Grey roads, grey cars, grey houses, grey sky, grey puddles, grey mood.
It had taken me until 3pm to pull the running kit out of my suitcase and go for a run. I’d arrived at Heathrow at 9am and I knew I had to run at some point during the day, and the only reason I managed to get the damn shoes on was because it was getting dark and I had an hour and twenty to get done.
I’d gone from 30˚ yesterday to hovering around 10˚ this afternoon, I was tired from 13 hours on a plane with the mandatory screaming babies and the toddler kicking the back of my bloody seat. My sister had picked me up from the airport and driven me the two hours to my parents house in South East London. As you can imagine, running was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do.
I set off towards the Thames which I reached in about 20 minutes. The river at Erith was the same colour as the sky and today looked particularly menacing. At this point the river widens to about ten times the width as in the city, and houses some delapidated tug boats and barges that bob about as the seagulls hunker down against the prevailing drizzle. At this point I’m fighting the urge to turn round and go home to the central heating.
On I go through some of the most depressing areas of the London Borough of Bexley, constantly checking the watch to see when I can escape the most uninspiring training run of my life. I struggle to reconcile the fact that I actually used to live in Belvedere, ten years ago I thought the view from the flat was great – on a good day you could see the sun glinting off the cars from the Ford factory across the river in Dagenham.
I miss my mountain.
Route: The aged parents house in Bexleyheath, down to Erith, through Belvedere, and back to Bexleyheath
Time started: 15:45pm
Total time: 1:22
Total distance: 12km
Runner’s condition: I was secretly hoping some yobs might steal my running shoes so I never have to run here again.