As the Bournemouth Marathon became more of a reality for our team, Caroline became concerned that the ‘running a marathon is more of a mental challenge’ mantra was being taken a little too literally by some, in that they were not doing much physical preparation! The scheduled Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk work social weekend provided the perfect opportunity to address this cavalier attitude. As a responsible captain who knew the difficulties and pain involved in running a marathon, unlike the recalcitrant novices who were not taking it seriously, she decided that tackling the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk would be a fine taster for things to come. Consequently, a team of 12 A-Z employees, including our runners, set off to tackle the strenuous 24 mile Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk full of bravado and enthusiasm.
So how did our team get on? Was Captain Caroline satisfied with their endeavours?
Well, in Steve’s case the answer was very clear, largely because he refused to take part. Despite Steve claiming that he was a proper athlete because he owned a Garmin, it has been alleged that he was secretly scared of heights and that he had gardening to do that weekend. Big black mark for the no show on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk, it has been noted!
As this was only my second A-Z challenge I was full of enthusiasm and keen to get started. This enthusiasm lasted right up to the point when I laid on the bunk bed to realise that sleeping on one of the many wet, rocky paths up to one of the three summits would have been more comfortable!
Anyway, after a rather uncomfortable night I decided to put the bad sleep behind me and I was soon back to my normal enthusiastic self which lasted all of 5 minutes into the walk at which point I was absolutely soaked through! I soon realised that this was less of a physical challenge and more of a mental one which was the part of my marathon training that I hadn’t thought about. I decided that if I could get my head in the right place to do the remaining miles of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk it would help towards the mental challenge of running the same distance in the marathon.
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk was definitely a challenge! The weather was awful and definitely had a big impact on what I could achieve. My feet were swimming in my boots and the wet ground made it very slippery climbing up and down the peaks. I managed to complete two of the peaks and the walks in between, which we worked out was roughly 17 miles. I physically felt ok and probably could have done the third but I had bruised my ankle (which probably happened on one of my many falls), and didn’t want to gain an injury that would affect my training for the marathon.
I am very glad I did the challenge and hopefully it has helped improve my fitness.
‘I wouldn’t recommend it’ were the words from the physio when I told him that I was due to be taking on the 24 miles and 3 hills of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk in 2 weeks’ time. The aggravated disc in my back hadn’t healed and I was still walking around like my trousers were too tight, but as event organiser I felt compelled to go.
Only do part of the circular walk was the initial plan, maybe even bag the first peak before calling it a day and taking up residence in the pub. I had done this challenge before so didn’t really have anything to prove. I would also be sensible and use walking poles for the first time to lessen the impact on my knees and particularly my back.
So the first and second peaks came and went, both times telling myself I’ll stop before the next one. I really felt the benefit from the walking poles (and the correct technique) and I seemed to be tiring less than some other team members. We quickly bagged the 3rd and final peak just as the sun came out and with a spring in my step I felt I could have easily carried on for the finish. Instead, I did something quite unusual for me, I sensibly decided to quit and head back for a ride home.
The route march back to the start / finish point, descending the final peak is long and uninteresting and although it’s the least likely section to pick up an injury I knew I would regret it if I aggravated something now. And with the marathon just around the corner and the physio’s words ringing in my ear I decided enough was enough. It also meant I got a hot shower!
So, the team are now starting their final push to complete their training, any tips? They sure need some!