Squelch, this was a muddy one as Helen took me and Labradors Luther and Molly across assorted fields. This was terrain where you needed to make sure your boots were tightly laced, less the mud ended up sucking them completely off your feet. The drizzly day did nothing to help conditions underfoot either, but for once I was fully kitted in my Berghaus waterproofs, and remained relatively dry.
Highlights along the way included being shown the river which Helen used to play in as a little girl, her former tennis club, the primary school she used to attend, and the site of a former cotton mill where she may or may not have once worked. The lowlight was seeing Helen slip on some steps, but thankfully have the softest landing possible in the circumstances. None of this was of interest to the two dogs however, who had agendas of their own, especially Luther who appears to eat tree trunks for a hobby. After a long climb up a muddy hill and a slightly hairy walk along a maximum speed limit road (minus pavement), we were soon home. Once there the dogs got a thorough scrubbing and rub down, whilst I was left to fend for myself.
Now to change tack and return to my last post and walk on 26th October. I was very disappointed to discover at the start of this day, the result of carrying 9kg in my backpack that day, was that yet another small hole had been ground into the heel of one of my boot’s brand new foot inserts. Thus to wear these boots again (and for all I know any boots) whilst carrying such weight will mean another episode of freshly skinned foot, and another week of hobbling about. Also the two midweek 4 mile urban walks (not on this blog) that I did since then but only in trainers, and which I carried up to 15.5kg, have left me with an aching lower back and knees. Now the bottom line is this walking whilst carrying weight caper is a very good exercise. However one of the things I am having to accept with age, and that has been proved in the last few years with Running and Karate, is that any exercise that keeps leaving you injured is not exercise at all, but merely another way to damage ones ageing body.
Therefore the new policy is I am abandoning the 4 mile midweek urban walks (and upping the cycling mileage again), and I will only be carrying the 9kg maximum additional weight, when I am doing a double figure mileage walk on my own, and wearing trainers (which have proved they can cope with the extra weight). Given my current circumstances that is only likely to be once or twice a month.