Friday, February 19, 2010

The Body

I get asked how my (almost) 70-year old body is standing up to all this walking.

The answer is mainly pretty good. I get a bit tired sometimes, towards the end of a 30 kms walk, but sometimes I sail through it. Sometimes I wonder whether I should go at like a bull at a gate, as I do, or whether I should take it in stages, having a rest perhaps after each 10 kms. But my natural inclination is to keep going until I have finished the day’s walk. I start pretty early and like to get it all over by lunchtime.

By the next morning my body has usually recovered and is raring to go. Strangely, if I have a day off, usually because of weather or other commitments, it is on the mornings after such a rest that I feel stiff and a bit battered. This normally is forgotten after a couple of kilometres.

I have had one or two scares with the same knee which stopped me running, but have managed to exercise my way through it each time. X-rays show no damage to the bones – in fact they are in remarkably good nick considering what I have subjected them to as a distance runner for most of my life. It must be a ligament, tendon, muscle problem.

So I am hoping that, barring accident, injury or illness, the body will manage to get me through 70 days of 30 kms average until I arrive at the target. In a few days over 5 months it will all be over. And I will be wondering what to do next.

And I am still baffled as to why I have put on 6 kilos while all this has been going on. My eating habits have not changed. My input has not increased. My output is definitely more, so I would have expected to be thinner, not fatter (and it is fat, mainly on my belly). One of life’s mysteries.

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