Keep on Walking – with Adventure Geek

My challenge this year has been to Walk 1000 miles and with doing mostly 2 walks a day I need to keep things interesting and find new places to walk. In my last update and progress report I have been storming ahead with my walking after a health setback in February.

First we discovered this great website called Northamptonshire Walks where we can download and follow walks all over Northamptonshire and beyond. With my walking pack ( 4 adults and 3 dogs) we have done walk 1 – Castle Ashby which was our first foray out, walk 2 – Collingtree and a couple of other walks too. These work well if you download the walk from the blog and save it on your phone just in case you have a limited phone connection and there are handy pictures and pointers to keep you on the straight and narrow. There are loads to choose from on the website and you can download an excel file of walks too which tell you distance, terrain, dog friendly and if there are loo stops of pubs en route.

There is another local option in Northants too – Adventure Geek has walks on their website and runs guided walks both locally and longer adventures further afield if you really take to this walking lark. Julia Doherty, who I vaguely knew through business networking over the years, has been able to make her passion her business through starting Adventure Geek. My sister had been going on the local walks for a while but I was always busy – but this week I finally took the plunge and went on a new walk which included a walk through Kellmarsh Tunnel along the old Northampton to Market Harborough disused railway line.

Adventure Geek allows you to go on two walks free of charge so you can try before you buy, or you can then pay as you go £4 per walk or pay £10 a month if you plan to join them regularly. If you are at all shy or worried about joining ‘strangers’ for a walk then really don’t be – they made us very welcome, were mindful of covid protocols, and kept to a pace which meant it felt inclusive and fun for all. You can clearly see on the website the length of the walk and the terrain and also dogs and children are welcome if the walk is suitable. You can also download the walk routes as GPX files or PDFs to follow yourself if you don’t fancy a group walk.

I definitely enjoyed chatting to a few different people as we walked along, including Julia the Adventure Geek herself. It was interesting hearing about the adventures they have had walking the Camino Pyrenees and the West Highland Way which are some of the further afield trips Julia organises. I hear she has big plans to walk right across America too.

So if you want to break out and get walking but don’t feel confident exploring the countryside alone then joining with Adventure Geek walks is both cost effective and highly recommended as a way to explore new areas in Northamptonshire.

Just keep walking!

Walk1000Miles Update

If you have joined me in walking more in 2021 then how is it going? Are you keeping up or are you waiting for the summer months to really get going?

I had a storming start in January on the #walk1000miles challenge and walked just over 100 miles to get ahead of myself – and it is a good job I did as in mid February I bent down to pick up my pilates mat after my class and something in my back went ping. Who says exercise isn’t dangerous?

I was lucky that my osteopath was able to set me on the right track for recovery, and I was strictly told not to walk longer than 20 mins once the original spasms had faded, so I was glad to have a few extra miles ahead of the game. I just had to move regularly and go for more shorter walks and I managed to just keep on track in February. My Aloe Heat Lotion and MSM Gel were absolutely invaluable too and I applied them regularly to my lower back.

Now in March my back is still a little stiff, but I am back walking longer distances and really enjoying the great outdoors – and today, 10th March, I hit the 200 miles in 2021 mark. I am nearing Plymouth according to the My Virtual Mission #walk1000miles map tracking my #1000miles from Lands End to John O’Groats.

What I am really pleased about is back allowing I have been getting out rain or shine, mud or mist, and enjoying the local countryside and trying out new footpaths and seeing some great scenery all within walking distance of my front door, and walking with all the family too.

Here are a few of my favourite pics and the sights we have seen in my first 200 miles in 2021. Please share your stories and progress in the comments here and also join my Facebook support group if you are doing a walking challenge too this year.

Walking 1000 Miles in 2021

How are you keeping motivated during this #lockdown3 to keep moving and keep healthy? Back in 2012 when was 5 years post op from my hip replacement I started in January using Endomondo and doing a walk 100 miles in January challenge with my best mate.

We got quite competitive with it, and once January was done decided to do the same in February. At the time I was a school run mum and we didn’t even have a dog so I used to walk with my bestie, short ones during the week mostly and longer on the lovely 6 mile walk round our local forest at the weekends. But it still wasn’t quite enough so I used to get to outside my kid’s school for the school run early and then just walk round in circles on the streets around the school any opportunity I got. There was no getting away with it – and doing the challenge definitely helped me move more.

We actually kept the challenge going every month that year, and ended up realising on New Years Eve we were 6 miles off having walked 1300 miles in one year, so off we went and hit the target. I felt though that walking was very time consuming, and I was losing weight and getting fitter and I wanted to do other things with my time, so I parked the excessive walking, and in 2015 when we got Daisy Dog, our Jack Russell Cross, we walked more again but just not quite as much as previously.

Daisy in 2015

So when in my Keto Fitness Club chat they were talking about the #walk1000mile challenge I was reluctant to join in. I was feeling like I didn’t have the time, the head space or the energy. And my best mate now has two primary school aged kids which make it difficult to for the longer walks, and she likes to run, which I tried but gave up as I don’t want my hip replacement to wear out too quick.

But then news of the latest lockdown came out again, and walking is something you can do right through the winter if you pick your moment or just wear the right gear, and the dog needs to go out every day anyway, and I can walk on shorter walks with my best mate and her new puppy but still do additional walks myself to get the miles in, so I thought why not join in.

Walking with the Puppy !

So the long and the short of it is I am doing the #1000miles challenge – and I have set up a facebook group for others joining in too, so if you fancy motivating yourself to get out and move more then do come and join us.

I have found now in the first 13 days of January I have already walked 45 miles ‘boots on ‘ (I am even learning the lingo – this means I am only counting outdoor walking and not converting my fitbit steps to miles – although either method is perfectly acceptable) and joining the challenge and being able to walk with others being the only way we are permitted to actually see and speak to anyone right now is definitely helping me stay off the sofa more and get outdoors more – even if my dog has now sometimes decided to not come with me !

If you have chosen to do a walking challenge too then let me know in the comment below and let’s support each other !