Summer solstice challenge: 50k in a week! Day One

With no races on the calendar due to COVID 19, I have been looking at virtual running events. Virtual events have to be a bit special to make it worth it, otherwise you might as well just call it a long run that you’ve paid for. And that doesn’t really make sense. I was originally going to do two trail runs with Maverick this year, but they have been postponed to next year now. So when I saw this virtual one that they are organising I thought it looked a bit different. A challenge but doable (hopefully).

The challenge is running 50km in 7 days between 20 -27 June, any combination of runs you like. So some people have already done the full 50km! Others have just done a few. I have decided to do five 10k runs through the week, with 2 rest days. The total is about twice what I would normally run in a week. The standard advice is to increase weekly mileage by about 10%. Whoops!

Summer solstice – perfect June day

Day One

I don’t usually go for a run on Saturdays. I do a circuit type class in the morning with Quit the Gym. The last few weeks we’ve been doing it on Zoom from our living rooms. But last week we were back outside! Yay! So much more fun. So this morning I did half an hour of pretty tough circuits in Lammas Park (Ealing). Then I decided to get cracking on the 50k challenge. So after a suitable interval post breakfast off I went for the first 10k.

Wildflowers in Pitshanger park

I am not used to running in the middle of the day, and it was pretty hot! And busy too. In fact it’s lovely to see so many people out enjoying the parks, lots of families out on their bikes, friends playing tennis and golf.

I did my go-to 10k that I don’t have to think about – I call it the 3 parks route as it takes me through Pitshanger Park, Perivale Park and the Bunny Park.

The stars of the show today are the linden trees (or lime trees as they are commonly known) especially those in Pitshanger Park. Every year I look forward to running beneath these pretty trees, and breathing in the beautiful scent as I go. The great thing about running a familiar route is that you get to know the plants and trees along it. Through the year I can anticipate what’s to come, and these trees are a highlight.

Linden trees in blossom – Pitshanger Park

Last year I collected the flowers and dried them. They make a lovely tea. Apparently they are traditionally used to treat coughs and colds, migraines and nervous palpitations. But of course there’s little evidence.

Anyway I am pleased I have got started on this challenge, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the second 10k. Check back for an update!

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