Back in training

So. Yeah. Six weeks of solid rain. Training hasn’t been gong so well.  Hopefully that is all behind us now and we got a 10 mile walk in yesterday.

I’ve finally set a date for this thing which will be Monday 17th September through to 22nd September, which means just 7 weeks of training left.  Also 7 weeks to raise a ton of money.

So… I better get to real planning now then **unfolds map**



First Day of Training

I always planned to started training for this in March, giving me six months to work up to that first run of 29 miles!  What with the recent inclement weather and my bout of flu, we both need to get back in shape and today has been the first opportunity.  Our planned walk cut a little short by the rain. Also by the fact that Skye managed to leap into the canal at the lock, which fortunately was full at the time so I was able to drag her out, for which she thanked me by covering me in water and muddying my jeans. But we still managed a good four miles, so not a bad start.

I hope to be able to get out with her at the very least once a week, for the next few weeks, increasing our walk time every week until we build up to being able to do the first leg of the walk, 29 miles from Leeds to Skipton. I want to be able to do this at least a couple of times before we do it for real.

As the time is quickley passing by, I need to start focusing on charity collection and where I will be staying along the way. Hopefully I will have some updates on that over the next few weeks.




Towpath Collecting

My planning for this trip is going to start in earnest next week. I want to get most of it sorted before I start my Open University course in March so all I really have to worry about is training. Which is enough really.

I have already pretty much pencilled in the places I will be staying and, therefore, the rough walking distances for each day.  I really need to buy a Canal Pub guide or something so I can find some suitable  half way points to stop for luch.

One of the things I am hoping to do is collect money along the way and in  pubs using charity collection boxes.  I’m pretty sure there are going to be lots of rules and regulations around doing  this, and I have no idea where to start looking.  If anyone can point me in the right direction or has some knowledge I would be very grateful if you would share.  I guess the local councils are the first port of call.

So, that’s where I’m at for the moment. Lots and lots of planning still to do.






The SkyeWalk Is On

Actually, it’s a water walk. Well, actually, it’s a walk by water, and not free flowing fresh or salt water, no, stagnant, smelly canal water.

I had the idea some time ago, to walk from Leeds to Liverpool along the aptly titled Leeds/Liverpool canal and I have finally got around to making it real. Which is quite an achievement for me. I have ideas quite regularly, its the following through with them part I’m not so good at.

So here’s the sitch, I’ll try and be brief:

In 2004, I was diagnosed with ME aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Without going into major detail (which I will in the About page at some point) it’s a much maligned but very real illness that can have devastating effects.  It certainly devastated me.  I was ill for five years to varying degrees but finally found a treatment that lead to my recovery in 2009 since which time I have been rebuilding my life.

As the name would suggest, one of the main symptoms of ME/CFS is fatigue, physical, mental, mind-crushingly awful fatigue, brought on by the smallest and most basic and taken-for-granted of activities. Like walking.  At times the simple act of walking, be it to the shop or to the end of the garden would leave me exhausted and in pain. Needless to say the joy I get from walking today, full of health and fitness once more, knows no bounds.

And what better way to celebrate than walking the 127 miles of the Leeds/Liverpool canal from start to finish? Of course, I’m not going to do it in one day, I may be out of my mind but I’m not completely crazy.  I aim to do it in 6 days, roughly 20 miles a day, and I’m taking the dog, who happens to be called Skye. See, it’s all making sense now, huh?

Here comes the begging bit. I’m not just doing this for the fun of walking a lot. I’m trying to raise money for charity. Little is known about ME/CFS, there is no test, no acknowledged cure and very little funding and, therefore, very little research.  The charity I have chosen is Invest in ME, it is an Independent Charity campaigning for biomedical research into ME. I have set up a fundraising page where you can make a donation or pledge.

As well as this blog, I have a Twitter and Facebook, all of which I will be updating during the walk (firm dates not set yet but mid September), during my training and will of course use to beg for money before the walk, and to hound you for your pledges after the walk. Nearer the time I’m going to try and set up an interactive map so you can stalk me whilst I’m on the walk. Please follow and like and comment and what have you.