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Going long

January 25, 2011

With the Virgin London Marathon less than three months away, I’ve started to pick up the distance of my long runs. While last year I meticulously measured each route before setting out, increasing my weekly mileage by a mile each time, this year I’ve taken a more haphazard approach.

The previous weekend I ran just under 18 miles, following Seven Sisters road until it reaches Regents Park, proving my inability to use a map in searching for (and eventually finding) Primrose Hill, and then taking the Canal back through Islington and following my nose until I lumbered back home. It hurt, it was tough, and I would have done anything for a nice cold glass of water around the 15 mile mark.

So, this weekend, having had a fast-and-long session of mile repeats at Finsbury Park, I took my Sunday saunter out towards Regents Park with some ill-defined aim of cutting down to Hyde Park and King James’s Park and making up an interesting return route. Remembering the previous week’s thirst, I dusted off the old Camelbak and set off… Completely forgetting any kind of carb gel.

Virgin London Marathon training run

A long, scenic route taking in Finsbury Park, Regents Park, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and King James's Park

Once back in Regents Park, I found Primrose Hill with ease (a slightly overcast view over London), navigating past the camels of ZSL. Working my way to the southern corner of the park, I had a minor aberration and had to turn back after I’d missed my exit to Baker Street (two months ago we’d had The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at book club, so it seemed appropriate). From there, I found what must have been the north edge of Hyde Park and taken a right instead of a left to head straight into Kensington Gardens.

Coming out of King James’s Park (having passed Buckingham Palace and kept a beady eye out for the park’s pelicans) I found myself in Westminster with the realisation that either the trip back home was going to be very short, or I’d massively mis-judged the distance. Trekking with leaden legs down Embankment, cutting up past St Paul’s, past the Bank of England and finally up through Shoreditch, Dalston and Stoke Newington, I can confirm that Westminster is a fair hike from home.

Rather than a neat 18 or 19 miles, I’d subjected myself to 23 miles. Which hurt, and could only be healed by a bath and several slices of marmalade on toast to do something about my blood sugar levels.

Next time I’m taking a picnic.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sonnie permalink
    January 26, 2011 4:08 pm

    All the best for the VLM Lewis. Chapeau!

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