Since early last week, I’ve not been feeling strong enough for long runs or cycles. So I’ve been trying to compensate by doing extra walking. Still determined to do my 10,000 steps a day (roughly five miles) in training for the Camino – I’ve been making an extra effort to do more.
In spite of the Saharan smog last night, I took an early evening break from work to go for a long walk before the warmth was gone from the day. I took one of my favourite routes up to the top of Alexandra Palace to gaze out over the city as the sun was setting behind me. As you can see from the picture below, the air had cleared by then and in the distance I could see across the city to my old office in Canary Wharf. With the cherry blossoms blowing their petals in my direction, it was a lovely moment I was glad I had taken for myself.
Then today, after an early morning shift at Childline, I dragged Elaine out to explore North London. Having walking through Archway, Highgate, Hampstead Heath to Belsize Park, we took a break outside in a little sun trap cafe in Belsize Village to refuel, delicious salt beef bagel for me pictured below, before carrying on to Swiss Cottage, Kentish Town, Primrosehill and finally along the canal to Camden Town.
That there are five months of this weather ahead is putting a massive smile on my face today. There is no better feeling than being out in the warm spring air exploring new parts of London.
As my body felt strong enough for the 15km distance all-in-all today, tomorrow the duathlon training continues. But this week has taught me that sometimes slowing down to walking pace has restorative powers. I can’t wait for the Camino in around six weeks’ time.