Guest Blog: The Viking Way

Written by: Geoff (aka Dad)

A walk I have always wanted to do, but never got round to, is The Viking Way. Having lived in Lincolnshire now for almost 40 years, I thought it was about time to do it. So I asked my good friend Gerry if he would like to walk it with me.  He was delighted to take me on and show me the way, having done it himself on more than one occasion. He has even designed an alternative walk which he has called The Length of Lincolnshire, which takes in many other aspects of Lincolnshire landscape and history. So he was the ideal man to walk with. He has a passion for walking and along with his friend Dennis, has clocked up hundreds of miles of green lanes and farm tracks throughout the county.  We would be joined with two more of Gerry’s walking friends, Roy and Bob.  All 4 of them having had careers in various aspects of agriculture, so there would be no shortage of knowledge and expertise while ambling through the farmscapes of Lincolnshire.

Picture1
Here we are at the start point below the Humber Bridge at Barton-on-Humber

The blue plaque on the old coastguard building behind Bob, Gerry and Roy bears the title of  HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who opened it in 1880. Of course, not the present one, even at 95 years of  age, he doesn’t go that far back! It was Alfred, Queen Victoria’s second son who took the title Duke of Edinburgh in 1866, before becoming the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This was our starting point for the first stage.

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The Humber Bridge – quite a structure! 

We passed by this impressive structure. The Humber Bridge Act was passed in 1959 and work was started on fundraising and gaining access to the land either side. Building work started in 1972 and was completed in 1981 and when it was finished it was the worlds longest suspension bridge for a short time.

We continued with our walk – a bracing stroll along the shoreline, passing the Far Ings Nature Reserve which is noted for its bitterns and bearded tits.  But not today! We did see tufted duck, shoveller, mallard, pochard, widgeon and Canada and greylag geese. But my claim that I had witnessed a golden eagle swooping down to take an osprey that had grabbed a kingfisher instead of a fish, all within a few seconds, sadly was not believed by my walking companions, when I eventually caught up with them. Methinks my fantastic wildlife scenarios are not going to be sanctioned by these wise county men.

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St Nicholas Church, South Ferriby

Arriving in South Ferriby, we passed St Nicholas Church. It is an old church with Norman and 14th century architecture and still it stands keeping an eye on the 21st century landscape. It overlooks the estuary and the cement works. Our walk took us past old brick pits and chalk quarries and the huge Middlegate Quarry, which opened in 1938. It still operates today,  providing chalk along with other minerals taken from the underlying Kimmeridge clay, which go into the making of cement.

The last stretch of our walk today led us up the gentle gradient towards Elsham Wolds where our first stage ended after approx. 11 miles. This was followed by well deserved, delicious beef sandwiches and chips back in South Ferriby at The Hope and Anchor!  No doubt that these boys know the best pubs and I’m sure we’ll sample a few more along the route as we wend our way through Lincolnshire.

To find out more about the Viking Way, visit Lincolnshire County Council website: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/

February round up

So I’ve neglected to write a post for a few weeks. It’s been a tad busy at work and I’ve been doing some stuff other than running, having a life outside of the lycra and trainers! It is no surprise that at the start of March I finally caught the cold that has been threatening for a month or so!

February was another month of training where I stuck to the plan. The plan had me out 4 days a week and here are some stats:

  • 82 miles covered – that’s 7 more than last month!
  • 911 minutes or 15 hours
  • 15 sessions running
  • 1 posh dinner with my buddy
  • 1 secret cinema outing
  • 1 glass of red wine drunk (oops)

I’m looking forward to what the rest of March will bring, especially running in new locations and new routes. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far.

January round up

Things I have learnt since embarking on my running plan on 3rd January 2017:

I love the feeling I get when I run, yes, sometimes it is hard work, but the endorphin rush post-run is great. I have the chance to get faster and stronger and I’m going to work my hardest to be in the best shape possible. Alcohol really does make a difference – and not in a good way (sorry for anyone hoping it was the fuel we need for a run!)

Now for some figures:

  • 75 miles covered
  • 771 minutes on my feet (that’s only running, not including any walking!)
  • 5 runs saw me go over the 5 mile mark
  • 3 weeks of 4 sessions, 1 week with 3 sessions
  • 3 hours of pilates
  • 1 photo per day
  • 1 video clip per run
  • 1 indoor treadmill session (didn’t go so well, so outdoor is best)
  • 1 new head torch purchased
  • 1 pair of winter running tights purchased (Ronhill winter leggings)

To commemorate my January training runs, varying in temperature, pace, time of day and distance, I have made a video. I would add it here, but I can’t, so you’ll have to look at my Facebook page.

I know that marathon training takes time and I am prepared for this to take over my life for the next couple of months. Both distance and time on my feet will increase. I hope to bring you a round up at the end of each month.

Please visit my fundraising page and give me some extra motivation for February running!

A splash of colour in January

My husband has recently bought a fish tank. In it, we have 8 small brightly coloured tetras and a Japanese fighting fish that dart around and then without warning slow down or rest on a log. I sometimes feel like one of them, pedalling to get everything achieved and then sitting on the sofa to relax!

They are a welcome pop of colour in the tank and provide a nice distraction after a day sat in front of a computer. I also find that I need some colour to break up the horizon or the monotony that sometimes sets in from pounding the pavements. 

Inspired to get off my bum and go for a run, today was my long run day and I wanted to test a new route. It was raining and all together miserable for a 1 and a half hour jog. I kept stopping to check my route which meant that I paid more attention that usual to the countryside around me. Running through fields and along muddy footpaths I found my way into a birch forest. Forest sounds a bit grand, let’s call it a wood. In the wood the leaves had made a carpet underfoot hiding the tree roots and providing a soft landing. I was concentrating on foot placement and didn’t realise where I was until I stumbled across a road which Iwasn’t  expecting – I was lost. 

What does this have to do with a splash of colour? Well, it turned out I had ended up at a golf course where, despite the cloudy relentless grey sky above me, I saw manicured lawns vibrant and green and umbrellas of every shade moving around the course. This was a nice break from the mud that caked my trainers and had been underfoot for most of the run. The colour didn’t last long as I had to make my way out of the golf course but it gave me a boost. 

At home I have some colourful touches, a vase of flowers, a yellow sofa, vibrant elephant ornaments. January can often be so grey with dark evenings and it always cheers me up to see a bit of colour. 

I have one more run in January and then onwards to February running and here’s hoping for some bright sunny days. 

Balancing act 


Running a marathon takes some planning. There are the running sessions to fit in, 4 a week in my case as well as strength training and general life!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had to work hard to create my plan and get into my routine and I’m having to be really disciplined. Even on days where it’s been -3 outside, I’ve had to pull on my running gear and get out the door.

How do people stick to their goals? Why do so many New Years resolutions fall by the wayside?

I read somewhere that it takes 6 weeks to get into a habit. I’m currently on week 4 and to make myself stick to my training plan I have made a chart showing each session. I can move these sessions around if necessary but I’ve tried to accommodate weekend plans and other drop in activities. I don’t know about you, but I like to have a reward. If I complete all my sessions in a week I am rewarding myself with a trip to the cinema or a takeaway for dinner or seeing friends! I also seem to be rewarding myself with biscuits at work whenever I can – so I should probably try and break that habit.

This week has been particularly difficult to balance running, the gym and having a life. I’ve been doing long hours in the office but I did get out for a run after my gym session last night. It was the last thing I wanted to do but I forced myself and ran for an hour in the freezing cold. It’s days like this that make me really motivated to get out there are smash it because I want to improve my fitness and more importantly because I want to raise as much money as I can for Alzheimer’s Research UK so that they can invest in finding treatments.

No one said running a marathon is easy (me included) but with a lot of planning and determination, I will get there!

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Dark frosty evening run

 

 

Head torch running