A post-Xmas recovery run

I flew back from Scotland yesterday morning, having spent a few days absorbing calories from the very air around me.

It was a typical post-Xmas scenario: in just the three days spent in Scotland, it was meal after meal, battling the Scottish cold and damp and eating more to feel better. This included meals out, a trip to an Xmas market and the requisite roast pork bap, a visit to Yo! Sushi and ingestion of my own body weight in Cadbury’s Roses.

I also got very little exercise. While I managed a cross-country run while in the Netherlands, my running gear was left unpacked while I was in Scotland. So after an early morning flight back from Edinburgh, I was keen to get unpacked and hit the streets for a run.

I was so very lucky.

While it was freezing outside (literally – I came across ice on the streets and floating ice in various docks and canals) the sun was blazing in the sky, making London look stunning – the Thames in particular. Even with the sun, I was glad of my gloves and new running tights. There was a riverside wind that could cut you in two!

And I wasn’t alone dashing through the streets: it seemed that half of London had decided to get out for a run too. It was a mix of slightly disdainful-looking pros and obviously new runners, trying out the running kit they got for Christmas.

But company is company, as I had plenty of people to pace myself against and, together, we battle the various obstacles along our way: toddlers, dogs, buggies and tourists, especially near the Tower of London.

The run was enjoyable, but I broke one of my own running rules by stopping a few times to take some photos. Thankfully, Nike+ now automatically pauses when it senses you’ve stopped, so these brief stops to capture the moment didn’t have a negative impact on my overall timing. But not a good habit to get into while I’m training for a marathon!

Here are some of the pics I took along the way:

I managed just over 10km in a little under an hour and felt very comfortable all the way around. I once again sought out variety and made my way along the Thames as far as Tower Hill. I then nipped into the City and ran through the deserted streets before looping back and running home via Tower Bridge and the throngs of tourists.

That definitely slowed me down. It broke my rhythm and was not the smartest move. I’ll be avoiding that particular route from now on, unless it’s very early in the morning.

I felt great after it and was pleased that I was so keen to run again after days of inactivity and festive sloth.

Looking at the next four months, my main challenge is going to be keeping to my running schedule while on many and varied trips for business. Running in Singapore and Malaysia is going to be interesting, considering the temperature differences to London!

But it’s all in a good cause: an enjoyable, faster and injury-free London Marathon, raising funds for Epilepsy Action. If you’d like to support my run, you can drop me a few pounds/dollars/euros via my JustGiving page here.

And don’t forget: moral support is most welcome too! So please share the link on your social media channels if you think others would like to support me. Thanks!

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