Who am I?
I'm a 33-year-old 'Manxie In Exile': I was born and raised on the Isle of Man, but have been living elsewhere for much of the last 15 years. I'm currently into my seventh year in Prague, having spent the previous six years in London.
My brother and others in my extended family (including Ed Walter from last year's featured blogs) have finished The Parish in past years. I've mostly watched on from afar with the help of parishwalk.com, but I acted as a support crew for my dad during the 2011 race: his best attempt to date, retiring at Jurby.
Why am I entering?
Unfortunately my fitness level is woeful: by day a mild-mannered desk jockey and by night a couch potato! I used to walk the 3 miles to/from work fairly regularly when I lived in London, but since moving to Prague I've been more-or-less sedentary. I figure it's time for a change, and having The Parish to work towards will give me some great motivation!
What's my plan?
1. Use 'commitment devices' to keep myself honest
It's pretty cheap to say at this time of year 'I'm going to do The Parish this summer'. It's also pretty easy to let the intervening months go by with little or no preparation and then conveniently forget about it: no harm done. Instead, I'm trying to make it more expensive/difficult/painful/embarrassing for me to back out through the use of various commitment devices. A few examples:
- I'm writing this blog, which makes me accountable to 'the internet' :) More seriously, by making my commitment public I'm staking my reputation on keeping to my plan.
- I've entered already: rather than leaving it until 23:59 on 12 May 2013 I entered on 22 December. It's not just the loss of £30 that'll hurt... in fact, that's secondary. Primarily, it's another way of publicly signalling my commitment.
- I've forked out for some kit already: new shoes and a training watch. In this case, the waste of money if I don't use them is probably the biggest factor, but I wouldn't discount the guilt induced by shoes sitting unused in the hall or using a fancy multi-functional training watch only for something as mundane as telling the time.
- I've already booked our flights over for June. Again, not cheap (thanks, fly
maybe!) and, although it's always great to be home, it won't feel right if I'm not fulfilling the intended purpose of the trip.
- Through my fervour to participate this year I've inadvertently managed to convince my wife to enter, so now it's a matter of family honour!
- January - daily very short walks (to/from work: about 1 mile each way) with a couple of moderate walks (4-8 miles) each week.
- February - daily short walks (more circuitous routes to/from work: about 2 miles each way) with a couple of moderate walks each week and a couple of long walks (10-15 miles) during the month.
- March - maintain daily walks at February level; at least one moderate and one long walk each week.
- April - maintain daily walks at March level; at least one moderate and one long walk each week; one very long walk (20-25 miles) during the month.
- May - maintain daily walks at April level; at least two long walks each week and one very long walk during the month.
- June - maintain daily walks at May level; reduce length of weekly walks, especially towards the race. If there's one thing I've learned from reading past blogs it's that 'tapering' is important!
So far, I'm keeping to the plan for January with no ill effects, but I'll keep it in review: the worst thing to do would be to push myself too far and cause an injury.