Monthly Archives: August 2014

Thames Path Challenge – two and a bit weeks…

Just over two weeks to go until the Thames Path Challenge 50k and things are looking up. My long run on the weekend went well, completing the planned 30km of my amended schedule. It was also a hilly 30km spent almost solely on trail so probably worth 32-35km as a flat run, so I feel like I’m not that far behind where I wanted to be. In terms of distance I’m probably one week behind my schedule, although I’m far off the pace I was hoping for. However, as I said in my previous post, given all the things which have been detrimental to my running leading up to this race, being able to complete is the goal.

Anyway, that’s enough about TPC – it seems to be all I talk and write about lately!

Instead, I’d thought I’d share some pics of my run commute. I live in East London, in trendy but terrible-sounding Haggerston; and work in beautiful but also terrible-sounding Shad Thames, near Tower Bridge.

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Quirky Shad Thames with it’s layers and layers of warehouses from a by-gone era

Starting from work, my commute takes me through Shad Thames and the delightful converted warehouses of Butler’s Wharf, onto the banks of the Thames.

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London water taxis in need of modernisation. Oh, and Tower Bridge

Passing Tower Bridge I continue along the bank-side through More London, with views across the river to the Tower of London.

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Tower of London on the right, somewhat dwarfed by The City…

Shortly after I pass the Greater London Assembly (basically the Town Hall of Greater London – where BoJo works), which looks suspiciously like someone modelled the building on a melting mango.

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A melted mango, right? Tell me it’s not just me.

Moving on, I pass HMS Belfast as she sits provocatively opposite from The City – London’s famous Square Mile financial district. There’s a metaphor in that I’m sure…

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HMS Belfast watches on. Is it just me or are the guns pointing directly at the ‘Walkie-Talkie’?

A bit of a water-fountain to dodge (or run through on hot balmy evenings);

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Definitely worth running through, not around, on warm balmy evenings

then onto the very solid looking London Bridge (get it – because it’s not ‘falling down, falling down’? Well, I amuse myself at any rate…) where I get a glimpse of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral as I mount the steps to the bridge-way itself.

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St Paul’s Cathedral dome obscured by a not-falling-down London Bridge.

At the mid-point across the bridge I’m rewarded with a view back to Tower Bridge in the distance. As I work my way up through Monument I pass this ‘beauty’, the aptly nicknamed ‘Walkie-Talkie’ office building nearing completion.

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‘Walkie-Talkie’ car-melting big fat office block. Though the public roof garden on the 40-something floor will be amazing when it opens!

Rumour has it that one sunny day, the concave surface focussed the sun onto a man’s Jaguar and melted all the interiors, and that’s why the screening is hanging temporarily over the glass. I’m not sure what they plan to do when they finish it and have to take the screening off? Issue everyone in the area free sun-block and sunglasses whenever the sun is shining?!?

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Typical East London, abandoned railway grime overlooked by gleaming hyper-modern office blocks. It’s a weird fusion but it works!


Northwards from Monument I start fighting the crowds on the footpath as I get into the Liverpool street business district which seems to be dominated by large modern skyscraper office and residential blocks, many of which carry the same design theme…

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For some reason I have Darth Vader’s theme song in my head looking at this building. Though Duck and Waffle on the 42nd floor has stunning views over London. And they serve Duck and Waffles. Together. On the same plate. What’s not to like?!?

Pretty quickly the crowds lesson as I get into the smaller scale and much cooler vibe of Shoreditch;

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Christ Church Spitalfields. Delightful church sitting right next door to the Ten Bells pub which was a favourite haunt, and rendezvous location for victims, of the infamous Jack the Ripper…

and then Hoxton, as I work my way towards Haggerston and the Regent’s canal – home.

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I live in the building on the right. Not in a house boat. Not that that wouldn’t be cool, but I’d rather a modern flat with oddly coloured balconies…

So that’s my run commute. Just over 5km, past some of the great attractions of London, bustling business hubs, hipster areas with impossibly cool looking people in cafe windows, a bit of grimy East London and then home to my little sanctuary overlooking the Regents Canal, which in itself is a great place to run.

Who else has a run-commute that they enjoy?

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Thames Path Challenge 50k: 4 weeks to go

4 weeks to go. Ouch. I’m going to get this over with early in the post – this is the least mentally and physically prepared for ANY race I have ever been. Ever.

keep-calm-only-4-weeks-to-go-PANIC

You can use the quantum of my blogging and interaction with other bloggers a yardstick for how much race preparation I’ve been doing. Very little…

  • This is the part where I open up my little big book of excuses.
  • This race is closer to the end of the football season than my previous fall races, cutting preparation time
  • I’ve recently started a new job and figuring out how to fit training around a 7.30 start has been difficult
  • Over-share warning – I’ve been going through a breakup and that has proven a big distraction from running, not to mention the training time spent reviewing new flats and, sigh, flatmates
  • I’ve been struggling with a football induced glute injury
  • I went to Ibiza the weekend before last and ate too much, drunk way too much, had too little sleep and did even less training. But geez it was a fun time!

Anyway, you know how the saying goes – Read the rest of this entry

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