Monday, 30 April 2012

Houston, we have a problem....

I'm very hopeful that it isn't a big issue though.

So far during training, apart from the odd niggle, touch wood, I have been relatively injury free. My right ankle has been a bit sore and my left achilles too from time to time, but these were relatively simple to deal with - nothing a quick bag of frozen peas couldn't fix.

I woke up at 3am this morning with the most excruciating pain in my neck. I eventually got back to sleep, but it hadn't subsided when I got up for work, and throughout the day it has got progressively worse, compounded by me whacking my head as I got into the car - ouch.

I have taken various anti inflammatories during the day, and since getting in from work I have rubbed a load of deep heat cream in which has eased it slightly. I still look like Robocop when I turn though. Needless to say it has put paid to tonight's training, but I would rather miss a couple of sessions now and make sure that it's right rather than make it worse.

My Monday night walking mate Ciaran wasn't able to make tonight anyway so I would only have had myself for company. He's out watching some football match or another that carries some sort of significant importance.......come on City !!!

I have a sports massage booked in for Thursday night so if I am still suffering then, hopefully this will help.

Since the SK, I have only done last Thursday's session, the little Laxey wander on Friday and I did a Ballaragh Loop yesterday about 2.45pm. If you'd seen me, you could be forgiven for thinking it was mid-winter. I was regaled in full winter training gear complete with  full length skins, thermal vest and woolly hat. It was freezing, and that was before the hail started!

The two miles from the top of Menorca Hill to Bulghan was into a gale, and the hail felt like someone was sandblasting my face. I had to walk almost bent double and lead with the top of my head. I can't help but feel that this style may have something to do with my sore neck.

By cutting out Laxey Village and cutting down Old Laxey Hill and up Menorca Hill shaves off about a mile from the loop, and I managed 8.5 miles flat out averaging 11.18 minute miles which equates to just under 5.4mph. I was really pleased with that time given the prevailing conditions, but also the effort from the previous week.

I also took the decision to blow the dust off an old pair of Saucony trainers, the ones I completed last year's PW in. The Asics that I have been wearing gave me a blister last week, and I also blame them for the deep rooted one too as it was from wearing these trainers that it started as a normal blister that I just left and left. I wanted to see if I could notice any difference by changing shoes. I certainly did, and although the Saucony's hardly touched my feet, ok I know I only did a short distance, but the lack of support in comparison to either of my Asics pairs was a stark contrast. On this basis, the Saucony's are definitely going to remain as a back-up pair.

So I am down to which of the two Asics pairs will make the cut. Rich Wild has been trying to convince me to buy a pair of Mizuno Elixirs, and whilst they do look good, and he vouches for their comfort and support, I am a little dubious about trying to break a new pair in at this late stage without inadvertently wrecking my feet. I think these will be a good option for the End to End and if I achieve my Parish goal this year, I may buy them for myself as a little treat !

So, the big day is 7 weeks away, and as Richard Gerrard mentioned in his blog, if you want to take part you have precisely 2 weeks to get your entry in. Entries close at 23.59 on 13 May so for those of you who have been putting Traa Di Looar into practice, you need to get signed up pronto. If you miss this time, you will not get in. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Do you know what, cos I'm such a nice bloke, I'll even do part of the work for you. Click on the link below, and that will take you straight to the online entry page.

Yes I am going to stop being lazy and sign up for the 2012 Parish Walk because it is going to be a brilliant event.

I fully expect to see the entries increase significantly now !!!

Happy training.

ps. For those who really care, I'll give a midweek update on the neck progress. For those that don't I'll still do it anyway.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Fa(s)t Eddie

I mentioned the other week about a photo surfacing of me a few years ago when I was carrying a bit of excess timber. Did I just say a bit?? Ok, loads more than I should have been.

Well hopefully last Sunday's result has confirmed that the transition is almost complete. As the strange title of this blog suggests, I once was Fat Eddie, but now, hopefully Fast Eddie is a more appropriate name.

Just so you can see where I'm coming from, here is an old pic of me from only 6 years ago. Incidentally, this is me only a few weeks after the 2006 End to End Walk at a golf weekend with a bunch of my 'celebrity' mates. I still to this day cannot believe I was knocking on 19 stone, and I really take pride in the fact that I have managed to shed over 4 stone and obviously done wonders for my health and life expectancy.

This isn't the actual photo that made me gasp, and then laugh uncontrollably on my way to Spain, and hopefully when Bruno can actually find it again, I will publish it just for a laugh.

Back Row L-R Tony Meo, Fat Eddie, Bruno
Front Row L-R Bruce Forsythe, Harry Potter, 'The' Rob Mason
 Training this week has been slow as you would expect as recovery from Sunday continues. I did nothing until Thursday night which was the rearranged session from Wednesday night. It started steady with a few gentle laps of the NSC with Steve, Simon, Caroline and Tom Partington - the laziest person in the history of the world but has quite simply the most natural race walking technique. No idea where he gets that from!!!

We stepped it up a little when Shaun Dean joined us. Shaun took part in the Sara Killey last weekend, but his race came to an abrupt end as his technique was a little close to the edge. This was his first visit to a proper race walking session, and although he took a few goes to get the basics right, he definitely has something and with a bit more practice I can see him doing extremely well.

Tonight, as it was such a lovely evening, we decided to take the kids for a stroll round Laxey. We parked up at Axnfell, and headed towards Rencell Hill, and cut in to the public footpath that drops down into the Laxey Glen and takes you up the other side to the allotments on Baldhoon Road. After a serious descent through the trees, we came out by the river, and instead of climbing up the other side, we took a breather in the Glen Gardens park whilst the kids played on the swings. We then wandered along the river towards the flour mill and after getting back on to the main road, we cut back up another public footpath (that I never knew existed) which crossed Axnfell Lane and brought us back up to the top of Rencell Hill. Caroline and the kids decided to stroll back along the remainder of the footpath that comes out by Lonan Church, and I wandered back to Axnfell to get the car. Although there was absolutely no pace involved, it was a really nice walk to get out and stretch the legs and just keep ticking over.

I've nothing planned for the weekend, but I suspect I will get out one of the days and see how the recovery has gone. We have 8 weeks to go now until the big day is upon us, so really speaking there are probably 5 weeks of proper training left with the last 3 for slowing down and tapering. So this is a last call for training, if you are thinking of attempting any kind of serious distance in the Parish ( and I mean no disrespect to those whose aim is Rushen) get out training now, as if you leave it any longer, believe me, it'll be too late.

Get the trainers on, and get pounding those pavements!!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It's official

The official results are in from Sunday, and I am delighted to say that my own time was only a minute out, so I managed to complete the course in 6hrs 3 mins and 38 seconds.

This is an improvement of 23 minutes 7 seconds or almost 45 seconds a mile quicker. I think it goes to show what some real hard training can do for you.

Everything seems to be healing well, I expected to be pretty sore today as usually it's the day after the day after that the real pain and stiffness sets in, but today I've felt good. I can feel it in my legs still, but I even managed a little trot upstairs before. I didn't mention in my last blog but I ended up with 2 blisters on my right heel. One was simply a surface blister and after draining it, it seems to have disappeared already - happy days, the other is a recurrence of a more deep rooted long standing blister that was under a think layer of hard skin.

This one has shown itself several times during training but after a couple of hours each time, it has disappeared. Enough is enough though, and I think the only way for it to heal properly is to take the top off it (I know there is a medical term for it, but I can't remember what it is) and let it heal from inside out. So armed with a needle and a pair of cuticle clippers I cut all the skin off and ended up with a what I can only describe as a red raw hole on the inside of my heel now.  I whacked a compeed straight over the top, and bingo, it feels as good as new.

I am not for one minute condoning tackling at your feet with sharp implements because what works for me may not work for you, so please please don't issue me with a solicitor's letter if you try it and it goes wrong and end up with a gangrenous limb!!!

So little training this week whilst I recover, and the usual Wednesday night session has been moved to Thursday this week, and moved from Laxey to the NSC. So, if you have an hour to spare between 6pm and 7pm, please consider it as the benefits are tremendous.

Before I sign off, I forgot to say a huge thank you to the organisers from Sunday for another great event, and to the volunteers who gave up their spare time to marshall, keep time, and generally make sure the event ran smoothly, without them, we wouldn't have such great events.

Monday, 23 April 2012

My legs hurt !

And so does my ankle, and so do my feet. Nips are great though - aren't plasters brilliant?

Yesterday was the Sara Killey Memorial Walk, and for those of you unfamiliar with the race, it's a hi-tempo 50k from Peel Fire Station to Ramsey Fire Station via the Parish Walk route.

It all kicked off at 8.30 and the conditions were spot on, I have to admit that I did panic a little when I saw the grey clouds hanging over Peel, but the rain stayed off virtually all day, and what little did fall eventually, was minimal.

I started a little too quick (as per usual), but before I even crossed the main Peel to Douglas Road I'd had a word with myself and started to ease off and began to drop back into the field. Leaving Peel I was on my own, and continued to be so until about 5 miles in when I was caught by Shaun Nesbitt, and we walked along together. We were soon caught by Shaun's friend and Parish Walk regular finisher Sam Draper.

The three of us set a good pace, and I felt very comfortable until such time nature was knocking on my door. Just after Jurby I couldn't hold any longer and snuck down a farm lane to 'go'. As I peered over the hedge I saw Shaun and Sam disappear off into the distance. Fortunately I didn't get caught by anyone during my pitstop (say that after a couple of beers and it will sound exactly like what it was) and managed to get back into a reasonable rhythm. I caught and passed 'Lon' Chambers just at the top of the Lhen, who said he was struggling a little. I felt bad leaving him as I always want to try and encourage people as much as I possibly can, but he is a well seasoned veteran, and there is nothing I can tell him considering that I am wet behind the ears in terms of experience compared to this guy.

About a couple of miles from Bride Sue Biggart caught me, and we walked together pretty much to the village until such point the hills just took their toll and I dropped back about 10 yards behind her. It really was great walking with people with such huge experience and I have to say that even in the twenty or so minutes I walked with Sue, she has to be one of the most positive people I have ever walked with, and I will take her outlook with me as much as I possibly can.

So on into Andreas and literally just before the roundabout I caught one of my regular training partners Stewie Jones who had started off really well, but by now was really struggling with cramp, he told me to go on and not let him slow me up, and again, I felt really bad leaving him behind, but when I thought about it I wouldn't want to slow anyone up either so on I went.

My mile splits had become a little slower, but I knew that I was just about on course to arrive in Ramsey at around the 6 hour mark which was my goal. The final few miles are a blur really, I just remember doing my absolute best to try and get my splits under 12 minutes which I think I managed twice out of the last 7 miles. I put my iPod on to try and focus my mind for the last stretch from the Ginger Hall to the finish, it did work, but didn't mask the pain in my legs. The only vivid things in my memory was passing a bunch of hikers by the Grammar School and having to get into the road as they were walking almost 3 abreast, but just before that, Richard Gerrard virtually hanging out of a car window shouting encouragement - thanks Rich, that gave me a last lift to cover the last couple of miles. I eventually crossed the line in just over 6 hours and 2 minutes according to the magic watch, but I need to see the official timing to work out how much I managed to knock off last year's time. All in all however I was and still am really pleased with my effort. I'm also pleased that I managed to mix it with some people who only a year ago I would have thought were far too quick for me, and I can only put this down to the regular sessions with Party so I must say a huge thanks to him for his advice and also my various training partners so far this year particularly those who have pushed me faster and faster.

There is still a lot of hard work to go in, and a few hundred miles to be covered before the ultimate test, but I think that training is well on course and Sunday has demonstrated that I have come a long long way in the past 12 months.

There are a number of people who deserve huge congratulations, notably Michael for another phenomenal record breaking performance, my fellow blogger Richard for yet another pb, and to break the 5 hour barrier for the first time when he didn't think it was possible. Dave Walker - wow, where did that come from?? Well done Dave a great performance, and that underlines what Richard has been saying about your improvement this year. Michelle Turner fantastic performance to be the first lady, I reckon you'd have been quicker if you hadn't had Rich Wild holding you back ;o), Simon Briggs - well done fella a brilliant time, I'll catch you one of these days, and also to Tony McNally, an unofficial Parish Walk blogger who I met for the first time on Sunday. Considering this was his first attempt at any sort of event, I take my hat off to him for a tremendous performance - well done!

Finally, a huge congratulations to my sister and bro-in-law, Lou and Julian Thomas for both completing the London Marathon in a very respectable time of 5h 06mins. Considering Julian had to undergo 5 days worth of intensive physio just to even get to the start line is nothing short of phenomenal. Now that's over, you can start training for a proper event!

Well done one and all, see you out and about training, remember, the big one is now only 9 weeks away.


Oops, I did say to Sam yesterday that I would publish a link to my garmin download so she could see the split times. I think we walked from just after the Devil's Elbow which is around 6 miles to about 2 miles after the prison, so the splits for that period will be from mile 6 through to around mile 16 or 17 (these distances are consistent with faster splits too).

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A sleepless night???

As I write there are 13.5 hours to go until the start of the Sara Killey. The burning question is how many of those will I sleep for??

Don't know what it is, but I always get nervous the night before a big race, and this one will be no different I suspect.

To help alleviate any nerves and insomnia, I will make sure that all my kit is checked, double checked and then finally triple checked before I go to bed. My food and drink has been dropped off at my mate Dicko's who is supporting me tomorrow, so it's too late to change anything if I've missed it, but as I checked that 3 times then I should be ok.

The forecast actually looks good now, I have checked the BBC website, and compared that with Metcheck, and the likelihood of rain is very low indeed (never say never, so make sure you pack waterproofs just in case), the temperature probably won't get much above 10 degrees so it will be relatively comfortable, and there is little wind. It does look like rain in the north of the Island when we start, but by the time even the leaders reach Bride it will have cleared.

Fingers crossed !!

So, there's 188 people entered which is around 60 odd more than finishers last year, so if my maths is correct, the entry is around 50% greater, which is just fantastic, and hopefully year by year it will continue to grow. Not only is this a great warm up for the Parish to give people a real benchmark as to where they are in terms of training, it is also a tremendous event in its own right, and a huge thank you must go out to the organisers, and volunteers who spend so much of their own time making sure the event runs smoothly.

Right, I'm full of pasta, that kit isn't going to check itself, so I'm off. See you all in the morning, good luck, and stay safe.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A week of hard rest.....

Well the time is almost upon us whereby the year's training thus far will be really put to the test. If you haven't entered for the Sara Killey on Sunday, I'm afraid to say it's too late, and you'll have to wait til next year.

For those of you who have entered, then believe me, it will be a great tester to see just how prepared you are, and give you a really good insight into what effort you will need to put in between now and June to get yourself in the best possible shape to give the Parish a really good go. Reading Richard Gerrard's blog, it really hit home when he said that your training should be peaking in terms of total mileage over the next 4 to 6 weeks, where has the time gone?

So a quick training update, well to be honest I haven't done a huge amount this week. I was away over the weekend in Benidorm for a mate's stag weekend, and other than two rounds of pretty top drawer golf (I have the trophy to prove it), I really did no other exercise. I did plan on taking my kit with me, but as we only took hand luggage, space was at a premium and therefore it had to stay at home. I have to say also that it wouldn't have qualified as warm weather training either as it was cold and it rained both days we were there. I can therefore say that the weekend was an extremely effective rest session.....I just need to detox now!!

So since last blog, I did 9 very quick miles last Tuesday, a hugely disappointing intervals session on Wednesday - a very busy day at work meant no time for lunch, and by the time I got home, I literally had enough time to change and go and meet up with the Laxey regulars at Party's house. One flat out 1.4 mile lap wiped me out, and I literally just could not get going. This is a prime example of what lack of food does to you and the outcome. Put it this way, never again will I train on an empty stomach, I was so disappointed with myself. Thursday was a quick 7 miles, but then the weekend came and gave me the perfect opportunity to shut the trainers away for a few days and enforce some relaxation ahead of Sunday's race.

I have arranged to do a 6 mile lap round Glen Roy tomorrow night with the Wednesday gang but I think this will be relatively sedentary as I don't want to end up pulling something and ruin all that good rest I have put in since last week !!!

So finally, onto Sunday and what promises to be a great race with plenty of familiar faces, and hopefully lots of new ones too. I am aiming to improve my time for a second consecutive year. I did around 6hrs 40 mins in 2010, 6hrs 25 last year, and my aim this year is to get as close to 6 hours as possible. Unfortunately the forecast doesn't look that great at this point, but as it's only Tuesday there is a good chance that it will change a good few times before Sunday.

My advice would be to keep an eye on the forecast right up til Sunday and make sure that you pack the kit that will suit the conditions best.

I'll give a brief last minute update probably on Saturday night, but unless you read it, I wish all of you good luck, I hope you really enjoy it and get out of it what you require, and I look forward to seeing you all on the start line at 8.30.


Just done a quick check on the long term weather forecast site Metcheck, and it looks like Sunday is actually going to be a good day, very little wind, maximum temperature of 8 degrees, and most importantly NO RAIN !!!!

So other than being a little chilly, but nothing that can't be fixed by a base layer (must remember plasters), it looks like perfect conditions. Chances are it will change again though by Sunday, but on the strength of this, hopefully not.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Do as I say, not as I do.......

Not sure how many times I've banged on so far about lubrication and making sure that areas that rub are protected.

Last thing I said to myself before I went out this morning, 'I mustn't forget to put plasters on my nips', I have done the last couple of times I've been out and they're getting a bit sore.

Well, this picture speaks for itself, and if you need any motivation as to why you should put plasters on or cover them in some way, then this should be more than enough. Christ they hurt!

Stop squirting ketchup at me!
From now on, there is absolutely no excuse to get out without plasters, micropore or similar adorning my chest. 

I promised blog before last that I would give an insight into the kit that I use, so without further ado.....


Previously I have been a huge fan of Saucony trainers, and every long distance walk I have entered and completed bar one, have been in a pair of these. Knocking round the house and garage I have around 6 different pairs in various states of wear, but only two would be of any use to use on the day. It was my sister who put me on to these originally after seeing me limp out of Dalby in the 2006 E2E in a battered old pair of Nike trainers that were designed more for fashion than practicality. Never since have I done anything other than in a pair designed specifically for use. 

Despite my height, I only take size 10's but all of my trainers are a 10.5. I find that the extra bit of room in the toe box adds to the comfort and allows my [small girly] toes to move around without risk of toe nail damage.

This year, I have bought a couple of pairs of Asics which are both extremely comfortable and it will be these that I will be wearing on the big day, barring any mishaps between now and then.

I think it's really important to have more than one pair of trainers worn in at any one time, just on the off chance that something does happen to one, such as a pet dog either demolishing them or your cat using them as an impromptu litterbox. More likely though, if we get a repeat of 2008, then you will have a spare dry pair to put on.

Footwear is very important, and a pair that you like the look of may cripple you, so I would suggest that you go and get fitted properly.


Having followed the Parish blogs for the last few years, and spoken to loads of people, socks are the biggest question raiser.

I use twin skin 1000 Mile socks, and have in the past used padded socks too. My distinct preference however I have to say is the twin skin, the inner layer fits tight against the skin, and then the outer layer slightly looser to allow the two layers to move independently of each other. I kind of fell across these socks, when I first started walking, someone had mentioned the make so I went out and bought the first pair I saw. I have replaced them about 7 times, but still swear by the same style. As with all kit, spares should be carried on the day in case your feet get wet, or you can change them for a bit of a psychological boost.


I touched on these in an earlier blog, but my favourite are lycra shorts, similar to cycling shorts just without the padding. These are great for keeping chaffing to a minimum and also provide support to the quads when they tire.


I go for lightweight shorts, but pretty much any kind will do really. I would suggest however that if you plan on going further than Peel, keep away from longer style canvas shorts as they will rub and cause havoc especially if it is a hot day and you sweat a lot and they will become heavy if it rains. Later on, I opt to put on my long tights which keep my legs warm as the temperature drops, but also provide much needed support for extremely tired muscles.


In all of the races and events I have taken part in, I have always used a technical type t-shirt (similar to the one in the above picture - in fact that is my favourite, and has been the one worn on the start line for both my successes). This type of shirt is great as it is breathable, very lightweight and actually wicks the sweat away from the body. I usually carry 3 or 4 of these in my back up car in case on gets wet or I spill something down it. I also make sure I have a long sleeve top with me for when the temperature drops.


My trusty hi-viz jacket goes everywhere with me, and this normally gets put on around midnight once it becomes quite cold. Although shower proof, it's not 100% waterproof, but does the job if the rain isn't too bad.

I always carry at least 2 changes of clothes with me just in case I need to change, but I would encourage everyone to try out their kit in training well before the big day. The biggest thing you should be concentrating on now is getting those trainers broken in if they aren't already. It's no use rocking up on the day with a pair of brand spankers as they'll start to make themselves known well before you've dubbed at the first church.

As there are only 11 weeks to go, this gives you probably just enough time to get them broken in and ready.

Finally, listen to your back up in relation to kit. They are in and out of the car so will notice a drop in temperature better than you will, so when they tell you to wrap up, do it. Make sure you also carry a woolly hat, gloves and blanket in the car too, Bulgham at 3am is no fun when your head is freezing and your hands are dropping off. The blanket is your best friend when you finish. It is remarkable how quickly you go cold when you stop moving, and after you have taken some time to take it all in at the end you will be cold, so get wrapped up.

Right, where did I put those plasters.... 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


[fawr-ti-tood, -tyoodnoun
mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger or temptation courageously.

To complete the Parish Walk, you need fortitude, and you need it by the bucket load, believe me.

It was interesting at the Walk Talk last week, at one point Kevin Walmsley asked the panel to write down how much of the walk is mental. The difference in answers was quite marked, but I particularly liked Steve Taylor's interpretation. He said that beyond Andreas, for him it was 100% mental, as he had no intention of stopping but he was physically exhausted.

This is fortitude.

You don't only need fortitude on the day, you often need it when training and after the weekend's wobble, I needed it to get myself back out on the road. I have found that pushing yourself through the mental barrier when training whether it be just to get out or to push yourself that little bit further helps train the mindset. Being a stubborn so and so also helps.

So, since my missing weekend, I did a 9 mile loop of Baldwin on Monday night with Simon Briggs and Stewie Jones. We set of from Simon's house at one hell of a pace, and for the remainder of the walk we hardly let up only to navigate the many hills, but I think the lay off at the weekend really helped. We finished in just over 1hr 36mins meaning an average of 5.6mph which I was well pleased with. It was quite a nice evening too and I really enjoyed walking with guys who are quicker than me as it really helps me focus and push on. Just on the way past the abattoir, we bumped into Dave Walker who was going the other way for a lap, it really is a popular route and I would encourage anyone who hasn't done it yet to get out there, the views are breathtaking, the hills more so!

As the kids are on Easter hols at the minute, I am relieved of the morning school run. As such, I have decided that over the course of the next couple of weeks to walk to or home from work a couple of times as  it is something a bit different and I'm effectively killing two birds with one stone. I decided that today I would walk home, so Caroline and the kids all piled into the car this morning and dropped me on Athol Street complete with my PE kit.

I persuaded a colleague of mine James who is aiming to complete the Parish this year to nip to his house in Onchan and get his kit and we could at least walk that far together. We set off from the office at about 5.15pm, and as soon as we dropped down onto Lord Street we realised that it was going to be tough work all the way. One of the guys at work had said that he had heard it was snowing in Castletown just before we left. Well, this snow had moved rapidly northwards and was starting in Douglas.

By the time we got to the Prom, the snow had turned to hail, and we were walking into a driving headwind. The temperature was obviously low, but the fierce wind made it feel several degrees lower still. I later found out that it was around 3 degrees. 

We really struggled along the Prom, as the wind was coming straight off the sea and made walking almost impossible. James suggested that he could ring his girlfriend and she would come and get us. I told him that we wouldn't entertain anything of the sort, and he should get his head down and work hard. I told him that if he is aiming to complete the Parish, he can't pick and choose the conditions and he should be familiar and comfortable walking in all conditions.

By the tome we got to Summerhill and away from the sea front, the wind dropped, and although it's a steep hill, it was more comfortable than the flat of the walkway. I waved goodbye to James at the top of Royal Ave, and knuckled down for the last 4 miles to my house. From the top of the Whitebridge to the LA was tough, as was the open section of Baldrine as the wind came straight down from Conrhenny, but I battled on. I eventually made it back to mine averaging 12 minute miles so 5mph for 6.5 miles into a headwind all the way and contending with snow and hail made me feel pretty content.

The training wheels are back on, and I'm glad to say that I demonstrated a good level of fortitude.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Pull yer socks up!!!

I said last week that I perhaps needed to slow my training a little to try and let my body recover from some really hard sessions. Well for some reason, I seem to have lost my motivation. After my 20 miler last Sunday, I went out Monday night and did a pretty quick 7 miles, I missed the usual Wednesday session as I went to see Scarlett perform in Brownies Got Talent, and then finished the week with 5 miles in 55 minutes on Thursday night which included Kewaigue hill into a headwind.

I am ashamed to say that since then I have done absolutely nothing. I had planned on getting out this afternoon for a dozen miles but just couldn't seem to get myself motivated.

It seems a little strange because this time last year I turned a corner in my preparation, and the Walk Talk really gave me a mental kick up the backside and taught me not to rest on my laurels. The opposite seems to have happened this year, and before I get loads of complaints, it was nothing to do with the night itself which again was a fantastic event and hopefully everyone who went got a lot out of it. All the talkers were informative and interesting and really know their subject matter well.

In actual fact I put today's lethargy down to one of 2 significant happenings. I was out Friday on my mates Manx stag do and it's fair to say that I was extremely worse for wear yesterday morning and this may have had a knock on effect to today. I must take this opportunity to thank the bus driver who woke me up at Ballacannell bus stop, and if it hadn't been for this I would probably have spent an uncomfortable night in Ramsey bus station or probably got my dozen miles in a day earlier than I expected.

The second and most probable explanation was the feeling of deflation after another absolutely diabolical display by the red half of Merseyside. That is 6 defeats in their last 7 games and creates the forgettable statistic of them taking only 4 points out of the last 24 available. If we didn't have sufficient points to guarantee Premier League football for next year, I would seriously be worrying. I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but the soone the football season is over the better.

Anyway, back to training, or lack of as the case seems to be. My opportunities for good length walks over the next couple of weekends are minimal as my sister in law gets married next Saturday and unless I can sneak out for a few miles in the morning, I expect that Sunday will be another write off. The following weekend I am away on my mates stag weekend in Spain, so although I will bring my PE kit with me, chances are it won't see light of day. That said, as I mentioned last time, the Sara Killey memorial walk is 3 weeks today, and ideally I don't want to have the effects of any serious distance in my legs so the enforced training slow down could be welcomed.

As I was convalescing on the couch yesterday afternoon, I had a quick fire exchange of texts with Richard Wild who gave me an update on his training this weekend which was pretty impressive, but in addition, he gave me a link to a fantastic website with tips for drinks for long distance events. Rather than regurgitate what it says, have a look at this link

There are a couple or ideas on hee that I will be certainly trying out when I do get round to training again just to see if they work for me. If not, it'll be back to normal drinks. Trying things out in training is extremely important as it really is a dummy run and if your body rejects something whether it is food or drink, then it has been a worthwhile exercise as you don't want to experience something like that on the day itself. This also goes for training gear. By now you should be training in the trainers you plan to wear on the day, and trying out different clothing combinations. Seriously, trying something new on the day can be he difference between a finish and having to give up at Maughold with blisters or world class chaffing.

Next blog I will give you a run down of the type of kit that I use and what I have done and when, and what has and hasn't worked for me.

Right, time to go and give myself a serious talking to.