31/365 – Breaking myself in gently

Last week I made a big decision about my pilgrimage in May. I decided that something was more important than doing lots of training, resting well and understanding the challenges of the route in advance. More crucial to having an enjoyable trip than these three things combined this year is the investment in a good quality pair of shoes.

As I wrote about here in Girls Gone Wild, last year I had too many blisters to count during my five days of hiking the final stage of the Camino.

Excluding a day of 31km where I struggled, my muscles felt comfortable with the daily distances of 20+kms. My feet, however, did not and I was reduced to tears on several occasions bursting blood blisters. I’ve decided to try to do all I can to stop a repeat performance this May and thought the obvious start would be investing in a decent pair of walking boots. Whereas last year I spent £30ish, this year I’ve broken the bank with a North Face pair and had the pleasure of trying them out this weekend with a 10 mile jaunt around Lea Valley park from Cheshunt with my friend Keith.

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Out of the city we went and spent several hours exploring a beautiful part of Hertfordshire in the rain and the snow. I’ve included a selection of my favourite images from the walk and also a snap of a much appreciated real fire we parked ourselves in front of halfway through out trek to dry out.

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Although breaking my boots in was one of the reasons for clocking the miles up, another was to see how my muscles would cope with the longer distances. While the course was very flat, and I did have the odd tingle in my calves from the cold, my body felt tired in a strong way afterwards. I even managed to walk the additional 2km home from the station without too many complaints.

And my feet….well there wasn’t even a hint of a blister. I know that the added stress of the backpack and heat will up the likelihood of them appearing but I get the feeling, this year, there are going to be less tears shed and curse words shared when it comes to taking my boots off at the end of the day.

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