Tag Archive for walkjogrun

Day 250 and the furniture fairies

So today is day 250… that’s 250 days of dragging my sorry ass out of bed and going running, rain or shine, hungover or not, ill or healthy.

Laura looked at me this morning as I groaned my way out of bed and said: ‘You’re beginning to hate this, aren’t you?’ Truth is, I’m not but it feels as though I have been running for ever and, as mentioned yesterday, finding another diary entry is getting to be the hardest part.

The thing about the challenge though is that marker points in days and miles seem to bunch up so over the next couple of weeks there are a few things to look forward to… 250 days today, a 1000 miles on the clock sometime this weekend, 100 days to go in another two weeks…

For the 1,000th mile this weekend, I’ve been looking to do a nice 10 miler somewhere in central London and have used the walkjogrun site to create a map of what I think would be a good route… It takes in all central London parks: Hyde, Green, St James and Regent’s in one go. You can see the route here but if you think you can do a better one, feel free to suggest something.

If you’re wondering about the furniture fairies, well I don’t know if you have them in your area but in Streatham, if you don’t want an item of furniture, whether broken or not, you leave it on the pavement outside your house and within a day it’s gone. You never see who takes it, it just disappears.

Well for the first time today, I did see who takes stuff. As I was running through Norbury, someone had left a load of kids play stuff on the street… it must have all belonged to a little girl: pink trike, pink doll’s house, pink this, pink that.

As I ran by, a white van pulled up and a young lad jumped out, grey hoody hiding his feral features from the cold, wind and rain. Within seconds, it was already loaded up, the door slammed shut and they were off.

Towards the end of the run – I’d done a big loop – I saw them again (they’d obviously cut from one end of the loop to the other), driving by at a snail’s pace, looking for more furniture to filch.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a route map and full details of the run

Miles today: 3
Target: 750
Miles to date: 986.77

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Four commons, 75 runners and 950 miles

My experience from the few races I’ve done is that I normally feel a bit blue in the week after but also ache enough to not want to try another long run the weekend after. Not so this morning.

I first opened my eyes at about 5.30am with sun streaming through the windows, managed to sleep for a little bit longer but by 6.30 I was wide awake and thinking of where I could run today. Checking the site and the details from yesterday, I realised I was just over 10 miles off reaching 950 miles, so I decided to go for it today.

Out came the lap top and the walkjogrun.net website where I plotted a route that serendipitously came to just over ten miles. It would take me from home, round Streatham Common, cut through Tooting Common to Balham, circle Clapham Common, through Wandsworth to the Common there and then back to Tooting Common before coming home.

The sun was out when I set off around 8.30 having chucked back some of the Viper Active mix I’ve been sent by Maximuscle and shoving two of the Viper gels into my pockets to refuel on the way.

The run was great: everywhere’s nice and leafy now there were loads of other people out – especially round Northcote Road in Wandsworth, an area that I’ve not been to for years. There’s a lovely fruit market there, loads of nice coffee shops and people were all eating al fresco – dead continental :)

To pass some of the time, I started to count the other runners I came across on the route, reaching 74 just before I got home and cursing the fact it wasn’t a round number. Serendipity again played a part though, about 300 yards before home, I was passed by a young lad coming in the opposite direction.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for the route map and full details of the run

Miles today: 10.1
Target: 714
Miles to date: 950.07

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Passing 800 miles near Wales

We were up at my stepbrother’s for the weekend, his little un was Christened today and Laura and I were godparents.

This morning I just managed to squeeze in a 4miler – I decided not to do too much with the Brighton Marathon just a week away – before we headed off.  I tried out the new Brooks GTS10s again today and they felt much more comfortable than yesterday.

It was only when I got back that I realised we were close enough for me to have ran to Wales, which would have been nice. Nonetheless, another milestone passed: 800 miles.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 4
Target: 612
Miles to date: 703.09

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Second and third winds over 19.2miles

A long run today and I again used walkjogrun.net to plan my route.

I’ve been waiting quite a while to try and follow the greatest part of the Wandle Trail, which follows the path of the River Wandle  from Waddon Ponds in Croydon to where the river dumps into the Thames at Wandsworth, and this is the first time I’ve ran a distance long enough to get me both there and back.

I didn’t start out from the ponds themselves but picked up the trail near Mitcham Common – I’ve already ran the earlier part of the trail several times and posted about it elsewhere on this blog so I didn’t mind starting a bit further upstream.

In the early stages, as the river winds through Poulter and Ravensbury and Morden Hall parks, the river is little but a large stream, typically English picturesque with weeping willows hanging over it… it’s very pretty and serene but today was full of midges.

Yes, the temperature has risen a good few degrees and while the sun sparkling off the water was welcome, the thousands of little buggers made running a bit of a mare; for a good half mile, I had to put my head down and keep spitting just to keep them out of my mouth and eyes.

In Ravensbury Park, the river splits into several different branches that wind away from and back to each other, creating a huge wetlands area full of ducks, geese and storks – very pretty – and you can then follow the banks as far as Merton High Street.

It then goes underground for a while, emerging back at Plough Lane where you can follow the banks through Garrat Park to Earlsfield where it disappears again … In this stretch, you can see the river’s industrial heritage. In Victorian times it was London’s ‘hardest working river’ with more than 100 mills on it’s banks (you can see an example of one at Merton Abbey Mills where there is also a delightful little crafts market).

In some places, the old mill cottages have been converted into nice new apartments or terraced houses, but in other places, it’s simply huge depots and rubbish dumps where the mills used to be. A bit sad really, the surrounding area could easily become an attraction if town planners had zoned it into a recreation zone instead of leaving it industrialised. It was here that I saw my first shopping trolley thrown in – perhaps somethings will never change.

The last stretch  goes through King George’s Park in Wandsworth before it empties into the Thames, a little underwhelmingly, I have to say, at Bell Lane Creek.

I’d probably got to 11 miles by this point and despite having now done several runs much longer, I realised my first wind had well and truly gone to the point where I almost contemplated stopping. It was hot too – I’d gone out with a long sleeve adidas thermal top under my 1095miles tee shirt, I was dripping with sweat and the bottle of Lucazade sport I’d taken with me had long been finished.

Luckily, I’ve now learnt a few tricks on long runs, so I was prepared with some cash in one of the  little pouches on my water belt and stopped at a newsagents for a quick bottle of water and to take my top off – cue a second wind from nowhere, where I started picking up speed again around 12miles only to start to flag again around as I was coming through Balham on the way home.

Mentally, I felt fine and the calves were holding up but my glutes (bum muscles) were so tight each step felt like someone was kicking my ass and I could feel the start of a massive blister on my left heel – combined the two had me shuffling miles 16, 17 and 18 where, again miraculously, I picked up again for the last mile, cantering home at a great pace.

Laura, bless her to pieces, has learnt the routine now. So a quick call 10 minutes from home had her not only filling up the bath with freezing water to relieve the muscles but also with the living room fire on and a hot water bottle at the ready for when I was done to warm me back up.

I’m pleased to say I’m feeling pretty good and pretty chuffed with myself for not giving into the couple of minor walls I came to… roll on next week’s half marathon.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 19.2
Target: 528
Miles to date: 694.56

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

The make or break run

Well that was interesting… a supposed 17mile run that ended up being 18.5 thanks to my map reading going out the window somewhere around Wimbledon Common, a relatively stiff and not a little painful first three miles, a great middle section around the Common and a last couple of miles where I stumbled from step to step like someone who’s just had a night on Lagavunin single malt (which I did by the way).

Laura had me a freezing bath on for when I got back. I lasted two minutes in two different goes of one each and followed it with a hot bath to try and warm myself up. Now Im in front of the fire, with a hot water bottle, cup of tea, ice pack on legs and, despite just having a double helping of porridge, am still starving – not unreasonable given Garmin Connect estimates I’ve spent nearly 3,000 calories running this morning.

My feet, by the way, are becoming like proper runner’s feet, the blisters from the Portsmouth Half Marathon have now turned into hard skin and the hard skin has blisters on it… one of them a nice juicy one full of blood I’m contemplating popping. Around the rest of my feet, particularly on the heels, the skin is getting all gnarly and worn – I wonder if a toe nail might go at some point.

Tomorrow is the acid test though, how I react to today’s run will determine a lot about my future endeavours.

Oh, I forgot to say… today was the furthest I have ever ran in my life!

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 18.5
Target: 507
Miles to date: 655.9

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Getting back on track

Relative to earlier this week, this morning’s run was painless – hurrah! Well when I say painless, I mean I’m still stiff but it’s a stiffness I can run with, almost at normal training pace without wincing. Ibuprofen and icepacks will hopefully now keep it at bay.

Looking forward to those 17 miles training for the Brighton Marathon tomorrow so much, I’ve already planned the route on the www.walkjogrun.net which allows me to plan routes thanks to its Google Pedometer function. This link is to the map I’ll be following and, as you can see, it will take me around Wimbledon Common, a place I’ve been wanting to run for ages.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 504
Miles to date: 637.40

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here