The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

11 June 2017

So far there have been no proper walks this month. The most I’ve done is trot up and down to the village, walk around town or stand on the sidelines at the RR10. Today was going to be all about walking though. Some time ago John mentioned he was thinking about a Summer Spitfire Challenge, a run from Winchester to Woolston. The Itchen Navigation would make up the majority of the route and he knew I had walked it many times. He asked if I’d lead a walking group for those who were recovering from injury or felt fifteen miles or more was a run too far. When I agreed it seemed like an easy distance. Now, with my fitness compromised by laziness, I wasn’t so sure.  Continue reading The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

A beetle, caterpillars and house envy – first published 11 September 2013

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September 2013 and Sirona and I were feeling refreshed after our snacks at College Mead Lock. We crossed the little bridge. A short distance along, the track of the Navigation comes out onto a path beside the railway. Ahead the trail continues, it’s narrow, overgrown and crumbling so it was time to leave the Navigation again briefly. Continue reading A beetle, caterpillars and house envy – first published 11 September 2013

Goodbye Winchester, a riddle, a writer and a lot of interesting buildings

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25 February 2016

Usually, I visit Winchester on foot, at least in one direction. This time, of course, I’d driven there so there was no train to catch or long walk home. There would be a walk though. With narrow, congested streets, a confusing one way system and very limited car parking I’d decided to park in Twyford. That meant a nice three mile walk each way. Continue reading Goodbye Winchester, a riddle, a writer and a lot of interesting buildings

Shawford to Winchester, not so simple – first published 16 July 2013

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My first attempt at walking the whole Itchen Navigation could easily have ended in Shawford. It was a hot July day and, even after a rest and a cool drink in the pub, I was feeling tired and overheated. Dithering as usual I’d left the pub and, after a little look at Victor’s famous bridge and a long look at the station that could so easily take me home I turned, quite reluctantly to the Navigation. The path ran through a cutway beside the pub. The sign said Winchester three miles, that didn’t sound so bad, not much more than the walk to work. Continue reading Shawford to Winchester, not so simple – first published 16 July 2013

2015 life is too short to be unhappy

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31 December 2015

The final lesson of 2015 was that sometimes, if you stick at something long enough, success will come. Conversely, I also learned that there are times when you have to cut your losses and give up. The main theme was that life is far too short to be unhappy. Continue reading 2015 life is too short to be unhappy

2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

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29 December 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching so the time has come to reflect. Over the next few days I will be looking back at the the highs and lows of the old year and reminding myself of the places I discovered and the lessons I learned. Along the way I’m hoping to get a little inspiration for the year ahead. Maybe there are places that could stand further exploration or mysteries that still need solving…
Continue reading 2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

Footpaths, stained glass and a thousand year old tree

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18 November 2015

This morning there was a break in the rain and a hint of sun between the dark clouds. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss so I grabbed the car keys and my walking boots. CJ who doesn’t like to miss an opportunity to get out, especially if it might mean conning me out of a coffee, tagged along for the ride. Over breakfast I’d worked out a route and even found a couple of likely parking places and somewhere to stop for that coffee. It all looked suspiciously like a plan. Continue reading Footpaths, stained glass and a thousand year old tree

The last long walk…almost – first published 26 April 2013

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As April 2013 was drawing to a close I had one more long Moonwalk training walk ahead of me. This was the big one, twenty-six point two miles. The longest walks or runs on most marathon training plans stop at twenty or twenty-two miles. The logic being, if you can make it that far, you can do the whole marathon on the day. This is not something I’ve been comfortable with and, for both my Moonwalks, I’ve trained to the full distance. Whether this is a sensible approach or not remains to be seen but it does at least leave me confident I can finish a marathon. April 26 was the day of the long walk…

Continue reading The last long walk…almost – first published 26 April 2013

Moonwalk training, Winchester at last – first published 12 April 2013

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There’s something about the halfway point in a long walk that always makes me smile. After that I know there are more miles behind me than in front and I’m homeward bound. At the same time, these are some of the most difficult miles. Tiredness begins to set in, muscles begin to ache. This is when the mind is more important than the body and the little things to make me smile are the things that keep me going. Continue reading Moonwalk training, Winchester at last – first published 12 April 2013

Moonwalk training, twenty four miles and a few disasters – first published 12 April 2013

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Most marathon training programmes build up slowly, little by little with regular walks or runs and then taper off in the weeks leading up to the event. Usually the longest walk or run is twenty miles, at most twenty two. The thinking being, if you can run twenty miles you can push through the wall to run the final six point two on the day. This was not the way I saw it. When I started off five miles seemed like a pretty long walk. After walking ten, five was a piece of cake. It seemed to me, if I did the whole twenty six point two before the tapering, it would be easier on the night. In April 2013 I’d made it to the penultimate walk. Continue reading Moonwalk training, twenty four miles and a few disasters – first published 12 April 2013