Since early January I’ve been part of a group of runners from Stragglers running club who volunteered to help guide people training - mainly for the London Marathon (that’s two weeks away). This has involved leaving home at 8am each and every Sunday morning and not getting home until anytime between 1 and 2pm.
We’ve covered distances ranging from 5 miles all the way up to 17 miles, which was the long run held today. Its funny as the people training for the marathon have fairly strict schedules to stick to and us guides just roll up and end up doing whatever run best fits with the people who attend that week. For example, a couple of weeks ago I was planning on doing 8 miles (after drinking beer and going for a curry the night before), and ended up doing 14 miles instead!
Anyway, today was the last run for this year and it was excellent. We had a talk from three people - Bud Baldaro (UK Athletics Marathon training coach), James Cracknell (Olympic rowing gold medalist - 2000 and 2004 - who’s also a runner), and also journalist/author Sam Murphy, who’s run nearly 15 marathons and has written numerous books on the subject, together with writing columns for national newspapers and magazines including Runners World. Following a good 20 minute talk it was out into the sunshine.
After just over 17 miles running (which is the furthest I’ve ever run before) in the Spring sunshine it was back to the base for some pasta and Lucozade sport drinks. We then did the sensible thing and headed to the pub.
I’ve really enjoyed helping at these runs but I really don’t fancy running round Bushy Park for a while unless I have to - which means every Saturday morning for the 5k time trial! I now want to run some different routes, along the towpath and also Richmond Park. Oh, and have a lie-in on a Sunday.
Unfortunately this won’t be next week as I’m doing a race! Doh.