On Saturday I was signed up for a 30 mile hike through the Durham Dales, and with the event taking place two hours drive from home, I decided to make a weekend out of it. So I left Friday after work and arrived at a very comfy hotel run by very friendly people around 10 and went straight to bed.
Got up Saturday morning at 6:45 and had a lovely cooked breakfast. The good thing about going out to exercise more it the carte blanche to eat more! It was only 10 minutes drive to the event HQ (including time to stop to buy a sarnie to bring along just in case) so I got there for 8. Signed in, had a cup of coffee, checked that my map of the route looked similar to the official version and just chilled.
At 9 a.m. we all started. Walkers as well as runners. As much as I want to get better at running, I think the next ice age will have arrived in hell before I run 30 miles across that kind of route, so I walked.
The first 10 miles were fairly easy. Up across the moors from one valley to another. My legs were fresh, people were friendly, the views were impressive, and even though walking through heather without being able to see where you put your feet down can be a bit annoying, it was all lovely. Having gotten into the next valley, it was mainly downhill and along the river Tees for 5 miles, though some beautiful wildflower fields and past friendly cows and sheep. Gorgeous!
Lunch was sandwiches at a village hall. There must have been 4 or 5 different kinds of sandwiches, 7 kinds of cake, cherry tomatoes, tea, water, juice. Anything a walker could wish for!
After the lunch we began the slow ascend back up onto the moors to get back to the starting point. By now my legs were starting to feel the impact, and sure enough, after 25 miles I was tired enough to not pay enough attention on a rocky downhill slope. The punishment was instant, and I both shouted and swore like a drunken sailor when I fell and hit my knee. After 10 minutes' swearing it became clear that this wasn't going to make the pain go away, but fortunately there was nothing broken, no bleeding, just a bit of a knock. So I hobbled for a mile and then got back into the swing of walking.
The whole thing took me just under 11 hours, including the lunch and 6 other quick stops for water and cake. I deviated from the planned route a couple of times (trading milage for smooth ground), so it ended up being just a smidgen over 31 miles for me, with a bit over 4,000 feet ascent.
What a luxury of having a hotel room waiting 10 minutes away instead of having to drive for hours. After a quick shower I went to bed and slept for a full 12 hours!
Sunday afternoon I had 5-6 hours to kill without anything planned, so I thought I might take a gentle stroll along the river Ouse in York. The gentle stroll turned into 24 km, with the last 10 km being not very gentle, but as I had promised to collect my step son at the train station at 7 p.m., I really had to make sure to finish on time. And of course it's when you're tired you make mistakes - mine was to not read the map correctly, so I inadvertently added an unnecessary 4 km loop onto the route in order to get over a dual carriage way. Silly me.
So in total it was just under 45 km. My shins are very sore today, but other than that everything is fine. No sore calves or quads (much to my surprise). Having said that, I am seriously considering delaying my planned recovery run from tonight till tomorrow.