Tag Archives: london

“And it’s Not About You Joggers that Go Around an’ ’round an’ ’round…”

To quote the Blur song from way back when, but today it was certainly about going round and round and round. 

My training programme called for 12.5 miles and I didn’t want to go off on a wild run around London for that distance. Too much planning to get the right distance for a circuit. 

Instead, I chose to run to “The Regent’s Park” and do loops to meet the goal. 

The park was two miles from my hotel and, after completing the first loop, I found it was about 2.7 miles in circumference. Therefore, three loops and the run back should make my target (near enough). 

Regent’s Park is home to London Zoo and you can hear the noises of the animals as they wake in the morning. There were also some reindeer out in a separate enclosure that were looking at me strangely as I ran by each time. 

There were plenty of other runners around in the park as well as gangs of cyclists doing circuits and riding waaaaay to close behind cars in an effort to draft them. If you are there for the exercise, surely drafting is a folly? Something to think about, cyclists?

The park is a nice place to run but the outer path has quite a busy road next to it that does leave you tasting the fumes a bit. It was nicer running on the inner pathways, but you cannot do that around the north end by the zoo. 

There was one runner there with her tiny dog (some sort of terrier) that looked like you wouldn’t want to run with it as you’d think t would be too slow. But, bugger me, it was a fast little thing and they easily blew past me and kept on going for quite a time before they stopped to rest. I was really surprised. 

By mile ten I was tired and the lack of fuel was beginning to slow me down. I was glad to be heading back towards my hotel and the free breakfast. 

Running back along Oxford Street at prime opening time was treacherous and often required me to skip into the bus lane to avoid laying out some poor pedestrian. 

I wasn’t far off in that estimate and ended at 12.2 miles. Damned if I was going to do that last 0.3 just for the hell of it. 

The route wasn’t picturesque so no photos again today. 

I did find a track at the northern edge of the park that I didn’t know existed. This will be good as I need to do 10 x 200s as one of my runs this week… I guess that will be tomorrow but I’m pretty sore right now. 

One other good thing about London: my meeting today was down in the theatre district and so I’m enjoying a warm beer in a classic London bar (Porterhouse) and soaking up the atmosphere while staring into my phone and typing frantically. 

Low ceiling and illuminated beer cases abound at Porterhouse. Along with a very wide range of beers. 

Off in search of food next: curry. Yum. 

A British institution. 🙂


London 2017: Running Tourism

I’m back in the U.K. for some charity business and found myself in need of a run. 

So, I planned an interest 5.5 mile route that took in many sights of London. 

I started on Kingsway and headed down toward The Strand and through theatre district. 

This led to Trafalgar Square and the entrance to The Mall. This run along St. James’ Park takes you to Buckingham Palace (“Mornin’ Ma’am!”). 

A swift left-turn takes you back towards the Thames and Westminster. And, yes, I timed it perfectly to hear the seven AM chimes. Dong!

Over the Westminster bridge and then down onto the South Bank and past the Millennium Wheel. It was quite icy down here by the river so I chose to run along the tree line as the roots provide a little extra heat into the ground and reduce ice (top-tip).

Running past the Arty cinemas and museums of the South Bank, I eventually ended up at the Millennium Bridge and crossed back to the north-side. 

This bridge leaves you with one of the most English view available: a clear shot of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Lovely. No time for picture though. 

(This is what I saw; thanks interwebs)

I made a right turn and turned north when I saw signs for Farringdon. After checking my gps, I found the road back towards my hotel and finished in good time. 

A really fast 8:08 pace which feels really fast when you are in a city. I only had to stop for lights four times on the whole run. 

It was again great to see sooooooo many cyclists and run-commuters in London. This always makes me smile. I saw a line of about thirty bikes at one point on my run. Crazy!

I was overtaken once on the route (as I headed up the steps in front of St. Paul’s) and overtook a lot of people while I was out. 

I hope to get out again in the remaining two mornings I have here. 

I’ll try to take some pictures on the next run. Promise. 

Trucking Away

Well, following my running relapse I have managed to get back into things. 

Last weekend was a write-off running-wise as my wife was away in Cincinnati running a half-marathon with a bunch of pigs (not derogatory, it is a pig-based theme run). This left me home with the kids and no chance to run. 

On the positive side my wife did bring a lot of pig related paraphernalia home with her; t-shirts, mugs, pens, etc. Bacon the most of a pork situation… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a few swine puns). 

Fortunately this left me fresh-legged for my Monday morning run with my friend so I made him pay for it with a higher pace seven miler. And to give him his dues, he did stick with it although I’ve heard that he suffered a but for the rest of the day. 

To be fair, he is also suffering because he has upped his weekly running by adding a weekend trail run through Valley Forge Park. 

I also managed to get out on Tuesday and Thursday for 8-9 mile runs so I feel like things are back on track. 

Now I’m heading off the England for a week to do some work with the British Computer Society (BCS) and to catch up with my ‘rents. It should be a quiet week with a couple of days in London and at my family home, but here should be plenty of opportunity for running and I’m looking forward to it. 

I’ll also have a day out in the countryside of Oxfordshire and I’m definitely going to run while I’m there! That should be beautiful. 

I’ll try not to be so much of a stranger to the blogosphere and to get back on track. 🙂

Now I’m going to trot (oink) off to my plane and stop this tripe. 

Travel Running: London #3, Regent’s Park

I’ve been fortunate enough to fit in one last trip to London for the British Computer Society to attend their International Sections Conference before I have to start work. 

For this trip they booked a hotel that’s very near Regent’s Park so, naturally, that became my destination of choice for my first run. 

I started by running around the Outer Circle of the park and along the Regent’s Canal path. This part of the run was devoid of all but a couple of walkers. The London Zoo actually spans across this canal and you can hear a lot of the animals as they are waking up (no, you are not being followed by a lion). There is an aviary right by the canal, too. 

Once I’d completed the Outer Circle, coming back down around the boating lake, I ran the Inner Circle (see gate in picture above). 

There’s something about large parks in the centre of a city that makes my mind drift back to the centuries that came before. To think that this park is still very much like it was in the times of Conan-Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) is amazing to me. 

If it weren’t for all the brightly Lycra-clad people running and riding here, it could be anytime in history. 

The park is clearly liked by cyclists as there were several swarms of them circling the Outer Circle. I think traffic may be restricted here so it gives them a protected place to get some speed work in. Cyclists and runner have very different areas of the park to use so that restricts any conflicts there. 

There was also one lady riding around and around the Inner Circle. She passed me four times (opposite direction) while I ran around it. That would drive me nuts!

5.25 miles with an official pace of 7:39 although while in the park it was nearer 7:22 for the most part. The road crossings on the way back to the hotel slowed me down considerably on that leg. 

Given my lack of running during my recent vacation I need to start building up my distances again. This’ll do for today as I have to stay awake through the conference. 

Running Tourism: London Day 2

As promised yesterday, I took myself down the eastern side of the South bank this morning.

After the mile run down to the river I crossed on Westminster Bridge and then headed east. The view from the bridge this morning was a little brighter.

2015/01/img_4195.jpgOnce I started East there were plenty of photo opportunities along the river.

2015/01/img_4198.jpgFirst up was St Paul’s Cathedral which still looks good against the skyline despite all the modern buildings that are trying to take over.

2015/01/img_4199.jpgNext up was The Queen Elizabeth The First in a dock. Much smaller that version 2.

The trail around here started to get a little sketchy as it twisted in and it from the riverfront. When I found it next I had this view of a ship and the City.

2015/01/img_4200.jpgNext up was Tower Bridge. This is an iconic bridge and I had never run or walked across it before. I have two pictures of the bridge and one from it.



2015/01/img_4203.jpgOnce over the bridge I headed underneath and back West along the north embankment. This took me past The Tower of London.

2015/01/img_4204.jpgThe run here was also quite twisty but it was at least signposted. A security guard waved me toward one entrance that I would have otherwise missed in my quick run.

I was out for an hour and 37 seconds and covered 7.75 miles. So the pace was… (You should be able to do that in your head)… 7:46! Not bad given all the photo stops.

I have to say how impressed I am with Londoners and their improved fitness. So many people were running along the river and there are many many people using bicycles throughout the City. It is a really noticeable change from when I was last working here 14 years ago. But they could all do with cheering up a little, the miserable buggers.

The run back up the hill to the hotel was hard because of the traffic fumes starting to build. I knew this would be the case but had wanted to have a little more light for the run today, plus I have no meetings that I have to rush too.

2015/01/img_4205.pngOff to see my friends in my home town tonight and maybe take a run around that area. My folks say it has changed completely…

Running Tourism: London

Surprise, I’m in London! One of the charities I work with is having a council meeting in London and they brought me over for it. Yay! Perfect timing as I’m still unemployed and it is hard to do things like this when you are woking full time.

I arrived yesterday lunchtime and spent the afternoon pottering around and buying some running socks as I forgot to pack them. Then I met up with my niece and nephew who both live and work in London for what can only be described as a skinful of beer (I believe that is the correct collective noun) at the Princess Louise pub. This is a very nicely restored old style british pub with many different parlours. Five pints and a small glass of wine, and a lot of good quality talk.

After closing out the bar at 11:20 and only having had 3.5 hours sleep over the 40 hours I made a plan for an early morning run.

Sleep. Water. Crisps for sustenance. More water… At five AM my brain woke up thanks to jetlag so I got up and ready to head out.

My hotel overlooks Tavistock Square which is near King’s Cross Station. I had checked on MapMyRun and it looked like a good place to go to was the Southbank of the River Thames which is pedestrianised.

I made sure to learn my route as I have no cell data plan here and then headed out.

At 5:30 London’s air actually doesn’t taste quite so bad as normal. It was a mile run down to the river and I took a couple of photos from the bridge.

2015/01/img_4183.jpgIf you look carefully you should be able to make out the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral on the left of the image.

After all that beer I knew I couldn’t go too far so I chose to run towards the west so that I could go past the Houses of Parliment.

2015/01/img_4185.jpgNot too much to see in the photos at this time of day, but there you go.

There were quite a few runners out and one actually overtook me… He didn’t get away but definitely went past and held the lead. No one was very friendly despite my continued greetings.

I turned around at the three mile mark which was right by Mr. James Bond’s MI6 office, and ran back. Tomorrow I’ll go east along the river.

Six miles with a 7:44 average pace is not too shabby either. Now to get breakfast and lean up for the meeting.