14 miles down, 12 miles to go

James and I ran twice round Hampstead Heath and the Heath extension yesterday afternoon. Total of about 14 miles, the longest both of us had ever run. We tried again to find the way into the secret, ancient Turner’s Wood, hidden away behind the nouveau riche neo-Georgian mansions in Ingram Avenue and Wildwood road. Talked again about the development of Hampstead Garden suburb and preferred the vernacular English, Dutch-influenced red brick maisonnettes on Hampstead Way.

Soaked my aching bones in the bath, before heading out to Die Tote Stadt at Covent Garden.


Bonjour de Bruxelles

In Brussels for the weekend, for both business and pleasure. Dinner on Saturday night at Anne-Marie’s Palais de la Victoire in Saint Gilles with a lovely Euro-minestrone mix of people and languages: Danes, Swedes, Finns, French and Russians. Sat in between French Marie, who used to work for the European Space Agency in Holland and is now working for the UN in Brussels on immigration issues and Olesya, a Russian journalist, who is making a film about the Last Dervish of Kazahkstan.

Late Sunday morning run with Anne-Marie in the Soignes forest. We parked by the Stoclet Palace, ran down and up the Avenue de Tervuren to the Quatre Bras, then off into the forest for a loop I used to run when I lived here. Just under 18 kms and felt good at the end of it. As a seasoned marathon runner Anne-Marie was able to give me lots of good advice about training and the psychological challenges of long-distance endurance.

And here are Anne-Marie’s shoes…


Training run around the Heath

Was lucky to be able to leave work a bit earlier, so went for a seven mile run around Hampstead Heath and the Heath extension with James. Couldn’t find our way into the wilds of Turner’s Wood. We chatted as we ran at a reasonable pace, not too fast as it was dark and had to stay on the roads and take a longer detour through Hampstead Garden Suburb. Talked about television production, the crisis et tutti quanti.

Back to James’s place. Honor had cooked a delicious roast chicken dinner and their daughters Indigo and Coco played Mozart and jazz on their beautiful baby grand piano.

Fred Hughes 10 this morning in sunny St Albans

Yes, it turned out very well in the end. I completed the Fred Hughes 10 mile course in 1 hour 27 minutes and 17 seconds, beautifully timed by the new Garmin Forerunner 205.

Brer Andy and his colleague Derek finished a few minutes ahead, in turn a few minutes behind Andy’s PHD student, Ben, who is a tad younger than nous autres…

Bev and her crew from the Stevenage Fairlands Valley Spartans were there to enjoy the fun and Bev’s husband, John, joined the marshals and others along the way to encourage us.

After a slow start I felt better, but at mile eight I began to wonder how on earth would I do this for 26 miles! It seems as though the physical fitness part is just one facet to contend with…

Watch this space!

Training for the 2009 London Marathon

Hi peeps,

I’ve just ordered a Garmin GPS watch online so that I can start ratcheting up my running distance. Ran 9 miles round Hampstead Heath last Sunday with Andy. This coming Sunday, we’re running the www.stalbansstriders.com/fredhughes10.html

And my fundraising has been going well at www.justgiving.com/KissMeHardy