Friday, 25 July 2014

Early morning sub 50 10K along the Thames

With just 9 days to go to my first of three marathons in three months I am caught between trying to train hard to make up for loss of due to illness and injury while at the same time trying to to take it easy as I come towards the marathon.

This morning after a pretty decent weeks of training which consisted of 29.3K on Sunday, gym & treadmill intervals on Tuesday, 11.9K run home on Wednesday and some circuit training on Thursday I was planning a nice early morning 10K along the scenic paths of the Thames in central London.

Feeling so good with my training and feeling particularly sharp this morning I decided to push for a sub 50 time which I managed comfortably.

For no reason in particular I opted to take a clockwise take on my usual Thames loop. 

From temple station I headed left along the river past Blackfriars and St Paul's, under the millennium bridge and down to The Tower of London. Then over Tower bridge and onto the South Bank, past the mayors offices all the way down to The London Eye. Up and over Westminster Bridge past Big Ben and back to my starting point.

London was looking especially good this morning in the early morning haze as the summer sun fought to break through.

I clocked my run at just under 47 minutes and from running the same route many times before I know it to be pretty spot on 10K. Take into consideration stopping to cross the road, slowing down through narrow path sections and stopping, weaving and sometimes tripping your way through London's mix of bemused pedestrians and tourists and that's a pretty nifty time.

I did feel anxious not having my mapmyrun on though to accurately record most importantly my distance but also my time and splits. Not having technology to track my distance makes me uneasy and doubtful of the time I have achieved as I feel I will have ran significantly less than the distance I was aiming for.

My last picture below is one of my favorite monuments in London. The picture is of one of the sphinx that flank either side of the Egyptian obelisk that is commonly referred to as Cleopatra's needle.

I like this monument for several reasons, firstly I like the fact there are near identical statues in New York and Paris as well as London and I have visited them all. I also like the mysticism associated with the obelisk, their Egyptian connections and the fact they date back to 1450BC. 

My real reason for it being one of my favorite sights in London is that the two Sphinx statues were installed incorrectly! The correct statue formation is meant to see the Sphinx pointing outwardly from the obelisk as they are positioned to guard the statue therefore they need to look away from it to be able to see any danger approaching. However English workmen in the 1800s thought differently (or just got it completely wrong!) and stationed them facing the statue rendering the whole obelisk incorrect and pointless! I don't know why but that fact interests and tickles me and I cant help but think of it every time I pass the monument.

On a more somber note I also like the fact that the plinths the Sphinx sit on were damaged by shrapnel in the second World War and that this damage has never been repaired as a lasting reminder of the damage inflicted upon the City during the terrible conflict. 

Thanks for reading, wherever you are running this week I hope your running is going well and you have somewhere interesting to run and some fun places to run by or some cool things to look at as you go by.