Day 41–A Tale Of Two Runs: One In A Town, The Other In The Big City

Saturday night in the West End of London saw a great time had – The long awaited trip to see The Book of Mormon was well worth the wait, I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a theatre.

Unfortunately the night’s sleep was not so pleasant. Not seeing the pillow until around 2am, I then had the most frustrating time. I’m sure I never actually had any proper deep sleep. Instead I seemed to doze gently before waking constantly every ten minutes or so until I put myself out of my misery at around 7am and began the long process of waking myself enough to be able to step out of the hotel and begin running.

I wanted to run 20 miles. It soon became clear that if I wanted to return in time to have breakfast and catch the train back home I wouldn’t be able to run the full distance in one sitting. So a plan was hatched to run half in the morning and the remainder once I’d returned to Grantham in the afternoon.

The hotel being less than a mile away from Greenwich Park, I thought that a suitable place to knock out some easy miles without fear of getting lost or constantly stopping at junctions. What I’d not envisaged was the immaculately maintained park sat on a fairly steep hill, which, in places, was fairly savage to try and run up and down – especially first thing in the morning. This made the going tough at times although after four miles or so the legs properly woke up and this made things considerably easier. Moreover, despite the early hour, there were a good number of runners in the park and they provided a welcome target to chase down and pass.

At ten miles I called it a day and ran back to the hotel, packed and headed to a local cafe for a rather tasty Full English (Veggie) Breakfast. The promised rain began to fall and I thanked my lucky stars I’d been able to run when it was cloudy, but dry – the cold wind would have been totally miserable in the rain.

We made it to King’s Cross in plenty of time to catch the train back to Grantham. I managed to get a few minutes fitful sleep on the train – although at just over an hour, the journey didn’t allow as much sleep as I would have liked. Once home I downed a large mug of tea, ate a rather large Snickers and rather than curl up on the sofa for a highly tempting nap, I put on the running clothes, trainers, and headed out for the second run of the day.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, having never run twice in the day when the first run was more than six miles. Happily it felt fairly good – the legs more alert than they were in the morning and the niggling groin and hip somewhat less niggly thanks to a quick massage with the therapy ball. I was soon able to knock out miles at sub 7 minute pace and was closer to 6:30 by the time I had a steady tail wind to push me on. It was only in the last mile or so when I began to flag a touch, in part because I was running around in circles to bring the day’s mileage up to 20 miles.

The best part of the run though was that after around six hours of heavy wind and rain, the sun came out for when I came out to run. The stories I’d heard of biblical thunderstorms during cross country races and Long Sunday Runs made miserable by the weather meant I felt very fortunate that I’d escaped the weekend without seeing a drop of rain whilst running. The flip side was that it rained every time my wife and I headed over our anniversary weekend. Sometimes that’s just the way it is.