Westminster to Southwark

I decided to complete todays FARTLEK session in London during my lunch break.

The weather had cooled but by lunch it was another scorcher.

Spot the landmarks

Spot the landmarks

Luckily the route long the Embankment is lined with trees so for the majority of the time it is sheltered from the mid day sun.  There are bits however, near Blackfriars and the Millennium Bridge that are completely exposed and these were hard going.

Whenever I run this route I have to pinch myself as to how lucky I am to have all these great sights and landmarks on my doorstep.  I’d love to take lots of snaps en route but that wouldn’t make for a very productive run.

I found the FARTLEK section very tough today and even though I did as many as I could for the 20 minutes in the middle. I know I did fewer than when I train this way in Colchester.

Not the best photo but that's the Oxo Tower behind me

Not the best photo but that’s the Oxo Tower behind me

I do believe that I ran the fast sections for longer though and timed them so that I avoided the tourists out enjoying the summer breeze along the Thames.

I did snap a photo at the end of the race whilst I was doing my stretches on Blackfriars Bridge.  It’s not the best photo of me but you can clearly see the River Thames behind me and the Oxo Tower.

I am now just over a week until I run the Pride 10K in Victoria Park in London.  My race details arrived today so it’s all starting to get very real.

I plan to complete a longish run on Thursday, a Park Run (fast 5K) on Saturday and then a final run next Tuesday… this should be more than enough preparation for the race on the 9th.

I am not sure if I am going to beat my PB but we shall wait and see.

Take a look at my route on Garmin Connect, Strava or say hi on The Running Bug.

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Man from the Future

Wednesday evening Enda, Andrea, Feargal and I attended the late prom at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The prom was a very special evening as it featured music from the Pet Shop Boys performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Choir.

The performance was split into three parts… All of which had never been played before live (a Prom first).

Opening act was a live rendition of Overture to Performance which the Pet Shop Boys commissioned to open their Performance tour several years ago. It features a mix of PSB hits and was a real treat to hear live.

I used to play this so much and the performance brought back so many wonderful memories.

The middle act featured Chrissie Hynde of the Prenetnders singing four Pet Shop Boys sounds – a Four Songs in A Minor. Wonderful as it was to hear Chrissie live on stage, I am not sure the orchestral versions of Vocal, Love is a Catastrophe, Later Tonight or Rent (sang as a duet with Neil Tennant) did the songs or Chrissie Hynde and favours.

The main event was the unveiling of the opera Neil and Chris had written to celebrAte the life of Alan Turing.

Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine.

Source: Wikipedia

Juliet Stevenson narrated the story from a sound proof booth whilst accompanied by the full orchestra, choir and the Pet Shop Boys.

They did not pull and punches with the story and held nothing back. I’m sure the Daily Mail readers listening in on BBC Radio 3 were rather shocked by the content.

Neil and Chris had the royal pardon narrated by Ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown – a bold move especially as they wonderfully used the words to attack the government.

The opera cleverly details Turnings life and adds in elements of code, sounds of Colossus and the Enigma Machines he help crack during WWII.

I was so impressed by the opera. It seemed to drag a little at the start but it was very emotional and very dramatic in places.

Around section 6 when Turning committed suicide, the orchestra, choir and PSB were in full flow. The Royal Albert Hall was vibrating with the noise.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Man from the Future as did we all.

You cannot tell how hot we were though. Being a Victorian building it’s not great at circulation and internal cooling – everyone used their programmes as make shift fans to try and stay calm!

I’d love to share some snippets but this is all I have. I was told not to take any photos when I tried. If you want to listen to the Pet Shop Boys Prom it’s available on BBC iPlayer for another 25 days or so…

I know this was a late Prom but it was very late for a school night. The opera was due to finish at 11:30 but we didn’t leave our seats until midnight.

I am so privileged to have witnessed all of Chris and Neil’s non standard performances, Closer the Heaven, The Most Incredible Thing, Battleship Potemkin etc… Such a diverse body of work and always a very pleasant surprise.

What a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday evening 😃

Blister does not stop training!

Thankfully my burn/blister has started to heal and although it has some way to go before it is beck to normal, it’s thankfully in a spot that can be protected by a plaster.

I tested this theory commuting yesterday and was happy enough that I could run again.

It’s another hot one here so I got up with Richard, had a light breakfast and did some chores before heading out.

Even at this time of the morning it is already warm though and although there is a welcome breeze it does not disguise the humidity in the air.

Sporting my new cap

Sporting my new cap

Today’s weather was the perfect test for my new Gore Running cap which I bought to replace my old Nike one.  This has a decent integral sweat band under the cap which stops sweat getting into your eyes.  I was so hot I did have sweat running off my glasses and down the side of my face but unlike the last run I was able to run and see where I was going as the cap did a good job of keeping my forehead clear.

Despite the blister, the heat and the humidity I enjoyed todays run and the FARTLEK session once again made it feel like the kilometres had passed by very quickly.

I am happy I got this run completed as I wasn’t sure how much time I would have this weekend – if I am lucky (and have the energy), I may do the same tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Check out my training on Garmin ConnectStrava or say hello on The Running Bug.

Please remember to vote for me in the Blog section of this years Running Awards :)


Pie halts training!

No seriously!

Dishing up dinner the other night , I slipped and spilt gravy and meat onto the floor.

I wasn’t wearing any socks and it took a while for the heat to register the pie contents sat on top of my bare foot.


I ran upstairs and put my foot under a cold tap but the damage had been done.

I wanted to run tonight but it was clear when I removed the blister plaster that it was not to be.

I hope it clears up quickly as the Pride 10K is only 16 days away 😔

Annoyed I’ve never had a blister running but have got one cooking which has stopped my 10K run training in its tracks 😔. Not happy.

That’s some hot hills!

Smiling but hot and sore!

Smiling but hot and sI ran hills today and copied what I did last week – 1K out, 5 loops and then a 1K home – 5K in total.

Today was much warmer though – current temperature is 23 degrees but the feels like temperature is 26.  It certainly felt that hot on the run and I forgot on that hill I am quite exposed.  There was a decent breeze but it was open and full sun all the way.

I passed two other runners out today – both very fit guys who seemed to be doing longer routes than me – one was heading up over the large hill, best of luck to him as it’s very steep and very exposed (I am sure he is more than fit enough to do it though).

I am running out of time to train for the Pride 10K which is on the 9th and I keep having to reschedule my routine to fit in any decent amount of training.  

I know that I can run 10K that’s not a problem.  I want to beat my PB though and as everyone tells me the race is a fast flat one, this would be the perfect opportunity.  Once again I will rely on hill and FARTLEK work to give me some decent speed but I am not sure I will manage many long steady runs before race day.

I hope to squeeze in an 8K run maybe on Sunday and a Park Run the following Saturday and that will be it.

I am looking forward to the race though – should be a fun day out and in aid of a good cause.

I’ve decided to replace my trusty running cap – it has been very good to me until recently where it has failed to stop the sweat running into my eyes.  I have bought a Gore cap and hope that the integral sweat band in the cap will solve this issue.  It was quite uncomfortable and dangerous today as I was sweating so much I could not see out of one eye :(

Check out todays run-on Garmin Connect, or Strava.  Why not say hello on The Running Bug.

Please remember to vote for me in the Blog section of the is year Running Awards :)

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A wonderful weekend in Cheshire

This weekend Richard and I enjoyed a wonderful weekend in Cheshire with our friends Andy and Rob.

It was lovely to get away and despite the weather we have had a relaxing weekend.



Richard and I posing ala Patrick Lichfield at Shugborough Hall

Richard and I posing ala Patrick Lichfield at Shugborough Hall

Richard and I posing ala Patrick Lichfield at Shugborough Hall

Richard and I posing ala Patrick Lichfield at Shugborough Hall

Shugborough Hall

Shugborough Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

Ducklings, Little Moreton Hall

Ducklings, Little Moreton Hall