Greenwich Park is one of the loveliest places to run. From the top of the hill there are amazing views right across the city - far better than my pictures will ever do justice to. I talk a lot about feeling like I own the city when I run, and seeing it rolled out in front of me just intensifies those feelings. It's always extra special to run somewhere so spectacular. Especially when you are surrounded by enthusiastic moustached runners (and a man in a bikini - which was mostly just weird).
I feel like I've not really been running recently. It's sort of rubbish because I've been out the door at least a couple of times a week, but I've lacked focus, there's been no progress towards anything. Plus I've embraced festive eating early. In a big way. All in all I've not been feeling that fit lately, and I was worried it would show - I mean hills are anyone's undoing, but especially when they've been taking full advantage of the office snack table.
Turns out I shouldn't have worried so much, there was still some fitness in there - although it took a bit to find it, and I think I was tested to close to my limit.
Flying out I hardly realised the first two km had passed - there was a nice stretch of hill to run down, which always makes the kilometres fly past (especially when your kicking down them at under 8 minutes a mile - yep, I'm distance bilingual). But for every down there must be an up. A wretchedly steep, lung busting up.
In this race there were killer hills - two steep steep inclines over two laps that were like a punch to the gut each time they came around. By lap two I was walking the buggers, and even that felt hard. Although I did get to run through some particularly spectacular confetti thanks to Run Dem Crew which perked me up while I shuffled up the hill. Sparkle makes everything better.
Each time I hauled myself on to the flat it took a few moments to adjust, to catch my breath, to get my legs moving again. On the flat my legs knew what to do and moved at pace, I felt good, like I could do this think and hadn't been eating all the pies. The moments on the flat made up for those horrible climbs and meant I came home with a not too reasonable time of 55:15 - only 14 seconds off my PB at We Own the Night. Clearly I am not a great judge of my own fitness.
Revelations about my fitness, and the joy of sparkles aside, the real high point of this race was the medal. I can't be the only person who's entered a race because of a medal - especially a medal in the shape of a moustache.