Major milestone completed today. Yes, 500 miles on the clock, first half done. As written in my last walk1000miles newsletter, I am slightly behind my planned schedule, but going strong to be ahead of it all in a short while. In the meantime: a tiny celebration for the 500 miles achievement.
I am not really a person looking back too often, my strength is the way forward. Still, when checking out the walking and hiking stats sheet of the last six months, quite a few memories pop up.
The first half
My walk1000miles challenge started in winter, lots of cold, snow, rain and mud. Then spring arrived – with even more rain, quite unexpectedly. Too often planned longer trips did not happen, due to tons of different reasons. Early thunderstorms stopped quite a few evening walks, family and work interfered with plans for longer hikes.
Eventually, summer turned up, with warmer, sometimes hot temperatures, and trillions of flies and midgets. Hiking in the evening, in the nearby woods, has since then been pure joy (despite all those insects).
My most important setback? “Running” had to be cancelled for the rest of the year. Problems with Achilles tendons and all sorts of lower leg muscles mean I need to “walk” the entire distance. Which is, in general, quite ok, but a lot more time consuming than planned. Never mind, that’s just the way it is.
Most positive aspect of the first 500 miles?
You might think that the most important aspect is the physical movement of the body. Yes, well, it is important, true, especially as my current project keeps me sitting at my desk for most of the day, hardly moving around. But that is not what I found to be the most positive item so far.
What has more than surprised me is how little I knew of my (wider) vicinity. I have now lived in Ahrensburg for close to eleven years, and still I find streets, parts in the woods or near the lake where I have never been before. So not going on longer hikes along the coast of the Baltic Sea and staying close to home instead had not been too bad at all.
Another 500 miles – any specific plans?
Well, most of the first 500 miles have not entirely been as I had imagined them to be. Initially, I wanted to do more longer hikes. Weekends, long weekends, maybe even a week – none of which materialised. This is something I will aim for in the second half of my walk1000miles challenge.
Apart from “I want to hike longer tours” in general, I have two specific tours planned right now (route only, no dates).
- along the Gendarmstien (on Als, Denmark), app 80 km
- around the Ratzeburger See (lake near Ratzeburg), app. 30 km
Walking around the Ratzeburger See should be a one day activity.
The Gendarmstien has for quite a while been a dream of mine. I know the area already, have run parts of it, cycled on other parts. Three days should be sufficient for completing it, especially as it is always near the shore and a rather easy trail. The only challenge there: I would need to carry a tent and a sleeping bag. But: love it.
More plans exist, but I prefer to not talk about those yet and check out my time availability first…
Little 500 miles celebration
So, what is it about this celebration? No big party. Just a glass of (really good) red wine. Maybe even two glasses. And I know what will happen after the second glass: more plans, new ideas, and so on.
I’ll keep you updated.
By the way, one final note: I am sending out a monthly newsletter with updates, stories and thoughts related to my walk1000miles challenge. Don’t miss out and sign up today (signup page removed after completion of the walk1000miles challenge) – and it is, believe it or not, for free.
And what about the donations?
500 miles, half the distance – also half of the donations? I don’t know yet.
Status as of today, with 500 miles done: EUR 2.377,98. That includes a couple of one off donations, but mostly support based on “donation by mile”. If I end up with a total of round about 4.000,- then I would be absolutely thrilled.
A couple of weeks ago I have talked to the donations experts of the children’s ward of the UKE. They seemed to have been even happier than me with the money having come in already.
So, final comment: I’m ready to tackle the rest of those 1000 miles. Let’s go!