Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A confession

Good evening. Here is the information you have been craving:

Distance (miles)
Time (hh:mm)
Energy (kcals)
Since last post (20 May 2013)
Since records began (27 Dec 2012)

The energy figures might be a bit off again, because I didn't have the heart monitor for a couple of the walks. I also filled in the blanks for some longer walks that I made without GPS.
Now for the confession. Last week I said
"We arrive back yesterday from a weekend trip to Hungary..."
Not strictly true... in fact I was writing from Lake Bled in Slovenia. We conspired with my mum to surprise my dad by showing up in Venice while they were there on a sixtieth birthday trip that my brother had organised for him. We stopped off in Slovenia for a few days on the way, which was intended to serve as 'Parish Walk Training Camp'. If my dad had known we were in Slovenia last week, he might have put two and two together and work out that we would show up in Venice. Apologies to any readers who are offended by my subterfuge: it was with the purest intentions, and my dad was duly surprised!

Bled was beautiful: a bit cold with showers at times, but generally the weather was kind to us. A slight fly in the training ointment was that Mrs W strained her back the day after we arrived. She graciously sat on the sidelines while I completed a longer 20 mile walk (five laps of the lake) on Wednesday; our walks together last week were understandably rather more sedate, although she's much improved now. Here's a photo from the castle which overlooks the lake, where we admired the views and sampled some of the delicious local speciality, Rezina cream cake (and not for the only time!).

View of Lake Bled from Bled Castle, Slovenia
Not great in terms of pace or distance, but the walking highlight of our time in Slovenia was the nearby Vintgar Gorge, which we found by happy accident one evening. At the bottom of the gorge was the magnificent waterfall pictured below.

Waterfall at the bottom of the Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
To complete the travelogue, we proceeded via a stop at the impressive Postojna Caves (near the Slovene/Italian border) to Venice for a couple of days. We avoided the vaporetti that ply the canals, preferring to get in some more miles walking through the labyrinthine streets and the magnificent St Mark's Square.

Piazza San Marco, Venice
As in Slovenia, we had some sunshine in Venice, but also some sharp showers. In particular, we got soaked to the skin trying to find our hotel on our last night in the city: if it's like that on Parish day I won't last long!

Socks: the verdict

As mentioned last week, I've been road-testing a few sock types ahead of race day. All of them performed pretty well, but my choices for Parish Walk day are:

  • Hilly Mono Skin Anklets
  • 1000 Mile Fusions
I'm going to order one more pair of each so I can make up to three sock changes during the day if needed.

And finally...

... now's the time to start assembling equipment if you haven't done so already. Besides the obvious clothing and shoes, don't forget some of the more obscure items that you may not be using day-to-day but that are required/recommended for the race. The tips list on the Parish Walk website covers many items. Following advice from an earlier blog I've ordered a decent high-vis vest, and I'm going to ask my brother (who hasn't entered this year) if he'll lend me his lights in case I'm still on my feet by the time darkness descends.

Thanks for reading and have a good week!

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