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Five more sleeps…

June 7, 2010

The Caledonian Challenge used to be one of those things that seemed so far away it probably wouldn’t really happen.  Now it’s next weekend.  Only five more sleeps (except we’ll be getting up so early to make our 7am start time that it’s really only four and a half).  It doesn’t quite seem real.

The good thing is, I’m more excited than scared.  This is the opposite of how I felt a few months ago.  We have trained and trained and, a couple of weekends ago, completed the Longest Walk Training Weekend.  This involved two 20+ mile walks, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.

Saturday saw us heading to the Pentlands, climbing a few of those and then circling round and somehow (I wasn’t the one with the map) ending up coming back into Edinburgh along the water of Leith.  By the time we reached Edinburgh city centre we had, according to the sports tracker I have discovered on my mobile phone, walked 22 miles.  And I felt okay. Hot (it was that incredibly sunny weekend) and tired, but basically okay.

A big noodle stir-fry (eaten while watching the Fellowship of the Ring – perfect post-walk viewing, I plan to watch the complete trilogy next Sunday) and a good night’s sleep and off we went again.

Sunday’s walk began with a train journey to Linlithgow.  We then walked back to Edinburgh along the Union Canal.  The Union Canal website claims that this is 18 miles.  My sports tracker says 21.5.  It felt more like 21.5.  The Sunday felt even hotter than the Saturday, probably due to the lack of shade.  I don’t like heat.  At least, not when I have to walk 21.5 miles in it.  If we had spent the day sitting in park drinking Pimms I may have felt differently.  But we didn’t.  Alas.  There were some grumpy moments on the Sunday.  But we made it.  And, despite the heat, I once again felt pretty much okay.  The giant Chinese takeaway we rewarded ourselves with at the end of the walk no doubt helped.

And that was the last of our official training.  Since then I’ve just been keeping things ticking over by walking to work and taking myself to the gym a couple of times a week.  On Saturday, we met for our final planning session to make sure we have everything on the kit list… and to discuss what we’re going to eat throughout the Challenge.  It’s all about the food!  We realised that all this training has made us a little bit crazy when we found ourselves saying things like ‘the last section is only 15 miles’.  Only!  What has happened to us?  It seems that we’re well and truly ready to go.  And I honestly can’t wait.

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