“Mind over matter. The mind can break you or make you, it’s a powerful thing.”
Hi all, I am Jane Hyde.
It’s been a couple of months and time seems to fly by. Training for my events has increased immensely in the build up to “London 2 Brighton”, a 100km walking challenge, at the end of May.
To help with this I signed up for several events back to back in April with my Walk the Walk Buddies. It helps so much to mix with people as the miles don’t seem quite as long, so I took part in the Chocathon and Cakeathon organised by Saxons, Vikings and Normans, and had a great couple of weekends away with like-minded friends.
May was a big month for me, as the first weekend I needed to do a 35 miler, scary but it was sitting on my shoulder until I could get it done.
Luckily a WTW Buddy Julie was doing L2B as well and we decided to walk this one together. So, a wake-up call at 5am, my husband Roger drove me to Petersfield and on the way we picked up Julie. I seemed to have a rucksack full as I always take the kitchen sink!
Our plan was to walk the Hangers Way to Alton, 18, miles there, then 18 miles back, it’s mostly off road and I was so glad of the company, laughter, fun and even the odd playground slide to be tested out! Being early it was also lovely to listen to the birds singing. The miles soon flew by and it wasn’t long until we decided to take a quick break. (This is one thing I have to learn to do as your body needs to be fed and watered). Then on wards to Alton we went.
We got to Alton just after lunchtime and had a longer break, sitting down and assessing any blisters etc. All was good so, off we went on the return.
I love walking in the country, it’s so peaceful, sometimes we just need to take the time to look around and see our beautiful countryside, breath in the air and relax. There are lots of hills for our tired legs, (but we know it will help on L2B.) It starts to rain in the last few miles, so we dug deep with tired legs knowing these long mileages were nearly done.
The next weekend I had The MoonWalk London, the iconic marathon through the night wearing decorated bras, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
I have done The MoonWalk London several times now and still get nervous, as every walk is so different, but its great to meet up with old and new Walk the Walk friends. We all have the same reason for taking on the challenge, to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and to help in any way we can.
Roger volunteered again this year and he loves the atmosphere. As with most things, we couldn’t do it with out the volunteers or the Walk the Walk crew, who all work so hard and so many hours to organise everything to get us safely around London (as Roger tells me he has so much fun supporting everyone).
We all met in the big pink tent, it was great to catch up with buddies I haven’t seen for a while, there was entertainment while we waited, then a minute’s silence, remembering loved ones lost.
It wasn’t long before we set off, it was a bit chilly, but before long I’d warmed up and the miles flew by, seeing London by night has a very different feeling to it, but I’m always amazed at how many people support and toot their horns as they drive pass. I guess they don’t often see 15,000 women and men walk through the night in decorated bras!
At 20 miles I started to slow down, but as I crossed the road I read a sign one of the volunteers is holding up – “Every step you do gives me more time with my family”. Reading this refocuses me and gives me determination to finish. I was going through nothing compared to what others who are fighting the fight against cancer
It’s always a great sight finishing, receiving my medal and getting a hug from friends and volunteers. I don’t feel any fitter but know I must be, as I can cover more miles and not ache the next day.
As L2B is in a couple of weeks, my training has now decreased. For reasons I’m not sure, I find these weeks hard as I’m finding more aches and pains come to the surface of this old body, as always a sports massage is what the body needs.
London 2 Brighton!
Well the weekend arrived and after a very early start we set off to Richmond Park to register and start. We had a car full, as were taking both Julie and Christine. Julie was walking the 100k with me and Christine was joining us for 56k. Also Julie’s husband Paul joined Roger as support crew for us.
The weather was looking good so we were all trying to walk with the least amount of equipment, especially as we had 8 rest stops on our way and each one provided snacks, drinks, hot food etc. When we got to Richmond we met up with other Walk the Walk family and support crew. It’s always great to get a hug before we begin.
They will be at most stops supporting and cheering us on, we can always hear them from several miles out, which is always great to hear when you’re getting tired. Claire (another Walk the Walk Buddy) and her friend Leigh joined us for the first 25k – it’s great to chat as we catch up and time and distance flew by, soon we were all at the first rest stop.
It wasn’t long before we were off again, it takes some time to walk out of London, but soon we were going under the M25 and there was more countryside. At some point I realised that I wasn’t feeling great. At the next stop (the lunch stop) I checked that I was drinking enough water. I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up a bug, so I told Roger and the others that wasn’t feeling great. You can’t walk with people and not let them know why you’re walking slower. They were all supportive and it just shows how we all pull together.
It was fun, as they started to play mind games, to take my mind off how I feel. I had to stop for a while, just to sit down between rest stops (so not like me) and I was relieved to get to the 40k rest stop. I decided here that I was probably going to pull out, I was gutted but know it’s the right thing to do, I just needed to get to our support team and talk to Roger (they couldn’t get to this stop so are 2 miles further on).
After spending 20 minutes with the guys, I decided to try and get to the 56k rest stop and see how I felt (I have asked the others to go on as I might be here for sometime until I decide what to do). I plugged into some music and used walking poles for this section, anything to re focus away from how I feel.
My mind was all over the place and I just needed to switch off and walk. Our minds can be the ones to stop us, or help us achieve things we didn’t know possible. Over the next hours it was about digging deep, mind over matter!
I finally get to Tulley’s farm at 56k and somehow feel a bit better. Christine has finished her distance. I’m so pleased for her what a great achievement. Julie and I try to eat. It’s hard to fancy anything, but we know we have to try at least. As it was starting to get dark, we leave here with a Trek Master, they keep an eye on everyone and anyone struggling they try to help. Our Trek Master was called Sean, he promised he get me to the end even if he had to kick my butt, ha-ha! The night seemed to go on forever, but at every stop our support crew were there cheering us on, filling up our water and getting cups of hot drinks.
Often, Julie and I wondered where we were, as we ducked under trees and walked through fields, but soon it was light and we could see Ditchling Hill looming from a distance. It looked high and our legs soon realized that we had already covered 88k, ouch! But it was head down time and I so wasn’t walking 88k back, so up we went!
The last 12k seemed like forever and I was so pleased to see Brighton Racecourse, in the distance. As I walked through the finish line with Julie and all the clapping and cheering, I got quite emotional. I was so proud of what Julie had achieved.
I really didn’t think I would finish and at some points felt I would not have done, without my Walk the Walk buddies. I’m so proud of them all achieving their goals and being kind enough to help me.
Our group of Walk the Walkers has a saying – “never leave a man (or woman!) behind”. And London 2 Brighton really was all about that for me this year.
Thank you so much team buddies. I have learnt a lot about myself this month. Our bodies can do more than we can ever imagine! Now time to rest up.
Miles to date 820 (boots on)!