We did it - we walked 50k to celebrate my 50th year, making my birthday wish come true!!
We nearly didn't make it after realising that my mobile phone, with the Ordnance survey map on it, was low on battery and that the portable charger didn't have the right cable to connect to my phone. We carried on regardless, thinking we could make the full 50k circuit but went wrong a couple of times so after 28k, we decided to go back the same way, to be safe. So we actually walked 56k, having left at 6am. We didn't make it back home until 9.30pm. That's the longest I've ever been on my feet, ever!
We could have taken a train back after 30k but decided to push on after buying some fresh supplies and a rest.
We really struggled the last few kilometers. Everything hurt and I could hardly walk. My body felt like I was twice my age. My husband really felt unwell, dizzy and nauseous, and went straight to bed. I had a much needed cup of herbal tea and a shower. I only just managed to do this, in tiny, stiff steps but I knew I had to keep moving to avoid stiffening up even more. I was worried I had done some lasting damage, but my body felt fine the next day. I just kept moving all the parts of my legs that didn’t hurt while lying down and breathing slowly before going to sleep, which took an age. I did need a nap every couple of hours the next day as the exhaustion was real! Probably from too much exposure to the sun, despite walking in the woods a fair amount of the time.
On the plus side, we discovered some lovely, hidden spots, spotted a fox scuttering down into the bushes and a buzzard on a branch, a great number of kites enjoying the fields where the local farmer made hay and we enjoyed foraging wild tiny but tasty raspberries and plums. We want to do it again, but capping it at about 30-35k, which is the part we thoroughly enjoyed - the sense of freedom, the peace and quiet of the natural world, the sun on our faces, the scent of fresh hay and wild roses.
We also loved the sense of achievement. We rarely do anything extreme. We definitely found our limits and were way past what our body was capable of doing and still carried on way out of our much-loved comfort zone. I was extremely pleased that our bodies recovered so quickly, without any lasting damage, not even a niggle. We must be doing something right.
Now back to our 2-hour daily morning walk, until our next BIG walk, probably next month!
Mum of 4, nature lover, passionate about the power of human movement.