Last Sunday evening I did a quick plan for the week ahead. It was complicated by the fact i had friends staying which while it would be good fun would knock out Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Friday night was out too, so it looked as if i would need to cut down from the scheduled 5 runs to 4. But that could work with a bit of jigging and give reasonable quality and distance over the week.
After 11 miles on Sunday I went out with a group from the Swan in Hampton Wick. Felt sluggish at first but got progressively better on a fine summers evening. Ended up running 5.3 miles at an average 9.15 pace, so a good session.
Come Thursday i was looking forward to doing at least 6 miles with a group at the Hawker Centre, but when i arrived realised i had completely forgotten it was the club handicap over 5k. Other times I would have done it but on this occasion I had my heart set on a bit more distance, so I set off along the river path from Ham towards Richmond for a long slow solo effort. It was a good evening for running if a bit on the warm side, and its a rally nice route, reaching Richmond bridge at about 3.5 miles. Crossed over the Thames and followed the river path to Twickenham, then through Cross Deep and Stawberry Hill on the road to Teddington. Crossed back over the river at Teddington Lock and back on the Surrey side to Ham. It was almost dark when I got back to the Hawker, but turned out well with 7.4 miles completed in a shade under 10mm average.
Saturday is of course parkrun day. I am really religious about parkruns these days as my 500 is in sight, albeit over a year away. But 5k was not enough so I decided to run there and back to rack up the extra miles. Ran the 2 miles down to Kingston parkrun and got in line felling well warmed up. Had a good start apart from a little early bogging down in the tight towpath section but came through the first mile in sub 8 minutes, which was fast. Second mile slipped a bit but came on strong in the third and finished in 25.02. Thats my fastest parkrun this year and a massive 21seconds year best for Kingston so very pleased with that. Only downside was failing to break the 25minute barrier. Getting into 24 minutes again would be a big result. Ran back slowly to clock up 7 miles overall.
Sunday was forecasr to be hot so an early start was required and I was out of the house before 8am. Today was the first “proper” long run of the campaign, looking for 13 miles or looked at another way, half of the full marathon distance. I decided to go for a fairly flat route so went into Richmond park at Ladderstyle and followed the Tamsin trail round to the Roehampton gate. From there its a couple of miles on minor roads to Barnes, joining the River Thames fairly close to Barnes railbridge. Then its a straight towpath run to Richmond, taking in Kew on the way. I was running a steady 10mm when I cam across a big group of runners gathered under a bridge. It turned out they were there for a regular free 10k organised on the last Sunday of the month by Up and Running.. At about 8 miles I met up with fellow Noel, a fellow Straggler and regular marathon runner. I remember doing the Brighton Marathon with him some years back. Hes a lot quicker than me but is coming back from injury, so we ran together for a couple of miles which made then shoot by. While we were running some of the fast 10k runners cane past and then back towards us when the reached the turn point. I recognised several including Jim Durkin from the Straggs, Dan the manager at U&R surbiton and Ricky the manager at the U&R Sheen branch was at the turn point.
After parting company from Noel I still had three miles to go and it was getting hot. I started to slow a bit and did the remainder of the run at around 10.30 average. Nice cut though Richmond Park from Petersham gate and finished up the steep hill section at Kingston, up Liverpool Road and Cresent road to home. 13.33 miles at around 10.15 average, total run time about 2hours 15m.
So over the week although only 4 runs still made the distance target of 33 miles and staying on track. 37 miles next week with a long run of 15 miles. Starting to build up!