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The 4 Peak Challenge- An Honest Review

Bristi StackWe are getting closer and closer to the big day and I can’t quite believe it is just around the corner! (Well, the 21st of July, but that won’t be long sneaking up on me!) I am constantly going back and forward between feelings of excitement and dread and as I am having a day of reflection I thought I would jot down a few of my, musings, if you will. 

TRAINING:
Ok, the big one. Training. I have been asked quite a bit what type of training I do and I would love to say that I hit the gym 6 days a week followed by a full day of hiking but that is simply not the case! I look at athletes and sometimes feel envious of their training schedules but I am slowly learning that I HAVE to stick to a schedule that works for ME. I try to go to the gym three days a week (Mon-Wed-Fri) unless those training days clash with an outdoor training session. For example, I chose a hiking day in Glenveagh on bank holiday Monday (7th May) as my gym was not running classes and we had a fab day in the sunshine! The Monday before was spent climbing Bristi Stack with Iain Miller (see photo) which was excellent upper body training. Today (Friday 11th) I skipped the gym as I am attending Wellfest in Dublin tomorrow and Sunday and will be participating in outdoor workouts while there so I chose today as a rest day. Mixing things up works well and prevents boredom setting in.

Nutrition:
I have to admit my nutrition is not where it needs to be and it is annoying me. I have a great diet generally and love the taste of healthy food which is good. My problem is that I ALSO love the taste of crisps and chocolate! I have noticed an increase in snacking throughout the day which leaves me feeling bloated by the evening. If I could train myself to eat bigger meals I think the need to snack would subside but it’s easier said than done! I am currently taking steps to improve this though and will update you when my new eating plan is up and running.

Pain:
With increased training comes increased pain. There is no getting away from it. I have started to notice niggly pain in other joints caused by trekking and have been using cannabis oil to try combat these issues. I have two types, one you ingest and one you use topically. So far I haven’t seen a huge improvement but it’s early days. My hands are really suffering due to the crutches. I returned from our trek on Monday with blisters on my right hand and my shoulders and wrists are also starting to get pissed off with this walking lark. I find the toughest thing to tolerate is my own mind wanting to interfere. When we are in pain our mind is the first place that receives this message. The brain is inside happily watching Netflix when suddenly an alarm goes off ‘PAIN LOCATED IN SHOULDERS! TELL NIKKI NOOOOOOOOOW!!!’ I then spend the rest of the trek trying to ignore this message that is being played out on repeat. If I’m honest it’s exhausting and bloody annoying! You stop appreciating your beautiful surroundings and start wishing the finish line was closer. This is going to be my biggest downfall on the day and I am trying to teach myself ways to deal with it. I have fully accepted that I will be miserable for quite a bit of the 4 Peak Challenge but I want to be able to enjoy it too despite the pain. The training for that is almost harder than the physical training! Almost..

Fundraising:
go fund me Our Go Fund Me page is up and running which is great! Click HERE to donate. I will be leaving the page up for a few months after the event as I expect most people will hear about the challenge afterwards so don’t worry if you can’t donate now.. there will be plenty of time! I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about the target. €50,000 is a lot of money for one person to raise but I am confident the good people of Ireland will come together and help me! (No pressure, not trying to guilt you into donating but, the button is right there. Look at it all big, and green, and round. Don't you just want to push it --> )

Over all I am happy with our progress and excited for the big day to arrive. Yes I have doubts and concerns but I think that is quite normal. It would be strange if I didn’t have worries when taking on a challenge of this size.
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and drop me a line any time to share your own story or to simply say hi!

Nikki xxx

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