London calling

Tower Bridge London

In my non running life I work in marketing for a travel company,and often visit London on business. When I can, I try to fit in a run as it is an interesting way to see a city and running in different places appeals to the ‘anorak’ in me.

This week I was in London to go to the annual Marketing society lecture – Lord Coe ( Seb Coe ) was the speaker giving us marketers insight to the 2012 Olympics. This should really have been a cue to take my running shoes and kit, but I confess I could not deal with the grief of taking multiple shoes for what was a very short trip.

liberty flowers

Business travel is part of my job and has its good and bad aspects, but I would say most of my business travel stress centres around what to wear and what to pack  – a feeble admission but there are reasons for this. I like to look smart when I attend business meetings, but I am not very tall – so really I should wear high heels if I want to convey the right level of gravitas 🙂 . I also prefer to walk everywhere , or take the tube, so out of choice would wear shoes that allow me to walk at a decent pace. My teenage daughters despair of this ‘dressing for comfort’ attitude – but I have never quite cast off my inner country girl and desire to stride purposefully which is really only possible in stout sensible footwear !

Battersea Power station

Now that it’s no longer eccentric to be seen wearing business dress and trainers ( thank you New York )  – this should be the perfect scenario for us runners, but then you have to factor in getting through airport security.

On short trips I don’t bother with hold baggage – so I am trying to collate my life in miniature so as to meet the criteria of bag dimensions, including one small transparent bag – toiletries -100ml max. Then you have the whole tedium of taking off belts, scarves ,coats, and shoes – so trainers can be a bit of a pain.

Crypt photos

And if like me you live in Edinburgh, or let’s be realistic pretty much anywhere in the UK – where predicting the weather is challenging – you need to devise some magical layering wardrobe that allows for snow in Scotland and a heatwave in Kensington High Street. I have learned the hard way how big the temperature differences can be between Edinburgh’s 55.9 degrees N and London’s 51.5 degrees N latitude.

So glad that my Geography degree was not completely wasted.

london bus

So let’s just say I decided that this trip was one where adding in running kit, shoes etc was just not worth the effort.

The Marketing Society lecture by Lord Coe was good, as the story of London 2012 is an inspiring tale of organisational success and from a business perspective very interesting, but for me the best part of the evening was when Lord ( Seb ) Coe took part in a more informal,chat show style conversation with gold medal triple jumper Jonathan Edwards. The conversation moved away from marketing and business and more towards a  general  discussion on motivation and inspiration and touched on Seb Coe’s training methods. Interesting  for me to discover that his father who coached him had been quite revolutionary in his approach, broadly favouring speed work over mileage, and how Seb Coe said his father was his greatest inspiration.

Seb Coe

It’s funny how when you participate in a sport at whatever level you feel a kindred spirit with anyone who shares that sport. So although it is highly unlikely that I will ever run 800m  in under 2 minutes ( 1.41.73 Coe’s best time), I found I could relate to the discussion on training methods and race tactics.

So no running for me this time in London, but plenty motivation for future runs and races from one of the UK’s best middle distance runners.

clouds above Edinburgh

5 thoughts

  1. Thats a great photo of Tower Bridge, love your angle and perspective.
    I also love how you’ve described your shoe dilemma, and although I’m not a runner, I get the whole comfort versus smart. I usually solve this with long leather boots, which look great and allow for lots of purposeful striding 🙂

    1. thanks – I only ever have my iphone with me so it can be a bit of a gamble how it turns out. Boots are good , although you do have to peel them on and off at security, and unfortunately I overdid the purposeful striding the other day wearing boots and got a massive blister !

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