Last Saturday, in an attempt to ensure I don’t turn to just running the streets of Manchester as part of my training, I thought a visit to the Peak District would be a good idea for some cross training. After asking, convincing, persuading or maybe forcing Sarah into it, she agreed to take up the task of scaling the heights of Kinder Scout & the surrounds near Edale with me. Now taking into account I used to be in the scouts, and have navigated myself around the world, I thought the fact we had no map shouldn’t dissuade us. I don’t think Sarah was too confident in my general navigation at the start (yee of little faith), but I did manage to get us up, across and back down in one piece.
I won’t go into the finite details, but last time we decided to head out (last time across Saddleworth Moor) let’s just say we weren’t the most prepared in terms of clothing & equipment. My excuse was that I’d left most of it at my parents, but it was still pretty bad form. So I’m glad to see that both of us managed to become walking advertisements for Blacks!
I have to say that the area surrounding Edale definitely isn’t one of the most attractive places I’ve ever been to, something that really wasn’t helped by the delightful Northern weather we were given. But the day wasn’t ever about seeing the sights; it was about getting out of the city, in the open air and getting in some mountain training. OK, so I’m not going to profess that Kinder Scout was anything like Kilimanjaro, nor will it compete against Cotopaxi, but with no pun intended, you’ve got to start from the ground up.
So while it was just the first of many mountain days, it was still a good start. We must have clocked about 10 miles as the round trip, which I know isn’t anywhere near the amount I need to be doing, but I was really happy with the relatively unplanned trip. The walk combined many things that I love; being in the country / being out of the city, walking while catching up with friends, but also walking without the need to talk all the time, giving me time to think, contemplate, work things out.
It’s quite funny what you end up thinking about when you’re half way up a mountain (or maybe I should say hill). It was a mixture of challenge planning, thinking about my new attitude towards my health & fitness levels, the impending deployment of my brother to Afghanistan, along with the usual day to day thinking too. At one point I had even divvied up the £50,000,000 I was going to win on the next Euromillions between friends, family, charities & my multiple houses around the world.
Being the boy and show off that I am, I felt the need to get some resistance training in while I was out. I had originally planned to shift both rocks, but I’d pulled one of my triceps the day before, so unfortunately only managed to shift the one on the left. Maybe I’ll try and get up there next weekend to get the other one shifted…..and if you believe that, knowing my current upper body strength, you’ll literally believe anything.
I don’t know if anyone can recall my marine buddy that joined me up in Whitley Bay, but to give some moral support, he decided to come along for the ride – being the stealth commando that he is, he did offer to carry our backpacks, but we were in more need of training than him. Watch this space as I think he’s going to be reporting from behind enemy lines giving the inside account of my training & challenges.
I’m just hoping that both myself, any supporters & mini-marine actually get to see some sunshine at some point on any of the challenges or training – if only to make the photos look slightly more appealing. Plans are afoot for a training weekend up near Ben Nevis, but to be honest, heading further North and into Scotland really isn’t going to afford us much luck with the weather I feel – luckily I’ve spent a lot of time in Yorkshire & Manchester, so the rain doesn’t really affect me too much.
First mountain training day complete – bring on the next one I say (although I may opt to not carry a 3 litre camel pack filled with water on the next one!).
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge