11 years ago I decided that it would a be a good idea to walk 13.1 miles through London at night with my best friend, her sister, her mum and her mum’s friends. In our bras. With no training. Having got back from 6 months of travelling 5 days earlier.
In hindsight the no training thing was a bit of an issue because the next day I was totally incapacitated. I was so sore that I could hardly walk. It also didn’t help that the toilets around the route were out of order and I was busting from about 1.5 hours in.
When Sole got in touch to see if I’d be interested in taking on the half or full marathon course of this year’s Shine Walk to raise money for Cancer Research UK I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to see if my legs might fare better now that I’m ‘into fitness’.
Sole sent me over some socks, Response footbeds and sports flip flops to get me going with my training. The socks are my favourite pair of socks I’ve ever worn and I know how weird that sounds but seriously, they’re so silky smooth and light that you hardly feel like you have them on at all. I’ve been wearing the flip flops around the house and to take the dog out for short walks although they’re not the sexiest of footwear so I’m not sure I’d wear them out. However they are great for supporting the feet after a hard training session especially as they start to mould to your feet the more you wear them.
The Response footbeds were interesting because for most exercise I like to wear my Saucony Omni’s to support my over-pronating feet but I do have a couple of pairs of Nike Free’s for when I need to dress up but I secretly just still want to be in sports gear. If I wear these for too long I do get pain in my knees and feet from over-pronating so I fitted the footbeds into a pair of these. You simply heat them up in the oven and then stand on them in your shoes so that they can mould to your feet. They take a little bit of getting used to but once they’re moulded they make the shoes really comfortable.
The event itself was brilliant and much easier than last time thank goodness! We set off from Southwark Park after a hype-up by none other than Anthea Turner (love a bit of Anth) and the group split up pretty quickly into similar walking paces. A couple of the early mile-markers seemed a little bit odd with mile 2 feeling like it took forever before we passed the marker on Tower Bridge.
The key to these kind of long-distance events is keeping the brain occupied and I had that in the delightful company of Becca (From Strength To Strength). We talked all things nutrition, weightlifting, fitness, travelling, James Bond and countless other things while we ticked off the miles.
Before we knew it we had passed through the final pit-stop (which were incredible with different chocolate biscuits at each one) and marched the final 2.5 miles to the finish. There was a fair bit of pain in my feet and hips at the end but walking on concrete for 4 hours will do that to you.
The organisation of the event, the route, the marshals and the medal at the end were brilliant and it was great to see people of all shapes, sizes and ages taking part in what is not just a stroll down the river. The best part is that as a team we raised nearly £2000 for Cancer Research UK.