Sunday, 26 April 2009
I've not long been back in the house after the Sara Killey walk today. Weather conditions were virtually perfect, with the sun pleasant but not too warm and quite a bit of cloud around to keep the temperature just about right. There was also a very pleasant breeze on the coastal sections, especially between Peel and Kirk Michael and Ballaugh to Jurby.
It's still too early after the race for any results, especially as we didn't use the Manx Telecom timing wristbands this time, however I do know that Mark Hempsall won the race. Jock Waddington was second in 5h 3 mins but I don't have a time for Mark at the moment - fantastic walks from both of them and well done to Mark who is hopefully hitting his best form at just the right time. Apart from that I know nothing else so fingers crossed that the results might be published tomorrow so we can get a clearer picture.
From a personal point of view I suffered bad blisters again, which started even before Kirk Michael. I had to stop in Jurby for a change of plasters and this seemed to help for a while, but then I felt one of them burst just on the section before Bride. After this it was much less painful but my feet were in a bit of a sorry state by the time I got to Ramsey. I get blisters in the same place without fail every time I walk, and have gone through 3 pairs of trainers and 3 different pairs of socks in the 3 or so years I have been walking but the same thing happens, so I am at a bit of a loss.
I expect socks are most of the problem because today's pair weren't nearly as comfortable over 30 miles as they are over 12! Added to that, I don't think the second skin plaster I put on at the start was really thick enough to act as an effective cushion. I do always put plasters on beforehand, with the hope of preventing rather than having to cure, but predictably there is always some discomfort. I'm considering more extreme measures like taping my feet - I've never done this before and am just getting my teeth into a book with some advice about this so hopefully that will pay off.
On a much more positive note, I completed the distance quite a lot faster than I had expected to, without any cramp. The legs were a bit tight from Jurby onwards, particularly my left hamstring, but I felt ok and the pain didn't get any worse so I was able to press on at the same speed. It was a bit lonely on some of the northern parts of the course but again I struck up some nice conversation with fellow walkers and had a lot of people I could see in the distance to aim for, which I think always helps spur you on. At the end I was 100% more mobile than last year, so I think the training I am doing and my general fitness must be paying off. Hopefully I can keep moving around the house tonight (on tiptoes) to stop everything siezing up!