running blog


City Jogging Tours

The weekend before last, thanks to Carla and New Balance, I went with a group of running blogger friends on a guided sightseeing run in London with City Jogging Tours.


We joined their Royal London Parks and Palaces Tour starting at St James’s Park tube station and took in 4 Royal Parks, Horse Guards for the changing of the guard, The Mall, Buckingham Palace, Serpentine, Princess Diana Memorial fountain and the Albert Memorial to name a few and finished in front of Kensington Palace. The run was about 4 miles (7K) and run at an easy chatting pace with plenty of stops to discuss the landmarks along the way and allow runners at the back of the group to catch up. We were led by Amy an experienced runner and as we found out at the end pretty quick (as in elite start) marathon runner.

This tour is a great one for visitors to London but possibly not the most exciting of their tours for me because Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are where I spend many an hour running or at BMF classes. However our guide was very knowledgeable and told us about landmarks, statues, monuments and the Royal Parks so I actually found out a few new things about my running neighbourhood.


City Jogging Tours also have tours of Riverside London, Iconic London landmarks, Primrose Hill and Regents Canal, Maritime London and Hampstead Heath. They vary from 7 to 10K, for recreational runners or gentle jogs as scheduled group tours or bespoke tours.

Definitely a great way of combining sightseeing with a running workout for visitors to London and great fun for Londoners too.

New balance also kindly sent us all a pair of one of their new models of running shoes. I received a pair of their new cushioned model, 1080v3.


I have to admit that these are the first pair of New Balance running shoes I’ve ever tried. They are soft and cushioned, without being too spongy with a very plush heel counter.  I am impressed how lightweight they are and that New Balance has lowered the heel a bit. They were great straight out of the box for the tour plus a few miles home. I haven’t run in them much more since seeing as they are pretty and white and I would like to have one pair of running shoes which are not caked in mud, but they will join my shoe rotation this summer. I think they will be a great warm weather long distance road shoe.


The Long(er) run

  • I got up planning to run my postponed long run
  • Yesterdays melting snow had frozen into ice
  • The weather forecast said it would be 2 degrees around noon
  • I hatched a plan
  • I got ready to run
  • I tried to settle to get some work done
  • I listened to the radio
  • At noon I was hungry, so had a snack
  • While I waited for that to settle I felt cold
  • I tried a few chores
  • I didn’t feel like running
  • I watched neighbours (while sending some emails)
  • I put my garmin on the windowsill to get a signal
  • I felt like staying home
  • I changed my running top
  • I charged my iPod
  • I found some gloves
  • I realised I was running out of time
  • Oh well, maybe not 10 miles, maybe time to dash off 6 miles
  • Outside
  • Pavements clear, good start
  • Holland Park icy compacted snow but fun
  • Kensington Gardens and on into Hyde Park, paths mostly clear
  • Beetlebum by Blur helped me pick up the pace
  • 4 miles in, feeling too good to head home
  • Loop of Serpentine, paths icy but trail shoes great on the grass
  • Tip toeing on some slushy bits to the beat of Michael Jackson
  • 8 miles done.
  • Felt great.

Janathon day 22.  8.28 miles.  Total Janathon mileage 90.5 miles.


Longrun doodle

Today I ran 14 miles, my longest run ever (by a mile!) and I did a bit of run-doodling which together with listening to Tony Blackburn count down the top 30 from 1980 (sad Radio 2 listener I know! But some great songs to plod along to and I was delighted to find that number 16 was my favorite Bee Gees track, Spirits Having Flown.) made the time go quickly.  As you can see I now know Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens even better than I did already!

An uneventlful run, other than having to detour to the loo twice ( I know… Too much information!) and I did not appreciate having to queue either!  Oh yes, and I also found a Lego mini figure lying lost on a path so she came home to join the others

14.12 miles in 2.20.13

142 miles in Janathon, 3 days to go.

New blog feature:  Arabliz’s Saturday night movie quote.

If you guess the line you get a virtual cookie!


Return of the table of doom

I seem to have acquired a target.

The table of doom has reared its ugly head with 8 days left of Janathon. On Saturday somewhere among the finishing of my long run, refueling, stretching, having a bath, eating a big dinner, having a glass (or three) of wine… I had a conversation on Facebook with Shaun (Iliketocount) about our similar mileage and the fact that each time he ran he came back to the table to find I had gone that extra mile!  Ha ha! I said yes, we’re playing leap-frog a bit and then I casually asked him if our poor old achy legs would make it to 150 by the end of the month. Me and my big mouth… I was really just wondering out loud if I could do it myself in the warm afterglow from a long run and a glass of vino… (I ran 125 miles last year and would like to beat that, but what goal?)

So it turns out that I’d thrown down the gauntlet! Shaun trotted out 7 plus miles on Sunday, moving ahead again and blogged about the new target.  Oops looks like we’re on… 150 miles or bust! (aka spending a ton of money at the Physio!).

It wasn’t because of this that I didn’t go to BMF today (about 2.5 miles running) but went out later for a (longer) run.  I really did have to get some work finished today so made myself stay home until I had finished.  That worked, I knuckled down and got finished leaving time for an hours run this afternoon before my sons got home.

Running in Kensington Garden’s and seeing all the perfectly groomed well dressed Mums walking home with their small children also made me think about what Shaun had said about thinking it looked odd, a middle-aged man, in need of a hair cut, running around in tights!  There was me, a middle-aged women in lycra running circles in Kensington Gardens chasing ‘the table of doom’ in a running challenge looking equally odd  I decided I didn’t care because the alternatives (fat middle-aged woman eating cake or no cake!) were worse than a few odd looks.

I had a good run with the Bee Gees strutting my stuff around the serpentine feeling surprisingly good.  If anything being a bit tired is probably due to recent  late nights (going out, finishing accounts, watching Schindler’s List on DVD) and not the miles run and so far fingers crossed, touch wood, I only have mild niggles in my hip and Achilles.

6.7 miles in 64 mins.

107 miles run and 8 days to go…

Ambitious target… Can I do it?


Sunday long run

I managed to get myself out at lunch time today for my overdue long run.  It’s 3 weeks since I last ran 10 miles and only 4 weeks until my next half marathon so if I’m going to make it up to 14 miles before the HM I had to get out for a 10 miler today.

Home to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park for a few loops, round the serpentine and a nice neat circle around the round pond to make a pretty map!  The first 4 or so miles were hard going.  My legs didn’t hurt or ache anywhere I just felt tired and generally weary all over. However as usual after slogging through the first 4 miles the rest of the miles melted away and before I knew it I was at 8 miles and on the home stretch.

Like most people my mind wonders when I run and I have all sorts of creative thoughts on the hoof.  Shame I can’t always remember them afterwards. Today I started out thinking about the two great blogs I’d read before I set out from Local Adventures and Beanoutrunning about ways to skin a cat, leave your lover or save the world!  I had a few original thoughts but mainly all my mind could concentrate on was ways to shove my gloves somewhere on long runs! Pockets, waistband, bra?  Then I took off my hat!

On my loop of the serpentine today I really began to wonder if I’d been transported to a European ski resort!  Everyone I was running past was wearing hats, fur coats, puffer jackets and reflector sunglasses were everywhere! I had to keep watching the swans on the Serpentine to remind me where I was. Obviously cold crisp sunny days in London bring out all the beautiful people (and runners)!

10.13 miles in 1.40.51 mins.


Dragons, Pirates and a Badger

Juneathon day 21. Yes I have gone bonkers! The builders are still drilling next door you see…

Although the title is not all to do with my loss of sanity. Yesterday Travellinghopefully, commented on my blog, ” Tomorrow I would like to request a tableau involving a dragon, some pirates and a badger. You know, just in case something snuffly, piratey and fire-breathing occurs…” Now not to pass up a challenge I thought, mmm, fine with the Lego bit (leave that to the Teenager, my able assistant), but how could I make something snuffly (huffy and puffy, I can do), piratey or fire-breathing happen on my run?

So mid-morning I went out for a run and a little sanity time. I had an idea and so headed towards Kensington Gardens where there is a pirate ship in the Diana playground.

Unfortunately I didn’t see any pirates, dragons nor badgers although there were lots of trainee pirates running around.

Next stop was to see Peter Pan.

After all he talks to animals and knows a lots about pirates.

Now Peter Pan is a magical figure and eventually when the crowd of tourists cleared he agreed to help me but only on the condition that I promised never ever to breathe a word of it to another human being over the age of 15. Needless to say there were plenty of pirates, a badger and some close shaves with a large fire-breathing critter !

I tried to take it easy today after the past few days. Even so my calves were very tight and a bit painful. At one stage I was plodding along getting slower and slower, even the Bee Gees weren’t helping much. My motivation and faith in human nature was restored however, when I ran past 3 Squadies marching fast with big back packs. I smiled and was rewarded by 3 big grins and a high-five!

I then went on to bump into a good friend en route home so had a ‘not so brief’ stop and a good catch-up.  All in all a good run.

4.53 miles.  43 mins.
3 weeks completed! 67.44 miles.

Legs massaged with tigerbalm and foam rollered so hopefully fit for another day…and another…