9 bridges, 37 dogs, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, Syon House, Deer, more deer, lots of rowers, too many runners to count, a giant cow and some kind of Santa School day trip out. You guessed it, today was the day of the mighty long run. Today was a good day for me but it left me with rather sore limbs and tootsies. I was adamant that I was going to run further than I did last week which was 7.5 miles. I set myself a target of 9.5 miles but I kept it between me and mapmyrun.com, just in case I wasn’t quite ready yet for the beastly distance planned.
My sofa was far more appealing than the long run today and I was really nervous but I decided I would just take it slow. Having my i-phone and taking snaps on my long run last Sunday was a great distraction so I decided to do the same today. Running can be boring so I set myself up a little game to count how many bridges I would run under and how many dogs I would pass. Stupid I know but it gave me something to focus on. It became a little like the memory game ‘I went to the supermarket and I bought …’
My route today took me along the Thames towpath all the way from Barnes Bridge up to Petersham and I passed a total of 8 bridges. I snapped all of them except Barnes at the start as you’ve had the pleasure of this already on a previous post. I passed Chiswick Bridge, A train bridge in Kew followed by Kew Bridge, the Bridge at Richmond Lock, a train bridge at Twickenham plus Twickenham Bridge, a mini bridge over the stream into Old Deer Park and finally Richmond Bridge. For any Bridge enthusiasts out there please find my snaps below. The route really is beautiful but it was a bit of a miserable day so the pictures don't really do it justice. If you're not into running it is also a great walking route, especially in summer.
I saw a total of 37 dogs. There was no way I could capture them all but here are a few that whizzed past me on the towpath. Sorry about the blurriness. It’s not easy taking pictures while running.
According to the run I mapped this morning, I was meant to leave the towpath at Richmond, head through the town centre, along the Upper Richmond Road and back towards Barnes. I was really enjoying the run though and didn’t want to run along the main road breathing in car fumes. When running, my sense of smell becomes super sensitive and I figured car fumes were not going to enhance my running pleasure. So I carried on along the towpath towards Petersham, along the Petersham Road, past the gate I should have exited last week to avoid the fight with the mud pie and then up the steep hill to Richmond gate. I admit I did take a little walk break halfway up the hill. Everything was hurting and running up just wasn’t an option. I am conscious that I want to train as hard as I can but without pushing too early so that I end up sustaining an injury.
|If you do the Tamsin Trail, exit here unlike me.|
I headed through the gate and into the tranquil world of Richmond Park. No sooner had I entered, I was rewarded with a view of some bambi-esque deer chilling out in the ferns. So much more to appreciate in here, I knew the detour was the right move. The only down side was the sharp whipping wind in the open space. Ouch! I just ignored it and kept my arms and legs moving. I was in the zone. Although I had adapted my route I knew I had run pretty far and the endorphins were taking effect. I was buzzing!
I came across a giant cow but he was too far away to get a good picture on my phone, several more herds of deer then something that can only be described as a mirage. I am not joking and I am so glad my phone battery held out for me to take a snap just so that you can see that it’s not me going mad. Trekking across the grass was a group of people dressed top to toe in Santa outfits beards and all. They were heading towards the deer. Was it some kind of specialist Santa training school? I don’t know what it was but it made me chuckle and kept me pushing through. Take a look yourself.
The phone died shortly after so I kept my feet pounding all the way to Roehampton Gate with no micro photo breaks, down Priory Lane, past the Lawn Tennis Association, then past the Priory (Yes the celeb rehab place). I kept on, turned on to the Upper Richmond Road, left past Barnes Station and then the short journey all the way home. Phew! I wasn’t quite sure how far I had gone as I had adapted my route. A quick shower and clothing change before heading for lunch with a friend, accessorizing with a massive proud grin. When I got home Jon mapped my route for me and I couldn’t quite believe it. I had managed a total of 10.6 miles which is 17k. I am pretty damn pleased with that!
|This is today's route|