Running (and the environment)

Thank you for reading my running blog.

Avoiding the dark mass of despair

If you read last week’s blog you may have spotted that I had arranged for Mark Rowlands (of Running with the Pack fame) to talk to Serpentine Running Club members on Monday (4 March) about his new book. It was an enjoyable and fascinating evening at a brilliant venue (Waterstone’s Piccadilly) and it was good to see so many Serpies there. Mark talked about the ideas in his book and the role philosophy can play during the experiences of running, including how to overcome the “dark mass of despair” when that final mile seems never-ending. Many thanks to Mark, his publishers (Granta) and Waterstone’s.

A natural high

After Sunday’s (3 March) Bath Half marathon, my week started on a high. My Achilles problem seems to have survived the (major) undulations of walking in Bristol and the (less major) undulations of running in Bath, though I’m still applying the ice and my patience. It makes such a difference running in a crowd of people. I don’t necessarily think it’s a better thing, it’s just a very different experience – fun, all the same.

Mobile tranquility

Tuesday was a day off from work, so with the sun shining in London, I bounced on out to a morning yoga session for a good stretch and calming. Thankfully, the sun continued to shine as I jogged around the local park for 4 miles of recovery running. It was fantastic to feel the sun on my face and hear the birds chirping away. Running is a wonderful way of connecting with the natural environment. Although most of my running to date has been in city parks (which the exception of the Marlowe half marathon – a.k.a. “the great flood”!), I still experience a real sense of the change in seasons – new tree blossom, daffodils raising their heads, the colour and glistening of the water in the Serpentine lake.

It was while I was running on Tuesday and experiencing the positive effect the environment was having on me that I thought about the Bath Half, with all those thousands of runners and spectators, and what the environmental impact of running is. As someone with an interest in environmental issues, I looked this up and found an interesting blog article on the environmental impact of the London marathon.

If you’re interested in what the impact of other sports has on the environment, you might want to listen to a Radio 4 programme I planned and contributed to a few years ago – “Come on you greens”.

Back to the training…

Wednesday evening was 40 minutes of spin. Thursday afternoon was a steady 4 miles in drizzly, and slightly steamy, Green Park.

Which brings me to today (Saturday) and completing 17.25 miles in the Royal Parks of central London. It was a fairly misty day but the rain stayed away. The running went well, I felt a real sense of feeling the heartbeat of the run. It was a little chilly though and my hands were too cold to open the energy gel, so ended up running the final 2 miles on empty (humph!) A lavender soak set me up nicely for an afternoon of recovery and relaxation. Juliet has bought me a lovely Nathan running belt, so I’m looking forward to trying that out on my next long run. My race pack for the Hyde Park 20 arrived yesterday, I’m enjoying collecting the race numbers!

Tomorrow, we’re being treated to a fabulous lunchtime feast at friends – can’t wait!

Have a great week!

Paul

I’m running the 2013 London Marathon for Mencap. Please have a look at my sponsorship page!

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