Not much at all really. Last post was over two weeks ago, where I was pretty sure I'd be doing nothing over the Christmas. It didn't quite work out like that as it turns out, but I still didn't do that much besides stuff my gob!
One of the days I went out for a quick run around the block, worked out at just over 6km. I was a bit nervous of doing this, as I live in quite a rural place, where I know the neighbours would have been talking! Still, I bit the bullet and was pretty happy with the run. Pity I didn't keep the routine up.
Then on St. Stephen's day (or Boxing Day if you're not Irish) I attempted something I'd been meaning to do for ages...it's called the Tochar Walk and it's a 20 (odd) mile walk from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick (a.k.a. The Reek), probably Irelands best known "mountain" (a bit over 7oom). This was the "mountain" that I had to climb during Gael Force last August, so this walk was to double as some training for next years event.
So I set off from home (about 1km from the Abbey) at 9am on the trek. Day was a pretty cold, but fresh morning and a little bit foggy. The terrain was pretty boggy \ marshy in parts and I generally found it tough going.
A couple of hours into the walk I made it to the traditional half way point, the Church in the village of Aughagower. I'd never actually been to the village before and it certainly looked quite quaint and pituresque (it's church has a Round Tower which is not something you see everyday). However, this is the place it all started to go wrong. I lost the track and ended up walking along the a road "aiming" for Croagh Patrick. I was quickly discovering that most of the roads seemed to go perpendicuar to the mountain instead of towards it, which was becoming increasingly frustrating as the km's clocked up.
I managed to get to a main road and proceeded to follow what I assumed would be the shortest route only to find myself at a dead end, 2-3 km from the mountain, with dogs barking wildly at me from a nearby house. At that point, cold, annoyed and dejected, I decided to cut my losses and call my sister for a lift home. A decent effort by all accounts, in which I clocked up 30km in 5hrs 30m.
I subsequently bought an ordinance survey map of the route and it's pretty obvious where I went wrong...I'll probably give it another go the next time I'm home.