This week I was in London during the week, attending the 2018 Lead Developer conference. I’ve been before, both in 2016 and 2017 (so I’ve only missed the first one, back in 2015) and this year was as good as the previous ones. It’s gone from size to size, and this year had 1,100 delegates – which also meant that it’s outgrown the QEII centre, so this time we were at the theatre in the Barbican centre instead.
I had decided this year that I couldn’t be arsed with frantic travelling, so instead went down to London on Tuesday afternoon, checked into a hotel in Islington (so I had plenty of opportunity to keep up with walking and so on as well) and stayed for two nights. On the Tuesday I also darkened the doors of Mac and Wild, where I had a truly ridiculous (and rather excellent) off-menu burger. Following the first day of the conference I also walked to Mere (again – and I hadn’t remembered I’d done much the same thing last year until I re-read the post from then) and back.
On the Thursday, once the conference was done, I walked up to where I’d parked the car, and had dinner in Wahaca up there before driving home. This had been planned, as it meant I left London just at the time that England started their kickyball match in the World Cup, which meant that the roads were comparatively much quieter than usual, and that the drive home was pretty easy.
Along the way, I’ve also been able to complete a full working week, allbeit crammed into three days rather than five. It’s been pretty tough, but at least it’s all done now.
After this weekend, things calm down a lot – and I honestly can’t wait.
[Apologies to anyone who’s already read a similar post on Facebook!]
So – Saturday night was the night of the Shine Walking Marathon. As I’ve said before, I knew it was likely that I might run (well, walk) into problems this time, because of other stuff that’s happened over the last six weeks or so, both with new boots (and resultant blisters) and the initial damage from the walk on National Burger Day.
So I wasn’t fully optimistic about the day, but also I wasn’t going to duck out without at least trying. I still wanted to complete it if I possibly could, but I was also prepared to back out if it got too much.
And as it turned out, that’s what happened. Annoyingly, it was the damage from that first walk, which didn’t take long to reblister, swell with blood, and then burst/split. Indeed, it happened within the first three miles. After that, I still did another three, but it was hurting enough that I decided to stop before it became even more serious.
I’m still really disappointed in myself for having bailed – although everyone else I know has effectively told me to not be so bloody stupid – and narked that Life threw so many obstacles and hindrances at me in the last six weeks.
Of course, I’ve now signed up for next year’s one, so I’ll be working on sorting myself out and repairing all the damage over the next three months, and getting properly prepared for it.
In my standard way, I’m doing some things in the wrong order over the next few weeks.
As I’ve said before, on Saturday night I’ll be doing the Shine London Night Walk, which will be interesting, to say the least. I really don’t know at the moment what to expect, and it’s preying on my mind a bit (actually more than a bit, but there we go, not long now) as to how well I’ll actually do.
Once that’s done, and whatever recovery process is under way, I’m also going to be taking myself to a chiropodist/podiatrist, and getting the problem areas of my feet sorted out. And that’s what’s backwards.
Of course, If I’d had any sense (or done any real preparation or organisation) I’d have been doing the “sorting out of feet” well before it was time to walk 26-and-a-bit miles on them. But I left it too late – and in fairness, it’s only in the last month that I’ve been experiencing any real pains or problems with my feet. But fixing the issues now would result in greater problems by the weekend, so there we go, backwards organisation it is.
In fairness, this way will probably kind of be in the same vein as the whole [x] Anonymous thing, of having hit rock bottom and the only way being up. If I present my feet to the chiropodist/podiatrist in the expected post-Marathon semi-knackered state, that should be the worst they can be. Which will mean that only good things can result in the treatment.
Well, that’s the ‘plan’, anyway. Only time will tell how it handles first contacts with reality…
Over the last three weeks, I’ve managed to damage and hurt my feet more than I have in the previous year or more. And it’s all preceding a walking marathon at the end of September, so it’s been a little bit stressful.
It all started (as I wrote at the time) with an ill-fated walk to National Burger Day, during which I discovered I’d destroyed the insoles of my current walking boots.
New boots obtained, I wore them and tested them on the 3rd September, with walking to and around Meatopia, then going on to do a concert in them. All told, I was on my feet – in new boots – for 16 or 17 hours, and while I didn’t actively damage myself on that one, I was definitely hurting by the end of it, and changing shoes to drive home was a joy.
Then over this weekend just gone, I went back to London and did an eight-mile walk – but with different socks. And because of that, I ended up with a huge and red-raw blister on one heel.
I’m done now on distance walks until the actual event at the end of the month – so everything will be healed up and fine by then.
As it is, though, right now my confidence is at a low about completing the marathon. Events (and boots) have conspired against me somewhat, and I’m just trying to decide on my best options at the moment, whether to go with my old (and broken in) boots with new replacement insoles, or stick with the new boots and decent walking socks. Honestly, I don’t know which will be best.
I’ll still be going, and I’ll be doing my best. I’m still 75-85% certain I’ll complete the course. But if I’m in danger of causing myself serious harm, I’m going to stop and not complete it. I’ll do my best, but not at the expense of serious damage.
And if I do drop out, I’ll sign up to do next year’s one instead, and be better prepared for that.
As I’ve mentioned before, at the end of September I’ll be doing the Shine Nightwalk marathon in London. I’m mainly looking forward to it, although I can’t deny that there’s a dose of trepidation to balance things out a bit.
Anyway, following a particularly ill-fated walk last week, I discovered that my boots – the ones I was planning to do the marathon in – are pretty much destroyed inside, to the extent that they’d caused me some really unpleasant blisters during that walk.
So of course that’s meant I’ve had to buy new boots for walking, and now have to break them in over the next couple of weeks in order to be ready for the end of the month. Thankfully, the ones I prefer are more like trainers inside, rather than being hard-core ‘proper’ walking boots, so the process shouldn’t be too complex/painful. (Crossing my fingers like no-one’s business there)
In fairness, it’s not the first time this has happened when I’m doing one of my bigger walks – I should know better by now. Indeed, the first 10km walk I did, the boots I was planning to use fell apart on the morning of the walk, so I ended up doing it in my normal everyday Cat boots instead, and came to no harm. But still, a marathon is four-and-a-half times that distance, so I’m trying to be a bit more prepared. (Not massively so, but enough that I don’t make a complete twadge of it all)
Anyway, the new boots arrived yesterday – fairly impressed, ordered them on Saturday through Cotswold – they were even on a better online price than expected – for supply to the local Cotswold store, and they arrived as expected, even over a Bank Holiday weekend. And the wearing-in process starts today.
The proper test will be on the weekend, when I’ll be using them to walk from Euston Station to Tobacco Dock (four miles, give or take, depending on which route I aim for) for Meatopia, then five-ish back to Camden for a concert – and then a similar Euston -> Tobacco Dock and back on Sunday for the same thing. If they’re not broken in by then, I’m going to have problems.
There are a couple of other walks between now and the end of the month (I changed some plans around to give me time to do so) and all should be fine by then. But we’ll know more when it happens…
On Thursday, I walked with friends to the National Burger Day event, and slightly broke myself along the way.
The walk (from Euston to Canada Square) should be about 5 miles. However, it’s not a location I’ve walked to before, and I hadn’t prepared properly for doing so, so I made a couple of mistakes. We were going in generally the correct direction, just by a less-direct route than it could/should have been.
Additionally, it was a bloody warm day, I hadn’t got any water with me, and (as it turned out) my walking boots were pretty much dead, so I ended up knackered, hot, sore, and (by the end) pretty dehydrated. Which also added to the mistakes in the route-finding and map-reading. All told, that walk ended up being just under 8 miles. So yes, definitely not my finest day, by a long chalk.
When we eventually got to the pub we’d planned to stop at, I was – not to put too fine a point on it – fucked. I drank two and a half litres of water just while we sat there. That’s never a good sign. (Also, it turns out that my hands swell when I’m dehydrated, which is kind of odd, but good to know for future reference)
We still did the event, and it was OK – but there wasn’t anything that massively stood out for me, to be honest. As a result, I think there’s going to be some changes for me going forwards, but that’s going to be a post for another day, when I’ve thought about it some more. Change is afoot, to be sure.
When we were done, we decided to get the Tube back to Euston, and home. Much more sensible. And once I got home, taking off the boots and finding just how twatted my feet were was… interesting, and not entirely pleasant.
I’d say I’ll use it as a learning experience, and never do the same thing again, but we all know that’s not true, and that at some point in the future I’ll do something equally stupid. Or more so.