A couple of weeks ago Harry and I walked from a roundabout near Whitstable to Dover as part of Amos Trust’s Just Walk Again campaign. In 2017 we went to run the marathon in Bethlehem with the intention to do it together, but I was ill and ended up having to abandon the race about nine miles in. This time we decided we would walk a marathon, most of it along the start of the Via Francigena which is a pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, marked by a little monk and some European stars.
It was a fabulous day. We walked down country roads, across fields, through tree tunnels and out the other side of a thunderstorm. It was such a treat to spend it with Harry, and it made me realise how much I’ve missed unhurried conversations and spending time in someone’s company. I wore the wrong shoes and my feet were really suffering by the end. They are now mostly recovered although I think one of my big toenails is not long for this world.
Then today I did the Dock2Dock 5k swim in the Royal Docks. I entered the race back in March and wasn’t particularly hopeful that it would happen as so many races got cancelled. But open water swimming feels like one of the easiest sports to incorporate social distancing, and I’ve kept swimming at Heron Lake over the summer. The event team did a brilliant job at making it all Covid-safer, and it was a glorious day for it.
5k is an awfully long way. I’d done 4k at Heron Lake a few weeks back which was 4 laps of a 1k loop. This swim was an out and back, in a much bigger body of water which got quite choppy in places. I thought I’d do it in 2 and half hours but in fact I ended up pausing a few times on the return swim and did it in just under three. I was grateful to the kayakers who checked I was ok and encouraged me home. I’m left wanting to improve my stroke and try to again next year!