After a month of proper food, a fully heated house etc etc I am finally back to Uni tomorrow morning. I suppose you are thinking 'about time too' and I must admit I'm quite lucky that the holidays are so generous, but there will no doubt be plenty of work to get on with as soon as I get back. Sunday isn't a great day to travel because of all the maintenance-related disruption on the trains, so even though I leave the Island at 11 I'm not expecting to be back in the house until about 6.15.
I've had another decent week, having managed to get out walking three times and football training twice. Did a 1-hour session of walking on both Tuesday and Thursday and felt pretty good, pushing the pace at times but mainly trying to concentrate on technique. Monday and Wednesday were taken up with football, although Wednesday was pretty tough because of the wind so we mainly played games rather than trying to practice dribbling through cones and all the other skills that the manager makes us practice, as the wind was blowing things all over the place.
Our match today was cancelled due to the weather so I decided to get out walking instead. With the bad forecast I decided on a fairly sheltered route which also happens to be one of my favourites, which is around Baldwin valley. I set off from home at about 1 o'clock, having missed the best of the weather, and got home almost exactly 2 hours later before the worst of the wind and the rain, although I did get a bit battered on some of the more exposed sections.
I went from home in Saddlestone, down past Kirby Garden Centre to Braddan Bridge, then up the hill to Braddan School and the Strang Crossroads where I turned right out towards Abbeylands. Past the new Union Mills football pitch I then went left into Baldwin, following the road past the old papermill and up to the T junction before the steep hill that takes you towards St Luke's Church. Once at the top of that hill I went right, past St Luke's itself and then down the steep hill towards Injebreck reservoir. Once up the other side I then turned left, following the road past Ard Whallin through West Baldwin all the way back to Mount Rule, Strang and then back home the same way I had come. In total I think it's roughly somewhere between 9 and 10 miles. The wind was very blustery around St Luke's and also on the road just before you drop down towards Mount Rule, but I felt ok in the legs and tried to keep pushing on at a comfortable pace.
I'm very pleased with how the new trainers are shaping up, and they will be going back to Durham for training over there. I think this first week back is going to be a bit hectic but hopefully I can get some walking done before next weekend.