Bit of an exciting week has been had. Well, I say exciting…I think it is exciting, or at least interesting, but you may not. Read on, my friends, and see for yourself…
Run 34 – Tuesday morning was a quick dash round a few roads as I hadn’t accounted for a) having to be at work extra early to meet someone and b) having to de-ice my car so much. But something is better than nothing.
Walk 2 – I had a day off work on Wednesday, and went to London with Guest Walker 2 to try and walk parts of the marathon route. I thought it would be good to do at some point before April, to try and get my bearings and work out vaguely where I’ll be going. I like to know these things. We decided to head for Greenwich Park and find the start so I could see where this ordeal would begin. It was ridiculously foggy, but quiet and beautiful, even at 11.45am when this ‘what I call’ lovely (soz, Miranda moment) picture was taken. Well at least it was quiet until we came along. We did a 3 mile circuit round the park and back out to the Cutty Sark which is also on the route. After lunch we headed for the finish line in St James’ Park, and worked backwards along the route following it all the way back to Tower Bridge, and then back to London Bridge again which was around 6 miles. So we walked about a third of the total route, and I feel like I’m piecing the route together. Not bad for a couple of girls having a chilled out day off.
Non-Run – Thursday morning I woke up bright and early (5am to be precise, don’t know why) and ready for action. It wasn’t till I looked out the window and saw how icy it was on the paths that I realised it really wouldn’t be sensible to try and run. I’ve never felt gutted about the weather stopping me from being able to go for a run, until now – it means I think I’m going to have to join the gym to be able to get through the winter months. Oh dear.
New Person – So, the low down on this new person is as follows: basically someone arranged for me to meet a sporty type person (fitness instructor…I think) as they had run the marathon previously, and could probably give some helpful advice. Brill, I thought, sounds…helpful. And it was. Three things to think about in training for the marathon: building in distance, building in variety, and building in fuel. Apparently he’ll tell me more about it next time. It also appears he’s going to be a total hero and write out a training plan or my for after Christmas, and help me out along the way. Amazing! Thanks FI (his name from now on).
Run 35 – Time for a long run on a lovely bright but chilly Saturday morning. After our weekly house pancake session, off I went. It was a great route down around the edge of the city walls and then heading out to Chartham and back. It’s a flat path that runs right by the river the whole way, and very peaceful to run along. However, there were serious perils I encountered along the way – take note, and learn:
People – yes, you lot. Well, most likely not you per se, but human beings using the path. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing the British nod and brief ‘hello’ to those who I pass by. But sometimes there comes the ‘excuse me’ situation where you try to ask discreetly, which is clearly too under-the-breath, so you ask a bit louder and then make them jump and it all becomes a bit of a confusion for a few seconds. Runners, brace yourself, slow down and shout loud and clear. It’s the only way. And then of course you have the competition, fellow runners out enjoying the morning. One girl overtook me and although she was a lot faster, I had her in my sights for ages. Then all of a sudden at a gate she stopped and turned to run back again. Being so focused, I just followed her when I got to the same gate, thinking that was the end of the path. It wasn’t until I started running back and heard my arm (RunKeeper) shouting ‘4 miles’ at me that I clicked – it wasn’t the end of the path! Quickly I turned back again and it was another half mile till I could finally quite literally shout, ‘wahey, I’ve made it to Chartham’. Moral of the story – don’t get distracted by other runners. Keep your eyes on your own prize.
Animals – Oh yes, animals, and it’s not just the dogs off the leads that think it’s fun to run in circles around you. Sheep are also a hazard. A gang of them heading towards you is quite terrifying. And then there is navigating the poo everywhere that at points makes it hard to see the path.
Kissing Gates – I decided from the start that slippery cattle grids were too much of a risk to run over and I would be using the gates at every opportunity. This was going well until a fellow runner reach the gate at the same time. He went for the gate the same time I did and well…awkward whale alert. And it wasn’t until I was almost done that I saw my choice of gate usage was a good one – two girls were crossing the cattle grid as I came pass and one slipped and went through the bars. Giving first aid wasn’t on my list when thinking about the run this morning (don’t worry, she was fine – more a bruised ego than anything else I think).
It was a good run, and the 1 hour 28 mins it took to do 7.6 miles reflects a much more realistic average time of 11 mins 38 secs a mile compared to last weeks Olympic speeds recorded. Goodo. Onwards and upwards.