Tuesday 18 June 2013

Tomorrow, 15 miles on foot.

Tomorrow, ladysolly will be playing bridge until 10:30, so I have a Late Pass, and I'm going to use it to do something fairly big.

Here's the plan, and it gives you some idea of how I make a fairly detailed plan for an outing (and planning is part of the fun).

It's the big new MBHW ring near Heywards Heath. The cache page says 14 1/2 miles, and that's about 5 miles more than I think I can do, so it's going to be tough. One of my biggest worries is my feet; if my boots hurt my feet, then everything after a couple of miles will be painful, the last 6 miles agony, and the only decent boots I have are my new boots, which haven't really bedded in yet. So I've decided to wear trainers for this, and hope that it isn't wet or muddy (the weather forecast is good). At least I won't be in a situation where each step is painful on my feet, a situation I've been in a few times. I'm expecting that the main pain will be my thighs, and it'll just be the pain of over-use. Another danger is my plantar fascitis, but I haven't had any symptoms of that for a long time. And I also had hip tendonitis, which put me out of action for a while, but that's been good for ages now. So I'm in good shape, and not entirely unfit (I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm fit) - losing 50 pounds has helped there!

I'll also need to carry food and water, three bottles should be enough, but I pass a pub in Ardingly at the half way point and another in Horsted Keynes at the 2/3 mark, so I'll be able to refill. I hope to leave the car at 10:30. Cache logs say it took them 7-8 hours, but I'm quite a slow walker, and there's 70 caches. If I do 9 per hours, then I'm going fast; more likely I'll do 6 per hour, so it'll take me 11-12 hours. Or maybe only 10. That means I finish between 8:30 and 10:30, and that means I'd better take a head torch, because it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. And a spare PDA-GPS, because it would be so dreadful to lose that capability halfway round, and it's only a few ounces.

Why don't I take the bike? The bike, plus two spare bike batteries could easily cover the distance, and the bike would also carry loads of water, food, and anything else I might need. The problem is, when I look at the map, the route is almost entirely on footpaths, and lifting the bike (and saddlbags) over stiles gets very wearing on my back. Yes, I know you shouldn't lift with your back, and I don't, but even lifting with the legs puts a lot of strain on the back (and arms) because I have to lift the bike high to clear the stile or gate, and after about a dozen lifts, I'm running out of oomph. So it's 14/5 miles, on foot.

When I get back to the car, I'll be totally worn out, and on Thursday I'll be pretty feeble too, but on Thursday we get the train down to London to celebrate the birthday of daughter.1, so I won't need to move much.

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