London Paddington 1.55pm Saturday 27th January 2018.
The moment you arrive at the train station at 1.44:57pm and within 3 seconds see your train choo choo off into the distance without you. I now have an hour to spare. I can either eat, sit here grumpy, or make some use out of my time to make it go quicker. I didn’t aim to get the last train, it was only by coincidence that it was here … before it went. I am not bitter about it. It just means that I will get home an hour later. Get into my pyjamas later. Stuff my face later.
I have had a great few days in London. I was invited to the launch of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon at Roux at Parliament Square, London. Rather than rush up for the day yesterday and pay stupid train fares I decided that a short break was what I needed.
Things have been hectic at home recently. I feel that I have been busy with appointments which consumes my brain. My Ironman / running training programme has something planned for every day. I also walk and spend time with Olly as well as do the usual chores. I like to be busy, but some times, time away from your normal environment helps (I find anyway). I dropped Olly off with my parents for his mini holiday and jumped on a morning train to London on Thursday. After spending the afternoon (and money) in Oxford Street and Regent Street, I booked into my hotel.
Having no energy after travelling, walking and shopping I knew I had to go for a run. It was on my programme. This was a massive test of strength as it was the last thing I felt like doing. I just wanted to chill in my room with a book and watch TV. After giving myself a talking to, I put on my PE kit and headed around the corner to St James Park. By now it was dark. I had a rough idea of where I was going (around in a circle) and I had to avoid commuters, tourists and other runners. I took myself past Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade. In fact I did so 3 times. Nothing like loops. My programme told me that I had to do a 40 min run with 6×90 minute hill sprints. Sorry coach, no hills (some slight bumps though). I enjoyed my run, always do when I am out and back. After a quick shower it was time for food. Having stayed in the area before I knew where to head and ended up at Zizzi for a pizza which could quite easily have fed a family of four. Down the trough it went without taking a breath.
Friday was a really good day. I met Jake and off we headed to the restaurant. We arrived early and not wanting to be first we walked around the block .. and again. I didn’t know what to expect or who would be there. Any apprehension was soon put at ease after meeting the organisers of the London Marathon. I still could not believe that they had actually invited me to be part of such a special day. I still struggle to get my head around what has happened in my life over the last 12 months. When Michel Roux Jnr came up to me, shook my hand and welcomed me to his restaurant it was one of those ‘is this really happening moments’. After an interview and a quick chat with Bassit Siddiqui from Googlebox, it was time for the opening address. This was an emotional moment as myself and Jake got a mention and my head is even in the promotion VT clip.
There were so many interesting and inspirational people at the launch and to be part of it was incredible. The stories, the adversity and the strength and courage of people humbled me. None more so than meeting Baroness Lawrence. The death of her son, Stephen has been a massive and influential part of my police career.
I had the most amazing time and yet again this is something to add to the memory bank. Not sure why or how but I agreed with the organisers to take part in the Big Half in March. I also agreed with Wendy Sly (Olympic medalist) that I would enter the ballot of the New York marathon after she was showing me pictures over dinner. It looks like I have some events to sign up for when I get home. New York will probably have to wait until next year.
Late afternoon I headed out for more shopping before stopping off at McDonalds, Waitrose and Starbucks. From Michelin Star to McDonalds!!
Today has shown me the positives behind social media and the running community. I met up with a friend who I have been chatting to on Twitter and Instagram and it was great to finally meet. We had a lovely run followed by a drink. I would not have previously done this due to isolating myself and not wanting to be sociable. After a quick shower I took myself off down to Covent Garden for a walk.
I am now on my train which is just about to leave. That passed the time quickly.
I enjoyed my time away. It has been good for me. I miss Olly massively but he now has a ‘celebrity’ (apparently) mum. He won’t care about this as long as I feed him, take him for walks and let him sleep on my head. It will be another week before I see him as over the next 6 days I will be going back to my roots.