Okay - This isn't Pearl & Dean but with the belly beginning it's forced descent to near-where-it-should-be-normalitudiness I have built myself a training schedule.
I seem to have given up on training with the Canadian Airforce - I decided that they weren't going to call on me anytime soon. So, as there is nothing like walking to get in practice for walking, I fixed my sights on a walking training programme largely based on walking. The TGO organisers will be relieved to hear that no running is involved.
So - in addition to the already written-in-blood-in-the-diary Sunday afternoon walks with Miss Whiplash there will be the following exciting exertions:
February: The Lakes with Lord Elpus. This is an expedition principally to acquire a replacement pair of booties for the his Italian feet. It will involve a whirling miasma of sweaty feet and talcum powder, mountainous piles of discarded leather and Goretex goods and despairing howls as outdoor emporia are exited. It is never pretty. But we do hope to get up a few hills, even if it is raining. And see the inside of a few pubs, too.
March: We are hoping to bag a weekend away up in the Yorkshire Dales to marvel at an old bloke's past triumphs on one of the U S of A's longest hiking trails in a village hall. (The talk is in a village hall; not the hiking trail, you understand). But we do hope to get up a few hills, even if it is raining. And see the inside of a few pubs, too.
Then of course, there's the Snake Pass weekend - an 'Official' reunion for Challengers. We do hope to get up a few hills, even if it is raining. And see the inside of a few pubs too.
April: A busy month: We hope to stagger along with the Pieman on a hitherto unknown to me multi-day walk between two small towns 'upnorth' at very high altitudes. This will be a very difficult walk for flatlanders and we expect to struggle. We are expected to climb a few hills, even in the rain and there will be no pubs. What are we thinking?
Then in the same month of madness, we are hosting the annual PreWalkDaunder - again 'upnorth,' in an area famous for it's watery features. We will be clambering up a few hills, even if it is raining. And see the inside of a few pubs. (Phew!)
This is all good stuff and hopefully the legs will hold out.