Dog Walk Bonus

Some kind soul posted this on to one of my Facebook groups today …

I checked the source and it part of the website.

I was pondering this a couple of days back and wondering if I could, legally at least, walk the dogs and then go off on my own for MY exercise. Well, according to Her Majesty’s Government – yes it is.

Now let me justify my position. I usually walk the dogs between 06:00 and 08:00 when the streets are still generally deserted – so quiet that I can usually let the dogs run free for part of the walk, at least.

When I go off walkies, it’s often straight after my dog walks or in an evening. The streets are again quiet and my walks often take me into the countryside where I see very few people. I keep my distance when meeting others out for their constitutionals. All in all, I reckon I am at little risk of giving or receiving a dose of the dreaded virus.

Ton Up

Fifteenth of January and my annual total has just tipped over the hundred mile mark. One tenth of my #Walk 1000 miles challenge and one hundred miles nearer to the Pacific Coast.

On the right, is a Street View snap of where I am on my virtual Route 66 walk. The nearby Interstate I55 takes most of the traffic these days leaving the old Route66 to fall into some disrepair – looks like a typical UK road with all the cracks and pot-holes.

I was out early this morning doing the usual two miles per dog, pre-breakfast, walks. I may wheel out the treadmill later for another three or four miles – perhaps.

Tomorrow, I have twenty two miles pencilled in. I could do the Water Orton loop with each dog then continue on my own for another sixteen, perhaps following a route something like this …

… keeping local. At no time would I be more than three miles from home (as the proverbial crow flies).

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   4.0 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   103.0 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   897 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2175 miles

Dusting off the Treadmill

First off, let me say that the train his still going to plan and I am ninety five miles into my various challenges for 2021.

I walked the pooches this morning, clocking up a couple of miles with each. I didn’t have time to continue alone to achieve my planned eight miles.

According to the Covid restrictions, I could, and this is a grey area, have taken the dog walks as “exercising an animal” and then go out later for my own “taking exercise”. Perhaps !

Instead, I dusted off the treadmill for a session on that instead. I could still get my miles in but without going out.

Last year, when I was using the treadmill, before and during my LDWA hundred, I had it set up in it’s own room with a whacking big TV on which I could display Zwift. What was the ‘treadmill’ room is being used for it’s real purpose, namely the Home Cinema and having a treadmill stuck in front of the screen makes it very difficult to watch films.

The treadmill is stored downstairs so for today’s experiment, I wheeled it out and set it up in front of the kitchen TV. I set up the laptop next to the treadmill and with an HDMI lead, attached it to the TV. I started the Zwift app and there, right in front of me, was Paris.

It took a while to pair my footpad to the laptop – a mixture of Bluetooth setup and the Zwift app itself. I tried to get my Garmin chest-strap to pair but with less success – something for another day.

With everything set up, I changed into shorts and T-shirt, climbed on board and started the treadmill. Once up and running, I set a target of 4.1 miles on Zwift and hit the start button.

It took a short while to get used to walking on the treadmill again but was soon strolling down the Champs-Elysees. At one point I glimpsed a Montgolfier style balloon so I must be in Paris.

As I got further into my exercise, I started to warm up but luckily the treadmill was directly below a ceiling fan so that went on to provide a cooling breeze. I just need to remember not to raise my arms too high !

Just over an hour after starting, I had reached my target of 4.1 miles. The confetti cannon went off (on screen) and I resisted the urge to throw up my arms.

The experiment went very well and I shall definitely be using the tread again in the coming days. I haven’t used Zwift for a while so I’ll need to update myself and check what cities are now available (Paris is new). I could also do with getting the heart rate monitor (HRM) working – I’ve even bought a new ANT+ dongle for the laptop after being unable to find my existing one. Now that I’ve splashed out on a new one the old one is bound to turn up!

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   8.03 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   94.57 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   905.43 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2183.43 miles

Y 100 Sir Fynwy 2

I was just checking to see if my only event for the year, A Coventry Way, would actually be taking place in April (it is – at the moment) when I though about the LDWA Hundred.

The LDWA Hundred is the flagship event of the Long Distance Walking Association. Last year because of the Covid lockdown restrictions the event was held virtually.

I took part last year and had a really enjoyable weekend spent between dog walking, solo walking and a few stints on the treadmill. I managed to complete my first and so far only hundred in thirty four hours and thirty six minutes.

Anyway, because of the uncertainty over covid, the LDWA has decided to go virtual again in 2021. As the LDWA website states …

The 2020 event was very much created on the fly at short notice but thad a great atmosphere with it’s own Facebook page and even virtual qualification, kit check etc. So far the 2021 event looks a lot more official but will it still be as much fun ?

The route guidelines suggest walking either the route of a previous LDWA hundred or a hundred mile section of a long distance walk. At present, the covid restrictions say that you should only exercise locally. In the news this week, two women in Derbyshire were fined £200 for travelling FIVE miles to go for a walk so perhaps walking part of the Pennine Way would be out of the question. Of course, by May, the rules should hopefully have been relaxed somewhat.

On the plus side, successful completion of this virtual hundred (or at least fifty miles of it within twenty four hours) will count as a qualifier for next year’s (hopefully) real hundred.

Of course, I’ve signed up.

Weekly Roundup

Another week in lockdown although technically we were ‘only’ in tier 3 until Wednesday. The rules now dictate that we are only allowed to have one period of exercise per day (as per Lockdown 1). The restrictions also allow time out to exercise animals so that’s the dog walks covered.

The Route 66 Challenge is coming along nicely and I’m already up to seventy six miles so that’s an average of 7.6 miles per day – just over the required average of 6.24 meaning that, at this rate, I’ll be in LA before the end of the year.

I’ve received my second postcard after covering seventy miles.

I’ve splashed out on some new gear, namely some new Hoka shoes and a Rab base T-shirt. I’ve already got a few miles wear out of the shoes and the top should be arriving tomorrow.

Back to the Route 66 thing, to cover the 2,278 miles in 2021, I need to cover …

2278 / 365 = 6.24 per day
6.24 x 7 = 43.69 per week

My current, incomplete, master plan averages 44.4 per week so that’s okay. However, I don’t have miles planned for every day as I have to walk the puppies every day and I haven’t accounted for that. I think that I’ll have to have a look at the master plan and re-draw it with miles for every day – watch this space.

Adding in either two but usually four miles each day for the dogs and leaving the rest as is takes my weekly average up to fifty one miles. This does include a hefty forty miler penciled in for a Coventry Way should it go ahead in April.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   4.03 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   53.67 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   946.33 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2224.33 miles

Long Time – Long Walk

Trying to keep up the momentum, I had a planned eighteen miles to cover today. I had already done extra mileage earlier in the week so could afford to drop a few miles today.

Early on, I walked the puppies for a total of four miles before returning home. After dropping the other half at work, I did a quick run around Morissons for Mother.

Back home, I changed into my walking gear and was soon back out of the door and into a cold foggy morning.

I made my way up to Bacons End before heading towards Coleshill. A little before Coleshill there in an abandoned hotel which has been purchased by HS2. There was a fire engine parked here so I assume that they were using the building for training.

Turning left at the Coleshill roundabout, I made my way down to the next roundabout with another left turn towards Gilson. Gilson lead to Water Orton and then up the hill on Attleboro Lane returning to a place that I had been about an hour and a half earlier. I was on lap two.

My left foot was aching a bit (or perhaps more than a bit. I get a similar pain sometime after extended period of driving. I think that it’s extensor tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon running across the top of the foot and responsible for moving the toes.

I did a few foot stretches and wriggled my toes a bit and the pain seemed to subside a little. I pressed on.

I repeated my earlier route back to Coleshill and Gilson and ultimately to Water Orton. The foot felt a lot better and the fog lifted given the occasional glimpse of the sun.

I arrive back home after thirteen miles (for a daily total of seventeen) after around three hours.

One thing that I did notice, during my walk, was the number of, let’s say, middle aged couple out walking – a lot more than usual.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   16.95 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   72.28 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   927.72 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2205.72 miles

So, all in, today, I managed seventeen miles, the longest that I’ve walked for a while. I knew that I had walked more than usual and my legs and feet felt tired.

Crisp Morning

Sorry, not that kind of crisp !

Tyrrells | Mixed Roots | 12 X 125g. This Product Is :- Gluten Free,vegan

The snow had started falling last night and I was expecting a fair old covering this morning.

Unfortunately, a lot of it had melted as Misty and I crossed the front door threshold for our morning stroll.

Luckily, there were a few patches of virgin snow upon which we left our mark (Misty’s are on the right!)

As can be seen, my prints show a full tread pattern – that’s because I was wearing my new shoes which I haven’t worn out yet. Many of my older pairs would just leave a solid foot shaped imprint.

Not to be left out, I repeated the exercise with Gabby.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   4.1 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   55.3 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   944.7 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2222.7 miles

  Route 66    

With the four miles covered this morning, my Route 66 total now stands at fifty five miles, which puts me just south of the Windy City.

During my first week on the road, I passed on the other side of the river to Joliet prison where Jake Blues was incarcerated.

There was another Blues Brothers film moment when I passed by the suburb of Elwood.

My master plan calls for eighteen miles tomorrow but I have put in a fair few extra miles this week so may cut that down a little.

Doggie walks in the morning should give me four miles then I may do two laps of a circular walk to Coleshill, Gilson and Water Orton giving me another twelve – close enough.

Out on the (virtual) road, tomorrow’s highlight include …

  • Crossing the Kankakee River
  • The Illinois Mining Museum and
  • A stint alongside Interstate 55


Up early with the puppies and soon out of the front door, firstly with Misty and then with Gabby.

It was rather chilly with the mercury hovering around -3 however, I was wrapped up well and the dogs didn’t seem to be too concerned with the frost or the fog.

We did the usual two mile circular route to Arran Way before breakfast and a day working from home.

After work, I spent a bit of time tweaking this blog and adding a few new graphs before nipping out on my own for another couple of miles bringing the day’s total to a tad over six miles.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   6.0 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   51.0 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   949 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2227 miles

Thirty Five Miles In

  Route 66 Update    

Alternate text

As part of the package, my Route 66 challenge send me virtual postcards as various milestones along my walk to LA. Today, I received the first for covering thirty five miles. I am ahead of my required mileage of six and a bit miles a day but I need to keep that up all year !


I got out early taking each dog in turn. First out of the gate was Misty for a short mile and a bit. It was dry but cold when we set off but it soon started to snow with some big chunks mixed in.

I swapped dogs then Gabby and I repeated the route arriving home, looking very wintery, in time for breakfast.

In the afternoon, post work, I took off on my own heading towards Kingshurst where I gained the Kingfisher Walk alongside the River Cole. I followed the river for a mile and a half to Shard End from where I made my way to Castle Bromwich meeting the other half from work and clocking up another 5.2 miles.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   7.8 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   45.2 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   954.8 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   2232.8 miles

New Shoes

I have been very restrained for the last few months and resisted the urge to buy any new gear.

I did splash out on a pair of cheap walking shoes last year bu that’s about all I’ve bought.

I have worn (out) my old shoes – a mix of Salomon and Hoka but most of these are now more holes than shoes and with less tread than a formula one racing slick.

Hoping to kick start my walking, I decided to splash out on a new pair of shoes.

I have had a few pairs of Hoka One One shoes in the past and I love the cushioning and fit so after a quick trawl around t’interweb I decided on another pair of Challenger ATR5s.

After a few day’s wait, my friendly Hermes courier dropped off my new shoes.

I’ve got a five-miler planned for this afternoon so I’ll give ’em a test drive.

Occasionally, with new shoes, I get a blister on one of my heels so we’ll have to see how these go.