how hard could it be? Turns out the last quarter was pretty miserable and I ran through possible lessons to learn in my head: don’t eat dinner so late the night before that you can’t stomach a decent breakfast * make mid-week training a priority * get adequate rest * don’t take your knee brace out of your pack and forget to put it back in * possibly consider carrying joint cream as an emergency item * experiment with different foods to eat while walking

But maybe none of that was to blame. The I-want-to-throw-up feeling that had started with 7km to go worsened as the evening wore on and a fever developed too. Two of the kids were vomiting before the night was out. So maybe the real take-home lesson was *even if you are brewing a bug, you can walk a marathon if you are determined enough*

Last Week’s Training
(Completely non-existent due to sick kids and out-of-family dramas)
42km in one hit

138 days to go

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I still haven’t found shoes that fit, but my holes-in-the-soles pair keep going. They did 38.9km on Saturday – the most I have ever walked in one day. The shoes were fine and I felt strong. I maintained a steady 5.8km/hr, which is a dawdle when you consider the fastest marathon racers cover their distance in just over two hours. But I am not Kenyan and I’m not running either.
At the end of Saturday’s walk I felt like I could go on forever. And actually I’d only need to keep going for another 24 hours – so with four more months of training, increasing the distance by 10% each week, this event is entering the realms of Very Real Possibility.

Last Week’s Training:
only the one walk 38.9km
(to Mt Albert to Epsom to Remuera to Parnell to Newmarket and home again)

145 days to go

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When you walk a long way on your own you have a few hours to think. On recent long walks I have got to thinking that walking 100,000km sounds like a really cool idea;-) Easier than 100km in just over a day! Admittedly, it would take about a decade. Or six months a year for twenty-five years if my maths is right. Doable. Where could 100,000km take you? Any suggestions? I’ll think about it on next week’s walks, I’m sure!

Last week’s walks:
7.1km at Cornwallis
34.6km from home to Britomart via Mt Albert and Sandringham, then back via Ponsonby and Pt Chevalier
13.9km Home to Arataki and back

Total: 55.6km