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Saturday 12 September – 31km

31km, 19.2 miles. My longest distance ever. I was running a steady, much slower pace than I’d originally planned; once more I found myself naturally speeding up for the final 4km and actually enjoying the run.

26.2 miles amazingly now feels achievable. I just need to figure out the final part of my route and avoid the strangely magnetic presence of the A205 South Circular when I reach Eltham…

Helen’s London Virtual Marathon Route

Greenwich  to Cator Park via the Waterline Way (Approx 7 miles).

Green Chain route to take me from Beckenham to Eltham Palace (Approx 14 miles).

The next part is still TBC as I lost the Green Chain route and ended up on the A205 South Circular for the third time. The plan on the day  is to continue on the Green Chain route  to Oxleas Wood, pick the Thames at Woolwich and loopback until I reach 26.2 miles.

Running Soundtrack

Greenwich to Beckenham: Re-listened to Duncan Marley’s Zero Point on Mixcloud.

Beckenham back to Greenwich: Change of scene via BBC Sounds. I travelled to nineteenth century Russia and a classic tale of doomed romantic love with Anna Karenina  – imagining Beckhenham Mansion (below) was the place where Count Vronksy abandons Kitty to dance with Anna for the first time…

Saturday 5 September – 27km

And welcome to my penultimate Long Run…

Where I awarded myself a Personal Best for Distance – not for time, this was one of my slowest runs ever – more like a fast walk in parts!  However, this was my first long run where not only my legs weren’t screaming at me to stop for the final 2km, but where, amazingly, I was actually picking up speed for the final few km instead of slowing right down.

So there’s a first marathon lesson – run much slower than you normally would for the first half.

Next October with one marathon under my belt, I will focus on improving my time.  This year, I’m focusing on enjoying the unique London Lockdown Marathon experience and raising money for South London Special League.

The playlist this week moved between The Prodigy Experience, Arab Strab’s Monday at the Hug and Pint and The Last Romance, Baxter Dury’s Prince of Tears and  Marhaba by Maalem Mahmoud Guinia.

The green contemplative peace of Beckenham Woods – another part of London I didn’t know existed before marathon training.

Following the Green Chain from Beckenham to the Tudor / art deco architecture fusion of Eltham Palace.