Today, we have a guest blog from Anglian Home Improvement’s employee Mhairi Macmillan, one of the brave and brilliant people participating in the Anglian 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon in just 24 hours! Mhairi and 12 others are doing this crazy challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour UK, a charity that helps thousands of people each year as they battle through their illness. In this part of Mhairi’s blog she discusses when she was first told about it and the early stages of her training.
“Why am I taking part?
I ask this question most days, particularly now the challenge is drawing closer and my training has not intensified to any degree.
In all honesty I have never been a fitness freak, but I do enjoy a challenge and in recent years I have taken up running and although I do enjoy this, I don’t feel as though I will ever be in good enough condition to run the London Marathon or anything like that; so when the opportunity to walk the 3 Peaks in 24 hours came about, I thought why not, this could be my chance to partake in something that is going to challenge me and my fitness levels to the maximum.
So, I am going to document my journey for you, all the way through to the challenge. I will do this through various blogs, which will follow my progress on my 3 Peaks preparation including developments on my; training schedule, fitness levels, confidence levels and most importantly my major purchasing decisions based on what equipment to buy. Hopefully this will allow you all to gain an insight into the highs and the oh so many anticipated lows on the run up to the biggest dates in my calendar of this year; the 27th-30th September 2012. Eeek, here we go!!
Gently does it… (My 3 Peaks training initiation)
I first found out about the 3 Peaks in May and I was told that we would potentially be doing it next year; so at this point I quite leisurely agreed that I would love to take part in the challenge, so my name was down in black and white on the list. To my great surprise, some weeks later I found out that the 3 Peaks was going to be happening in September; not September 2013, but September 2012…I was filled with pure dread.
I have never climbed a Mountain or a peak, and I am not a great fan of even walking up a flight of stairs, so the eminent prospect of initiating my training for this challenge was not one that particularly appealed to me, and as such I have to admit I have procrastinated and thought about all the wonderful walks, runs, swims and cycling I could do, opposed to actually acting upon it.
From a comfy office chair I was becoming more and more anxious, as I heard tales of other team members training efforts; and I do think for the first few weeks, and for the first few 3 Peak challenge team update meetings, I was a little bit in denial as I smiled and laughed at my lack of preparation for the event. I knew at this point that I didn’t want to be the one who was struggling up the first 100 metres, so I decided that on the upcoming weekend I was going to start my regime (I even created a small table of days I would exercise and what I would do- I was quite impressed at even this small step).
My first training effort was a walk along the seafront…I know what you are thinking, is this her idea of exercise? But in my defence, I walked half an hour at a rather speedy pace in one direction, and I walked down every ramp that led down from the promenade to the beach, and then ran (aka jogged, aka walked fast) back up; then I turned round and ran and walked the half an hour back to my car. I then drove home…thank goodness for motorised transport.
A new team member and a new mind set for me
So, fast forward a couple of weeks and my current placement manager Sandra Okes-Voysey (Business Excellence Director), who up until this point was not part of the 3 Peaks challenge, told me she was partaking in the challenge too. This was the turning point. Working with someone in a close proximity who was also doing the challenge and being able to talk about the undertaking of the 3 Peaks, had cemented both my commitment to the task ahead, and prompted the realisation of how serious I had to be regarding the undertaking of proper training.
I am actually going to do this then… (Is July too late to start training?)
July has been a good month of training (in my mind it has anyway). Since Sandra joined the team she has been instrumental in motivating me; we have completed several lunchtime walks- which have been unlike any walking I have ever done in my life, due to the rapid pace we seem to go at. We have also walked at Mousehold Heath, as this is apparently the closest to hilly terrain that we can get within Norwich. However, walking at Mousehold up the numerous steep inclines (and believe it or not some are quite steep) has panicked me slightly, as it has given me a tiny insight into what may be ahead, and I can’t say that this has helped my self-belief at all. In fact the more training I do; e.g. the gym, running, walking long distances and skipping etc, the more I doubt my ability to actually be able to do this walk in 24 hours. I am trying my best to knock this fear out of my head though, as I do believe that when it comes to the actual day itself, it will be a case of mind over matter…so I better start getting my mind into training too.”
There is more to come from Mhairi over the next few weeks, especially as the climb is edging ever closer! If you want to support the people taking part in the Anglian 3 Peak Challenge, you can donate by clicking here. Alternatively you can text to donate – simply text TPKS66 with the amount you would like to donate to 70070. Any support will be welcomed by everyone in the team and will help spur them up the mountains over the tiresome 24 hours.