Last Saturday night, instead of popping to the pub, or settling down at home with a takeaway and a G&T I spent the evening walking through the streets of London with thousands of other people lit up like Christmas trees for the Shine Night Walk. I posted a while ago about being invited to be part of the team that Sole were putting together for the event and the reasons why I’d said yes to that invitation.
It turned out to be a really good decision. Although I really didn’t do any formal training for the event, with the exception of a 10 mile training walk one evening with some of the Sole team (thanks to Beki for the photo), the fact that the event was in my diary certainly kept me focused on upping my daily step count and taking the opportunity to walk a bit more than I would have done otherwise.
The event itself was really well organised, I was very impressed. From the signs to the start in Southwark Park from Canada Water tube station, to the flashing wristbands that we were all given to wear, to the cheery volunteers who guided us on our route around Central London to the excellent pit stops on route where we were fed chocolate biscuits and water. The organisers had thought of everything and the event ran very smoothly indeed.
Team Sole – thanks to Alana for the photo
There were two options for the event, the full marathon or the half. Having completed a full walking marathon overnight before I knew that I was a challenge that I couldn’t commit to this time, so the half marathon option it was for me. I’d hoped to complete the 13.1 mile course in somewhere around 4 hours but the time wasn’t really that important to me in the great scheme of things.
Four hours is quite a long time to be walking the streets of London, especially when the time is well past when you would usually be in bed (yes I’m that rock and roll). I was lucky enough to walk with Sophie from Fitology who made an excellent walking partner and we nattered all the way around the course. We covered fitness and strength training, diet and fat loss, travel, the theatre and James Bond – what else would you talk about while walking past the M16 building on the opposite side of the river?
London also did it’s best to keep us distracted from the distance we were walking. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the heart of the city late at night and it looked so lovely with all the buildings lit up. We were also very lucky with the weather. I walked with just leggings and a vest top on all evening and was perfectly warm enough. A beautiful end of summer evening.
My legs coped pretty well with the distance. Of course they started to ache with a few miles to go but it was just a case of putting one foot in front of the other and getting on with it. I must admit that I was pretty happy to see the finish at Old Billingsgate having walked the final stretch over London Bridge. I was getting tired and it was definitely time to get home to bed. I did not feel at all jealous of those doing the full marathon route – it must have been exhausting.
I’m not sure exactly how long it took us, somewhere just over 4 hours I think but I don’t think I could have walked any faster so I was happy with how it had gone. A quick cab home, and I was in bed by 1:30am and then unable to sleep as I was full of adrenaline and sugar from the jelly babies and biscuits we’d been given on route!
Overall it was a really fun event and I’m grateful to Sole for having me on their team. When I woke up on Sunday morning I was also really pleased to find that I’d reached my fundraising target of £150 for Bloodwise. There’s still time to donate to a great cause if you’d like to – just follow this link
Disclosure – I was given a free place on the team by Sole in return for blogging about my training and the event itself. Slightly sore feet and achy legs were all my own.