Sunday, 3 January 2021

My 2021 walking Challenge :: walk 1111 miles

 Hello Lovelies, 

Happy new year to you all. As promised I'm back with the details of this year's walking challenge.

For the past 6 years I have challenged myself to walk 1000 miles in the year, inspired by THIS great incentive organised by Country Walking magazine. I don't officially pay to join or anything. I just use the goal to motivate my self to get outside. I always simply record my daily total on a calendar bought specifically for this purpose.

 How do I know how far I've walked? In the early days I used an online mapping site like THIS to plot my routes and work out distances. Now I either do a route I know the length of, or  check the steps on my phone, or do a guestimate based on the amount of time a walk has taken. It really doesn't worry me if I'm a bit out. But I think I tend to err on the side of underestimating, generally. Cheating only cheats me after all.

Last January I started the year by setting my goal a bit higher.  Could I walk 1100 miles? It seemed a good idea to change things up a bit. Then came the pandemic and lockdown. I took to using our treadmill in the shed and counting those miles as the busy footpaths seemed too scary. So frustrating. I've never been scared to walk alone, but now I was scared of an invisible enemy.

My walking group had to stop and so did any long walks. But I also had more time on my hands due to my retirement, so lots of short walks, done at quiet times of the day were possible....if not that relaxing!

In the end I managed 1000 miles by late November and just managed to squeeze in 1100 miles by December 31st. YAY! The pictures in this post so far are from that final walk of 2020. On a stunningly gorgeous frosty morning.

Of course living as we are, through the worst pandemic in living history, most of the miles were done straight from my front door. We did have a short seaside break in July...a return to Swanage in Dorset, which again was not the most relaxing holiday, but it was a positive in the year.

 Before the second lockdown in November hubby, eldest and I also went for a memorably beautiful and windy walk on Stanage Edge in the Peak district. Somewhere I've always wanted to didn't disappoint. The moors will always have a special place in my heart, being the landscape of my childhood.

Anyway...I'm finally getting round to this year's goal:0) 

As I mentioned in my previous post I'm currently finding  great benefit from a daily aerobic workout. It's not that I think any less of walking, I just think the two compliment each other.

 At the same as time I was considering if it would be beneficial to include workouts and walking as one goal I got an Instagram advert for THIS challenge. Oh, it's 1084 miles to walk from Lands End to John o'Groats...that got me thinking 💡😊.

 In the end I found THIS informative and entertaining blog about an actual completed walk, which used national trails where possible and was 1111 miles long....YES!!! that's a great goal. Slightly longer than this year's and I liked all the ones :0)

This version of basically the same challenge also adds a bit of interest in a year when, lets face it, we still may not be able to journey far....well not for a few months anyway.  A virtual walk, the length of the UK , done mostly on my local paths seemed ideal. And maybe, just maybe, I might even get to walk a few miles of the actual route at some point....all being well....fingers crossed and all that!

In the end I decided I would allow 1 mile towards my goal for a 20 minute workout. Who knows if I will go off the workouts ( entirely possible ), but at least this way there's no conflict. I'm not going to talk myself out of doing them due to the need to walk. At the same time, even if I workout every day the majority of my challenge will still be outdoors, "boots on" .

So once again I'm starting a new walk tracking calendar, but this year I also have a route I printed from Mark's blog.

This means as I progress I'll note where I would have been walking if I was doing the actual Lands End to John o'Groats challenge. It just adds a bit of interest and fun.

So a close up of my calendar looks like this. W is for workout, then there's miles actually walked and the combined distance in column one. Then there's my running total for the year so far in column 2. The third column is for me to record where "I am" on the route....

Lets hope I reach John o'Groats  by the end of the year :0)

In a message I received on my phone on new year's eve, my good friend wrote (amongst other kind things) "fitness is your friend" . 
She may have meant that as a general comment. Fitness is everybody's friend it's true. But I think she knows I need this this focus. I need to keep challenging myself like this for the sake of my mental as well as physical health.

I'm so grateful my general health is still good and I can do these things in my mid 50's.

I do hope this may have inspired you to set your own matter how big or small.

Jacquie x


  1. I am very impressed with your last year and the plans for 2021! Good for you! I am such a couch potato, maybe I'll start a regimen even if it's small, thanks to your encouragement. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. Thank you so much Teresa. Good luck with any goals you set yourself xx

  2. Good luck with your walking challenge this year Jacquie. I know you can do it. I am going to try to do more walking myself this year. Just a few extra miles each week maybe.

    1. Thank you so much Beverley. Happy walking to you too x

  3. This is a great idea, I like walking too but don't feel safe alone which was why I used to walk rescue dogs although that had it's issues and the walks turned out to be small as so much time was taken catching, muzzling, logging in/out etc of the dog and then its return involved the clean up of muddy dog/towels to take home and wash etc., became too much. Like you I am also finding popular paths crowded these days and worried about distancing so haven't found a solution yet. Good luck with your challenge. I am so missing the gym, will take a look at your links.

    1. Oh I hope you try Lucy's workouts. I'm finding them so effective. She has walking ones too....which I haven't tried yet...but they could be a solution for you? xx

  4. Good luck with your goals! I'm sure the fact that you are organised helps keep track. Your photographs are beautiful. Liz

  5. You are an inspiration Jacqui. Good Luck with your goals. Jo x

  6. happy new year lovely Jacquie, so much beauty on your walks, i do enjoy your instagram feed too...thank kindly for your messages on my blog i only just saw them, really means a lot ive followed your wonderful blog for years so glad to see you here again...and good luck with your walk goals for 2021 ;)x

    1. Aww thank you so much Kazzy, yes we go way back don't we :0)
      It's great being back in blogland xx

  7. hello, I will join you:)need to move more, have a one year old pup and I love to walk. not sure what my goal is, I think I will just say that I need to go for a walk at least 4 times a week.I have been reading your blog for few years now, first time commenting:) and I just followed you on insta. keep me motivated please!!!

    1. Great news that you are setting yourself a goal M. I'm sure your dog will be thrilled with any extra walks they receive this year. Good luck x

  8. Wishing you the best luck with your walking this year, Jacquie! I'm going to try one of the aerobic workouts from the youtube channel you shared, thank you, and also want to do some yoga stretching and as much walking and spending time in nature as possible. Take care! xx


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