JUNE – Goal: 100 miles by the end of the month
I started June on a high with the 21-mile Preston Guild Wheel walk on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.
And then, on the third day of the month, I had a consultation with a personal trainer.
The fourth day? I started personal training sessions.
I was on a roll.
Funnily enough, after the Guild Wheel walk, I didn’t think I would be working out for at least a week afterwards!
Meeting up with a personal trainer, and the resulting weigh-in, made me feel more accountable to go to the gym at 8am twice a week. I was getting up early for the hens and didn’t go to work until 10am, and the gym was five minutes away from my home and work so the logistics worked.
It was a pay-by-month with no contract which also suited.
In the meantime, I tried to go to the gym every day the rest of the week, allowing myself a day off. This is unlike Lazy Clare who usually bores of a regular gym routine very quickly but the convenience of the location made it much easier to drop in for 30 minutes.
When I went to the gym, I used the treadmill, rower, cross-trainer and the bike. So far, I haven’t got bored (touch wood!)
I also went to Zumba on two occasions, one on Thursday and one on Sunday. Both were fun, the Sunday Zumba was very fast and energetic! And even better, she had excellent taste in music!
A 21-mile walk around the outskirts of Preston. The ‘wheel’ is popular with cyclists, but also used by walkers, families and dog walkers. I stayed at the Tickled Trout Hotel on the Saturday after walking seven miles, and the remaining 14 miles was completed on Sunday. It was a pleasant day on Saturday, with lunch at Brockholes Nature Reserve, and a more difficult day on Sunday, with resulting tired legs.
Wales – Bethesda to Cym Pen to Ilafar
Simon and I stayed in North Wales for our holiday this year. Our holiday cottage was located in Bethesda and, from there, we went on a valley walk along the River Afon Llafar. The setting was beautiful but not a soul to be found. Were they all climbing Snowdon instead? Curious sights included an old dam and weir, meadow pippit and wheatear. Unfortunately I wore my trainers rather than walking shoes so ended up with a blister! Ouch. Will I ever learn?!
Aberglaslyn Pass – From Beddgelert, Wales
Beddgelert is a pretty village with a tragic canine legend. We passed the grave and bronze sculpture of the faithful hound, Gelert. He was killed because of a fatal mistake by his owner, Prince Llywelyn, who assumed the dog had killed his son. The truth was that he had killed a wolf and saved the prince’s child. Following on from this poignant, if potentially legendary site, we carried on to the Fisherman’s Path, along the Afon Glaslyn River. The path is narrow here. In fact, it’s so tight that there are handholds. We then walked up Cym Bychan where we encountered the remains of old copper mines and an aerial ropework, built in 1927 to transport ore.
Rhosneigr, Anglesey, Wales
This was a delightful, easygoing beach walk starting from the ancient Barclodiad-y-Gawres, a neolithic stone cairn dating from 2,500 BC, to the little seaside town of Rhosneigr. Along the beach we came across sea glass, seashells, wild flowers including pyramid orchid, meadow cranesbill and sea thyme. Skippers, holly blue and small heaths fluttered by.
Newborough Commons and Beach, Anglesey, Wales
A magical place with wild horses. Our ramble along Newborough Beach led us to the tiny tidal Llanddwyn Island. An incredibly beautiful place with an ancient stone cross and the ruins of St Dwynwen’s Church. The Welsh patron saint of lovers (the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine), St Dwynwen is associated with this island.
July – Goal 100 miles by the end of the month
Ironically I hadn’t gone to many gym classes even though that was one of my incentives for joining a gym. However, I took part in Zumba twice in July, enjoying both times.
I became ambitious and tried a virtual spin class (an indoor cycling class with stationary bikes). 🚴
The super-fit instructors were on a large screen. Alas, I was late and felt self-conscious. The class had more people than I expected, the bike had more buttons and controls than I expected and it was faster and seemingly more advanced than I expected.
I left after about 15 minutes. I will try again at a future time, when I am fitter and more confident. I aim to arrive earlier too!
I continued with the personal training and gym sessions. The personal training is more weight-based, my independent gym sessions are cardio. By the end of July, formerly tight clothing was becoming a little looser and I had lost a few pounds.
I could now do with a new walking challenge to test my fitness!
Otherwise, apart from the two notable walks mentioned below, it was a case of walking the family dogs and walking the three miles into town.
Saltby National Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire
It’s amazing how beautiful spots such as this nature reserve can be so quiet and feel so remote away from people. We only encountered a few dog walkers. One rescue dog we encountered had two different coloured eyes, very unusual. At certain times of the year, seals can be found but not in July. We did encounter a seal skull however. Remnants of the Second World War can be seen here too with a derelict bunker and decaying tank located on the beach.
Stair Arms Hotel to Crichton Castle, Scotland
My mum and I visited The Stair Arms Hotel, Pathhead, while on a visit to relatives in Scotland. This historic coaching inn was a mere three miles or so from Crichton Castle. Or so the signs said. Walking along the country road, it felt rather longer than the miles stated on the sign. Oddly, the way back felt much shorter! 🚶