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Running away then running home

I was in France (near Nantes) for my big sister’s wedding. Whilst the week was amazing in many other ways, I also went on two runs. I’m feeling very happy with myself!

The first run was with my little sister and my dad (who is amazingly fit having run the London Marathon in 2008). We wanted a flat scenic route along a canal, which ended up being a pretty boring route. There was no variety to the scenery…it was 1.5 miles in a straight line, then back. I definitely need some visual stimulation to keep me going.

I went on a second run with my boyfriend, which was 6.29 miles in 1 hour 10 mins down small little French country lanes. I borrowed my dad’s special GPS watch which can tell you your distance, speed (miles per hour) and time. I couldn’t stop looking at it! I’m aiming for 10 minute miles, which would mean I’d finish the half marathon in 2 hours 10 mins. The first three miles flew by, but mile four and five were a real struggle. I got seriously worried about having to do over double that on race day. I think I had enjoyed too much good French wine and cheese by this point of the holiday…

Running home

I was all geared up to run home from work (Farringdon to Shepherds Bush) but then it started to get really dark…and then it wouldn’t stop raining. After procrastinating for a long time I decided to man-up and go for it. What if it’s raining on race day? I couldn’t wimp out then!

So, I left…and had to wait outside for ages while the GPS watch found the satellite (too many tall buildings in London!) and by the time I actually started running the rain had stopped! And by the time I had got to Hyde Park the sun was shining! The route of the Royal Parks Half Marathon is so beautiful, that I almost started looking forward to the actual race.

My boyfriend had a good tip — not to think of the distance as individual miles, but separate it into distinct areas. So mentally I broke up the run into Farringdon to Hyde Park, Hyde Park and then Notting Hill Gate to my house, which really made the run feel manageable. Also, because I had never been to many of the places I was running along, I always had to look for the next turn for my route. This distracted me enough so that I wasn’t constantly looking at my watch. The 6.82 miles, 1 hr 20 mins felt easier than the previous one in France.

It’s less than a month now until race day so I need to be sensible about my training. I went on a quick 3 mile run on Saturday and again this morning to keep the body ticking over but am planning my next long run back from work again. I’m also going to the Royal Parks workshop training sessions on Saturday morning.

If anyone who is doing the Royal Parks Half Marathon wants to join, register online with the Royal Parks. Then I’m heading off to the Great North Run in Newcastle (not to take part, just to cheer!).

Good luck to all the Save the Children runners!

Find out more about running for Save the Children

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