The Hows Of Unsupported Barefoot LeJog

I think I should write a post that has the hows, the whats and the whens of this challenge.  Lots of questions have been asked and putting things into practice has meant that I have a better idea of what is sensible, what is a bad idea and how to make this thing run as smoothly as I can.

1.  Unsupported?

Well, originally I was expecting to do this alone and being completely self sufficient.  I am going to carry all the equipment that is necessary to survive on a day to day basis, use shops and water sources along the way to get what I need in terms of food and equipment and use a tent for accommodation.  Now, this challenge isn’t about achieving any record attempt but more about getting people to engage and spread awareness of both the condition and the charity, so I have said that people are welcom to join in along the way and if food or shelter is offered I am likely to say ‘yes, thank you’
2.  Barefoot?

This is the most contentious point for some.  I will be carrying a pair of Luna sandals for a few reasons.  Wet weather softens the skin on feet and so the skin wears away faster, and is far more easily damaged.  My goal is to complete the distance so if it is wet and the terrain is likely to damage my feet I am going to stick them on.  If my feet get damaged or if the terrain is such that I have to go too slow then I’ll be putting the sandals on.  If I had the luxury of time, I wouldn’t resort to the sandals.  What people should know that when I took part in the Edale Skyline race I didn’t put the sandals on despite sub zero conditions, perpetual wet surfaces and terrain that is super rugged.  It just felt like I was cheating when I took them off my pack, so they went back on my pack.

3.  Mileage schedule?

I’ve done some self experimentation and discussed this a fair bit.  Best idea is 35 miles per day, with a projected finish time of 5 weeks.  This give me a week’s grace in case I need it to recover or in case I happen to make a poor route choice.  The whole journey is so long that it’s hard to comprehend large stages, so, I won’t try and think about it.  It’s going to be a case of persistent forward motion and one step at a time.  If all goes well, I should be able to cover the distance by speed hiking or running.  

4.  Failure?

This will be the most difficult thing to acknowledge.  If something goes wrong, I’ll keep going but a point will come when I will have to acknowledge that I’ve failed.  All that means is that I decided to attempt this challenge too early, so I will go back to training and then repeat it every summer until I complete it.

5.  Motivation?

This has changed…

First it was finding if it is possible, then proving people wrong and now I’ve come to realise that these reasons are superficial.  The main thing that will move me forwards is the people I know and have met on the Internet, who have lost loved ones, survived and been given support by Stroke Association, or are caring for loved ones that have suffered a stroke.  I seem to feel a huge sense of reponsibiltiy toward these people and will feel that I have let them down if I don’t complete this challenge.  Then, there’s those who have shown support by buying a t-shirt or donating to Stroke Associstion.  I think that challenges are more achievable the more a person feels accountable for their actions.

6.  Equipment?

This is the easiest to address. I’m going to carry the minimal equipment is need.  Luxury items will be kept to a minimum and the main focus is on weight and functionality.  Too heavy and I’m going to have issues with my body.  Not functional or suitable and it’s going to potentially put a stop to the challenge.  

Hopefully this makes thing a little more clear for those interested and if you have any more questions then feel free to ask.

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