My marathon plan says I have to run 20miles today. It'll be my longest training run.
I'll let you into a little secret.
I'm not really looking forward to it.
I was due to leave home at 9am but I was successfully able to delay that by several hours.
I've meticulously planned a route. I hate running laps. I'm weak. My will power is strong but not as strong as the pain. So I invariably cave a lap or two before I'm supposed to.
I hate running somewhere and then back again. The whole of the way out I'm questioning myself. There and back? That seems pretty futile. Pointless. Why am I hurting myself for no reason?
So I found a way. I run point to point. I get the train somewhere and run home. There's no incentive to stop. Stopping just means home is further away (in terms of time, not distance, you pedant).
So I keep on running.
It's not quick, the bus and train combo to get anywhere is a pain. But at least I'm sitting down and warm. Today it's a double pain with the Northern Line down so today it'll be bus-train-bus-run. Ugh.
Running home has worked well for me so far. 10 miles? Smashed it. 13miles? A breeze. 16 miles? No problem.
And today I'm starting at Finchley Central in North London. And running south, towards Woolwich in South East London, through Highgate, Archway (yes, both hilly, I know) and then hooking up with the Prince Regent canal at Angel.
Should be pretty flat for a while. No traffic and scenic too. Passing Victoria Park and down towards Limehouse. Down the west side of the Isle of Dogs, looking out over the Thames and through the Greenwich foot tunnel. Those stairs. Should count them sometime. Painful yet addictive. Humming the Rocky theme tune. A short 50m walk to get my breath back (hey, I've just run up 7 ish flights of stairs, heart rate at 190ish, I'm allowed a short walk!) and then off again dodging the tourists.
Greenwich Park is pleasantly green but the start of the big hill home. Pretty much a gradual uphill route home for the last three miles. Train hard. Race easy. It's a big road, noisy, ugly but close to home. Ah Woolwich, sometimes I do love you. No stopping now.
And then I realise, it almost sounds like I'm starting to enjoy myself. But then, that is the best thing about running. The finishing.
Three weeks tomorrow. 26.2 miles.
Your support means a lot, whether online, in person at the race or financially. I love you all. x