On Sunday we ran the City of London Mile, starting and finishing at the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the city. It was free to enter and the atmosphere and organisation was brilliant. From the moment I stepped off the tube I had fellow Advent Runners in their hats approach me with a cheerful hello, making me feel well and truly part of the friendly runner community we’re all proud to be in. I also had a stranger come up to me and ask about my hat and what it was all about…us Advent Runners were out in force, with lots of the team volunteering to be the ‘Mile Makers’ at the event (essentially ensuring everything ran smoothly and was a success).
The best thing about a mile race is that you don’t feel quite the same pressures and anxieties that you would feel in a longer race and with the sun shining down on us it really made it feel like more of a street party celebration than a super competitive environment. James, one of the co-founders of Advent Running, was at the start line sending people off and giving us words of encouragement (whilst looking like a total boss in his AR hat too) which was great. Sahdya and I ran a quicker-than-usual pace and were really proud to cross the finish line, side-by-side, in our usual style ready to collect our medals. Of course, we could have prepared for the race a little better; I was a little bit dehydrated and had been at a wedding the day before and hadn’t gotten home until the early hours so was quite honestly exhausted and had also had a pretty tiring week preceding the weekend. So next year we’ll both hopefully be a little more rested and raring to go, but all in all we had a fabulous time.
We then paid a visit to Ladurée for breakfast; eggs benedict with a side of iced mint tea pour moi, and pain perdu for Sahdya. Because everyone knows that the whole point of attending a race, no matter how short, is to indulge in some lovely food afterwards. And then walked up through Hyde Park to Marylebone as it was the Summer Fayre which meant…more food. Crosstown doughnuts, specifically. I’m taking my bikini body very seriously this year.
On Sunday I ran the Amba Hotels City of London Mile with Victoria. We were blessed with sunny weather which made a change from the weather we ran in back in January when we participated in the London Winter Run during which it rained!
So, how did I come to run the City of London Mile? Well, again I have Victoria to thank 🙂 Last month, whilst I was visiting her for the first time in Kent and Canterbury she told me that she would be running the City of London Mile and asked if I would be interested in joining her, oh, and that it was free to enter. I couldn’t refuse so before I got on the train back to London I signed up for the one mile challenge. It’s only a mile you might be thinking but what worried me was would I be able to run a mile during Ramadan, the month where Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between sunset and sunrise. I knew it would have an effect on my body and therefore I was sure it would on my ability to run a measly mile!
I hadn’t been running consistently since the London Winter Run due to being busy with work which resulted in me finishing late most days. I actually prefer to run nice and early in the morning as I find it energises me and sets me up for the day but this can be difficult to do when you’re rushing round in the morning to get to work! Before Ramadan I started running three times a week and got back into the swing of running pretty quickly.
I was quite nervous before the race probably because I arrived super early and spent my time thinking if I’d be able to run a mile. When Victoria arrived we caught up and took the obligatory pre-race selfie and my nerves gradually settled. At 11:00 AM we set off and I did so at a faster rate than I probably should have. I’m surprised that I managed to complete the mile without stopping. You may laugh but what kept me going was not wanting to let Victoria down and the thought of pain perdu, with raspberry coulis, rose Chantilly cream and raspberries for brunch at Ladurée. I knew that if I stopped I would feel disappointed with myself and undeserving of brunch so I kept going asking God for help along the way 🙂
Our finish time was 9:36 which surprised me as I thought I’d take longer to complete the mile running at the pace I usually do. Victoria and I collected our medals and proudly took post-race selfies with them around our necks and then headed to Knightsbridge for brunch followed by checking out the Marylebone Summer Fayre . Not a bad way at all to spend a Sunday!