29 April 2010

Perfect day

I was out before breakfast for a run this morning for the first time in many months I have had a few days in London mostly to present courses, which is an increasingly rare event these days and looks as if it will be even rarer next year. It has also been an opportunity to put in some serious hours at the office and to take in a couple of social events: a reception on Monday for World Intellectual Property Day and a book launch yesterday.

I tried a run yesterday evening when I got back to my hotel, but it was one of those days when clearly it simply wasn't going to happen. That, even after I drank only orange juice at the book launch - where i also succeeded in producing the highest-scoring answer to the competition law quiz, but having collaborated with Birgit Clark of IPKat fame (strictly against the rules) had to be content with the glory - while an old friend took the prize, a bottle of champagne. This morning, though, was very different.

Heading first to Russell Square, I found runners doing laps and joined them for one-and-a-half. The Watch told me it was about a third of a mile round, and the idea of doing sufficient repeats to get up to a decent distance did not appeal. So I headed to Regent's Park, exploring some backstreets along the way.

 Down Albany Street towards teh turn-off to Camden, I set a cracking pace: it went as far as 6:08 minutes/mile, though I have some reservations about the accuracy of that measurement. It was only for an instant, anyway. I stopped for breath for a while, then jogged off along towards the zoo, stopping to consult a map of the park which revealed the interesting information that there's a running track just past the Zoological Society offices. It's open to the public, too, and although it's not a full 400 metres (the official web site says 387: the bends are very tight, and therefore short, but maybe the straights are long enough to make up the difference) but that doesn't matter for my sort of early-morning run. I did a few laps, fast down one straight (teh Watch showing well under 5min/mi, though probably only for a couple of paces) and jogging the rest of the lap: I could feel exactly how fit I am not.

Then I headed back for breakfast, already well over the time I had expected to be out but so enjoying myself I'd happily have kept running all morning. I took my shoes and socks off and ran on the grass ('brave man', remarked another passing runner), spotting a compound of camels in the Zoo but no other animals visible from my running route, then down the broad Walk, finding the Park more attractive than I had imagined - nearly 30 years ago I cycled through it every day on my way to work, but never stopped to appreciate it. The sun was out, I worked up a sweat, the trees are blossoming, flowers blooming, mood elevating - just perfect.

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