#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 4

Date: 04 June 2020

Miles today: 13.5

Total miles: 54

Highlight of the run: Wearing my superhero undies to give me superpowers!

Windsor Great Park traditional lollipop. (For non-locals: this is a route starting on the Long Walk, followed by a loop around the Copper Horse statue. Windsor Great Park is generally excellent for buggy running – wide concrete roads, with barely any traffic. Come and visit us!)

As I mentioned on Strava, I am only just starting to realise that this challenge might be hard. (Haha, silly of me right?) I have done some crazy stuff in my life (like moving to a different country four times, running a marathon with no marathon training, or singlehandedly raising a child). Looking back, they sound incredibly scary but at the beginning of each life “challenge” I was totally oblivious to the effort it’d require and pain it’d bring me. And that is probably why I tend to do silly (or perhaps admirable) things and quite often succeed in doing them – because at the beginning all I have is a vision, and only start worrying about the details when it’s too late. They say that luck favours the prepared, right? Well, where do you draw a line between getting ready and simply procrastinating (as a subconscious way of postponing what one was meaning to do, because one doesn’t feel prepared). Newsflash – you never will feel fully prepared. The right time is now. Do that thing you have always been meaning to do, because tomorrow it might just be too late…

Tofu and avocado salad ❤

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 1

Date: 01 June 2020

Total miles: 13.11

Highlight of the run: Getting my lovely neighbour out for a 2.5 mile jog (pic below). She enjoyed it and wants to do it again on Wednesday! I love seeing people getting out and active 👏😍 Huge well done to her!

I didn’t plan any specific route because after two rest days I just wanted to run and feel free. That is probably why I foolishly decided to take a random path, instead of the main road, and ended up fighting my way through a sea of nettles, because I always stubbornly refuse to turn back. My child in the buggy was stunned by the adventure (and by the nettles) so he didn’t complain much, apart from an occasional “ouchie”. Anyway, getting stung by nettles is actually good for you as it increases blood flow in affected area. I remember an elderly woman in our village who used to whip her legs with nettles as a “cure” for arthritis. I suppose there is always a little bit of truth in old wives’ tales. Having said that, I think I’ll stick to wider nettle-free paths in future 🙂

It comes without saying that day 1 is usually the easiest so I have no complaints, apart from my slightly niggly knees. However, in my experience, the more I run the better they get so let’s just hope for the best.

If you get out for a run/jog/walk today (and I insist you do) here is a veggie lunch tip that has everything you need to fuel your body with healthy stuff: coconut milk and lemon grass stir fry with tofu. I’m just tucking into it now ❤

The (small) two rivers loop

I do most of my buggy half marathons in Windsor Great Park, mainly because there are plenty of almost-traffic-free tarmac roads that make buggy running considerably easier. Today, I fancied something more challenging and therapeutic (I love water!) so I embarked on a lovely “two rivers” half. Starting from Slough and running by Jubilee River all the way to Taplow, then crossing over to Thames, following it to Dorney Lake and finally crossing back to Jubilee River. See below ⤵️

Jubilee River path itself is an excellent buggy running grounds as it’s wide and moderately easy to run on. But if you are an experienced(ish) buggy runner and fancy something a bit more challenging why not try the 6 mile loop from Dorney Lake up to Taplow Bath Road and back (see below⤵️).

The small “two rivers” loop

  • Why small? Because there is a much longer one that I shall map for you in the near future.
  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Difficulty: 7/10 (with 1 being a stroll on a perfectly flat concrete with a topless waiter serving you chilled coke every other mile, and 10 being a requirement to lift your buggy over a fence while escaping from angry cows)
  • Key points: single buggy only, one set of steps.

Obviously, since it’s a loop, you can technically start anywhere and run either clockwise or anticlockwise. On the map ⬆️ I marked a paid-for carpark at Dorney Lake, but you can park for free at a carpark by Marsh Lane/Jubilee River or Lake End Road (B3026)/Jubilee River. Please note that due to lockdown the two latter carparks are currently shut.

Whether you run clockwise or anticlockwise probably depends on whether you prefer to go up or down a set of steps with your buggy. I went up (anticlockwise) and it was manageable. A great way to get some muscle training into your cardio 😉

Either way, you can split the run into two different sections:

Jubilee River – As I mentioned this is the easier bit. The path is wide, fairly flat, with a decent surface (little bumpy at places but your buggy occupant is probably used to it already).

Jubilee River path

Thames path – This section is a bit more challenging. The north part is fairly wide and easy, with a great view of some ultra-posh houses. Going south it gets gradually narrow and traily – tree roots and uneven surface. Don’t expect to move fast. But it is stunning so it’s worth the effort. You can’t pass someone without one of you getting out of the way, so I would recommend less busy time than a Sunday afternoon. I ran there around 9 am on a Friday morning and bumped into a handful people only.

Lock at Thames path

So when you are fed up with running in a “civilisation”, crossing the road for a hundredth time on a 5 miler and constantly apologising everyone for blocking the pavement, ditch the town jog and come to run by my rivers ❤