Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Day 3 - Running up that hill

Type - Steady run

Distance - 3 miles

Time - 25 minutes 37 seconds

It would have been sensible at this stage to have a rest day, or, at the very least, to have a session of cross training. But two things conspired to send me out on the road again. The first was a bloody minded ambition to up my running ability back to a level I was happier with. The second was in having no time to go to the gym and cross train. So I thought I would have a gentle run and cross train tomorrow.

I had evening plans, so the route would go from work, down the Strand, across Trafalgar Square, down the Mall, round the Victoria Monument and Buckingham Palace, down Birdcage Walk, through to Westminster Abbey, past the Houses of Parliament and along the Embankment to an unwelcome short but sharp hill up Savoy Place back to the Strand (map).

The route followed paths trod a few days earlier for Mark and Jarlath's sixth marathon in the London parks. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and running through the gorgeous St. James's Park and past some of London's most iconic buildings can't fail to lift the spirits. But the echoes of the boys' run made me consider how much I was taking on. Three miles is a paltry 11.5% of a marathon, and there is a long way to go.

Fighting through the crowded pavements is also not the best way to relieve tension - it would be best to plan the runs better so that there was more time in quiet park and less time sidestepping tourists and next-guessing the random moves of wild-eyed, single toed pigeons.

But despite these trepidations and annoyances I managed to pick up the pace and complete a distance a little over three miles in 25 minutes 37 seconds which is, for the mathematically inclined, a pace of 12 km/h. A goal for the summer's 10k runs would be to double both the distance of today's run and the time. I would be very happy with a 50 minute 10k for the Great London Run or the Pride Run.

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