It had been going so well, but I am now staring failure in the face. My mission to walk 35 miles a week for a whole year has failed at almost the first hurdle. It's still January and I am about to chalk up a real blow to my ambitions. I am not going to make it this week.
Disappointment. Dented pride. Weakness personified.
So now, obviously, is when I trot out the list of excuses. The reasons why I fell short. I expect sympathy, forgiveness, possibly chocolate, cards and flowers.
Week one was good, everything went to plan. Exactly 35 miles. I hit this on the final day and then must have immediately called for my sedan chair to carry me home. Week two was a blinder - 41 miles, partly explained by being in Madeira and taking nice long walks in the mountains and by the sea. Week three was solid. Despite being hemmed in by Canary wharf and work, I managed to trot out 37 miles, mostly before work whilst seeing no birds on Wanstead Flats. Which takes us to week four and failure.
It is Saturday morning and I am in Scotland at my parents house. My dad has taken a fall, and I am here helping for the first few days after his release from hospital where he has been for the last three weeks. That's not the reason I have failed however, the real reason is that I started really badly last Sunday. We had some friends round for lunch and I didn't get out, ending the day on under 50% of the required run rate. I picked it up during the week with some fog-bound local pacing but this wasn't sufficient. Going in to yesterday I needed about 11 miles, and given my day consisted of sitting down working and following my dad round the house I didn't even scrape three. Which brings me today, needing eight.
And it is raining.
This is what I really mean by failure, I am too soft. I cannot see a good reason to go out in the rain, and am thus accepting of failure, which makes me an even bigger failure. True grit would see me shrugging on my jacket and heading out into the wet, personal comfort be damned. As it is I am sat next to the Aga feeling extremely comfortable, eyeing up the kettle, and generally being pathetic. Cozily pathetic.
LATE EDIT: I am up to 10,436 steps today, or 4.8 miles after a spot of birding in snow and rain, but I am still about three miles short. Such is life.