Sunday, 12 January 2014

Full steam ahead

When people find out about my Munro round plans the most asked question has been a rather practical 'How did you get the time off work?'. The answer is that I am lucky enough to work in a school with a brilliant Head teacher and governors who have agreed to me having half a term's leave unpaid. I would like to think they see the long view and appreciate that I will be a better person, and therefore better teacher, if they give me their support by giving me this time 'off'.

People's response beyond this depends largely whether or not they like doing the things that I do in their spare time. Runners and outdoor people are generally a mix of jealous and (dare I say it) impressed. I keep having to remind them that I haven't done anything yet! But even that's not strictly true. I've spent many hundreds of hours thinking about it on runs over the past fifteen years. Indeed one of the main reasons I love running is the head space and thinking time it gives me. I can set out on a run with all sorts on my mind but can straighten most things out by the time I get back; it puts things into perspective and makes day to day concerns fade away. Some people find it boring, I've just never  understood that!

Since I first set the date a year and a half ago, getting things sorted has come in fits and bursts. But there's no doubt about it, it's full steam ahead from this point. Maybe my biggest worry is balancing work, family, training and planning over the coming months. It hasn't really happened yet, but I know there will be stressful times ahead. While watching a favourite film of mine 'Into the Wild' this week I was reminded of one of the main reasons I'm doing it.

For those of you that don't know the book or the film, it is the true story of Chris McCandless who shunned his privileged middle class lifestyle, burned and gave away his sizeable trustfund and lived off the land, travelling the USA and living a life free of many of the trappings of life that he felt stifle the human spirit. His last great adventure was to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. I won't spoil it for you by telling you the rest, but he had this to say:

The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences

What he did makes my efforts look paltry, but there is a small bit of that spirit driving me to have this adventure of my own.

Training has gone well this week and I managed my target hourage. It looked like this:

M: Rest
T: 1 hour 30   Loughrigg and Wansfell
W: 1 hour   Scout Scar home from work
T: 50 mins   Scout Scar to work
F: 50 mins   Scout Scar 
S: 2 hours rd bike Langdale
S: 3 hr 20 big run from Kentmere

Total  Run: 7 hours    9000 feet of ascent          Bike: 2 hours                  Pilates: 30 mins

Still not 'flying fit' but getting the milage in so I know its coming. Pleased to get out on the bike for the first time in a while as well. Really need to increase the stretching and core work now to help me stay injury free as the milage increases.

14 weeks to go

'The lads' on Kidsty Pike today


  1. Hi Dan, Good luck with your final 14 weeks of preparation. I'd love to come and join you when and where I can, once the trip is underway, although I'm not sure my 2-yr old son will be able to keep up. It will be a fantastic opportunity for you to visit bits of Scotland you've never seen before.

  2. Dan, glad things are going well.
    All good and exciting for us watching!!