Tuesday, 12 June 2012

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!! 26 miles of hell but I did it.

Ok so this will officially be my last post for this blog.  I picked my sister and Alison up and we made our way to Inverleith park which is just outside the city centre.  We had to be at the venue between half 8 and 9.15pm.  See the tent below
So this was our first look at the tent and as you can see the weather is ok. WELL about 5 minutes later as we were putting a bag in the storage area the heavens opened!  The rain was sooo heavy and there was a bit of lightning, we decided to make a run for it to the main tent and got there unscathed.  The tent was already filling up and we made our way over to the food area to collect our pasta meal and banana muffin.  There were no seats and we had to sit on the floor for a little while.  This was the worst point in the night as we had to hang around for hours whilst we waited for a warm up and then to finally set off.  Around 11.15pm we did the first warm up and the first group set off, then we did another warm up and our group set off.  Beneath is a picture of inside the packed tent.

This was the start line.  Luckily the torrential rain had stopped for the start of the walk.  At this point I was feeling very very nervous for the walk ahead. 

 The walk the walk people had given us rain macs to wear, thank goodness.  I think we look rather fetching in them!

So we started off our walk in nervous but high spirits.  It was quite a sight seeing thousands of people walking round the streets of Edinburgh.  I started off feeling good after the warm up and got in to second wind comfortably, and then we turned a corner and were faced by one of the many long and steep hills in Edinburgh.  I had to stop a couple of times and I was getting a bit frustrated.  Having made it to the top we then went down a slight hill and back up the mound where we could see Edinburgh Castle had been turned pink for the occasion.  I couldn't take many photos as the rain kept appearing.  We got to the top of the mound and wound our way back down the Royal Mile and on to what I knew was going to be my biggest challenge dum dum dum Arthur Seat (look it up if you dont know!!)  The walk up Arthur Seat is a long steep one, I got my head down and concentrated on a steady pace.  I managed about 3/4 of the way up before pausing for a rest and then carrying on.  I was soooo relieved at this point as I had been worrying a lot about this hill.  we then snaked our way back on to the Royal Mile and walked all the way to the top.  At this point a drunken man decided to stand on a bollard and strip down to his boxer shorts, shouting encouragement whist swinging his t-shirt round his head!  It certainly made us all smile.

As we snaked our way through the streets of Edinburgh and out to Crammond and Silverknowes we were making good time and we all felt great.  The half way mark was Silverknowes and they had some music playing and lots of encouragement.  There were a lot of people clapping and cheering us on and it was really nice to see people supporting the walk.  Around mile 13 Kim and Alison decided they needed the toilet, the toilet queues were massive and so decided that a well hidden tree would act as good cover.  I then decided I should probably go too, thie was the BIGGEST mistake of my life.  Having already walked 13 miles my legs were pretty tired, I then squatted behind the tree and it was at this point that both my thighs went into McArdles mode!  I limped out from behind the tree in agony, saying I was not sure I could go on as both my thighs had gone into contracture.  I was absolutely gutted and on the verge of tears as I thought it was over for me.  I could barely lift my legs.  I know I will get into trouble for not stopping (Andrew!!) but I couldn't give up.  I was already in pain and decided that if I could gently walk on and try to loosen up I might have a chance of completing the walk.  I kept going and although every step was agony I slowly went on.  After about a mile my legs loosened slightly and I decided to carry on the walk.  I know I probably should have stopped but I just felt I couldn't do that.  Rightly or wrongly I did carry on.

We were all getting very tired and the snickers came out about mile 16.  It was starting to get really light which I think helped us all.  Both Alison and Kim were hurting too so we were all trying to encourage each other along.  At mile 19 my friend Calum came to see us and it was nice to see a friendly face.  At this point we were approaching Portobello and we knew we didn't have far to go.  We were counting down the markers in batches of 3 miles.  Alison was feeling ill at mile 19 and I gave her a glucode gel sachet which instantly helped her.  The next couple of miles were very quiet and we all walked a little away from each other, heads down getting on with it.  I knew my legs were starting to sieze up not to mention my sore calf.  At mile 24 I was not sure I could go on and it was a real struggle to put one foot in front of the other.  I was constantly eating wine gums as I felt very sick.  The last 2 miles were even more hell especially as a lot of it was downhill.  This was much much worse than uphill or the flat and it was a real struggle.  Then as I was walking down Broughton Street there was a lady standing on the pavement with a sign that read "Thank you from people like me, 11 years"  Well that was it I could barely control my breathing and the emotion was threatening to overwhelm me.  I managed to pull it together and we hit the 26 mile mark:

All we had to do was walk the last bit to the finish line:

This was the most amazing site after a long hard slog!

Exactly 8 hours later and we got our medal.....

The feeling when we crossed the line was unbelievable.  Then I felt a little bit sick and had to sit down whilst Alison got me a cup of tea!  Eventually with help I made it back to my feet and hobbled very slowly back to the car.  What was a 5 minute walk took 35 minutes!  I was however able to drive, its funny how my legs were barely able to walk but bacause we use different muscles to drive it was no problem at all!!

I got home about 10am and took some painkillers before having a little sleep.  I want to tell the truth in this blog so I will tell you that my thighs were very very swollen and I was struggling to walk and had to take lots of painkillers.  I had Monday off work and my legs were a little better and now today (tuesday)  i feel good.  My legs are still a bit tired but not overly sore and not swollen anymore.  I can honestly say I have never been prouder of myself and I am so glad I did it.  Im not sure I would put myself through that again but I am also finding it hard to know how I would have felt if I had not been so stupid and hurt my thighs.  I think that all the training paid off and that yes I would have been a bit stiff but that actually my McArdles would not have been an issue.  Both Alison and Kim are feeling sore and tired and I honestly believe I would have been feeling exactly the same as them.  Lesson learned though I should have waited in the queue for the toilet!  Over all though its been a brilliant experience.  I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog.  Maybe I will have a new challenge to write about sometime in the future!

Over and Out
Jen xx

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Only one more week to go until the walk!!  Very nervous now but looking forward to it.

I did a 16 mile walk last Saturday but the weather was so hot in Edinburgh that I couldn't walk any further!  we had a bit of a heatwave here last week.  Luckily I had taken that particular week off work which was very lucky!

I will post some pictures on the night and I am going to try and tweet.  If you want to follow me its @jen_forrest and I would appreciate any retweets etc.

Lorraine - I got some sun on my lily white legs you will be glad to know!!  

Monday, 21 May 2012

I have recovered from my swollen foot so decided to go for a walk yesterday.  I bullied my sister into coming as she is also doing the walk.  We started off and within about 5 minutes I got into second wind.  We had a nice walk into town and then looped back round.  It was a really nice day in Edinburgh, which I hadn;t prepared for.  Needless to say I now have a very burnt face, not a good look!  There were a lot of other moonwalkers out yesterday which was nice to see.  We did a good 12 miles yesterday and considering I have not been out walking for 2 weeks I was very pleased.

This is me and my sister Kim at the start of our walk. (Im on the right)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Well my plan for a 20 mile walk today got ruined yesterday when i was bending down and I had a contracture in my foot!  As the night went on my foot just got more and more swollen.  By the end of the night my foot was so swollen I couldn't put any weight on it and had to be helped up the stairs!
My foot is still very swollen this morning but I can hobble on it.  Its very frustrating but Im going to have to wait for the foot to go down a bit.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Its only 4 weeks to go until the walk and I can honestly say I am getting nervous!  I have been a bit lazy the last couple of weeks so when my car broke down I decided it would be a good idea to walk home one night after work.  I chose wednesday.  Scott dropped me off at the bus stop on his way to the golf (yes I am a golf widow!) I had a 25 minute wait on the bus so decided that I would walk the 2 miles from where he dropped me off into work.  It was ok and didn't take me too long.  After a full days work I got changed and did some stretching before setting off.  It was a really nice warm afternoon, maybe a little too warm.  As I started off I could feel my legs were sore and I needed to stop.  This was after about 100 yards so I knew it was going to be a struggle already.  I was walking on a flat, good surface but every 50 steps or so I felt the need to stop.  Its very difficult for non-McArdles people to understand how we feel but my legs were so heavy I felt I could not take another step.  I felt like I was bearly able to lift my head or breathe.  Im glad I am able to write this post as most of my training has been fairly straight forward.

As I say I was stopping every 50 steps or so just trying to get into second wind.  I almost stopped at the bus stop and got my money out but I plodded on knowing that this feeling would pass and I would get into second wind.  I have not felt like that for a while and I found myself doing something which I have tried very hard not to do - everytime I stoppped I got my mobile phone out so it looked like I was stopping to read something.  I couldn't believe I was doing it, I was back to being embarrassed.  I know that the people speeding past me were probably not even looking at me but I felt like a fool stopping all the time, especially when I was all geared up and looked like I should have been running not stopping every two seconds.  I have tried very hard to get over this embarrassment and I really thought I was there but obviously old habits die hard.  Since walking with the group last year in Wales (if anyone is thinking of doing it you really should it was fantastic) I thought I had moved on a bit and could proudly stop if I need to.  I guess I need to work a little harder on that!

I kept going and eventually got into second wind.  This probably took around 15 minutes.  Its amazing how different your body feels when you are in second wind.  My legs felt lighter and it was not a continuous fight to keep going.  I think because I had been working for 8 and a half hours and it was a it warm I needed an energy boost as I just didn't feel quite right.  I always carry some jelly sweets so I had them and felt a lot better almost instantly.  The route I decided to take home is quite hilly.  I found this very difficult and struggled getting in to second wind on the hills.  I was heading towards Edinburgh City Centre and walked through Morningside and into Bruntsfield.  I had a quick stop in at Coco Chocolate to say hi to my manager and then onwards to town.  I decided to cut through Holyrood Park and then I gave in and got on a bus.  All in all I managed 9 miles plus the 2 I had done in the morning.

Im hoping to go out on Sunday for a long walk so fingers crossed.  I think its definately better for me to walk first thing in the morning after breakfast so I think from now on I will be sticking to that.  The countdown really is on.


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Not long finished a 17.53 mile walk.  Im pretty exhausted!  It was a very cold and windy walk.  It felt like the wind was constantly blowing in my face.  I almost didnt't go out today as I just was not in the mood but I really had to push myself to go out as I have had a very lazy week.  I walked into the city centre and did a loop back round through Portobello and Musselburgh.  I almost got on the bus numerous times and very nearly cut the route shorter but I had a word with myself and pushed on.  I was walking through Leith Links minding my own business when I got smacked on the leg with a football. I bas bare legged from the knee down and it was cold so I can only describe it as being a stinger.  Im pretty sure its going to leave a mark!  I decided to walk on and not even look back to keep my dignity! If the ball had been closer I would have kicked it back and aimed for his face, instead I just walked on pretending nothing had happened and trying not to look at my calf with the ball imprint on it.  All in all I cant say I enjoyed the walk today but its another few miles added.  My legs hurt already so I know the next few days Im going to be hobbling around.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

I did a little 8 mile walk this morning, I never thought I would be saying that!  I didn't really feel like doing a big one today as I was working yesterday, myself and Mary were doing two chocolate schools yesterday.  Yes you can come and learn how to make chocolate with us!  Its quite a tiring day so I was pretty tired.  I thought I would have a nice long lie in this morning but couldn't sleep past 8.30 so decided to get up and go for a walk.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I felt very good and it only took me 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I made sure I stretched properly when I came back and its amazing the difference it makes.  Feeling a bit more confident this week.  I need to try and do a long one sometime this week but I have a busy week coming up and finding the time is hard.
Just a little shout out to Scott's auntie Heather who ran the London Marathon today.  Amazing.  She was doing it for Alzheimers Society so well done to her.