Sticking to my schedule (for once)

After an all-afternoon email conversation revolving around beer, wine, tequila and Bulgarian vodka (and, um, a partridge that’s allergic to trees and went to live in a caravan in Greenland – don’t ask…), I undertake an exercise in steely resolve and keep reminding myself that I’ve got a 13 miler in the morning and so I go home and drink nothing stronger than Options hot chocolate (Belgian chocolate flavour if you really want to know).

And this week I managed to do 3 runs in a week for the second time this year. Wow. I’ll be entering marathons next. Oh, I already did. Hmm. Next week, however, I’m only going to be able to fit in one mid-week run due to going out to be criticised by my mother on Tuesday for such heinous crimes as not having a bigger house, not having a clean enough house, not having a boyfriend, not having a good enough job, and – the worst crime of all (after being vegetarian which she still reckons is just a phase, albeit a 15 year long phase) – why haven’t I provided her with any grandchildren yet? And if I ever had any doubt as to where I got my sarcasm from, I was reminded by our latest missives. Here’s an excerpt:

Mum: Can we make it Tuesday and we’ll take you out to dinner?

Me: Ok, if there’s a free dinner in it then I can make Tuesday.

Mum: I really meant we would drive you to the restaurant. I didn’t say anything about paying. I thought you could use some of the money you’ve saved by not coming up to see us.

Tsk, 73 year olds should be crocheting or something, not sending sarky emails to their offspring.

Wednesday I’ve got my evening class and on Thursday I’m going to the opening night of a new bar (yeah, I know, I’d go to the opening of an envelope if I thought there was free food and alcohol on offer), which only leaves Monday for a running commute which will only happen if I don’t go to watch the FLM tomorrow and then end up in the pub after getting trashed. Who, me? Never.

Still, I head out for my 13 miler and the first runner I see makes me feel extremely underdressed as she’s wearing a long sleeved hoody, a top underneath that and a scarf. A scarf? Blimey. Anyone would think it was Winter or something. My attire of choice today is three-quarter length leggings and a short sleeved t-shirt. I decide she’s probably training for an RfL, maybe even the City of London one on 1 June that I’m doing. In fact, all the cool people are doing that one as London Jogger will also be there, although at her current speed, I have a horrible feeling that she’s going to be finishing quicker than me. I’m not sure this can be allowed.

I go through the marshes and onto the street and run through the grassy bit that according to my sense of direction (ha) takes me towards Victoria Park and I run over a bridge that overlooks a dual carriageway and once on the other side my sense of direction leaves me and I don’t know where I am so I head in the direction I think the park is then decide that doesn’t go anywhere so I turn round and go the other way and after not too long, hooray, I see the park and on the Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC’s clubhouse is a sign that says “Race HQ” and I think shit, I hope the race that was postponed the other week due to inclement weather (i.e. a bit of snow) isn’t happening today instead but I can’t see any runners so I carry on going round the park, telling myself I’m not going to stop to take pictures of deer today but then it occurs to me that the deer will be bigger by now and I wonder what they look like but because I have a will of iron I don’t go and take pictures of the deer and this really is because I have a will of iron and not just because I can’t remember where they are and then I come to a lake with a fountain and I have to stop and take a photo as it’s so pretty.

I stop taking photos of pretty lakes and fountains and continue on my way and once I’m back in the main part of the park a man in a wheelchair whizzes past me, followed 30 seconds or so later by some more people in wheelchairs whizzing down the path and I’m thinking I must have run into the middle of a paralympic training session or something and then a few minutes later on her own is another wheelchair racer and I resist the urge to point and say “they went that way” and I tell myself I’m a bad person and carry on and I’m looking for the gate I came in and I eventually find it and as I get back on to the street someone’s slashed the rain clouds with a Stanley knife and I get soaked and I try to find the bridge overlooking the dual carriageway but I think I’ve gone the wrong way or I’ve already passed it and I come to a bridge going over a canal and I think that canal must lead me to familiar territory eventually if I just follow it in the right direction so I go down to the canal and hurrah, it’s not long until I know where I am again and I’m back in Hackney Marshes and there’s people playing football and they’re playing right on the edge and I think shit, how am I going to get past them? and so I run through the middle of the field and hope no football incidents occur and then I’m on the path in the foresty bit and a tall cute bloke runs past and says morning just as I’m shoving a handful of dried fruit into my mouth and I try and give him a smile but decide not to speak in the fear of spitting dried fruit over him which I’m pretty sure isn’t the best flirting technique in the world but then I’m thinking I’ve just run 9.7 miles anyway and am pretty sure I’m not looking my best and I carry on towards Walthamstow and a man in bare feet runs past me and I wonder if his running shoes got nicked over the marshes or if he likes to run in bare feet and he doesn’t look like he’s just been mugged, in fact he looks very happy and he says hi, and I decide he likes running in bare feet and he must save lots of money running in bare feet, what with running shoes being about £100 a pop, so then I decide that he’s just a cheapskate.

Today’s route

Distance: 13.12 miles
Time: 2:24:40
Pace: 11:01 m/m
Calories: 1,309
Schedules stuck to: 1
Fountains: 1
Tall cute blokes: 1
Men in bare feet: 1
Evenings of criticism approaching: 1
Jesus & Mary Chain
The Levellers
The Mission
Primal Scream
PJ Harvey
The Prodigy
Nine Inch Nails
The Cribs
Foo Fighters


  • hey jb …well done on the 13 miler… get milestone shopping! as for that gauntlet you’ve chucked down i’m not biting cos i know you’ll leave me for dust (and did i ever mention i don’t like losing:)

  • Nice one. Does the London Marathon (you know the real race people do down there) route go near you?

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