Thursday, 29 January 2009
It's been a quiet week on the walking front. I haven't specifically been out training but I did manage 2 miles to Tesco on Saturday (although I got the bus back!) Apart from that, all I have done is day-to-day walking back and forth from town, lectures etc. I did play football on Saturday and again yesterday, for 2 and a half hours, so I'd like to think that I have had an equivalent physical workout to doing a decent walk.
I'm sort of in limbo at the moment because it's quite a while until I am home for Easter and to my knowledge there aren't any events going on up here that can help me get motivated to go out training. Another problem is that the dark nights make it difficult to go out, in a strange way I am craving the NSC roadway! At least it's lit and relatively safe - no tree roots to trip you up although admittedly there are plenty of cars. I will just have to knuckle down and get on with it. I have thought about going to the gym and using the treadmill, and one of my housemates has said he wants to go running at least once a week, so either of those could be an option. The latter is more likely I think, so hopefully I can give that a try.
I've been thinking about possible training routes back on the IOM that I can do when I get home, so I thought I would post my limited dossier of 6 and maybe they will give you some inspiration if you haven't tried them already. I tend to stick to what I know and am not really too adventurous, but there are plenty of very nice walks out there if the weather is good and you have the time. In ascending order then:
6. NSC Roadway: I know for some people this would be hell on earth, going round and round the same track and seeing the same things every 10 minutes or so. I only just started training there in the week before Christmas, but I was pleasantly surprised. There are no nasty hills and it's very convenient for me from home. There is always the traffic to contend with, but this only tends to be really bad near to the astro pitch, and if you are there late enough after work you can generally get a good few laps in without being disturbed. Human company or an i-Pod come in handy though...it is monotonous.
5. Marine Drive:. Yes it may be boring, but I have found it very handy during TT week for last-minute training where you just want to keep 'ticking over' without going too far. In the past I have parked at the Port Soderick end and walked right the way along to Manx Radio and back. It's 3 miles each way so the whole thing is about 6 miles and is very pleasant to get away from the roads jam-packed with bikes. Great views on a nice day and there is always something going on out to sea if you get bored of the constant rock faces!
4. Marown 'Figure of 8': This was the first training walk I ever did for the Parish. Park at Chibbanagh Plantation on the back road from Douglas to St Marks and walk back towards Douglas until the top of the Lhergy Cripperty road into Union Mills. Go down the steep hill into the village and then follow the Parish course to the Glen Darragh road by Marown School. Still following the Parish route, go all the way to the Braaid Crossroads. Go straight on and take the first left onto the narrow Newtown Road (also part of the Parish route.) Come out on the main road by Mount Murray, turn left again and go past the hotel, and golf club to come out eventually at the nasty juncton on the St Marks back road once again. Take a left to bring you back to the plantation. It's about 8 miles, some good hill training in there but plenty of flat too. Lots of pavement and even where there is no pavement, the roads are generally quiet anyway.
3. Ballasalla/Castletown 'Figure of 8': Park in the big car park by the ford in Ballasalla next to Rushen Abbey where the recycling bins are. Follow the narrow road in the opposite direction to the ford to bring you out on the Ballasalla to Port Erin road. Carry on to Cross Four-Ways and walk against the Billown Circuit to Ballabeg Hairpin (Parish route again.) Turn right and go into the village, past where the tiny shop used to be on the left hand side, follow the Parish past Arbory Church and walk all the way to Colby. Go through the village past the pub and the Spar until you get to just before where the old Level Garage used to be, on the left hand side of the road. There is a tiny little road on the left hand side (just past the 'Welcome to Colby' sign) which goes over the railway tracks and brings you out by the big house with high walls that borders the coast road at Gansey. Alternatively you can extend this one by going left at the site where the garage was, past Strawberry Fields to bring you out by the Shore Pub.
When you get to the coast road turn left and walk up Fishers' Hill, once again against the Billown Circuit and into Castletown. Turn left at Castletown Corner, walk past the football club and all the way to Cross Four-Ways via Malew Church. Follow the way you came to get back to the car. This one is nearer 9 miles I think.
2. The Sloc: Park on Glen Road in Colby, in the lay-by on the left before Colby FC. Walk back to the main road through the village and follow the Parish route to Ballakillowey roundabout. Follow the Parish all the way up the Sloc to the Round Table. Turn right, go past South Barrule, the quarry and Magnetic Hill and follow the road all the way back, right into Colby past the water works and the football club. 11-odd miles, great hill training, don't do it in the rain though!
1. Baldwin Valley: I really like this walk. I do it from home (Saddlestone) and go to Braddan Bridge, past Jubilee Oak to the school and then Strang Crossroads. Turn right past the new Union Mills FC and take the next left which brings you to East Baldwin. Follow the road past Papermill, into the valley until after about 2 or 3 miles you get to the steep hill on your left which takes you to St Luke's Church. Go up the hill (very steep) and turn right at the junction. Follow the road round to the left past the church, down the hill and up the other side to Injebreck Reservoir. Turn left past Ard Whallin, through West Baldwin, all the way to the junction with the Mount Rule back road to Crosby. Turn left, past Ballamillaghyn and into the Strang. Go straight on towards Braddan school and retrace your steps from there. Again this is about 11 miles or so.