Having failed to go for a run on Tuesday I was definitely going on Wednesday night and arranged with my neighbour James (Race Director of www.ringofire.co.uk) to meet up around 8pm and fit in a run.
I intended to do my my usual 9.5 / 10 mile river circuit (but maybe I should have told James first ….oops)
We started a few minutes late but wearing my Luna’s and carrying a water bottle we headed into Crane Park. Having been training alone for months I’d normally settle into my comfortable 10:15 min/mile “ultra” speed but with James I know it will be faster so we settled into around 9:30 min/mile.
It was nice when we finally cut through Twickenham and reached the Thames, where we ran along to Richmond Bridge. Once over the bridge we turned right and headed past a few restaurants on the river, Gaucho’s always smells wonderful (http://www.gauchorestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/restaurant.php?id=richmond), before reaching Petersham meadows.
The path is quite rocky and muddy on this section so we hopped over the wall into the meadows and ran along the grassy path that runs parallel, before joining the river path again a few hundred metres later.
We passed a few people walking, but the light was starting to fade, and we had to do a fair bit of navigating mud and puddles at times where the tree canopy above is quite dense so it is pretty dark. Much later and I would be wishing I had my headtorch as it is far too easy to kick a rock, and in sandals that hurts a lot!
It was a fairly warm evening but having neglected to tell James exactly how far we were going (else he would have brought water as well) meant we shared my water bottle as we got quite thirsty.
We discussed “The Wall”, how beneficial my kettle bell training was for hill climbing and and how some of the race arrangements that I viewed as successful may be relevant to James’s event. We also talked about me having to make a decision soon about running the 50 mile Copper Canyons Ultra Marathon (CCUM) in Mexico in early March 2013 as entries have now opened.
We reached Teddington Lock, crossed the river, and headed back through Teddington to home. Running on pavement is always a real “downer” after the trails along the river.
It was a good run and nice to be able to chat with James as we ran, which is also a good check that we were running aerobically!