Friday, 21 April 2017

LEJoG 2017: the final month preparation...

 Donate to Public Health Collaboration UK

One month to go!

Route plotting is done.  Kit is mostly locked in, with a couple of changes to test before completely finalising.  Training mostly done - in so far as you can train for this sort of thing.  And now it's a great time to talk about the charity I'm intending to raise awareness of and funds for...

Public Health Collaboration (PHC) is a a charity dedicated to focusing on improving public health in the UK, through research, providing resources and information about issues relating to lifestyle and health in this age of avoidable and reversible obesity, diabetes, dementia and other metabolic syndrome related problems that increasing number of people are suffering from.  The advisory board is made up of consultant cardiologists (Dr Aseem Malhotra), psychologists, (including Dr Tamsin Lewis @sportiedoc) GPs and a Professor of Obesity research (Prof. John (Iain) Broom).


I was pretty overweight myself in the past (only *just* technically obese by the BMI ratio measure), and when the shock(s) came and I started to take control, I eventually came across lots of information relating not just to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance but also the impact of diet on other factors than weight, including brain and heart health.  Thanks to an initial curiosity and refusal to believe that counting calories for the rest of my life was the only answer to maintaining a healthy weight, I crossed paths with Dr Tamsin Lewis, who set me down the path of learning and research into what goes on with what you eat and how it affects your body in the short and the long term. And taking control of these things for myself (11 years on after losing 30kg, I'm still a healthy weight and started sport 6 years ago, finally really able to enjoy it!). Yes, there are ranges of behaviour and response, but there are limits and at some point things start to break in the short and, more horribly, the long term becomes a lot less long even when once of your symptoms is not becoming overweight.


So... take a look at what PHC are about and then head on over to my fund-raising page on TotalGiving (all donations go directly to the charity) and consider giving a little to help turn the tide of poor health in the UK for now and for the future!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

LEJoG 2017 - 7 weeks to go. This just got real!

7 weeks to go...

Last weekend I went for a back-to-back 20 miles Saturday and Sunday, with a camping kit test overnight in between.  This is the first time I've slept out with all of my gear and the first time I've really gone any appreciable distance with full pack.  And it went really pretty well.





Yes, I got pretty cold overnight.  But, hey, it's March!  Even in Scotland in June it won't drop that low overnight.  All my kit was good, except for the sleeping mat, which moved about underneath me and just wasn't that great. I kept finding it half-way down my back and off to one side.  So, I've gone for a slightly heavier, full length one instead. Which should arrive this week.

I also came across a number of obstacles...

I can't even...
Locals...

SO! FLUFFY!
And trials...

Gave up after 6 miles of this and lots of folks not being sympathetic to a pedestrian observing the highway code
I've been ticking through plotting the route, heavily inspired by Linda Brackenbury's book.  Her route really took my fancy as it's one of the shortest I've seen and it avoids roads a huge amount.  Her trip was over 70 days and mostly ended each 15ish mile day in a hostel or B&B, which all lines up to being perfect for me to use and modify where necessary.  I've combined many of the early days in pairs, but left some of the later, more lengthy days of her route in place so there are some 20ish mile ones when I hit Scotland and it gets a bit hillier.  So I'm looking at 37 days as a minimum and 42 as a maximum right now.

Actually not Scotland, but a tiny bump in Central Park, New York
I've also been run-commuting with my pack fully loaded.  Doing between 5 and 7 miles each day so as not to overload myself unnecessarily.  And this carries through when I'm traveling for work, so there's a bit of a temperature variation as well as scenery (and more than a little trouble with GPS where I am this week).



I'm nervous.  I'm not quite finished plotting the route yet and problems with the Ordnance Survey web site every now and then, usually when I've actually got time to dedicate to route plotting, really isn't helping.  And then there's the map buying to ensure I actually have OS maps when I'm not in mobile data coverage... ($$$!)


Not long now!