Welcome to Walking in my Shoes

on Mar 13, 2010 | 0 comments

Hello!

Welcome to the new Walking in my Shoes site. This site is dedicated to one man’s mad idea to walk the length of the UK, more on which can be found on the About page of this site.

The site will document everything from the preparation that went in to the walk all the way through to the very last step. A lot of the content won’t be added until the walk is completed, especially all the photos I’ll inevitably take along the way and the final route I ended up taking, but hopefully there’ll be enough added on the run-up to the walk to keep you coming back to find out what I’ve been up to and how it’s all going.

First training walk

on Mar 14, 2010 | 0 comments

And So It Begins

Now that the blog’s fully up and running I guess I’d better start to document what I’ve been up to as far as preparing for this rather daunting task ahead of me?

After having pottered around in the new boots for a bit, and wearing them for a couple of days the other week whilst visiting my brother, last week I undertook my first proper long walk in them. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to – the process of breaking the boots, and my feet, in – but I knew I had to start it sooner rather than later, even if there were a million and one other things I had to be doing.

So, I took a walk in to Reading to do some shopping last Monday: a nice 13 mile round trip not including the shopping bit. All in all it didn’t go too badly; it certainly could have been a lot worse.

The hair experiment

on Mar 15, 2010 | 0 comments

Mop Chop

Since deciding I was going to walk the length of the UK one thing that crossed my mind, especially since I cut all my flowing locks off last year, was what was I going to do about getting a hair cut? Should I just not worry and see what happens? Should I shave it all off skinhead style so that it wasn’t a problem? Just one of the many things I’ve had to worry about while thinking about the logistics of this walk, sad though it may sound.

After having my hair cut the week before Christmas I thought it would be interesting to see how long I could go before I really needed to get a hair cut, i.e. before I could no longer handle waking up in the morning and sorting the mess out, the aim being to see if I could last at least 10 weeks: more would be better.

Busy day buying and walking

on Mar 16, 2010 | 0 comments

Getting Things Together

Today’s been pretty busy. Most of it was spent sat in front of the PC trying to source more items from the kit list, which I’m pleased to say is fast getting ticked off – hurrah! The list is now up to date as it stands today and any item on the list that has its details filled in either means I’ve got it at home right now or it’s on order and will be delivered very soon.

After spending so much time indoors, and it being such a lovely day out there, I decided to get out and take a walk in the boots to see how I faired today. I didn’t really have a plan of where I wanted to go or even how far so I headed out the door, turned and made my way out through Hurst, with the intention of at least being out for an hour.

Getting back to it

on Mar 21, 2010 | 0 comments

A Bit Of A Break

After taking a few days out to celebrate my impending Birthday with friends and family, and catching up with everyone from work last week, the work on the preparation has started once again.

I’ve been working on the beginnings of the route I think I’ll be taking and I think I’ve got a very good first draft overview of the route, with all the finer detail still to be worked out once I’ve ordered all the maps I’m going to need.

More walking and spending

on Mar 22, 2010 | 0 comments

Reading Again

Another Monday and another stroll in to Reading to do more shopping for bits and bobs for the walk and to have lunch with a good friend: Pret are getting some more money out of me after a break of a few months.

The 13 mile walk went well although the usual spots on my feet began to hurt again and that was with additional plasters. I think I’m just going to have to give in trying to find a way to stop that toe from hurting and just live with the fact that every day of the walk will be, to some extent, painful. Best to get used to that now I suppose?

Birthday stroll

on Mar 23, 2010 | 0 comments

Pub Crawl!

Seeing as it was my Birthday – 38 years young – I thought I’d mix up the training walk today and add in another of my favourite pastimes, drinking! The route for my Birthday stroll was a nice 9.8 miles around the local lanes, taking in six very nice pubs. The pubs I visited were:

  1. The Duke of Wellington (Twyford)
  2. The Royal Oak (Ruscombe)
  3. The Star (Waltham St. Lawrence)
  4. The Shurlock Inn (Shurlock Row)
  5. The Green Man (Hurst)
  6. The Elephant and Castle (Hurst)

Going nowhere, not very fast

on Mar 26, 2010 | 0 comments

Treadmill Hell

Acutely aware of my pace issue, I decided to spend some time walking on my treadmill to try and teach myself to walk at a more reasonable pace. So yesterday morning I put my boots on, plugged in my iPod, set the treadmill to a 3MPH pace and started to walk.

I’m pleased to say that, even though I’d not put any plasters or anything on my feet, 6 miles in and there was only a slight grumbling from my toe on my right foot. Not bad. Hopefully, if I can sort out in my head this pace out in the real world then I might well manage to save my feet from too much pain.

In the afternoon I did another 3 miles just to see how things went and it was just as promising – hurrah!

Out in the rain and mud

on Mar 30, 2010 | 2 comments

A Leasson Learned

Another day, another training walk. This was a bit of a big one though, the longest one I’ve done yet and my feet and knees are complaining a little bit because of it.

I strolled in to Reading to meet my friend Shelli for lunch and deciding that walking along the A4 was becoming a little boring, I thought it’d be “fun” to walk back along the Thames Path to Henley, and then home from there. I had my gaiters with me so it didn’t matter if the path was a little muddy with all the rain, which it most definitely was!

I hadn’t checked out the route before deciding to do it and had it in my head that Henley wasn’t that far and in total I’d probably be walking around 18 miles for the day…I wasn’t quite right with my estimation as I actually ended up walking 21.5 miles! Reading to Henley actually worked out to be about 9 miles, not the 6 miles I originally thought.

Fit camp

on Apr 1, 2010 | 0 comments

Fighting Fit

If walking lots of miles wasn’t enough to get me ready for this stroll across the UK, my next door neighbour – Vicky – convinced me to go along to a session at FastTrack Fit Camp this morning. No fancy equipment, no plush gym; an old barn, a few mats and a whole lot of old-school circuit training exercises!

Now, I’ve never thought of myself as uber-fit, but then again since losing all the weight I’ve not exactly thought of myself as unfit – walking 21.5 miles in a day isn’t for everyone you know? The session this morning pretty much showed me that in the fitness stakes, I’ve got a long way to go! Ok, it’s slightly different to just walking, the circuits target pretty much your entire body, but I was a little shocked at how hard I found it.

Back to it again

on Apr 21, 2010 | 0 comments

Break’s Over!

After spending an absolutely wonderful week with my two little girls, where absolutely nothing related to the walk happened – they were understandably my one and only priority that week, I’m now back head down and running trying to get everything sorted out before the start of the walk.

I’m currently plotting all the route on the PC and transferring the final route, day by day, on to all my many maps…and there are a lot of them I can tell you! This is a pretty slow process but getting it right now will hopefully mean less headache down the road.

Change of plan

on Apr 26, 2010 | 0 comments

Delays

Boy there’s a lot to do in planning this walk!

After spending my last, fantastic weekend with my little angels (going to miss them so much!) I’ve had to make the tough call to delay the start of the walk by a few days because of everything that’s left to do.

I can’t leave without having the maps marked up and sent off to the pick-up points along the way and this is taking a little longer than I expected, especially with the time with the girls taken into account. Clearly I’m not begrudging that time – I wish I could spend more time with them! – but it has set me back quite a bit and I need to make sure that I’m ready, really ready for the off.

Minor set back

on Apr 28, 2010 | 0 comments

My Bloody Knees

So I did a walk in to Reading yesterday with my full pack on my back. That pack was worth every single penny I paid for it as it was *the* most comfortable pack I’ve ever worn by a country mile!

The walk in went well but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been plagued by a minor problem with my left knee. I think I must have done it when I had the girls for the week, no doubt while they were using me as a trampoline or something. Unfortunately, on the way back home my knee really started to play up. So as not to make matters worse I phoned Matt (my brother) who came and picked me up. I’m not sure what causes it to play up as it can do it with or without a pack on, whether I’m wearing trainers or boots; there doesn’t seem to be one thing I can put it down to, which is most frustrating I can tell you.

iPhone test

on Apr 28, 2010 | 0 comments

Ain’t Tech Great?

Hopefully, if you can see this update of course, it means I’ve successfully set my site up so that I can update it using my iPhone.

Obviously I’ll only be able to do this when I can access the interweb en route, which may well be patchy (or non-existent) at times, but the hope is I’ll be able to post as often as I can.

A massive thank you

on Apr 28, 2010 | 1 comment

Wow! Just Wow!

I‘d just like to say an absolutely massive thank you to everyone who has so generously sponsored me so far. £800 and counting at the moment, almost £1000 with the gift aid!

Absolutely amazing and makes all the work so far, and the hard work to come so worthwhile.

Almost time to go

on May 4, 2010 | 0 comments

The Final Countdown

After a very busy weekend plotting routes, drawing on maps, checking kit lists etc. I am now almost ready to set off and start this big adventure. The first few bundles of maps have been delivered, more are ready for dispatch, and my kit list is now all ready bar one final item…rechargeable batteries for my camera.

It’s been a huge amount of work to get to this stage  over the last two months, certainly more than I ever thought it was going to be, but, dare I say it, the real work will be starting at the end of the week!

See you on the flip side

on May 5, 2010 | 4 comments

Almost Time To Leave

So, the time is almost here for me to head off in to the sunset and move one step closer to starting this epic journey – well, it is for me anyway.

Tomorrow I will be going down to Penzance with my brother ready for the start of my very intimate and up-close-and-personal adventure through the countryside of this great island of ours. It’s all very exciting but scary at the same time.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a little apprehensive about it all; worrying whether not the kit is correct and will stand up to the rigours of the walk, whether or not I will be able to cope with the weight on my back and distance to be walked every day. All I know is, I’m going to give this everything I’ve got, like I’ve done over the last two months, and if that means I make it then I make it. If something happens and I have to stop then I’ll try not to get too beat up about it, although I would be thoroughly disappointed in not finishing way up there at John O’Groats.

The day before tomorrow

on May 6, 2010 | 4 comments

Ready. Steady…

After trying to have an early night last night I failed miserably, only managing to steal 4 hours’ sleep before the three alarms I’d set went off. Tired? Certainly. Excited? Definitely! Scared? You’d better believe it!

We hit the road at 5:35am, which wasn’t bad considering the plan was for a 5:30am set off, and I’m pleased to say the early start paid off as the only trouble with traffic was a minor delay whilst going through Exeter. By virtue of the fact that we were stuck in Exeter you might have guessed that we took the scenic route down to Penzance which, although raining and misty, was a very nice drive indeed. I say drive, I was the passenger for the the entire journey (thanks Matt!) which was the first journey of that length I hadn’t been stuck behind the wheel. Made a nice change if I’m honest about it.