Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The man who smelled of church

So I'm running around Regent's Park and this man runs past me. Immediately, I'm transported back to 1983/84, to my school nativity play where the stage was in the local church. I'm the 'messenger' - a vital role - and have to run up to Herod and say: "Hail lord, hail lord, hail lord most in might, into the land there comes this night three kings...." "Three kings, messenger, come thou to me. What is their errand in this country?" I could go on. But not for very long. It was only a small part. Anyway, it all came flooding back the instant this guy wafted under my nose. In retrospect, I think he must have smelled of candles and damp cushions. If so, I highly recommend a change of aftershave.

This occurred at mile four of a ten-mile run. I didn't set out to run ten miles. I set out to run for 105 minutes: this week's 'long run' as defined by my marathon training schedule. Very soon after heading off, I decided to ignore the time and just sightsee my way around London. I went everywhere: Carnaby Street; Piccadilly Circus; St James' Park (I got a bit lost here); Westminster Abbey; the South Bank and Chinatown, where I finished. The intention was to have a massage, but when I stopped I found I had a second-degree burn on my shoulder. I was, once again, the victim of rucksack chafing. I got the tube home instead, ate a pasty and had a bath (where I enjoyed more burning from the chafing.)

Not including half-marathons, this is the farthest I've ever run. And weeping burning sores aside, I feel okay. I'm going to spend tonight looking up interesting sights on the course route for Brighton. Distraction has to be the best training technique ever.

(Stats: 10.2 miles; 2 hours 1 minute 56 seconds; 11.53 minute/mile - so it's not going to break any records, but I think I could maintain this pace. If you can call it a pace.)

(Pic: Happy new year in Chinatown.)

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