I’ve been struggling this week with my training which subsequently means I’ve been struggling with faith in myself and whether I can complete 500+ miles of walking. I had intended to spend the last week walking every day to break myself in before I left. I had the week off so it seemed like a sensible plan at the time.
I also thought that I would give Snowdon a try before I went away. My first day is over the Pyrenees and the peak is a little higher than Snowdon but with a longer path. So I decided to go to Snowdon on the bank holiday then walk afterwards to get used to what I would need to do in my first week. Apparently this was a bit of a mistake lol.
Snowdon was really difficult, not least because I’d been drinking on Easter Sunday then got up at 5 to make my way over to Llanberis. It was hot, busy and I did not pace myself very well. I started feeling a bit rough and decided to go back down after only doing about 5km of the 7km climb. I’m glad I did do that but I felt disappointed that I hadn’t completed. Still, I got up the next day and walked a bit but my legs were really aching and I struggled. So on Wednesday I decided to just go and do a proper walk. I walked 10 miles and I really enjoyed being out in the countryside.
By Wednesday evening I was really tired and plagued with doubt about whether I could actually do this ridiculously long walk I’d been planning for so long. But I decided to take Thursday off. My legs were still aching and I was sick of being so tired and grumpy. I thought I’d take a break, but only for one day.
As I walked into the village to go to the post office, I suddenly realised that actually taking a break was a good thing. I should rest and get myself ready to do this challenge. I don’t need to prove myself now, I need to save myself and make sure I’m ready to fight when I face this mountain. Yes, it’s going to be tough and yes it’s probably going to be painful but can I do it? Yes of course I can. I’ve climbed Snowdon before, I’ve climbed Ben Nevis before and I’ve walked for days on end before.
What I have to remember is to rest frequently, that it’s not a race. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to complete a day’s walking because I’m not timing myself. I haven’t got to get home and do some work or make my dinner. I haven’t got to do anything at all except put one foot in front of the other at whatever pace suits me. I’ve got this and I although I kind of thought that, now I know it.
I still have doubts of course but they will always be there. I just have to learn when to stop and when to keep going. We're always learning and that's one of the great joys of life.