10 miles in Murder Common

My mood is stinky lately. Reeeeall smelly. Like a foot.

I hate that I’m so affected by bad weather, but I can’t get rid of this feeling that I just want to go home and enjoy a normal life where I can go outside. Everything about my life in London is great and I’m really happy … but so unhappy at the same time.

Saturday morning was kind of good, weather wise. I ran 10 miles in Wimbledon Common, but I started to get upset toward the end of my run because it was getting cloudy and rainy, and stayed that way for the rest of the day – including for my party!

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I was loving Wimbledon Common because I had no idea there were so many trails and private places. I started thinking it would be a place where I could easily be killed. Later when I told one of my friends about how amazing Wimbledon Common was, the first thing he said was that a woman was murdered there a few years back. Great!

I don’t think I need any more details. It’s a great place, and if you haven’t been you definitely need to check it out!

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I didn’t have a running partner this time, but 10 miles (mostly) wasn’t as hard as I thought. It’s amazing how quickly you get in shape. Up until the fourth mile I still felt great and wasn’t tired at all.

Then I came across some soccer fields that had a track spray painted on the grass. For some reason I don’t really mind running around a track. I wouldn’t want to do it for 10 miles, but 2-3 is fine. I kind of just space out and don’t even think about running.

Plus, running around the track enabled me to set down my fanny pack and water. Yeah, that’s right. I wore a fanny pack. Even though I’m a pretty big supporter of fanny packs and can’t wait until the day they come back into fashion, any time I wear one I still pray I don’t run into anyone I know.

I own two fanny packs.

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The last mile was so tough. My legs felt dead, and even though I’d brought energy bars for the occasion, I was too tired. I still managed to run, but at the slowest of paces. My knees were also hurting, which has been worrying me.

I half-ran, half-hobbled past the fair in Wimbledon Village, where there were lots of food tents, activities and tons of horses.

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By that evening my legs were really feeling the run. Even though at the time I felt like I had a good run, I was doubting my ability to run this marathon. I felt really badly, but that was partially due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten all day. I was too busy cooking and serving to actually eat, so by bedtime I felt awful. All I could think was: if I feel this terrible after 10 miles, how am I ever going to complete the longer runs to finish 26 miles??

I have a few shorter distances before it picks back up in a couple weeks, so I’m hoping these will be better! And of course I’ll be sure to focus on proper nutrition and eating – that was a bad one-off.

It also helps that my blogging friend Jill has decided to get a bit crazy and sign up for a marathon herself, so she says she’ll be running the distances with me – except in Italy 🙂

She has signed up for a marathon in Budapest, which I think is SO cool. I kind of wish I’d signed up for a European race, and turned it into a racing holiday. Perhaps next year – depending on how my first marathon works out!

Summer nights

Tonight’s five mile run was surprisingly not hard.

Despite jamming my face off to some new Tim McGraw I downloaded, running through the cool air under the trees made me feel calm.

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It was such a nice night in England, but I definitely was not mentally in England. Between the country music and smell of nature I felt like I was back home running on my favorite trail in Ohio.

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I made sure to take stretching breaks, although when I sat down by the lake I really didn’t want to leave. One of those times I forget I’m in a city.

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At this point my running app decided to rudely interrupt my music to tell me my pace was now zero. Thanks for that!

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If England can hold out and have maybe just a few more days like today it might not be such a sad summer!

Jill wrote a great post about her run that coincided with my 9 mile run Saturday. Check it out! She’s also going to do 10 miles with me this weekend, except this time she’ll be back in Italy, where she claims she has to get up and run at 7 am because it gets too hot. I called her a show off! 🙂 Give us poor folk up in England some of that heat!

Nine miles through central London

Yesterday was my longest run in my month of marathon training.

I had to take a week off because I over did it last week, and I’ve never before moved my body nine miles in one direction without the aid of a vehicle, so I was nervous.

Luckily I had two people to run “with” yesterday. One actually with me, and one international running buddy. Jill, from The Cinquecento Project, is a fellow Mid-Westerner but lives in Italy, so she e-mailed me saying she’d coordinate to run nine miles at the same time. Really fun idea and I hope we can keep doing it! If anyone else wants to join in, let me know!

Although you’re not actually running together it’s cool to imagine you’re not alone and it also gives you more accountability because you know another person is going to be running.

My other running buddy was a friend from work. Normally I joke around and ask people if they want to run however many miles with me on the weekend and I usually get a head shake a laugh, but Hugh was crazy enough to agree to run with me. I didn’t believe it at first. I was like, “Ummm, what? Really?!?”

We met at Green Park, by Buckingham Palace, at 3 pm and did a giant loop around Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’ Park, past Waterloo and back around to Embankment.
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Hello, Queen!

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I didn’t want to overdo it so we stopped after every mile and stretched and had water. And took pictures!

There was some kind of parade going on, and while we were taking pictures I stepped to the edge of the curb and noticed a bus pulling up.

Here’s the face of someone who thinks they’re going to get hit.

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We ran along the parade and into Kensington Gardens. I’d never been to this part before, but it was beautiful and full of dirt paths so we didn’t have to run on the hard pavement. I think this was a huge help for my shins as well.

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I’m such a tourist. With all the pictures we took you’d never guess we both live and work here.

All the sites we saw on this run made me think perhaps I should do a long run in every city I visit. See everything in a couple hours versus a couple days!

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We crossed the river at about mile seven, and had to walk most of the bridge because it was packed with actual tourists.

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We’d been in parks all day, but ended at Embankment so we had to stretch on a concrete slab.

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I went home, made a giant dinner that I ate as fast as I could and then iced my legs with broad beans (I’m a proud veggie lover, but broad beans = gross). I ain’t wastin’ no peas on shin icing. Peas are most definitely on my “get in muh belly” list.

Although I’m pretty sore today, I’m very happy to say I’m not having an ounce of shin pain! This makes me feel pretty confident and I’m already looking forward to next week’s 10 miles.