23 October 2014
Running Around the Parks
Running is so important for my South Pole training, because it ensures that I am aerobically fit enough to take on the challenge. I want to be so over-the-top fit that that’s just not an issue while I’m gone…the mental challenge is tougher to train for!
The second race that I signed up for is the Royal Parks half marathon, running around the beautiful Hyde Park and past London landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the London Eye.
It was a beautiful day to run - cool, autumnal and clear – but as 16,000 runners and I stood at the start line with my knees knocking and my warm up wasted I was wishing for a little warmth! After 40 minutes’ wait, I had reached the start line so kicked my stiff legs into action and off we went.
Not long afterwards, I was surprised and delighted to see my brother and his wife waving and shouting at me…so I ran past pretending to be much less stiff than I really was! At mile 7 and again at mile 10 I was happy to come across another raucous gaggle of supporters, what a boost!
At the Great Langdale half, back in September, I finished in 2h 20mins which included a few serious hills, not to mention a mile or two of running around lost… So I was feeling hopeful that I could finish this relatively flat half marathon in under two hours. However, midway through the race I could tell that I wasn’t on track for that time but just couldn't will my legs to move any faster! I felt as though I could have carried on running at my pace for hour upon hour but not an iota faster!
In the end I finished in 2h, 10min and 11 seconds. Not my aim but still pretty respectable for 58 I think. I waded through the crowds, popped in to see the fantastically supportive people at the Bowel Cancer UK tent and then rejoined the family for a cuppa by the serpentine.
A fantastic day, very well organised by the Royal Parks Foundation – particularly if everyone had brought eight supporters like me - that would bring the grand total to 128,000 people to manage! I can now hang up my running shoes for a while and focus on building strength…including dragging some tyres around some fields…
Thanks to the family for making the day so special, I was so touched that you made the supreme effort to watch me trudge around the parks.