I don’t usually have an annual total distance running goal as I’m more quality over quantity type of a runner and I get bored running more than 3 days a week. So last week when Susie Chan asked on Twitter how everyone was doing with their 2017 running, I looked up my Strava stats and saw that I’m actually pretty darn close to a nice round number – 2000km. That’s more than I’ve ever run in a year and it’s pretty much like running from London all the way to Tallinn.
I couldn’t help myself after seeing this – I did the math to see how much I need to run weekly from now until the end of December to hit that 2000km mark. (Answer: 43ish km a week)
The silly thing is that I have actually run more than 2000km already because I don’t log my runs in Crossfit or to and from Crossfit in Strava, so all I’m chasing is a totally arbitrary Strava number!
Yeah, don’t ask me why exactly.
I’m not even a 100% sure that I’m going to go for that round number! I’m currently half-way through doing 12 Days of Crossfit and that means I’m super sore and that I spend the days I normally spend running doing Crossfit instead.
Last Saturday when I would have normally done a long run I spent the whole day at the Leadership in Running Fitness course run by England Athletics BUT I’ve been squeezing in little runs here and there and the math just might add up by 1st of January.
On Sunday night as I contemplated whether to go out for an afternoon run in the dark after a busy day with Life Stuff and Children Stuff and Friends Stuff, my husband said ‘just so you can tell everyone that you’ve run a certain amount this year???’ but my oldest kid replied to that with ‘Oh, mom, don’t give up now!’
I decided to listen to my child, I put on my head torch and headed out in the dark.
Now this is probably not a big deal to a lot or runners but in the 8 years that I’ve been a runner, I’ve only run in the dark a maximum of a handful of times. I have feared the darkness and not seeing where I’m stepping and not being seen by others. But as I took a completely different route along streets that were very well lit, I realised that actually, London is very runnable at ANY time of the day or ANY time of the year.
It’s never too hot
Maybe for a few weeks in the summer but if you stick to the shady side of the streets, it’s ok!
It’s never too cold
0°C is not too cold for running, neither is anything up to -5°C and it never really gets any colder than that.
It’s never too snowy
We had a bit of snow here in London about 6 years ago but it lasted 2 days and if you only run 3 times a week then chances are that you will still fit in those runs even if it snows that week.
It’s never too dark
As I found out on Sunday – London is a big city with many roads that are very well lit all night long.
It’s never unsafe
Related to the above, those well lit roads usually have enough people if you’re running between the hours of 5 and 9. People and open shops mean safety for a runner.
It has all the parks
If you don’t need to stick to roads for light reasons, there are LOADS of parks in London. And most of them have enough dog walkers, etc. so that you don’t feel alone and unsafe, and most parks are not rough wooded jungles but nice open green spaces with paths that are wide enough for runners, bikes, kids & dogs.
It doesn’t even rain that often
I don’t know why everyone thinks that it rains a lot in London. I doesn’t! And even if it rains, it’s what we Estonians call “mushroom rain” – misty type of thing that mushrooms love but runners can easily run in with a jacket and a cap that keeps the water out of your eyes.
And there you have it. London – the perfect city for running.
Now my next challenge is to keep up the mileage for the last 2 weeks of December when I’m in LA and San Francisco. I don’t normally run when I’m on holidays. I just have other things to do and I don’t want to so I’m not a 100% sure that I’ll still be chasing that 2000km mark but if my kid keeps telling me not to give up then I just might 🙂