According to the training programme I had to either enter a half marathon race or run 13 miles as fast as I can. I couldn't find a race this weekend so decided to make my own run. The 15 mile Epping Forest Centenary Walk starts nearby to where I live. Warren pond is about half way. So I thought I would run there and back. I had a running backpack with extra juice, clothing, phone and money. I started off after I finished my Council Surgery. The weather wasfantastic. Blue skies and winter sunshine.
I still got lost in a couple of times in Leyton flats. But managed to find my way to the reservoir and across the foot bridge over the North Circular. Then shortly after the Rodney "Gipsy" Smith memorial I got lost again and ended up in Woodford Green. I managed eventually to get back on track and reached Warren pond (see picture) which is right next to Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge where I started last week's run. By coincidence there was a cross country run taking place organised by the local running club Orion Harriers. I turned back home towards Forest Gate. I got lost again in Hatch Grove and came to a complete halt and had to backtrack. Eventually finding Highams Park lake and getting back on track. I got lost for the last time after the reservoir.
After running along the A104 for a while I managed to cross the road and find a path back to the Centenary Walk. At around this point I was running on empty. My legs stopped doing what I wanted them to do and every step was pretty sore and painful. I remembered why I hadn't done a marathon since 2002. I slowed right down to a very simple jog and managed to get myself home. There and back took about 2 hours 50 minutes. I got lost a couple of times which did not help. I did a 10 minutes walk/job/stretch in the beginning and at the end a 10 minute walk cool down. so I think that I did 14 odd miles cross country in about 2hrs: 30 minutes. Which is not great but not bad at this stage of the programme. After a quick shower and change I hobbled over to the West Ham Scouts to support their traditional Pensioner "Christmas" Dinner and Show.