21 February 2012

Rat race

On Sunday I began to feel like a runner again. I was shaking off the ill-effects of winter and the injuries that seem to have dogged me for months, even years. I was enjoying running with a new four-legged companion. Yesterday was a prudent rest day (but even if it hadn't been scheduled, I didn't have the energy to do much about it, not even to trek into London to do a day's work), but today ... Today was something else.

I began with a cycle ride to the station. Not as early as I'd have wished, but by the time I dragged myself out of the front door it was a pretty good day. Then I decided to make the most of the opportunity to run in London, and head for the office via the Regent's Canal rather than straight down Praed Street/Chapel Street/ Homer Street/Crawford Street/Paddington Street/Weymouth Street, which is not great running country. Exchanging BBM messages with Santosh as I went, necessitating a couple of stops, I took a moment to capture the beauty of the canal just before it enters Regent's Park so that, thanks to the miracles of BBM, I could show him what I was doing.
Regent's Canal, and not a boat in sight
Hard to imagine that's in the centre of one of the biggest cities in the world. Then I climbed to a bridge that would take me across the canal (just out of sight round the bend in the photo above) and emerged into the Park by the zoo. The view across the park (divided at this point into football pitches) to the West End, with the Post Office Tower (the BT Tower to younger generations, but the new name never stuck for me) prominent, made me stop and get the BlackBerry out again. Almost completely useless, as a phone, a PDA, and a camera, but just about an acceptable result here.
I'd rather be using a camera
Then the route joins a superb avenue heading just about straight for my office, which also seemed worth a picture. Here's another thousand words equivalent (saves me typing).
Perhaps a BlackBerry photo is only worth about 900 words.
I didn't run to get to the City after an hour or so at RIBA, or from Mallow Street to Holborn for the Red Bus Seminar (a subject for a different blog), but after the seminar I ran back to Paddington. Someone, noticing that in a room of suits I was dressed for exercise, asked me as we left where my bike was, but didn't expect Didcot to be the answer. I'll work out the mileage and the route and post that another time. I found myself seeking out the darkest parts of Hyde Park to get the most out of the Knucklelights, which were great. I attracted some curious glances but no-one stopped me to ask about them. 38 minutes 26 seconds, and I think around 4 miles. Then the train to Didcot and a five mile ride home (36 minutes) to work up an appetite for pancakes!

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