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100-mile Challenge: Week 3

November 13, 2011

In theory, I should have struggled to reach my weekly mileage target this week. Two days in the Oxford office, two days of all-day author meetings and none of them consecutive consigned my commuter runs to the scrapheap. 

Left with nothing but long after-work runs and a mop-up on Saturday and Sunday, I spent a lot of time running along Embankment in the dark. All very nice, but the run on Wednesday was accompanied by helicopters and an increased police presence as a result of the latest student fees protests. I could have spiced up the run by imagining I was on the run from the ‘feds’ (as the yoof round this way erroneously call the police), but instead I focused on not tripping up on the north side of the river beyond Chelsea since the lighting along the Thames Path is a little patchier than I’d previously thought.

So, this week’s mileage was made up with:

  • A smidge over 10 miles along Embankment after work on Tuesday.
  • 13.3 miles dodging tourists and trying not to trip over on the slightly darker sections after work along Embankment on Wednesday.
  • 11.5 miles through Oxford on Thursday, which started off feeling drained after a full-on day of meetings, but which ended up waking me up and thankfully making me feel a little more ready for the 90-minute drive home.
  • 17.5 miles at an average of 7 minutes a mile along the Lee Valley, through the Limehouse Basin, skirting Victoria Park and just about making it back home before the Saturday afternoon became pitch black.
  • A much more relaxing 17 miles along the Lee Valley, with a lap round Victoria Park before heading back home.

And so the week ended with a total of 69.7 miles, just 0.3 short of where I’d originally scheduled. At times my legs were tired, and at times it was an effort to go for a run rather than just make my weary way home, but I’m pleased with how this week went.
In fact, the final run of the week was longer than I’d thought I could manage. As an experiment, my girlfriend accompanied me for the run (on her bike), which meant we could have a nice chat as we clocked off the miles. Leaving Victoria Park with the sun setting, my legs were starting to feel tired (I always notice that my stride shortens when I’m running low on energy), but Lizzy perked me up with a rousing rendition of ‘The Final Countdown’ in tribute to the following advert:

It gives you an energy boost, but you don’t half get some weird looks…

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