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Friday, February 5, 2016

Road to the Nice Half Marthon

I suppose it occurs to me that it is somewhat ironic that the half marthon I've set my sights upon is in Nice (pronounced neece) because the training is not exactly nice (pronounced nighce). So the title of this blog indicates not that it's a nice half, but rather that it in Nice. But I digress.
Yesterday I hit another milestone, a 6 mile stone as a matter of fact! The run was through many of London's iconic places which helped spur me along. Here's the description we received in preparation for the run. 

You really need running buddies in order to accomplish these goals!
"We head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove.  Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end.  Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place.   
Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill.  Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben.  Continue past Big Ben and cross Westminster Bridge. After the bridge turn left to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Borough Market is under the railway bridge near the London Bridge station." Whew! It was fun to get to Big Ben and just keep on running. I remember how nervous we all were last autumn when that run came up on the schedule. The parks look great right now, with daffodils even popping up. 
I knew that Borough Market was across the river from St. Paul's so once St. Paul's came into view, I felt like I might make it! Actually, the only really tough part of the run yesterday was the fiery burning sensation in my right foot. I have had some foot issues and have orthotics that were specially made for me in Sweden, but the longer the runs, the more intense this seeming nerve pain seems to get. I have begun to process of trying to figure out how to see a Dr. here in England so perhaps I can get some answers. I do not want an injury to thwart my progress at this point!
Anyway, Borough market is a super fun place filled to brim with awesome food! A delicious cup of Colombian coffee and a tasty bread stick filled with cheese and olives provided much needed sustenance after the run. All in all, it took 80 minutes and the last 15 were pretty painful. 
I need to get in a 30 minute run over the weekend so will test the foot then. Next week it's 45 minutes on Tuesday and anothr 80 minute run on Thursday. Then we take some rest days.
Now that I've made up my mind to do the half, I'm pretty focused on keeping it together. I'm figuring out my pace pretty well and all in all, feeling good about being able to accomplish the training runs leading up to the end of April. Now, I just gotta get this foot pain to subside! (All photos taken while on the run, so quality not great, but I think you get the picture!)