So I did it! I finally managed to complete one my main running ambitions, to run all the way home from work! Which is no mean feat as I work in Central London and live out in Essex approximately 13 miles as the crow flies or around 18miles to run.
I have ran part of the way home several times, often running the 11K back to West Ham station to then jump on the tube for the remainder of my journey. In the summer I did plan to run the full route but dropped out after around 13 miles as I wasn't quite fit enough to run longer and didn't have the mental strength to push myself to run through the mean streets of Dagenham.
I have planned to run the full route a few times as well but have either been waylaid by other commitments or had to focus on my marathon training rather than pursuing this goal.
But my hand was forced somewhat as I might be moving soon so my chances to run this particular route have become limited. I thought Id better do it before the dark nights and the cold winter really sets in but I was surprised at how dark and cold it got relatively quickly.
So how did it go?
It took me just under 3 hours and the route was almost 18miles! My mapmyrun didn't seem to function properly either so the real distance will be even further!
It was long and it was draining!
The first few miles are quite fun as the route takes me along the Thames, to the Tower of London past all the various sights of London.
Then its a straight run down Commercial Road to Limehouse before heading towards Canning Town an out onto the A13 for real out through Beckton and onto Barking.
The pathway is good and wide with a dedicated walkway and cycle path but you are running along the side of a busy motor way which isn't everyones idea of fun!
Then after about 12 miles the junction to finally turn off the motorway and into residential territory comes and I head towards Becontree and Dagenham.
The route then takes me past these respective tube stations before continuing my journey out towards Dagenham East in the direction of Rainham.
The most direct route is the tube route of the district line but I cant imagine TFL or thousands of commuters taking kindly to me running along the tracks!
I did try to plan my route to be as direct a possible although that's not all together direct as the road system doesn't always head where you want it to.
Soon enough I was in Elm Park and heading towards Hornchurch which gave me a much needed spring in my step as I was on home turf and running on roads I had often ran on before.
A few more roads and a few more turns and I was back in Upminster within a stones throw of my flat. The last few hundred metres gave me time to reflect on my journey and the realisation of completing my commute without the aid of a car, a taxi, a bus, a train or the tube. A pretty special feeling especially when its something I have wanted to achieve for so long!
The only down side was that my evening was pretty much over as it was now 8.20 an I was definitely too tired to do much else!
A pizza and a much deserved pint provided my refuel and after some stretching and foam rolling and a bit of a chillax in front of the TV it was time for bed!