Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

#Walk1000Miles – December 2016

Just as I finished writing up my walks from November, 2016 draws to an end.

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It’s time to review my final month’s mileage and to see how I faired in my first year of the #Walk1000Miles challenge.

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03/12 – 8.5 miles – Severn Beach
04/12 – 4.5 miles – Wrington
05/12 – 11 miles – Pensford to Keynsham
17/12 – 12 miles – ‘The Cat’s Back’ (Black Mountains, Wales)18/12 – 8.75 miles – Wellow
20/12 – 12 miles – Blagdon
24/12 – 7 miles – Priddy
26/12 – 6 miles – Hinton Blewett
28/12 – 10 miles – Bredon Hill
29/12 – 2 miles – Wrington
30/12 – 7 miles – Mendip Hills
31/12 – 3 miles – Glastonbury Tor

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At the beginning of December, I remember feeling pleased that I had already achieved my personal target of eight-hundred miles. I felt as though the pressure was off and I looked forward to hurdling over the nine-hundred mark before the end of the year.

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Towards the middle of the month and, with Christmas drawing closer; I realised that I was going to have a full five working days in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, where I wouldn’t be going to work. Freedom to do what I wanted… An opportunity to significantly add to my mileage.

I had it in mind, at this point, to achieve sixty-miles of walking in this space of time… Of course, it was possible. I also realised that I’d need to walk around one-hundred-and-twenty miles across the whole of December, if I was to go on and break the one-thousand.

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But, when the time came around, my perspective changed once more and I wanted some time to rest, as much as anything else. Walking ten-to-fifteen miles a day was an exhausting thought that would’ve also deprived me of time to visit family. So, I intentionally ‘eased’ my mileage for that final week; often heading out for only half-day or morning walks, so that I could appreciate some downtime between lunch and darkness.

There was a worry that I might push myself too hard and get close, without getting close enough to the milestone. Honesty, had I ended 2016 with anything above nine-hundred-and-seventy-five miles walked, I believe I would now be feeling disappointed with myself. Which is also, in part, due to my state of mind generally.

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Total for December 2016 = 91.75 miles

My total for #Walk1000Miles 2016 = 965.5 miles

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I can confirm that I will be continuing the challenge and starting again, here, in 2017. I’ve already walked my first couple of miles in to this year and that was before I went to bed! I feel better prepared for wet and wintry walks (with waterproof boots and other kit I’ve yet to write about) and feel more confident that I can achieve a higher mileage in months where I may’ve only averaged fifty or sixty miles in 2016.

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I don’t know if there’s any one thing that I’ve learnt over these past twelve-months. At times, I have questioned why I walk. At others, I have recognised the benefits of frequent short walks. I don’t have to do a sixteen-miler every weekend in order to make good progress in this challenge and do something that I find worthwhile. I’ll try to remember that, this year but, that’s not to suggest that I’m about to abandon the longer walks.

Thanks for reading, happy new year and I hope you’re able to get outside often in 2017.

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3 responses to “#Walk1000Miles – December 2016

  1. Ruth Livingstone 01/01/2017 at 20:45

    Well done Olly. You nearly hit the 1000 mark, but family and personal rest time are important too. Work gets in the way of walking, doesn’t it.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 02/01/2017 at 09:23

      Thanks, Ruth. Oh, work gets in the way of many things! But then, if I was walking every day, I’d still need a regular break from it.

      Have you given any more thought to walking a long distance trail like the Cotswold Way?

      • Ruth Livingstone 02/01/2017 at 23:38

        The Long Distance Walker’s Association has a National Trails Register and I would like to get on their list (sad, I know!). Entry to the bronze list means I have to walk FIVE national trails. It used to be only four, but they put it up. I’ve done the SWCP, Pembrokeshire and Peddars/Norfolk, but need two more. So maybe the Cotswold Way and another one… I’ve done a bit of the Thames path too, but haven’t managed to get out of London!

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