It was an early start this morning because we had to be at the pub in the New Forest at 8am. Not my preferred time for being up and about on a Saturday morning. There was quite a large group and I stayed at the front but couldn’t really walk at my normal pace because the course wasn’t marked out so I had to keep with the lead walker. I think I pushed his pace a little but still felt quite slow at 3 1/2 miles an hour.
The first mile or so was along the road although it was mainly single track with no footpaths. Then we were off road at Deep Leap and actually walking through the forest. Luckily the weather was wonderful and most of the boggy bits had dried out so the going was fairly good. We started off on a small wooded area and then through heathland for a while. When we came to the road near Lyndhurst there were a group of new forest ponies ambling around looking for food. We avoided them and crossed to walk through more heathland, past Lyndhurst itself. We made fairly good time although there were a couple of toilet stops in the wooded areas and a stop to let stragglers catch up around about the half way point.
Close to the twelve mile mark we came to the first pub and the group stopped for a drink and to wait for another group doing a five mile walk to catch up. I decided not to stop so, with a map and instructions, pushed on towards Ashurst. It was a single track through woodland and it was lovely to hear the birds singing and see all the trees beginning to come to life again after the winter.
I was a bit worried about getting lost but I’d programmed the finishing point at the pub into my phone so I kept checking my maps ap to make sure I was still on the blue line and heading in the right direction. The last two miles or so was all on road and for the last mile there were actually pavements! Legs and feet were fine when I got back to the pub but my shoulder was giving me a little trouble. All in all not to bad for my first long walk since the car accident.
Commando picked me up and took me home. Unfortunately we had football this afternoon so, after a short rest, I was off walking again to the stadium and then, after the match, home again. All this added another 4 miles to my walking total for the day but we won so it was worth it.
Tomorrow is Commando’s first race, a 10k so it will be another early morning start. Wish I’d been able to book Monday off!