And so the walk is done.

You know what… missing Glastonbury, camping for nearly 6 weeks and wearing the same clothes day in day out has ALL been worth it. It has been a week since I completed the walk and I still feel very strange being inside so much and not on the road with the map and bag. I think I need a little more time before I can actually say wow well done Hannah you have walked over 400 miles. And all that money you guys donated! I truly feel so happy to be apart of the TWOWEEKS team and to say I walked for them, I know I keep going on about it and all the thank you’s and all the waffle but I feel so over the moon that little ol’ me walked all that way, it brings a tear to my eye 🙂

And so now back to reality, what to do with the rest of my life? All my energy for the last 6,7,8 months has been in planning the walk, the route, the training, eating well, learning about nature, how can I put all of this into practice and use it for the rest of my life?

Many things to think about, I think I could go walking some more perhaps? Who knows…

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The Ranken’s Adventure

So tomorrow is the BIG day, we are off, off and away up to Edinburgh.

Tomorrow is the start of my journey, we drive up in the early hours, set up camp to start walking on Monday. I have my maps, my gear, my feet and my mind… I guessI am as ready as they can be? How ready can you be for a 400 mile walk. I do not know what is to come but I have a very positive, happy outlook on all this. I have my supporters, all you lovely donators and my parents, gosh they have been so very kind, I am forever thankful to them, as without them this walk just would not be going ahead.

So watch this space, I will be updating when I can, probably with stories of a lost toe, an adopted dog and maybe even a few miles achieved. We shall see what Scotland has to offer. Here we go!

Walking to work, protein bars and my happy little deformed toe…

Hello all

Just a little update on what’s new with me.

So last night I felt like going for a little walk, as I normally love doing after work. Time to think, chat to friends, get my feet hardened for the real deal (which is happening on 23rd May BTW!). So I started to walk, I walked to Vauxhall.. 3 miles… I walked to Clapham Junction 4.5 miles… I just walked the whole way home back to Putney… 8 miles! Fantastic.

I then decided hmmm… let’s give that another go but in reverse at 6am instead, so I walked from Putney back to work in Central London. Another 8 miles, maybe I should go again tonight?

When I reached the office this morning I had a little nibble on my well awaited Protein Bar, ok so have you ever tried a Protein Bar? It takes like old, cardboard, mixed with off socks. Why on earth must I eat this? I think I will stick to bananas and eggs. Disgusting!

I must say I do feel pretty knackered now from it all sat at my desk. But good knackered, happy, energised, content.

Oh yes and my little deformed toe I hear you asking? Well I have been wearing a toe ring for the past 3 or 4 years and took it off recently, my toe is rather misshapen and painful. The toe ring was actually moulding into my toe, strange how the body adapts to funny bits of decorative metal.

well that is my last few day recap, it is now only a few weeks until I go. I cannot believe it has come around so quickly. I am happy inside my soul. Beautifully happy and content with my life right at this moment in time. I have been waiting a long time to say this.

Thank you Mother Earth x

Just thinking aloud…

This morning I met a man that enlightened me. I felt uplifted in seeing the good work he does out in South Africa, it brought me back to the reality of why I am doing this walk in the first place. It has made me want to write a little… so here goes…

I often get rather bogged down on the nitty gritty, let’s remember what this walk is actually all about, why did I start this in the first place?

Kids that need support, that do not have a family, a mother to hold their hand and pick them back up when they are low, they are the ones that I am walking for!

Someone asked me the other day “What will you do when you are so low and want to give up?” Well all I have to do is think these kids cannot just give up, they cannot just walk away from what is happening in their life so why should I? All I need to do is get up and walk, then sleep and eat, and then just get up and walk again and again until it is done. Simple, right?

I have this overwhelming drive and inner soul that is always wanting to escape and I think some people think I am one big joke. “Is this girl for real?” I am for real, I am not a joke and I have so much to give.

Fancy sponsoring my walk? CLICK HERE

Thank you for reading, maybe today is your day to stop and make a difference?

Baffin in action

Testing my Baffin wear.

Baffin is Canada’s largest manufacturer of boots, especially designed for winter seasons. They also do a fantastic range of clothing items too, which I tested out this weekend.

Baffin is an Island in Canada named after the English navigator and explorer William Baffin, who died in January 1622. It is Canada’s largest island and sits in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It has an extremely cold climate so Baffin boots would be ideal here as most of Baffin Island lies above the chilly Arctic Circle.

This is all very interesting to me as I would not of known any of this information if it had not been for the outdoors brand Baffin to have brought it all to my attention. You learn something new everyday!

So my experiences with Baffin… I decided to try out my short sleeve mid-layer Baffin vest top, with a breathable long sleeve under top (not Baffin) to keep my arms warm. It was a sunny day but there was still a chill in the air and it was fairly windy. Normally when I have been training I get so itchy and hot and stuffy from some of my other mid-layers I wear, but my Baffin just keep me so happy and regulated, I didn’t need to add or remove any extra layers… when I was in the shade I zipped right up, when in the sun I just undid the zip, fantastic little number!

It has really nice sort of reflective lines around the pockets and down the front zip, which I think adds a nice touch, easy to see in the dark – I haven’t tried it out in the dark but will definitely come in handy. I also really like the material it is made with (what is the material??) it feels spongy and different to any other outdoors item I have felt, it holds its shape really well.

I can’t really fault this product as it is made perfectly for the sort of thing I am going to be using it for. I am very excited to try out my other Baffin top, which I will do on my next train maybe in the week. I love trying new things! This is a lovely brand, well designed, high quality material – I would recommend to walkers and hikers, a very lightweight and useful item to have in your backpack.

Thank you Baffin x

hannahs walk   Baffin Hannah's Walk

You can see the product I tested here.

Make your own energy bars!

Granola bars are a great blend of fruit and nuts held together in a tasty, chewy package that will travel well in your day bag or jersey pocket.

The great thing about these homemade energy bars is that you can use fruit spreads as part of the paste to bind everything together, giving it more taste and more natural sugars too.

Ingredients

  • 80g butter
  • 80g honey
  • 40g pear and apricot or prune spread
  • 80g dark brown sugar
  • 120g jumbo oats
  • 30g walnut pieces
  • 30g sultanas
  • 30g organic dried apricots
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 30g sunflower seeds
  • 30g linseeds

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Now line a 20cm round (or square) baking tin with greaseproof baking paper and thinly grease the inside of it.

2. In a large saucepan melt the butter, honey, fruit spread and sugar together on a medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Now bring it to the boil and cook for two minutes so that the sugar caramelises, making it a sticky sauce.

3. Add the oats and mix well then add all of the other fruits, nuts and seeds. Give this a good mix, then pour it into the cake tin and pat down with the back of a metal spoon. Then place the tin in the middle of the oven.

4. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until set. If it starts to burn before then, cover it with foil. Once ready just turn it out and leave to cool on a rack, then slice into wedges to suit your appetite.

Chef’s tips

This is a sweet snack thanks to the honey and fruit paste, but most of the sugars are slower burning fruit sugars so you shouldn’t get a big rush/crash from these bars. Oats contain lots of soluble fibre that helps to regulate sugar release so this balances well with the sweetness.

This recipe does contain a lot of different ingredients so try shopping in a health food store that sells by weight so you can just get what you need. Alternatively, if you don’t want to buy all that, just pick your favourites and add more of them, or swap the fruit paste for more honey, the walnuts for pecans and so on.

As long as you get a thick, firm mixture to push into the cake tin you should find it’s still super tasty.

Thanks guys, will definitely be trying this recipe out 🙂

Tips on foot blisters. Yes tasty blisters. yummy.

The blister is most probably going to be my best friend when I set off on my walk. There is only so much preparation I can do for the dreaded blister. I have fairly hardened feet which always helps prevent a blister but you just cannot stop them creeping in.

I found this lovely little article titled ‘ Tips on blisters’ from Peter Robins, it was actually written in 2005 but it is still very relevant, I have pulled out a few key tips:

  • If you feel a small stone or gravel or anything in your boot, remove it immediately, it won’t go away as it has nowhere to go, it is best out of the boot and back onto the ground with the rest of those annoying little rocks and gravel pieces.
  • Make sure you have the right boot for you, if its comfy and decent go for it, if its cheap and feels small, thin, or if it is old, get something different. You really will benefit from a good boot. And wear them in a fair bit beforehand.
  • wear two pairs of socks, a thinner inner pair and an outer thicker, this helps with sweat, thinner socks are easier to dry and will hopefully absorb most of the sweat before reaching the thicker pair. The thicker pair is for that little bit more padding. Wash the inner pair every evening and they should be dry by morning.
  • Your boot might be waterproof but if in snow or heavy rain the wet can get in from the top and absorb down into the boot and sock, not fun at all. So wear waterproof trousers or gaiters. Very fashionable attire I’ve heard these days.
  • Wash your feet in the evening not in the morning, feet soften once exposed to a toasty bath or hot shower, perhaps shower of an evening? something to think about..

For the full blistering article go here.

These Boots Were Made For Walking

I have finally walked through my first pair of boots…

I was walking in Richmond park and thought… gosh… my left sole of my foot is killing me what on earth..? So I undid it and had a good peak inside the boot, I believe I am nearly at the bottom of the boot and right through to the ground! Well ok maybe I am over exaggerating a little! But I have walked through the innersole and I have had them for maybe 6 or 7 years? Maybe longer… It could be time for a new pair perhaps?

Good bye boots!

Hannahs walk