I walked 1000 Miles in 2016!
YAY! I did it! I have walked over 1000 miles in 2016.
I have counted “Boots-On” Walking, which means I have put my boots on, gone outside and gone for a walk. If I had counted every step in and around the house, it probably would have been a lot more.
My intention was to cross the 1000 mile mark on my 50th birthday at the top of the Jungfraujoch, as I stepped over the threshold of the Lindt shop, the world’s highest chocolate shop at 3454m above sea-level.
It did not quite work out that way!
However, I did pass my 1000th mile crossing a line to stand in front of a mountain.
On October 27th, I went to the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show at Battersea Park in London. I put on my Endomondo tracker as I got out of the underground station at Victoria. I was 1 and ½ miles to walk to the park.
One of the first stands inside was called the Nordic Chalet, offering a gorgeous chalet in the Norwegian Mountains. As I stepped onto the stand to have my picture taken with the gorgeous snow scene behind me, Endomondo piped up to tell me that I had completed my 1000th mile.
So, I completed my goal 3 days early and I was in snowy place.
I have been troubled with pain in my left knee for most of the year and have mostly tried to walk through it. However, as I have got fitter and lost weight, I have wanted to walk further and do more.
I finally went to see a Consultant about it, who recommended a course of physiotherapy and also gave me some very simple things I could do.
I bought a new pair of boots, which was softer and more flexible than my sturdy leather ones, which gave me more movement in my foot. I bought some metatarsal pads to go under the ball of foot and they have been brilliant and I treated myself to some proper walking socks, instead of the cheap sports socks I had been wearing.
I was given some simple exercises to strengthen my knee and I started doing a short warm-up and cool-down at the start and finish of each walk.
One of the most important factors has been consistency of my walks. I have felt much better when I have walked around 5 miles every day, than when I have only done a couple of miles one day (or nothing at all) and then tried to do a 12 mile hike the next day! I was also advised to increase slowly, so go from 5 miles to 6 and then to 7 and then to 8, rather than trying to go from 0-15 miles in one go.
I became much more focused in August, when I set myself the completing the #walk1000miles Challenge by my birthday. That forced me to get out every day to make sure I stayed on track and did not fall too far behind my target.
Over the year, I have lost about 10lbs (5kg) in weight and come down two dress sizes on my lower half. I feel much better and I have a lot more energy.
My walks have been my “Thinking Time.” Some regular walks have been more of a “stomping ground,” where I have released old, emotional baggage and others have been more of an “Inspiration Space,” where new, creative ideas have come to me.
I have to admit I have become a Walking Addict, where the only cure is most definitely increased walking – preferably with more mountains!
For the rest of 2016, I aim to continue with a daily walk of 5-8 miles. I have got plenty of walks on my doorstep or within a short driving distance. I shall be getting up earlier and starting my walk earlier in the morning, as the days are now much shorter and it gets dark very quickly!
As I write today, 1st November 2016, I have done 1028 miles. I would like to pass 1250 miles by the end of the year, which is just over 4 miles per day.
I am looking forward to the 2017 Challenge and am aiming for over 2000 “Boots-On” Miles, which 5.48 miles per day.
I would also like to walk some of the longer walking routes, such as the Heart of England Way, stretches of the South West Coast Path and maybe the Coast to Coast Walk. I want to be fit enough to visit Mount Snowdon in Wales and be able to walk up one of the route and down another.
I am very grateful to Country Walking Magazine for putting this challenge together and for all the support and encouragement that I have received from the group of mad walkers in the #walk1000miles and #walk500miles Facebook group.
This has been a worthwhile challenge and I am so glad I did it.