BLOG: A Love Letter to Running Routes of Old

I’m missing Shoreditch. And I found this- an unpublished post that I wrote last winter about my friendly old running route. It made me nearly cry with nostalgia. What’s your favourite part of the city to run in? Do you recognise this route? Will I eventually prefer my new route round the Olympic Park to my old comfy route along the Thames….?

“A run through the streets of E1”

I’m home late from work. Tired. Cold. Grump grump grump. I know what’s making me so hideous to be around- I need to do something active.

I need to run.

The thought of running when I feel like this is absolutely the last thing I want to do- I want to sit wrapped in a blanket and eat mash with lashings of cheese on top. But I know I’m now one of those annoying people who likes exercise, and I know I’ll feel better for running. Damn you, endorphins!

On goes the lycra, the hairband, the ipod, the trainers. I procrastinate for approximately an hour before actually leaving the house, huffing and puffing around the flat in my workout gear, feeling a weird dichotomy of knowing I’ll feel better after a run but at the same time doing everything I can to delay getting started.

Out I go, and I’m out of breath within a minute. Stupid running. I grumble silently. Down Broadgate I lumber, people milling around. I jump into the bus lane to avoid them until I reach the relative safety of Ledenhall. Try not to acknowledge the city boys enjoying a beer as I weave around them. Past the Monument and onto London Bridge. Third of the way complete. Still alive.

Stop for a minute. I am feeling good! Marvel at the sight of Tower Bridge in the twilight, a gorgeous image that makes me want to live in London until I am old and decrepit. And now, along to the river. Through the passage that smells like pee, try not to breathe. The Shard looming to my right, Tower Bridge getting closer as my feet slap slap slap their way east.

I am feeling really good now. I know what’s coming next- past Billingsgate, the army barracks, and the Tower of London. Tourists. Do these people ever look?! MOVE OUTTA MY WAY!!!

I love this part of the city.

Finally- Aldgate. Barren round here, I crank up the headphones and sprint through this soulless part of the city. An ill-judged sprint across the three-way junction adds a bit of excitement, and adrenaline is pumping after a near miss with a juggernaut. Note to self- pay attention!

End of my road. But I haven’t made it yet. This is a loooooong old road. Delicious smelling curry houses and more pub revellers to avoid, Spitalfields to gawp at, and my front door greets me.

In, drink, shower. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. And happy- I feel so happy! I tell myself to remember this feeling for the next time I feel grumpy and need to coax myself into a run.

Obviously I won’t, but I’m learning to accept that’s just how it goes. I’ll deal with the next run when I get there…..

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