One of the biggest struggles I can already foresee is something that other people I’ve spoken to don’t seem to find an issue. Going home. Now please don’t get me wrong, I love my home! I love being in it, especially in my pj’s on the sofa, I love spending time there with my family and making it a lovely, comfortable place that other people are to happy spend time in too. I would much rather be at home than pretty much anywhere else, I never tire of my family nights in, tv remote in hand. However, when I go walking I love exploring new routes, seeing new things and essentially heading off on an adventure with no clue of where I might end up. This is one of the more appealing things about the long distance walks I’ll be doing in a couple of months time; heading out for the whole day with a backpack full of snacks, finding new footpaths and hopefully meeting family or friends along the way or at the end for some pub grub or a hot drink. What I don’t like the idea of, is having to loop back either retracing my steps or just coming back home on one of the many paths I walk most days of the week. I don’t know why this seems so hard to me but I just don’t enjoy treading the way I use all the time, it’s dull. I don’t even want to walk any of the Cotswold Way to find out what’s coming, I’d rather it be fresh and exciting (my teammates disagree with me on this).
I listen to music and various podcasts when I walk which does help to keep me motivated and helps the time to pass quite quickly (I must get a battery pack to prevent my phone dying on me!) but even with this, I still don’t like the journeys homeward. Walking with other people will probably help, but I think it’s a mental battle I will just have to work on myself and a mindset I will need to change with a bit of work and practice! Hopefully some of my longer walks will take me places where I will meet the family for some fun somewhere or a friend for a catch up (then a lift home!) but the shorter ones I’ll have to learn to ignore the negativity making the last leg harder than it ought to be.
This week has been a bit of a struggle anyway. I came down with a cold on Tuesday, not a particularly terrible one but enough to zap my energy and make motivating myself hard. I think the realisation of the time commitment to this challenge is also sinking in and despite doing really well with my training so far, the thoughts that this is just the beginning and the walking is going to take longer and longer every week seems quite daunting too. A couple of events got me through the week though and I’m still going to have completed over 40 miles over the past 7 days. I hit my 200km (walked in 2019) mark earlier in the week and due to wanting to celebrate this with a particular friend, I needed to hit it at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot to be where she would be. It meant a lot more miles Monday and Tuesday than a ‘standard day’ but I did it and it felt good. We also had snow this week and so Friday which would normally be my ‘long walk of the week’ day was a rest day (having said that after the school run x2 and walking up the hill to go sledging I still ended up doing over 5.5 miles!!). I decided though, that as the snow was due to fall all night Thursday and into Friday I would rest, allow my body to fight the remainder of the cold virus and cuddle up with Pepper, catching up on recorded tv in front of the fire. It was bliss. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body and give it a break. Having not walked yesterday, I did my scheduled 7 miles today instead, it was hard to get my head ready for it and it took a few miles for me to find my mojo but I completed it and am glad to have ticked it off for the week. Now I’m ready to cuddle up with my dog, children and husband for the rest of the weekend. There’s no place like home.