The Nickey line is a disused railway line which runs from Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden in Hertfordshire and is a very pleasant 7 mile, undulating walk. I walked it in dense fog which, as you can see by the photos made for an eerie but somewhat monotonous walk. I am sure in summer it is a glorious walk but I found the whole 16 mile round trip from door to door incredibly tough mentally.
When I trained for the London Marathon back in 2012 and 2014, I learnt many different pain distraction techniques and boredom controlling ones too. For this walk, I borrowed one from the legendary runner Paula Radcliffe who’s unique style of running came out of this technique. As she ran, she nodded her head all the time as though she was constantly checking that her shoe laces were done up. She was actually picking a point around ten foot in front of her, focusing on it and reeling it in until is was right up to her – then she would repeat this, sometimes counting footsteps. I managed to get through at least 5 miles of the walk this way. It’s not for everyone but it works for me. The Stone Roses, New Order, London Grammer and Portishead helped the rest of the way.
Nickey line walk : 16.78 miles 833ft elevation Rucksack weight : 18 years of medical notes CLICK HERE
In the last two weeks I have walked over 100 miles averaging 7 miles a day with a mixture of elevations, terrain and weather. The recent walks have been with my medical notes weighing me down and I am gradually getting used to the added weight. This is going to plan and I will increase the mileage gradually until February.