This week we went for a stroll through the countryside. 5 miles of countryside and what felt like the next episode for survival of the fittest. The Sister has been strolling the same route for a few weeks now and has a personal best of 1 hour and 21 minutes. Little did I know when I agreed to go with her on a dog walk (less the dog as he's not the keenest of walkers) that it would be a route march to not only beat her own record but also that of her neighbours' 1 hour 15 minutes best.
Start - 11.15am. The Sisters dog has given in to demands that she must walk at a pace to match a power walker at all times - no toilet breaks or sniffing allowed. I should have realised it was more than a stroll when I saw her outfit - lycra top, lycra pants and trainers with an extra cushion insole. The only thing missing was a headband!
Mile 1 - A nice pleasant pace and easy conversation, until we left civilisation and approached the first hill - going down was obviously OK, but OMG going up. At this stage I became slightly worried about the dress code I had chosen (against The Sisters advice) - jeans, vest top, long cardigan and...........flip flops. It was only a bloody stroll through the countryside!
Mile 2 - After turning left at a junction, there it was in the distance - the next hill! I suggested going the slightly quicker off-road route and exploring the fields. We could see the church steeple in the distance. Just head for that. No, this is the route and this is the way we have to go! So down the decline we went and then the long climb up. The pace was decidedly slowing down, thank god.
Mile 3 - We arrived at the village church slightly behind schedule, so I was told (I got married here 2 years ago, it is beautiful and comes highly recommended). Little did The Sister know that by the time we reached the church I was done in - it doesn't do any good to give in to her competitive nature though. As far as she was concerned, I was as fresh as a daisy and raring to cover a couple more miles!! She couldn't see me very quietly trotting to keep up and deep breathing to the point of needing oxygen if rest didn't come soon. When she turned round I would walk casually and hold my breath so she wouldn't see the panting. I think by this stage she had realised that her personal best was not to be beaten today - clearly in bringing me along to encourage her on, had failed. I had slowed her down (never to be admitted).
We weren't even allowed a rest on the bench at the village duck pond. As we approached I could feel relief at surviving to the halfway point of this ordeal, descend upon me. But no, on we ploughed, no time for rest, straight past my salvation, me secretly preying a tractor would pass and I could hitch a ride. Her walking like a woman on a mission to out do those who had tried and won before her.
Mile 4 - The breathing was quite rapid by this stage but had to be kept extremely silent so The Sister couldn't hear me
struggling. By now I would have given anything to let this test of endurance be over - except the satisfaction on The Sisters face knowing she had beaten me. So on we went past the ducks, sheep and pigs and the odd farmer tending his flock.
It wasn't a bad idea, it just wasn't a really good one due to overgrowth hiding who knows what creatures, stinging nettles and a lot of persuasion to get The Sisters dog through the stile. But it reduced 5 minutes of the
Never one to be beaten! But alas the personal best (and definitely the neighbours best) was not to be outdone today.
Finish - 12.47pm
P.S. The only pictures of me to prove I was there - Sis, you stick to the walking, I'll stick to taking the photo's!!