We Own the Night - getting race ready, week seven

Week seven, two weeks until We Own the Night, and I am back in the game! After a week of rest, ice, stretching and some dedicated kneading by lovely Maria at Bodyworks, and my shins were up to the challenge of Monday night and an 8k run from Oxford Circus to The Royal Albert Hall.
The route through the city was flat and fast, a quick nip through the crowds of Regent's Street, and then through the elegant backstreets to the south west of Oxford Circus. I love running these streets, storming through the streets feels so at odds with the elegant buildings and fancy designer shops. Spilling out on to Park Lane we were able to pick up speed in the way you only can when running on wide flat pavements (Park Lane never seems to have any pedestrians, I don't know what it is), a joy only made sweeter by the little waves from the doormen at the fancy hotels (I love the fact they wave!).
After a quick jog through an underpass - can't run with Nike and not run through somewhere weird - we were in to Hyde Park. Can you believe I'd never run in Hyde Park before?! Seriously, it's like being from New York and not having run in Central Park (well maybe not, we have a lot more parks to choose from, but I still feel I've been missing something iconic). Well, it turns out Hyde Park is a pretty nice place to run - you have your pick of wide avenues or narrow dirt tracks, lined with trees and shade overhead. There are enough other people for some excellent people watching, but not enough to get in the way. It is all pretty lovely!
We headed west through the park, following the outer perimeter towards the Royal Albert Hall before turning back east to head back to Nike Town. Through the second half of the run there was a clear divide in the (pretty giant) pack, with the front runners clocking steady 5min kilometres. Unfortunately, this meant the pack got pretty spread out, and the obvious solution was to slit in to two. I opted to run with the group running 5.30 - 6 minute kilometres and it was so nice to really hit my stride just right, pushing myself without overdoing things. It was that perfect point where you really hit your stride and suddenly the whole running thing makes sense.

This Saturday I will be running the Women's Running 10k at Lee Valley! I am so excited to be running my first race since December, especially after the various injury issues I've had. My Monday run was the perfect confidence booster (along with the 10k 'practice' run I did on Saturday!) reassuring me that I can still run more than 5k at a time! I will be curious to see my time, I'm not expecting anything too fast, but with three 10k races this month (I got a bit carried away...there are so many good races this month!), there are many opportunities to improve!
Read my other We Own the Night training posts here.