Adverse Camber

I started this blog to get me through the London Marathon 2011. It was quite a challenge as I only started running on the 3rd of May 2010. I finished the marathon with painful blisters and quite a lot of money for a great charity!

This blog is now taking me on a new journey - to a fitter lifestyle aided by running.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Running outside London.

I live in London, as far north as you can go before tripping into Hertfordshire.  Hertfordshire is a very beautiful and green county.  London isn't.

Opposite my flat there is a high tower block full of charming people who only come out to scream obscenities to each other in the wee small hours.  Traffic speeds along the road and the police seem to be on some people's speed dial around here; and when they come they certainly come en mass.

St Alban's Abbey
There is one thing I am grateful for - my local park.  It is large and has a variety of beautiful, different trees.  Originally it was covered with oaks, but these were felled several centuries ago to build St Albans Abbey.  There is even a cafe at one end and should I ever fancy it tennis courts, a bowling green and some kind of golf.  If I do a wonky figure of eight I can run 4k within the park, taking in a particularly nasty hill that I run up very slowly.

The park has kept me running, I have some personal space to think through the day and I can say hello to as many dog walkers and fellow runners as I choose.  I can also monitor how well I am doing, it is a good day if I get to the bus stop by 35 minutes. 

However, there is one thing I am struggling with - the air.  I developed hayfever quite randomly a few years ago and dose myself up with Piriteze every summer and yet when running I still struggle to breathe.  On the flat of the hill I almost try not to as the fumes come right out of the car exhausts and into my lungs.

The old airfield in Whitchurch.
Today I was at the in-laws just outside Bristol, Somerset.  For those of you who don't know England this is in the west and in the countryside.  Rolling hills were golden in the sunset, ancient plough ridges rippling shadows on the fields and two balloons floated overhead.  As I ran around the old airfield (where the US air force landed its Dakotas in WW2) I realised I could breathe.  The air was absolutely clean and rushed straight through my nose and into my lungs.  It was amazing.  What was more amazing was that I have been breathing in polluted air for three years and had got completely used to it.

One last note on clean air - and this is for the tourists - when you come to London and go on the tube, blow your nose afterwards and keep blowing into the next day.  You'll see what I mean.  We call it 'tube nose'.

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