21 miles, blisters galore and a giant carrot.

Today was the start of training for the challenge walk I have coming up later in the year.

 A friend had planned a route to challenge us, and it certainly did that! 

A winding loop of twists and turns taking us through several Cambridgeshire villages and eventually across the fens. 

Setting off from my friend’s house we were soon heading out of her village and so I turned on my GPSr to track our route and mileage, no sooner had it turned on though and it was alerting me that I was very close to a geocache. I honestly hadn’t intended on getting any today due to walking but when you are right beside one…rude not to! I quickly explained to my friend I needed a moment to dip into an alley…’That strange thing I do….come and see!’ 

Who could resist an invitation like that?

Luckily it was a very quick find, and we were soon back on our way. 

No odd looks from my friend – which is not the usual response I get, in fact she was quite curious and I predict she will soon be caching with her own children. Hurrah!  

We looped through villages following quiet, country lanes and tracks and took a short section of Devil’s dyke, an ancient earthworks which runs through the local countryside.


With a decent pace we were eating the miles and decided to crack on. In the past we’ve trained for the London moonwalk together so a 20 mile walk is something we are both quite comfortable and familiar with. 

Reaching our target destination, having walked about 12 miles we stopped for a toilet break and to grab a sugary drink, our feet at this point starting to feel the pressure slightly. Motivated to get home for school runs we left the safe haven of a national trust cafe and it’s Coffee and Cakey loveliness and made tracks to the lodes way – a nine mile cycle way which passes through the fens and across the Burwell lode. Having nibbled on minor snacks during the morning we shared a Snickers. The following mile we flew!

Important note; Snickers bars are awesome walking fuel for Clare and friend.

About six miles from home we both became a bit whiney vocal about the balls of our feet starting to throb. Due to the distance we are training for (53 miles) we’ve both opted for walking specific footwear. Her in boots and myself in walking shoes designed for speed and agility on walking trails. Having previously trained in regular running shoes we both found the walking footwear much tougher on our feet. We’re hoping it’s because the shoes are newish and dreaming of our regular trainers.


Our walk through the fens is made all the more interesting as it is teeming with springtime wildlife.  My personal highlight was spotting the wild, Konik ponies. 

Always exciting to see and I even exclaimed out loud, ‘ooh look! It’s the ponies!’ 

Before remembering I’m with an adult, not three small children….oops.

Three miles from home and we both start to flag, by now it’s pretty apparent that some rather impressive blisters are forming. Having kept up the chatter for the entire walk we now both fall silent, both dealing with our discomfort and powering to home. Conversation limited to the odd expletive as we encounter a stone underfoot or cope with a change of surface. 

We arrive back weary and sore but with a feeling of achievement. Not only had we met the target of 20 miles, we had exceeded it slightly. Now we pay the price. Ouch!

With hindsight we didn’t eat enough as we were walking.

This is probably the only time I have ever made such a statement. 

This is not a problem I am familiar with! 

Both of us had eaten when hungry, just we hadn’t obviously felt hungry enough. Strange. 😳

I am however confident that this is something I will be able to overcome without too much difficulty.

*Adds snickers bars to online grocery basket* < Yep I’m finally doing it! πŸ˜‰

Oh and the giant carrot? Well today was Easter Bonnet day at school, my eldest daughter detests all things pink and pretty and recoiled in horror at the suggestion to make a bonnet. I reassured her she didn’t have to make a fluffy, froufrou number and reeled some alternatives off, she however decided she would make a carrot. 

A big carrot. 

To wear on her head. 

Mere days before she needs to wear it. 


Turns out if I provide her with some random materials from the cupboard under the sink, she can quite independently construct a rather impressive, large carrot to place upon her head. 

Hastily finished this morning I might add, but that’s always how we roll.

 On the walk to school she whispered to me;

‘I think I might win Mum…’ 

You know what, she did! 

A triumph for creative kids and disorganised mothers everywhere!


4 thoughts on “21 miles, blisters galore and a giant carrot.

  1. You go girl. I just started working out again in November and feel bushes after 5 miles! I can only imagine! How long did it take to don12 miles?? I’m very curious about this challenge and I will have to see if we have some by us. I enjoy walking!

    Hope those feet heal and feel better soon! AND….that those shoes get broken in soon enough!


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