It’s now all about cramming in as much fitness work as possible, building up strength and stamina.  I have had a few  good sessions in the gym and was pleased to get my 1500 metre row down to 6 minutes!  More weights, more stretching and more pacing on the treadmill. I also had a lovely 5 hour walk in the forest over the previous weekend with Lorraine and Craig.

So, with only two weeks to go, the talk has been about building our training up to a crescendo and starting to do less exercise over the next two weeks to allow our bodies to rest and recover.

This was one of the weekends a group walk had been organised and this one was due to start from Marlow.  I hadn’t yet done long walks for two days in a row so arranged a Saturday walk in Epping Forest.

Just for a laugh I thought, ‘why not three days in a row?!’

So, on Friday I walked from Chigwell to Ilford and back again.  It was just too much and not convenient to walk all the way from Loughton this time.  This walk took about an hour each way.

The walk on Saturday with Craig was through Epping Forest to High Beech and Waltham Abbey, then back again.  We found some nice challenging hills (one was a bit too much for Craig as he lost concentration, as well as his footing and ended up getting even closer to nature – I won’t tell you why he lost his concentration!) I was using my walking poles which was just as well because that downhill section was very slippery and muddy as we were in the middle of the forest and not on a normal track. During this walk it was raining and so we had the chance of using our waterproofs for real, which we hadn’t tested out before – they mostly worked really well, except I seemed to have very damp arms on my return, but I have no idea why. We walked for about 4 hours. That evening I went bowling with some friends and I was a little bit worried that I would do some damage to my back as I was a bit tired, fortunately all was well.

Sunday didn’t go exactly to plan.  Due to another commitments I had to be home by early afternoon and so the Marlow trip didn’t work for me.  It turns out that 3 others couldn’t make it either and so our last group walk didn’t really happen. Richard P and David did the walk from Marlow whilst Craig and I, accompanied by Lorraine again did another 4 hour walk in Epping Forest, similar to yesterday – without the stacking this time!  On one of the hills we had to get out of the way of quite a few galloping horses, who seemed to enjoy racing up the steep slope.  Craig and I looked at each other and hoped we would get up Kilimanjaro just as easily.

So, after all my exertion and training over the last three days I must say that I really don’t feel too bad.  I am pleased to have now done three days walking in a row and know that my fitness is up to it. I also feel that I am pretty much physically and hopefully mentally prepared for what is to come but need to do a bit more work next week before starting to rest up.

I now really can’t wait to start the challenge!

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