Trailwalker Training – February

After our successful trip earlier this month into the Atlas Mountains, we met up on Box Hill, Surrey, several hours before the sun rose yesterday for our first Trailwalker training walk.  Set for the relatively gentle distance of thirty miles, this eclipsed my own personal distance record by nearly ten miles and many of my fellow team mates are also venturing into unknown territory.  All progressed well as we witnessed a beautiful sunrise over the South Downs and continued on to lunch.  Despite me having a sore left foot and another team member suffering significant blisters, we kept the stop duration to a minimum as we had begun to slip behind schedule.  Throughout the afternoon the ball of my foot got progressively more painful but I was able to maintain the pace that was being managed by my blister toting companion.  As darkness fell we still had some distance left to the finish but we pushed on through our respective pain, climbed the final steep hill to the car park (not considerate route planning) and got to the end somewhat over two hours later than we had intended.

I am pleased to report that today my left leg is only aching slightly and my ITAP feels perfectly normal.  I was relieved that the battery in my prosthetic, routinely good for two days of normal use, had not been exhausted by thirty miles of walking.  I have yet to calculate whether the battery will have sufficient capacity for the full trailwalker distance.  Unfortunately the large blister on the ball of my left foot is fairly serious.  The source of this blister is a slight puzzle as I have never had anything more than some minor sore bits on my foot after walking.  It has occurred to me that this was the first time I have walked in boots that flexed since starting training for the Atlas Mountains using rigid crampon-compatible boots.  The blister is exactly where my foot flexes as it rolls forward during a stride.  Once the blister has healed sufficiently I will embark upon a regime of skin toughening by going barefoot as much as possible whilst at home and make sure I build up my distances in flexible soled footwear.  Hopefully that will do the trick…

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