Helloooooo Friday! Looking good my friend.
It’s a bank holiday here in the UK, meaning we have Monday off work. Very happy days. This is my last weekend at home for a while now, so I intend to make the most of it. By which I mean, spending ample amount of time in bed drinking coffee.
A number of things pointed me to do a longer run midweek, and for once it wasn’t a lack of time at the weekend. Firstly, my bike needed to be serviced, so I was going to be running home anyway. Secondly, I needed to swing by my brother’s old place to pick up some post for him. When I realised that this would actually be a 10 mile run anyway, I decided to make the most of running in a different location than usual to bump it up to 13 miles. I am getting a bit sick of the three-commons route I have done a few times recently (and which overlaps with the first 3 miles of my run to work – BORING! Bored now).
I knew I needed a proper pre-run snack, so when I found this rather ancient Cliff bar lurking in my exercise drawer, I decided that would do.
Yeah….not quite in date but I’m really tough. (I threw away the ones with 2015 expiration dates).
I dropped my bike off at Evans Cycles in the West End….
…..and then headed towards Hyde Park. Here I opted to do my first bit of “unnecessary” running, to bump up the miles. Rather than heading immediately South, just running the Eastern side of the park, I headed West to run the North, West and Southern sides of the park.
It’s easy to get confused where you are when running in the London parks, as often the paths are straight, but actually cut a diagonal meaning you don’t always track the roads.
The second half of the Royal Parks Half Marathon – which happens entirely in Hyde Park – is the running equivalent for putting a blindfold on someone, spinning them round for two minutes then asking them to pin a tail on a donkey. You just run on all these windy paths, and eventually have no idea which way the finish line is (although the watch keeps me painfully aware of how far away it is).
Fortunately, I knew I needed to run down the Broadwalk, which would be hard to miss.
I left the park near Knightsbridge, one of the posher areas of London and home to Harrods.
I love the cycle route that takes you from Hyde Park down to Chelsea Bridge (and then onto my neck of the woods – very handy for cycling to the West End!).
It uses fairly-quiet residential roads lined with cars which cost more than my flat and flats that cost more than my lifetime earning potential.
Even though there’s bound to be a more direct route, I followed the cycle route which is well signposted/familiar to me.
Instead of crossing Chelsea Bridge, I stayed north of the river to add in a few more “unnecessary” miles.The pavement is nice and wide here, and I love running by the Thames.
That said, it was windy down by the river, and I started to really feel the cold. I also started to feeling hungry. I guess the Cliff bar wasn’t sufficient. I still haven’t got my pre-afternoon-run snack sorted. I’ll keep experimenting!
I went over the next bridge to the West, Albert Bridge. I then immediately doubled back on myself to run along the Thames again, in the opposite direction, in Battersea Park.
If you’ve ever them running in an episode of Made In Chelsea, this is where. I fit right in, don’t I? (Er….).
After running round three sides of Battersea Park (so I was facing West again!) I headed along one of South London’s more miserable roads to Wandsworth Town, where my brother used to live. Once I had collected his post, I made my way home on more dull roads, tired but buoyed by the fact I was on the home stretch.
>13 miles @ 8:17 pace
Fortunately, I had bolognese sauce waiting for me in the slow cooker. I’d managed to turn off the timer, so it had been cooking for 15 hours rather than eight. Fortunately, it’s pretty hard to screw up slow cooking (try as I might).
And I leave you with this. As ever, you’re welcome.