As many of you know, I did the Macmillan mighty hike in the Peak District a few weeks ago.
It was a hard day and on a reflection, a profound day and I thought I would share the last 6 months with you.
I signed up for the challenge in January, 26 miles up and downhill in a day – it can’t be that bad?
Training started and after my first 9-mile walk I thought – what have you done now! I struggled from the outset on getting the right footwear 4 pairs of boots later and lots of ££££ I thought I had cracked it ( You will see later I hadn’t!).
So, from April I walked the dogs 3- 5 miles every day, went to the gym 3 times a week and did two longer walks per week. I even walked the day after my birthday in June with a gin infused hangover – I managed 16 miles that day and ended up on the live firing range at the Army training centre at Little Altcar! The training was a slog to be honest, as it was so time-consuming and if you didn’t go out for a walk you had a guilty feeling!
All was going well, the sponsorship was starting to come in and we were ready for the big day.
July – the hottest week on record until the Saturday when the rain came in – it basically rained the whole way round and it was muddy, so muddy!
So – staring a 26-mile walk which ended being 30.1 miles – If I had known at the beginning I had 30.1 miles ahead of me I couldn’t have done it.
I decided on a strategy, let’s break this down into 20-minute miles – let’s aim between each marker to be at 20 minutes or less.
This worked a treat for the first section – nailed the first 7 1/2 miles. On to lunch at 15 miles, this was a miserable section as it was so wet muddy and steep. But, I plodded on and got there. Had lunch felt refreshed, if not a bit wet and off to tackle the next mile – I was fine going from mile marker to mile marker.
However, just after mile 15 I had to take a detour – which ended up being over 3 miles – but I didn’t know at the time – all I did was walked in rain and mud and had no markers, actually lost direction and focus. It was soul-destroying, especially when I managed to get back on the official track and we had only officially moved by a mile !!!! This played with my brain all the way around.
Next stop was officially 19 miles, had a drink and thought yes, 7 miles to go fine! All going well until mile 22 when I had the most horrendous blister on my foot it was so painful and my toes on the same foot started to hurt – really hurt. My Boots had let me down! Not my legs or fitness my boots! But there was absolutely no way I was giving up – at that very moment I had a text to say we have reached £1000- I had to crack on!
I hobbled for another 2 miles and then the other foot went – so I strapped them up took a handful of painkillers and dug deep – there were some horrible hills at the end not what you need after 25 miles – at this stage the mile by mile strategy had gone and it was literally step by step. At the official finishing line, my fit bit and strava were just over 30 miles. It had taken me, with stops, 12 hours. I am not a crier but when over the line I sobbed! It was sheer relief. And our sponsorship had gone up to over £1200.
The next day I couldn’t walk as I had so many blisters and poorly nails – I have now lost 4 toenails and still going! The day after was probably more painful than the walk!
It was a great and horrendous day in equal measures. But, a few days later I was reflecting on the whole experience – this may sound profound but I learned so much that day that I believe you can use for anything in your life, be it business or personal.
Tasks seem too big if they aren’t broken down.
Have a plan the first half may go swimmingly – something may send you off track – you may then lose focus in the middle but DON’T GIVE UP. The final bit is sheer hard work and determination but you will get to the finish line if you just keep going.
Will I do it again? NO! If you saw the state of my feet a month on you would know why!
Am I glad I did it? YES!
Am I proud of myself? YES!
If you haven’t sponsored there is till time here is the link.