It has been 3 days since I moved to London from Southampton, but I already had the itch for an after work run after 2 days in my new office. It had been snowing all day, it was dark and icy on the pavements, but even a freezing cold walk from the bus stop to my flat couldn’t shake the urge to get jogging.
I have been pretty apprehensive about starting my training in London. Not only am I concerned about crossing busy roads and dodging the notorious London drivers, but it is also the middle of winter, dark by 4.30pm and I have not had any time to learn my way around my new neighbourhood. I had planned to join a running club so that I could meet new friends, run safely in company and learn my way around. I may well still do this, but in the meantime I need to be brave, pull on my running tights and trainers and get out the door!
I wrapped up tight – tights, long sleeved jersey, windproof jacket (with a very attractive reflective trim…) and a snuggly gilet/hoody type thing. There is no escaping that you look like a prat when you wear running gear. I was never intended to wear lycra, especially lycra with speed stripes around my muffin tops and down my thighs, but if you’re going to go running, you may as well do it properly. Apparently doing it properly means wearing super-tight stretchy tights that pull sweat straight off your skin and being reflective.
Anyway, the run was good. Better than good in fact. After two days in my new job my head has been swimming… Not necessarily with work stuff, because I haven’t really been doing much yet, but swimming with who’s who and who does what. It’s really hard to sense the dynamics of a new office: what do people talk about, how personally do they know each other, how informal is the place… I’ve felt a little bit like I’m walking on eggshells, though I’m sure that this will pass. I know that it is quite normal when you are new and trying to slot in to be overly cautious, but after a couple of days I was overcome with the urge to run really far and really fast and clear my head out. This is one of the reasons why I love running so much. It’s so repetative that once you’ve found your pace and chosen a direction it is just you and your thoughts for as long as you like. I find it really quite meditative and by the end of the run I felt much calmer and much more settled.
It was nice slow pace from West Hampstead to South Hampstead, winding through residential roads and dodging ice patches. There are quite a few hills in this area, so I took on about half a dozen of these at an even pace and ended up running jut over 6K. I use www.walkjogrun.net to map out my routes and calculate the distance covered. This website also has a really handy calculator function to measure your average speed which you can use to judge and improve pace. A personal trainer it isn’t, but it sure is handy!
I’m feeling much more confident running in a new area now and am going to go on a daytime run in the next few days to get to know the place a bit better. Who knows, I may even do some intervals on those hills…