Becoming part of a routine!
Were as week 1 had an element of excitement at starting something new and fresh, the middle weeks had me down with a cold and at times finding the whole thing hard and laborious. The final week just flew by. I have to say I was well and truly in routine mode. This little exercise had become part of my life. It was just a case of getting out there and doing it…no questions asked!
Sunday was a bit dull, but I wasn’t going to get caught like the previous Sunday. An evening of traipsing the Tralee streets in the rain and dark counting down the metres. This time I was out for an early afternoon walk above Tralee, to Doon. Basically Doon is a kind of hill/ridge overlooking Tralee from the North. Once up there there are a good few houses and farms, but capturing splendid views of the town, Tralee Bay and the Slieve Mish mountains. With the route set out in my mind I managed about 10 km with a steep hill thrown in.
I stayed on my two feet for Monday as the winds were very strong. This was a routine walk out to the Ballyard area of Tralee and following the old railway to Blennerville. The walk back to Tralee was along the canal.
The week was moving fast and Tuesday was a bike day with a few light hills thrown in. The wind wasn’t such a big problem and the roads were nicely sheltered. I set out from Tralee via the Kerries, into Spa, right at the Oyster, over the hill and along the old back road to Ardfert. Take a left in Ardfert and towards Doon. Up and over the hills and back home via Oakpark. A nice 27 km’s bagged!
I decided to try my first beach walk on the Wednesday. This is a walk I used to do quite regular in the past. Banna Beach car park, turn left and straight down towards Barrow. On getting back the I was still a kilometer short, but no panic. There’s plenty of beach. A quick walk towards the North and Ballyheigue and back accounted for the missing Km.
On Thursday I was back on the bike in our usual Thursday morning spin. On the day 5 of us headed towards Farranfore with a strong wind helping us along. We took a right to Firies, followed by a nice ride down the back lanes to Ballyfinnane, Kiltallagh and onto our favourite hill, Curraghmore. In all a pleasant 47 km with nice company.
On Friday I headed to Glanageety. This is a wonderful purpose built loop walk between Tralee and Castleisland. Much of the walks are on the land of hill runner John Lennihan. I went for the 8 km loop called the Bernard Bros loop. There are also the 5 and 3 km versions. In general the walk takes in track, forest, bog, woodland, streams…you name it! It’s strenuous enough and quite hilly. A good workout for experienced walkers. The 3 km is probably better for the less experienced. In winter walking boots are a good idea. One thing I can guarantee is you won’t get bored and say hello to the herd of goats and the 2 donkeys who live in the area.
On the 28th and final day I stayed with tradition for a Saturday and opted for the bike. A nice early start, leaving just after 7 am and enjoying the best weather of the day! When I do make the effort for an early start it’s worth while. The roads are nice and quiet, the sun is just rising. It’s just that special feeling that’s hard to put into words. From a route perspective I was in “sleepy” Castleisland for 8 am and headed out on the old Limerick road, constantly climbing for a good 5 km up to the Knockariddera bogs and Dan Paddy Andy cross-roads. The road up to the left takes you back to Tralee via the old landfill. On a clear day you have fantastic views of the Bay and the mountains. I padded the ride out by crossing Tralee to Blennerville and calling in to the town park, to take a look at the Tralee Parkrun. I must say it was well organised with well over 100 participants both running and walking the route around the local park.
What I learned from #fitforfeb
This was a very doable exercise for me. The appeal about doing it in February was that weather wise, it wasn’t going to be easy, but I felt getting out every day in a winter month, would set me up for the rest of the year. In so much as if I could do it in February then a nice July evening shouldn’t be too difficult? I tried to add parts of the walks and cycles into my daily routine. So for example heading down town to do something or meet someone can be incorporated into an exercise routine with a bit of careful planning. Sometimes I think it’s such a shame when people drive a short distance to work, when the bike or by foot can nearly be as quick. Even travelling into towns from a distance could be thought out in such a way were people could park outside town and complete the final distance by foot or bike. In general it’s a routine most people have to do daily, so why not get some what fit doing it? I lost about 3 kg’s this month without much effort!
So get out and give it a go. You could mix it up like I did or just stick to the bike or the feet. Pick a minimum distance to cover daily and you are off. Good luck!