Well I had great plans. No longer being in work when I applied for the Challenge, I believed that I would have plenty of time to get fully fit by May. I would start off with doing a little more of what I do regularly – day walks in the hills with a day pack. I would gradually extend the distance and the weights carried, and every so often have an overnighter. Then as spring sprung in late February or early March I would have 2 or 3 longer backpacks carrying my TGOC kit, a couple of 4 nighters at least. I particularly wanted to run a few long days together with no proper recuperation time for stiff muscles.
Well “plans never go to plan” do they, as every general since Field Marshall Hague has known. On a positive side, I set up my own business and have been offered more work than I really want since October. But this did eat in to the time I thought I would have available, and nights spent away from home in hotels on various jobs meant it less politic to spend too many other nights away from my long suffering and supportive wife. Another big scupperer of plans has been the failure of spring to sprung at its allotted time. Allotted by me that is. Now if I was more determined, perhaps that might not matter, but the weather of late has been particularly venomous, has it not? So to date my training has been no more than half a dozen generally low level walks, albeit ones where I have carried a reasonably hefty pack. So I can put it off no longer. Come rain or snow or scorchio sun (fat chance) I am off for a few nights in the Akto at the back end of next week. My route is not yet chosen but it will be close to home in Cumbria. I will leave it for a few days to decide the route. High if the snow clears quickly, low if not. And with luck I will have another such trip in mid to late April as my final warm up. Messrs Sloman, Walker and Lambert refer to their long standing practice of undertaking such a trip as a “Pre-Challenge Daunder” which is a lovely expression. It would be sacrilege to steal this fine phrase. So I have named my own trip my “Pre-Challenge Plod” (Gedditt? My PC Plod). To be continued……..