Hi there, before you read the rest of this blog, I have set a challenge – see how many places mentioned here are also on the standard UK Monopoly board. First one to post the correct answer in the comments section gets a prize!
As the big day approaches my weekly distance seems to have levelled off in the 45km area but the balance within this has shifted, with the longer runs getting longer and the shorter runs being less frequent. This is because I have found I usually need a couple of days off after a big run before I tackle the rest of the week, with the first day after giving my muscles a rest and on the second day I still don’t quite have the energy to go and do more training.
This was certainly true this weekend and since Saturday I have yet to hit the road again, but then I did do my longest run on Saturday afternoon, so I reckon I deserve a rest!
I set off in some light drizzle which was fine by me, as the baking sunlight from the week before was a massive pain in the arse, and started off down the Regent’s canal towards the Limehouse basin, as usual. Another benefit of the rain was a lack of “Shoreditch trendies” – you know what I mean, the sort of people who have “haircuts” and hats, with silly skinny jeans, rolled up at the bottom. If the weather is nice then they flock to the canal, drinking their cider and generally getting in my way. No such problems this weekend though! I sound so old.
I was also feeling much less heavy legged than the week before and was confident of covering both a distant distance and doing it in a respectable time. On top of this I was giving energy gels another go, so hopefully I would get a bit of a boost near the end and not flag as much as I had been.
So, down the canal to Limehouse, no problems, then through Whitechapel and Aldgate and across the city to St Pauls, where I dived into M&S for a bottle of water and my first energy gel, around the 10km mark and in around 55 minutes, which is my target marathon pace. So far, so good. Then down to Ludgate Circus and turning right to go generally uphill to Kings Cross station. I did have to slow to a fast walk up some of the hills, but I was still generally ok and the rain had stopped, which was another bonus.
At this point I then changed my normal route to extend it a bit. Instead of heading up Pentonville to Angel and then Upper St to Highbury and Islington, I instead went up Caledonian Road and then back down to H&I. Although this is slightly longer I think it was much faster, as I was running along some fairly quiet streets instead of the hustle and bustle of Angel on a Saturday afternoon. From here it was then up towards Stoke Newington and then Manor House tube and having more energy gel, before then heading east to Stamford hill and then dropping back down through Stoke Newington and Dalston before heading for home.
I still had some energy left this point, which was a nice surprise and I did consider running on but at this point I was frankly bored of all the running and just wanted to get home and have a quick rest before going out that evening!
So, after all that I covered 27km (16.5 miles) is just over 2 hours, 40 minutes, which bodes pretty well for the big day itself, which is now just 32 days away! In that time I still have another 2 big runs to do before tapering off, as well as a long weekend in York for a wedding, although the runners will be coming with me to that one.
I am now really close to hitting my fund raising target but am running out of time, so please, if you keep forgetting to sponsor me, then forget no more and do it NOW! My page is at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningfatbloke and it is super easy to sponsor me, so please do! I am trying to raise £1,600 for the Willow Foundation, which provides special days for seriously ill young adults. Since I know that most of you lot who read this fit into that bracket, then remember they could be helping you if something happened in your life, so just think of this as prepay ;o)