This week, whilst out on the regular potter with Roo and Baby Beth, I have also been doing some plotting. I’m not a great one for New Year’s resolutions of the traditional kind but I am quite fond of a challenge. This year I fancied something to help motivate me to get out of the door and active with the girls, not to mention attempt to drop the rest of that baby weight that is stubbornly hanging around nearly a year on. I love our walks but with two kiddies to organise and an increasingly busy family schedule of sport and music classes and nursery runs, coupled with the dark afternoons, sometimes we don’t get out quite as often as we used to when it was just me and Roo. That has to change in 2015!
To help spur me on, I’ve decided to start a bit of a personal challenge, My aim is to walk 1km for every day of the year – a total of 365km and as much as possible of it with the girls in tow. I’m not going to kid myself – there is no way, what with ear infections, teething and goodness knows what else to contend with, that we will get out for a walk every single day without fail, so the 365km is open to be completed whenever possible and in whatever sized chunks we can manage over the course of the year. If that means three 10km walks in one month, or longer, then so be it but the idea is to go for little and often. So long as we average around 30 km a month then we should stay on target. In theory, that should be child’s play though I already know from January’s progress review that it may not be quite that easy every month!
1km is not very far as a daily target – it is less than the distance to the local park, or our most regular field circuit and exactly the same length as the walk I often take when Roo wants to ride her balance bike. If you got one of those new-fangled pedometer thingummies for Christmas (I’m not jealous, honest) then I think that’s around 1300 steps, depending on your stride, of your recommended daily 10000. 1km on easy ground is around 15-20 minutes of walking/balance biking, or about 30- 40 minutes if you have a very mini-walker who likes to stop and poke things with sticks every 2 meters. 365km though is a lot more impressive. That’s like walking the distance between Reading and Arncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales, going via the Peaks, or about the distance you would cover to walk from Oxford to Truro in Cornwall. Not a bad target! Here’s what the #walkit365 virtual route from Reading to the Yorkshire Dales looks like…
Given that my resolution comes rather late in January, it has been a bit of a slow start for the #walkit365 challenge. We have mainly been for just very local walks and with the ground being pretty heavy going for little boots, we have traded walks for garden playtime on quite a few days. There have also been quite a lot of sick days and one recent incident involving a vomiting child which now means my smartphone which I use for tracking walks is out of action until I can get a replacement. Not an auspicious start!
I’m only counting proper walks or kid related outings as part of my target – walking in and out the shops in town doesn’t count but walking to the local park does.Neither am I including runs or other forms of non hiking outdoor ‘grown-up’ exercise I do alone. I am counting walks we do without one or other of the children being present (walks with no children at all seem to be a thing of a long distant past) but the idea is to get the girls outside enjoying nature the slow way and get them involved with as much of the #walkit365 challenge as possible. All-in-all, by my calculations we have only racked up a really quite pathetic 12km so far this month since starting the challenge. It’s going to be a busy end to the month and an even busier February!
Of our wanders so far though we have enjoyed some brilliant wintery outings with some gorgeous skies and enough mud to keep Roo happy and her boots quite often firmly wedged. The great thing about winter walking means not only fun and squelching. The bare branches also make spotting wildlife easier and we’ve had some lovely views of deer and of red kites sitting up in their perch in the top of the trees on the look-out for mice. The recent rain has also made for some beautiful waterscapes, with Roo loving the huge lakes that have sprung up in what is normally a field. The pics at the top of the page are all from our January outings so far.
To help plot our progress I’m going to be keeping a regular update on the blog and recording how we are getting on with the distance tracker in the sidebar of the front page. I will also be tracking our outdoor adventures on Instagram and Twitter using the #walkit365 hashtag. Do come and join in and see how far we can walk in a year together – you don’t have to go the whole way or you can double the distance and head for Scotland, it’s up to you. It’d be fun to see where everyone walks to, virtually speaking, throughout the year. I’m going to make it as far as Bakewell at the very least for some more of their excellent pudding!
I’m joining in with the #CountryKids linky – we will be checking back in with again regularly I’m sure with updates on our #walkit365 adventures and maybe some of you will join me for the hike?