Simon Huggins's blog

Sun, 03 Apr 2011

Walking a marathon

I walked 26 miles on a whim on Saturday. You can see a pretty map of the route.

It was a bit of a crazy idea that kinda just came to me. I knew I wanted to do more exercise and I hadn't been on a long walk since my 15 miles from my house round past Mapledurham, Pangbourne, Tilehurst and home. There's also a really good pub in Frilsham (well, in the middle of nowhere really) called the Pot Kiln. And I've been feeling fairly antisocial lately so why not just fuck off on my own all day long. Oh and the clocks went forward so we have more light during a normal day.
See, perfectly sane.

Anyway, I plotted out a route to the pub and decided it made most sense to go via the canal. And then I plotted out a route back and it seemed to make sense to come back a different way and well when you totted it up it made 26 miles. I realised I'd have to leave early but I was up stupidly early, went and bought some provisions, got my haircut, made sandwiches, got organised and left at 9:50. I reckoned I could get a taxi from Tidmarsh or walk to Pangbourne and get a train if I got fed up.

Like I said, I walked round this route. The pub is at the 14 mile marker; there's a small dog leg if you zoom in. I made Aldermaston Wharf (8.2 miles) at 12:15 and ate a couple of sandwiches, got near Bucklebury by 13:40 and the pub by 14:15. I had a pint of West Berk's Mr. Chubb's lunchtime bitter and a packet of crisps at the pub. But I gave in to temptation and had a pint of Dark Star Espresso stout; still I managed to be out of the pub and back on my way again by 14:45.

I enjoyed the walk through to Bradfield but around the 19 mile mark I was thinking I'd just get a taxi from Tidmarsh. I made the A340 south of Tidmarsh for 17:00 and had a bit of a burst of energy so decided against the taxi. I also stopped at the Greyhound in Tidmarsh but only to ask if they'd fill my water bottle; thankfully they were happy to do so. I must go back and buy something. I made the edge of Tilehurst (22 miles) by 17:00 but my thighs were really aching by this point and the backs of my feet. It was road all the way back from here so not very exciting but I made it back for 19:00. I average 3mph on the whole route; 3.2 to the pub and 2.8 on the way home.

I'm glad I did it though I ached last night. A bath and stretching at home seem to have stopped anything worse happening; I wasn't sore this morning. I took my camera around with me and the photos are up.


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