A hilly run to kick start a long weekend

posted in: Coffee, Running | 0

How’s your week going? Mine is pretty good so far in so far as the working part is OVER. Four day weekend, oh yeah. Don’t worry; I didn’t get to spend this morning lazing around, as I desperately need to start piling on the miles. 100 miles in November? Shit shit shit. 

How’s a nine-mile hilly run to get things started, eh? There were points when I would honestly have preferred to be at my desk. 


This cursed run involved me running to – and then around – Crystal Palace. For those who don’t know, this place doesn’t live up to its name. It used to…

Crystal Palace

….but a fire in 1936 put an end to that. Today it’s a nice area, with some good pubs and lots of antique shops, and a park, but its defining structure is not a palace made of crystals; it’s a TV mast.



The fact they put it there tells you that this area is ELEVATED. 



It is actually a pretty undulating run. 

Crystal Palace Elevation


In my mind though, it is uphill on the way out, and downhill on the way back. This hill, between miles 3 and 4 really drags on. Apologies for the photos from Google Maps, but the one thing that would make this hill harder is stopping to take photos every couple of minutes. But you really need to see this bastard in all its glory. 

[NB: people who live in genuinely hilly areas should feel free to stay quiet]. 

hill 2

Hill 3

hill 3.5

HIll 4

hill 4.5


One painful mile later, you get to the park itself. This is a great place to run. It’s still never just flat, but there are some nice trees, and there’s a pond. You know – park stuff.



On the way back, there is a hill between 5.5 and mile 6 which I find very painful indeed. It’s long and steep enough that by the sharpest bit, I am struggling. It always leaves me with that hopeless feeling that I am hardly moving, like I am running through treacle. The fact I barely move faster than the pedestrians I run past is really demoralising. I just have to grind through it, putting my body in charge whilst my mind cries like a baby. (As ever with me, it’s more a mental issue rather than physical one). 

Hill 5.5-6


Once I get past that though, I get to run a mile downhill, back the way I originally came (per the above photos), and then there is only one more hill before another lovely downhill stretch back home. As soon as I hit mile 6 I feel like I’m home. So even though the elevation chart doesn’t look that cut and dried, in my head, the effort is all in the first half, and then the reward is a mostly-downhill homeward bound jaunt. 


My Pile On The Miles challenge was 100 mils in November. So here we go: nine miles done; 91 to go. 

I have just signed up to a health insurance plan with work which will reward me for my exercise, if I can prove it by using a heart rate monitor. Scandalously I have had a heart rate monitor for two years, without even once trying it. So this was its first expedition, and it already earned me a free Starbucks coffee and two cinema tickets. Bonus!

I’ll write more about my first go using the heart rate monitor tomorrow. (As you can see from the watch photo, it has radically altered the number of calories it thinks I am burning – normally 100/mile!). 

A painful great way to start what promises to be a fun weekend which we’re spending with my family. Bonfire night tonight, wooo!! 🙂 Time to go and put on all the waterproof clothing I own. 



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