Convention has it that resolutions and commitments to life improvements take place at the start of the year, but whether through my love of procrastination or a general ennui over goal setting, I have ambled through 2017 free of embarking on any big challenges or certainly where running is concerned.
At some point I thought about doing a marathon this year, then I talked myself out of it – deciding that it was always too hot in Edinburgh in May and attempting marathon number 1 at Loch Ness in September might be too much worry for me to deal with for a whole 9 months.
Marathoning can be my 2017 challenge – well maybe…
It seems that without some kind of contest to aim for,I just drift along running wise. While that is just fine and a big part of me wants running to be just a regular thing I do, given how much I have a love/hate relationship with competition, there is no escaping the focus a deadline gives me.
Twas ever thus and maybe this is why when recently browsing through my Nike+ running app and checking on the leaderboard, I noticed that my mileage for the year was close to 750 miles in late Sept.
With 3 months of the year left, the possibility of reaching 1000 miles seemed doable and the kind of challenge I relish. Setting a target mileage would help with the inevitable shortfall of winter motivation. As the days shorten and clocks change soon, much as I prefer running in cooler temperatures – running in darkness does require some incentive.
So I have done the calculations and it looks like I only need to do 20 miles a week – less than 3 a day from now till Dec 31st.
And to make it a bit easier and less of a round number I am aiming to reach 999 miles by Dec 31st .
As of today – mileage stands at 784.7 – so If I can get to 800 by the end of October, I think I am definitely in with a chance of getting that medal.
Last week in London I slept so well in my hotel room that I almost ran out of time to run, but having trundled running shoes in my trolley bag through underground stations and pavements – it would have annoyed me to not take them out for a spin.
My biggest challenge when running in London, or in any new destination I find myself in for that matter, is my rubbish sense of direction. This can result in a planned 30 minute 3 miler taking almost twice that time to complete, time keeping not helped by my tendency to easy distraction and to scurrying down lanes to take a picture of this or that, of crossing roads to look closely at something or other, and of generally deviating from my planned route.
Sharing these tales of how I always seem to get lost wherever I go with a friend, he told me to just keep turning right (or at least I think that was the instruction). I guess the idea being that you should eventually return to where you started, something I accidentally achieved on a previous London visit when trying and failing to find the River Thames. I know that I passed the same group of Chinese tourist visitors on three different occasions at roughly the same spot.
I just hope I made the cut for their London holiday movies !
So back to this run – destined to be short and sweet as having overslept I did not have much time to spare before the start of day two of the conference I was in town for. Fortunately I was staying in Covent Garden – so even a short run would provide lots of interest and require just enough effort from me to kick start the day, get the heart rate up and make the carrying of running kit worthwhile.
From the hotel, a run down Drury lane and then a right turn into the Strand took me close to a landmark I know – Somerset House. From there I crossed Waterloo bridge to the South bank so I could run both across and alongside the Thames. The light was grey and sky was flat, a palette that suits the London landscape and murky river. I crossed Blackfriars bridge then looped back along the embankment to Somerset House.
I did not have much time to linger, but time enough to check out the exhibition in the courtyard -a collection of figures standing as sentinel, part of the 1:54 Contemporary African art fair . Then after a short view and a few snaps I retraced my route without diversion or digression to be back in time for breakfast.