20 – 24 January 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Have you noticed that the daylight hours are beginning to stretch out a bit as we are already halfway through January?  And though last Wednesday’s tempo run may have been a little soggy, Monday and Friday were perfect running days!  We’re building a great base with the 7-8 mile runs we’ve been doing since break, and hopefully chasing away any January blues with the endorphins and the post-run coffee/breakfast stops.  
Running this week.  Monday we will fit in another 8-mile run, starting out on the canal and then cutting through Notting Hill, over Holland Park, and along the Kensington High Street again to Hyde Park, with a finish at either Green Park (Joe and the Juice, or a tube ride home) or St James Park (Benugo).  Wednesday we are doing the Hyde Park Tempo Triangle (see full description from our awesome Routes Team below).  Be sure to take your recovery jog segments at a really easy pace, and let your pace group recover together and then start the next leg together, though of course you will naturally spread out during the tempo segments.  If you are not doing tempo work, this can easily be done as a nice 6.5-mile loop.  And Friday, we’ll go back up the hill for the route of your choice, though it’s a good time to try the full 8-mile route if you’re feeling good.
Training notes.  Last week I gave you an overview of the training plan, and links to Paula’s advice on slowing down for your long run (easier said than done sometimes, but it’s really, really true!)  Just to reinforce all of that, here is a training pace calculator from Runner’s World, with more information on the different types of training runs.  It’s important, though, to make sure you don’t overtrain.  Our program does not include all the types of runs mentioned in the article, and it would be a bad idea to try to suddenly incorporate them all if you’ve been following our three-days-a-week schedule since September!  But all of these points lead to a basic question we each need to consider:  what is our personal goal for the race?  Do you want to run it comfortably and finish feeling strong?  Do you want to hit a personal best or a target time?  Are you planning to run with a friend, or alone?  Now is a good time to start thinking about these points, as they will affect how you think about your training.  For example, if you are going for a personal best, you’ll want to keep up with all the tempo training.  If you are thinking of running with a friend, you will want to begin to talk together about goals, pace, and how you will respond if one or the other of you is feeling stronger on race day.  Please keep in mind as you think about these points, that all of us within the group– even within a pace group– may not be on the same page about goals, pace, and where running fits in our lives.  The beauty of WRW is the way we support each other every time we lace up our shoes, no matter our running experience or speed.
Save the date.  To help make planning easier, here’s a glance forward at some key runs coming up in the next two months:
Monday, 27 February – 9-mile local loop route through parks (flexible miles)Monday, 10 February – Stratford (9 miles)Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running scheduleMonday, 24 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)
I’m including a second photo collage this week… let’s call the top one ‘running’ and the one below ‘eating!’  Thanks to our Routes Team and many of our runners for the recommendation to hit Dishoom for breakfast Friday– it was delicious!  Looking forward to seeing you all out and about running the parks and cafes this week.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 20 January – Holland Park to St James’s Park Benugo or alternative to “The Office” (8 miles) 
We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route: Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove. Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue. Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a left on Holland Walk, just past Aubrey Road.  Holland Walk is a pedestrian way. Run up Holland Walk until the first entrance into Holland Park on your right, opposite the Duchess of Bedford Walk. Run into the park and then turn left on the Broad Walk which goes the length of Holland Park. Just before it ends at Kensington High Street take a left onto the quiet Phillimore Walk. Follow Phillimore Walk, which runs parallel to Kensington High Street, until you reach Hornton Street, where we take a right and then a left onto Kensington High Street. Continue on until you reach Kensington Gardens, where you enter it at the junction with the Broad Walk, just before Palace Gate Road. Take the Broad Walk to the first path on the right which turns into South Carriage Drive. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Drive at the light. Continue on South Carriage Drive all the way to Apsley House/Hyde Park Corner. Cross over Piccadilly and run under Wellington Arch, then cross at the light to run along the path to the left of Constitution Hill, the same route we take in going to Big Ben. Cross the Mall, run along the edge of the park, and take the angled path to the Benugo cafe.  Do so some striders, have a stretch, and then indulge in some breakfast. An alternative cafe is the Joe and the Juice in Berkeley Street which has a large seating area downstairs. The 2019 Beginners are regular visitors and call it “The Office”. For Joe and the Juice turn left at the end of Green Park, with Clarence House on your right, and up past Green Park tube station. Turn right to cross Piccadilly at The Ritz and into Berkley Street. Joe and the Juice will be on your right. Running the whole way to Joe and the Juice is also 8 miles.


Wednesday 22 January – Hyde Park Tempo Triangle
Head down to Hyde Park the usual way at a very gentle pace. Once you reach the park pick up the pace a bit around Speaker’s Corner, and then run very fast down to the SE corner of the park. Jog slowly around the corner while you try to bring your heart rate back down to a recovered rate. Once you reach the straightaway, run hard again to Carriage Road. Slow down to a recover rate again as you cross over the bridge and up to the path, where you will turn right and run hard along the diagonal back to Speaker’s Corner. Jog very slowly back to SJW or, even hop on the bus or tube from Marble Arch. If you are not doing tempo work, you can do this run at a regular pace (if you run back to SJW it is about 6.5 miles).

Friday 24 January – 8-mile Heath Route
Start from Barclays running down Circus past the SJW High Street until it dead ends and turn left on Townshend Rd. Turn right on Acacia and then left on Avenue. Cross diagonally over Adelaide Rd to run past the Swiss Cottage tube and keep going on to Fitzjohns Avenue. Run up the hill to the Hampstead Heath Tube. After reaching the Hampstead Tube, continue to run up Heath St (to the left of the Tube) all the way uphill to the stoplight at E Heath Rd. Cross at the light and continue past Whitstone Pond (on your left) and past the roundabout to enter the Heath at the first trail entrance on your right. Run down this major thoroughfare trail, bearing right after 200 meters to continue as the trail meanders past Lime Avenue and other smaller trails, fields and forested areas. As the major trail starts to dip and veer right, take the sharp left to run up Parliament Hill. You may want to stop and enjoy the spectacular vista (and catch your breath!). Continue down the other side of the hill, bearing to the left to circle back around the bottom of Parliament Hill and running by the model boating and fishing ponds before turning right at the T-junction to run by the loos. Just beyond the loos, bear left to run along the eastern edge of the Heath.  Keep going until you reach the iron fencing that marks the entrance to the Kenwood House grounds. Run past Kenwood House, exiting its grounds at the foot gate on the right before the path turns to the left. Continue on this gravelly path through a far gate, turning left as you continue towards a LARGE tree. Run past the LARGE tree, taking an immediate turn on the first path thereafter which leads to a  steep down hill as you cross a small bridge. Turn right at the main trail intersect (this is the same trail you ran down at the beginning of the Heath, in the opposite direction) and run back up to where you entered the Heath. Turn left on Spaniards Rd and retrace your steps all the way back to SJW and Starbucks.

As always, the other Heath routes are always an option:
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

13 – 17 January 2020 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Big kudos to all of us for starting the year strong!  I know for many of us, myself included, it wasn’t easy getting back out on those runs after all the luxuries of a long holiday– but we did it!  No doubt all the pent-up chatting we had to catch up on helped us get through the miles!  It was great to see everyone again, and our efforts this week will pay off in weeks to come.  

Running this week.  Monday we’re headed to Sloane Square and on down to Embankment, then along the Thames to Westminster (6.33 miles) or Green Park (7+ miles).  Wednesday we will begin some tempo training– shorter runs at a quicker pace– to help prepare for the half marathon.  We’ll run to the Regent’s Park Charlbert entrance the usual way and along the outer circle until we’ve warmed up, and then we pick up the pace for two miles before cooling down and heading back to SJW for coffee.  Specific directions and target pace ranges can be found in the description below, and if you don’t feel ready for tempo work, you can substitute the Inner/Outer Circle route.  Friday we’re headed to Whole Foods via Green Park (or mix it up and try the Kensington Dishoom just around the corner!).  This is a newer route that people really enjoyed when we trialed it, so give it a chance if you’re up for the extra miles (remember there’s no Hill in this one!).  But if you’re not there yet, no worries– there are suggestions in the writeup below for how to take the mileage down if you’re not up for 8 on a Friday.
Training notes.  We have 11 training weeks until our half marathon in Prague– including the week of February break.  That’s plenty of time to prepare ourselves with either the standard training program (below) or the gradual training program (the full program can be found there as well, but it’s not calibrated to this year’s race date).  Believe it or not, the distances on our Monday long runs do not differ greatly between the two plans.  The routes on our schedule tend to follow the standard plan, but we try to offer options at least in January to make it possible to cut a mile off the distance if you prefer.  

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, here is a brief overview of how our weekly schedule works.  We do three scheduled runs per week:

Mondays are a long, slow run.  Of the three runs each week, this is the most important for building endurance toward the race.  This is the one not to miss!  But even if you do have to miss a Monday, try to make sure you get that long, slow run in every week from now to the race.  And by slow, we mean comfortable and conversational– about 60- to 90- seconds slower per mile than your goal race pace.  Paula Mitchell, our founder, explains the compelling reasons for slowing down on the long run here.  In a ridiculously oversimplified nutshell, long, slow runs are what triggers your body to produce mitochondria, which is the ignition tool for fueling our runs most efficiently.  If we don’t slow down, we miss out on that benefit.
Wednesdays are a mid-distance run with tempo and speed training options.  The tempo runs are important for anyone trying to get faster.  If you have a goal time, tempo training will help you achieve it, and many runners enjoy the challenge and bonding of going through tempo and speed workouts together.  But it is perfectly okay to opt for mid-distance (4- to 6-mile) runs instead!  Or split the difference and do the mid-distance and occasionally pick up the pace for some stretches of the run.
Fridays we generally do a hilly run.  Hills are fun!  And good for overall fitness.  Sometimes we mix it up and do a flat run, especially if we’ve done some hill work in our other runs for the week, or have a hill coming up on the following Monday.
Finally, after all that, I have to say it– remember that WRW is really just a group of friends who like to run together. We have a lot of experience in the group, and our training program is designed by a very experienced runner, but we are not professionals. We can offer general wisdom about training, but it’s crucial that if something is bothering you, little or big, you should seek out professional advice from an expert. We have some resources listed on our website, or you can always ask around and many of your fellow runners can recommend local experts. 
Shoutouts and Announcements.  The big shoutout this week goes to Miki Neant, who ran the Country to Capital Ultra marathon Saturday, covering 43 miles to finish in Little Venice with a great time and a big smile on her face!  The photo of her in the collage above was snapped no more than five minutes after her finish– and she looks amazing!  We are so proud of the ultra accomplishments she has taken on in the last few months!
If you are going to Prague, look for more communications soon about tours, meals, and other bits of planning.  Please try to respond promptly to any info requests– you’ve been great about that so far!  Carolyn and her team are creating another amazing itinerary for us, and we’d love to make it as smooth as we can for them.

Save the dates.  We are still tweaking our schedule a bit for the spring, but here is a look forward at the main dates for long and/or destination runs up until the half marathon.
Monday, 20 February – Holland Park to Green Park (8 miles), with coffee at “The Office” in Joe and the Juice (hat-tip to Beginner Class of 2019!!)
Monday, 27 February – 9-mile local loop route through parks (so flexible miles)
Monday, 10 February – Stratford (9 miles)
Tuesday, 11 February – WRW Kit pickup and race payment date!
Monday, 17 Feb – Friday, 21 Feb – February break for ASL, no official running schedule
Monday, 24 February – Canary Wharf (9.3 miles)
Monday, 2 March – Canada Water (10 miles)
Monday, 16 March – Kew Gardens (11 miles)

Thanks for bearing with me through all the information this week– and the late delivery as I pulled it together.  There’s more to come with training notes, but I’ll try not to let the e-mails get any longer than this…  Meanwhile, it’s going to be a great week, and I am so excited to start this part of our training journey together!  See you at Barclay’s!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 13 January: Sloane Square/Embankment/Westminster/Green Park – from 3.75 to 10 miles
Everybody starts out to Hyde Park, taking the usual route. Once inside the park, turn left and run down towards the southern edge, following the path to the right before it leaves the Park. Run to the large gated exit (Albert Gate) before the tall ‘One Hyde Park’ complex, cross Knightsbridge and turn right on Knightsbridge, then a left onto Sloane Street after Harvey Nichols. Follow Sloane St until it ends at Sloane Square.

Mileage options:3.75 miles: take the Tube home at Sloane Sq.
6.33 miles: continue past Sloane Sq down Lower Sloane St/Chelsea Bridge Road to the Thames. Turn left on the Thames side of Grosvenor Rd and run along the embankment to Westminster Tube.
7+ miles: continue left on Birdcage Walk, cutting through St James Park to the Mall, then left on the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, crossing before the circle to reach Green Park. Run up to the Green Park Tube on Piccadilly St and head home.
10 miles: continue north after Green Park, through Mayfair, Marylebone and Regents Park to SJW – this will give you about 10 miles.

Wednesday, 15 January – 2 mile tempo run at sub race pace; 1 mile warm up/cool down
Head to the outer circle of Regent’s Park, taking the normal way to the Charlbert entrance. Turn right to pass the US Ambassador’s house (Winfield House) and continue past the mosque to York Bridge (this is where we sometimes turn left to run the inner circle). At this point pick up your pace, as the “tempo” part of the run begins (see guidance below). Stay on the Outer Circle and keep a sub-race pace back to the Charlbert entrance area (push yourself just past it to the second driveway of the Ambassador’s house for the full 2 miles). Ease into the wide entrance area and have a little recovery jog until your group is all gathered again. Consider a nice and easy cool-down just inside the park, then take an easy pace back to the St Johns Wood High Street for stretching, followed by coffee. 

Note that the tempo part of this run should be sub-race pace. Remember this is 2 miles, not 13, so it should be faster than race pace.  Everyone should be aiming for about 30 seconds faster than your race pace. If you are not sure of your race pace, this might be an opportunity to begin to gauge it. Below are suggested times, but these are just general guidelines. Please adjust if these are too fast or too slow!

For the 8’s – 7:45-8:00 per mile
For the 9’s – 8:45 per mile
For the 10’s – 9:55 per mile
For the 11’s – 10:55 per mile

Friday, 17 January – Royal Parks Loop to Whole Foods – 8.2 miles

This is an extended route to Whole Foods in Kensington. Quick route summary: Run to Hyde Park, past the Italian Gardens and the Serpentine to Wellington Arch, loop around Green Park and St James Park, and then back inside the southern edge of Hyde Park to end up at Whole Foods.

Run to Hyde Park the usual way. Turn right at the silver sphere after entering Hyde Park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and turn left just after the Italian Gardens. Run along the Long Water/Serpentine, with the water to your left. At the end of the Serpentine bear right then left to run along the southern edge of the park. Cross Hyde Park Corner, through Wellington Arch, then left inside Green Park to run along the northern side of the park. Turn right at Green Park Station, then left at The Mall, to do a full circuit around the perimeter of St James Park and end up back at Buckingham Palace. Cross in front of the Palace and turn left to head back to Hyde Park Corner. Re-enter Hyde Park and run along the southern border of the park, all the way through Hyde Park, past the Albert Memorial and along the edge of Kensington Gardens. Exit the park at the Broad Walk gate, turn right to Kensington High Street and Whole Foods will be up the road on your left.  Dishoom is just around the corner after the Whole Foods entrance, on Derry Street.

6 – 10 January 2020 Running Info

Happy New Year, dear Runners!
Welcome back to London!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday break, spent with your favourite people in some favourite places!  I’m so excited to start this year running with you, and so grateful for this community that helps make this amazing city feel like ‘home’– even, or maybe especially, when we’ve just come back from wherever else we call home!

Running this week.  We’ll start off with our Big Ben/Westminster run on Monday.  It’s a great route for flexible mileage, so if you managed to run over the break, consider doing the 8-mile return route back to St Johns Wood.  But if you weren’t able to run much the last few weeks, you can ease back into it with the 4- or 5-mile options.  Don’t overdo it right away if you weren’t able to run during break, but do be aware we will start to up the distances on the Monday runs over the next few weeks.  Wednesday we will do the Regent’s Park/Primrose Hill Loop for 5 miles, and Friday we’ll get back to the Hill.  We’re suggesting the Highgate route this week, but as always, you have several options, all detailed in the link below.  As always, the route descriptions and maps are included below.  Look for some speed and interval training options on Wednesdays in the weeks ahead, and next week I will also share the schedule for some of our key Monday runs.

Announcements and Shoutouts.  A big thank you to all who contributed cash or baked goods for our annual holiday appreciation gifts to the cafes we frequent in St Johns Wood.  Special thanks to Laura Beal for coordinating the cash collection and gifts (thirty personalised cards and envelopes this year!).  And a huge thank you to Susan Farrell for coordinating the baked goods and creating two beautiful gift baskets– one for Starbucks and one for Pret.  I don’t have the full list of all who baked for the baristas, but I know that many of you stepped up at the busiest time of the year to keep our tradition going, and it was much appreciated by our cafe friends as well as by your WRW organisers.  And finally, thanks to all who went along for the delivery– with special kudos for singing!  Finally, I can’t resist adding a belated shoutout to a group of the class of 2019 Beginners who quietly ran a chilly Royal Parks 10k back on December 8– well done, ladies!  It’s beyond great how you’ve made running such a part of your lives in the course of just over a year!  
The sign in the photo collage (thanks for spotting it, Magali) says it all.  I have a feeling 2020 is going to be a fantastic year for us– and I can’t wait to see you all at Barclay’s and get it started!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday, 6 January – Westminster/Big Ben– 4-8 miles 
This is such a fun route! We run right through the heart of London to the now-undercover Big Ben for 4 miles. A turn back to Green Park will get you to 5 miles, or you can run back to St Johns Wood for 8. We head to Hyde Park via the usual route: start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run along the edge of Green Park, past the Victoria Memorial and cross The Mall at the traffic light. Run down The Mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the bridge across the lake and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. From there, either take the tube back, run through St James Park to Green Park tube station, or retrace your route back to SJW.

Wednesday, 8 January – Primrose Hill/Regents Park (5 miles)
Start out as if we’re headed for the Heath, running down St Johns Wood Terrace until it reaches the T.  Turn left, then right, then left again at Avenue Rd.  At the crossing just a short distance up Avenue Rd, cross over and run down Elsworthy Rd a short distance until you see a small road on the right that ends in the entrance to Primrose Hill park.  Once in the park take the path that angles to the left, then bear right at the first fork and left at the second.  This will take you up for a fantastic view from the top of Primrose Hill.  After you’ve caught your breath, take the path that goes down on the right (if you are looking out toward London), then curve around to the left at the first split.  Follow this path all the way down the hill to the crossing at Prince Albert Rd.  Cross at the zebra and head straight into the park via the bridge and across the Outer Circle (NOT a zebra, please note!).  In Regents Park, take the path that angles to the left, running behind the zoo.  Cross the Broad Walk by the fountain and continue across on the path that heads toward, but not all the way to, the perimeter of the park.  Follow this to the far corner, and then turn right to run along the southern edge of the park, inside the fence.  Continue to follow this around  the boating pond to run across the little bridge at the far end of the pond, then bear right to follow the contour of the pond to its end.  Continue on the same path until it meets the diagonal path that runs behind the zoo (the same one we ran in on).  Turn left to follow that to its end and then turn left onto the Outer Circle and follow it for a short distance to the crossing at Charlbert.  Exit the park and take Charlbert to St Johns Wood Terrace to finish at our Starbucks/Pret corner of the High Street.

Primrose Hill/Regents Park

Friday, 10 January – Highgate (7.5 miles)
Head up Fitzjohn’s, as usual, and continue past the Hampstead Tube and Whitestone Pond to stay on Spaniards Road.  Do not enter the Heath at the normal entry point, but stay on Spaniards Road as it wraps around the outside of the Heath, past Kenwood House and past The Bishops Road where Spaniards Road turns into Hampstead Lane.

Continue on Hampstead Lane as it edges around the outside of the Heath in a gentle rise until you reach The Grove, where you turn right. [The Grove is a pretty, tree lined street just before the Highgate roundabout.] Run to the first right turn, a lane called Fitzroy Park with a traffic barrier across the road. Pass around the traffic barrier—this is fine! And continue down the road, past lovely homes and a famous allotment on the right side. This road curves downhill to the left and takes you to the entrance of the Heath on your right side, near a set of bathrooms and just before Merton Lane to the left.

Enter the Heath, run past the loos (on your left) and take the path to the left as it runs along the model boating pond, the men’s bathing pond and a third pond. When the sidewalk dead ends, take a right to run along the exercise fields and running track. Exit the Heath past the paddling pool, crossing over the bridge onto Constantine Road. Take a right, running past South End Rd/Fleet Rd, past the Royal Free Hospital and cutting up the path to the left just past the Royal Free’s entrance driveway to take a short cut to Haverstock Hill. Go left on Haverstock Hill, crossing at the pedestrian stoplight to the other side, then turn right on to Belsize Avenue. Stay on Belsize Avenue (its name changes to Buckland Crescent) to Fitzjohn’s where you turn left to run towards Swiss Cottage Library, then scoot over to St Johns Wood Park Road and back to Starbucks.

Or, choose your own Heath route!  This link will take you to all of our standard Heath route descriptions and interactive maps.

4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

9 – 13 December 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
As I write this, I’ve just been basking in the happy glow from Wednesday morning’s photos… I really love our annual Holiday Lights Run!  Thanks to all who contributed these creative, dazzling pics (I particularly stole from FB posts by Tamar, Bjorg, Marissa and Jennifer Egsgard– thank you ladies!).
  
Running this week.  Monday we have scheduled a reverse run from Wembley Park.  We will meet at Barclays as usual, then head out in waves to take the Jubilee line to Wembley Park and run home.  We’re doing this run a week later than we have in the last couple of years, and we’ve decided to try leaving from SJW tube rather than Maida Vale as we’ve done in the past.  See below for full directions and the map.  Wednesday we are doing another festive run, through Hyde Park and ending at Covent Garden for a coffee at Le Pain Quotidien (and if you pack warm layers to wear afterwards, it’s not a bad time to get a little shopping done before the crowds arrive!).  We’ve also suggested Primrose Hillzzz as an option if you can’t take the time for the destination run that day.  Friday morning before the run we will deliver our Holiday cheer/thanks to our local cafes, and then head for the Hill for the last (official) time this year!

Holiday Cheer, PLEASE HELP!  Thank you to those who have already contributed cash or promised baked goods for our appreciation gifts to staff at Starbucks and Pret!  If you’d like to give– this is purely voluntary!– Laura Beal is collecting cash (£5-10 suggested) and she does a lovely job of presenting it in personalised cards with our baked goods (if you don’t spot Laura, feel free to hand off to me and I’ll pass it on).  Susan Farrell has kindly stepped forward to be our ‘Cookie Master’ coordinating our baked goods.  Please let us know if you are willing to bake a homemade treat.  They can be dropped off at Susan’s house, just a few doors down from the cafes at xxxx, on Thursday from 8:10-9:00am or 10:30-12, or you can coordinate with her for another time (her phone is xx).  Enormous thanks to both of these ladies for taking this on during the busiest time of year!

Announcements and Shoutouts.  Alum Litsa Savastano, who left us for Lisbon last year, is running the Half Marathon of the Discoveries in Lisbon tomorrow.  Good luck, Litsa– we’re cheering you from afar, and can’t wait to run with you in March!  

A slightly different kind of shoutout this week for our 8s Pace Group who, we’ve heard (and not from them), took the time to spread some joy on Friday to a friendly Big Issue vendor who always cheers them on when they do the Borough Market run.  Running London sometimes makes it feel like a smaller town, and many of us were inspired by how you took this to heart and engaged with our community! 

Holiday Running.  This will be the last e-mail of 2019, and Friday will be our last official run of the year, as schools are headed onto winter break!  Please use your WhatsApp groups if you are in town and want running buddies.  If you’re somehow not on a WhatsApp chat yet, let us know and we will get you connected!  Our usual advice over the holidays is to try to maintain your fitness with 2-3 runs of 45-60 mins each week if possible.  Making one of those a 6-8 mile run would be even better.  We resume our training together on January 6, and from there we have 12 weeks before the half marathon (that includes Feb break).  That’s very do-able, but slightly easier if we haven’t been on the sofa for the whole break!  Also be sure to keep stretching and take good care of yourselves.

It’s a crazy time of year as everyone prepares for holidays and travel, but I hope to see most of you out there sometime this week.  I know I won’t get the chance to say so to everyone personally, so let me wish you a wonderful break, happy celebrations, and the very best start to the New Year!  I’m looking forward to all the wonderful runs– and wonderful things more generally– ahead of all of us in 2020!  
xx Micki


ROUTES
Monday 9 December – Wembley Park to SJW (IN REVERSE) 9 miles 
This week we are reversing our long run by starting at Wembley Park and running back back along the canal to St. John’s Wood. Meet at Barclays at the usual time for the short walk over to SJW tube station, where will will take the Jubilee Line out to Wembley Park station.
Coming out of Wembley Park Station, go down the stairs and bear slightly right, heading towards the Premier Inn and the main road, ignoring the tunnel under the road towards the stadium. Follow Bridge Road past the hotel, staying to the right along a row of shops, where it turns into Wembley Park Drive (A4089). At a large intersection where five roads converge, keep straight onto Park Drive which is the continuation of Wembley Park Drive (still A4089). After a mile at the T junction, cross the High Road and turn right.
Pass Wembley Central Station on your left and afterwards take your first left on to Ealing Road. Follow Ealing Road (past the Alperton station) to the T- junction and turn left, staying on Ealing Road. You’ll cross over the canal bridge and see the entrance to the canal path on your left. There is a 243 Ealing Road sign for new apartments at the entrance to the canal (see photo below.) We’ll follow the canal back home (it should be on your left!) and then exit the canal off Bloomfield Road in Maida Vale and run back the usual way to Starbucks.


Wednesday, 11 December – two options — one a festive destination run, the other a loop close to home
OPTION 1: Hyde Park to Covent Garden (5.5 miles)


We start from Barclays, run down Circus Road and turn left on Grove End/Lisson Grove. Cross diagonally at the light to run along the west side of the street. Cross over Marylebone Rd (now you’re on Seymour Pl) and run until the road ends. Turn right on Seymour St, cross Edgware Rd, and turn left at the next street (Stanhope Pl). Cross into Hyde Park, cross over the Carriage Rd and enter the park.

Turn right at the silver sphere after entering the park. Cross over N Carriage Rd and turn left just after the Italian Gardens. Run along the water (it turns into the Serpentine) and turn right at the end to run along the southern edge of the park. Turn right to run out of the park at Hyde Park Corner and follow the direction below.
At Hyde Park Corner, run through Wellington Arch and along the southern edge of Green Park.  At the end of the park, keep running straight down The Mall (do not cross the street as we do when we are going to Big Ben) until you come to Trafalgar Square.  Run along the far side of the square, past St Martin-in-the-Fields. Turn right onto St. Martin’s Place and then left onto Chandos Place. When it ends, turn left and enter Covent Garden.  We will meet at Le Pain Quotidien which is next to Shake Shack.

OPTION 2: Primrose Hillzzz (4 miles)

Head out from Barclays, past Starbucks, and take a right on Charlbert Street, heading into Regent’s Park at the North Gate entrance. Run straight into the park, following the left fork until you get to the first intersection, where you go left. The Hub and the cricket nets will be on your far right. Follow this path until the end, over the Outer Circle and the bridge, then bear right and cross the zebra crossing to the entrance to Primrose Hill. Once in the park, take the first path on your left, run up past the entrance from St Edmund’s Terrace and continue up until the path forks, taking the path to your right all the way up to the top. Enjoy a brief moment taking in the view and then head down the left path all the way to the bottom corner of the park (corner of Albert Terrance and Prince Albert Rd.) Run along the bottom of the park, past the Children’s Playground, Cafe and outdoor gym to where you entered the park. Repeat this loop two more times (or more if you like!). On your final loop run back up to the St. Edmund’s Terrace entrance and turn left out of the park. St Edmund’s Terrace will become Allitsen Rd and will take you back to St John’s Wood High St. Turn right and head back to Starbucks.

Friday, 13 December – The Heath (4 – 8 miles)
It’s Friday, so we are headed back up the hill to Hampstead Heath!  Choose your route from 4-8 miles, as listed below.  This link will take you to all the Heath route descriptions and interactive maps, and our standard Heath route is shown below.

4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

2 – 6 December 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!

What a bright and gorgeous day to bring November to a close!  I hope all of you celebrating Thanksgiving had a happy break and delicious feast!  If you’re feeling a bit lethargic, as I am, maybe the crazy tights photo can offer a lift of motivation for getting out on the pavements in our running shoes again this week.

Running this week.  Monday we are doing a loop that takes us to Hyde Park on a slightly different route through Paddington, then on to Green Park and back through Mayfair.  Routemaster Darcy Fautz deserves credit and thanks for realising that the SJWWC holiday luncheon would mean a good number of ladies will need to stay close to home, so we made a last-minute switch (despite the fact that Darcy already had a different route ready to go).  Hopefully this means more of us can make the Monday run!  Wednesday is our annual Holiday Lights Run at 6am from Barclays (see below).  If you can’t make the early start, there will likely be some runners meeting at the usual time.  We’ve suggested The Wall (see map and directions below) as another option.  And Friday we have a new route up to Hampstead, but running through Golders Hill Park– an area we have been neglecting– before crossing into the Heath and coming home on a slightly different path.  Please check the map and instructions below so it’s not too confusing on Friday when we all tend to go on ‘auto-pilot’ around the regular Heath routes!

The annual Holiday Lights Run is this Wednesday at 6:00am!  This is a highlight in our running year, and a unique way to experience central London decked out for the holidays– so join us if you can!  The mileage is flexible so you can cut out to get back to your households as needed for morning demands.  A few things to remember for this run:

  • Wear bright colors for safety in the dark, and bring a bike light or headlamp if you have one.  
  • Please try to keep our volume down at Barclays and on the part of the run through residential areas!  We have heard from neighbours in the past that we’ve woken them!  People are still sleeping in the houses we pass, so best to keep conversation to a minimum until we get to the more commercial part of the run.
  • Watch your footing!  Uneven pavements, curbs, and other obstacles (benches? poles?) can be especially problematic in the dark!  No sprains or scrapes!

Shoutouts and Announcements.  We have two huge shoutouts for race accomplishments this weekend!  Miki Neant finished her 100k Channel Islands ultramarathon earlier today– just over 14 hours of running time, straight through the night!  That is simply an amazing achievement!!  Congratulations, Miki!  And WRW alum Rekha Kumar, who became a runner during her time with WRW London, ran her second marathon today in Singapore!  Well done, Rekha– we are so proud of you!     

Great news for holiday shoppers… We have been invited to a private shopping event at Lululemon, alongside the St Johns Wood Women’s Club!  The Marylebone shop will open for us on this Thursday, Dec. 5 from 7:30-8:30, and we will receive a 20% discount.  Please RSVP to Marissa O’Malia (marissa.omalia@icloud.com) or Mary Clyde (maryclyde5@gmail.com), and big thanks to both of these lovely runners for bringing us this event!  And note their wise advice– because the event will be well attended and fitting room space is limited, it’s a good idea to do a bit of pre-shopping research if possible, so you will know what you want. 

Speaking of holidays, it’s time to think about the annual WRW tradition of showing our appreciation for the employees at our local coffee stops.  As Starbucks and Pret function as our unofficial clubhouses, and the employees are generally very friendly and kind to us as a group, we like to give a tip and a basket of home-baked goods on our last run before the holiday break.  Laura Beal has agreed to coordinate the cash gifts again this year, so if you’re inclined to contribute £5-10 toward our thank you, you can hand your gift to Laura (or to me) at Barclays this week, or no later than next Wednesday, Dec 11.  And there is absolutely no obligation whatsoever to contribute!  We are also seeking baked contributions for Friday, Dec. 13, and we’d love to have a “Cookie Master” step forward to take charge of coordinating and collecting the baked goods for delivery.  Please email wrwlondon@gmail.com if you can commit to making a baked contribution for Friday, Dec. 13, or if you’re up for coordinating the baked goodies! 

Wow.  How did December sneak up on us this way?  Despite the burgeoning to-do lists this time of year brings, I am so looking forward to some of the fun and festive runs we do together at this time of year.  Something about our mornings together makes me feel like we can do anything and everything on our respective lists!  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.  See you Monday!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday 2 December – Canal West/Paddington/Hyde/Green/Mayfair Loop (6.89 miles)

Start out by heading west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End to St John’s Wood Road and go west, running along Blomfield towards the canal.  Do not get on the canal but instead cross over the canal and take the Westbourne Bridge over the Westway A40.  Run south on Westbourne Terrace and at the fork, bear right to enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate.

Run along the west side of the Italian Gardens and continue along the south side of The Serpentine until you reach Hyde Park Corner. Run through Wellington Arch and turn left to enter Green Park. Run to the Green Park Tube, cross Piccadilly and head north (turn left) on to  Berkeley Street. After Berkeley Square Gardens, turn left and then right onto Davies Street. Run north on Davies to the Bond Street Tube. Go left on Oxford and then right onto James Street. Run north on James which becomes Marylebone High Street.  At Marylebone Road, turn left and then right to enter Regents Park at York Gate. Once in Regents Park, turn left and run along the Boating Lake back to the Charlbert Street exit. Take Charlbert back to SJW Terrace and Starbucks.

Wednesday 4 December
Option One (6:00 am start) – London Holiday Lights (4-6 miles)
We start out straight down Wellington Road past the Mosque onto Park Road and down to the Baker Street tube station.  Turn left and run along Marylebone Road, crossing after Madame Tussaud’s to cut through the Marylebone Church courtyard and turn right to follow Marylebone High Street, enjoying its lights until you turn right on George Street. After just a couple of blocks, take a left on Spanish Place to Manchester Square, running to the right (past the Wallace Collection) to make a right on Fitzhardinge Street, then a left on Orchard Street (at Portman Square) until you reach Oxford Street.
Turn left on Oxford Street and continue until you reach Regents Street and turn right. Follow Regents Street to Great Marlborough Street, take a left, go past Liberty and then take a right on Carnaby Street.  Follow Carnaby to its end at Beak Street, right on Beak then left on Regents Street, all the way into Piccadilly Circus.  Turn right on Piccadilly Street and then right on Old Bond Street. Follow Old Bond which turns into New Bond back up to Brook Street. Turn left then right onto South Molton Street up to Oxford Street.  You can stop at the Bond Street Station (4.4 miles) or continue up Gee’s Court (a tiny alley street diagonally across from Bond Street Station) which becomes St. Christopher’s Place. Cross Wigmore Street up Marylebone Lane, back up the Marylebone High Street, through the Marylebone Church courtyard to Marylebone Road.
Options:  turn left at Marylebone Road to reach Baker Street Station and you will have run 5.4 miles; alternatively, retrace your steps through Regents Park outer circle back to Starbucks via Allitsen and St Johns Wood Terrace and you will have run 6.5 miles. Latte time!

Option Two (8:15 for an 8:20 start)  The Wall (3-6 miles)
We head down towards Regents Park, then enter the canal at the Charlbert entrance and run east [left] cutting through Camden Lock Market until we run out of canal path at Islington. At The Wall, we turn around and head back to St. John’s Wood. This is a great route to do a tempo run because there are no traffic lights. Please be aware of the bikes on the path and move into single file on the inside (away from the water) when they are approaching.
If you run all the way to The Wall and back it is 6 miles.  But it is very easy to run half the distance if you want and turn around and head home. As a marker, if you run to the Camden market (where we have to exit the canal path and run past the food stalls for a minute) and return home it is a 3 mile round trip.

Friday 6 December  Golders Hill Park (7miles)   
We’re exploring another part of the heath today! Head up Fitzjohn’s as usual but cross the road at the pedestrian crossing (opposite Oriel Place on the right and before the Tesco on the left) and back track a bit to turn into Church Row. Follow Church Row all the way until Frognal where we turn right and then quickly make a left onto Redington Road. Follow Redington Road as it curves around to the right until reaching the T junction with West Heath Road, where we turn left. Cross West Heath Road at the zebra crossing, continue left until you make a right onto a wide dirt path. There are many options of looping the whole park and seeing the zoo or the deer enclosure but for now we will cut straight through the woods, crossing a few paths, almost to the other side. Take a sharp right near the edge of the wooded area and some buildings. After the path curves to the right, take the first left and head up hill towards the pergola which will be on our right. We run out Inverforth Close, head right on N End Way back up to the roundabout where we cross to enter the heath at the usual Friday entrance. Run down the main path towards Parliament Hill but bear right at the bottom past the ponds and out to Downshire Hill. At the end of Downshire Hill, turn left down Rosslyn Hill and right on Belsize Ave to head back to St John’s Wood the usual way.

25 – 29 November 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
Some chilly weather, a little mud, and a fresh tempo workout?  Nothing this group can’t take on– and with a smile, even!  Great running this week, everyone.  It’s so good to finish November strong as winter break and all the busy-ness that precedes it can sometimes mess with our training schedules.  But not to worry, we’ve still got some great runs in the next couple of weeks.

Running this week.  Put on your wildest, brightest tights for Monday’s “Crazy Tights” run!  We’ll pause for a photo of all the crazy legs at Barclays, then head out via the canal west to Holland Park, straight through to Kensington High Street, and then down along Hyde Park and Green Park to St James Park for coffee together at Benugo.  See the map and route description below for details.  Wednesday and Friday ASL is out for American Thanksgiving, so we will operate on our holiday schedule, which is that whoever is available to run meets at Barclays at 8:30 and the group gets to choose their own route.  As always, it’s a good idea to also check your group’s Whatsapp chat.

Shoutouts and Announcements.  The first shout-out this week has to be a huge thank you to Marissa O’Malia for bringing us the fab new long-sleeve running shirts just in time for the cold weather!  What a great job by our new Kit Master, who made it all look smooth and easy– no doubt because she was working extra hard behind the scenes.  And thanks also to those volunteers who helped with kit distribution, as well as to all of you who responded to the call to do your pick up and payment, or make other arrangements, on a quick turnaround this week– much appreciated.
Good luck to Francesca Siebel, who is running the Hertfordshire Half Marathon at Knebworth House tomorrow (Sunday)– it looks like a great course!  And later this week, in fact beginning at 10pm on Friday (Nov. 29), Miki Neant will be taking on a 100km trail ultra marathon (yes, that’s 62 miles!) on Jersey Island.  She will run through the night on the hilly, coastal course (overall elevation gain 9000ft!) with a total of no more than 40 runners, and aid stations only every 10 miles.  Sending lots of WRW support and cheers with you, Miki!  And speaking of ultra marathons, today as I write, alumn Barbara Jones (who left us last year for Virginia) is running the JFK 50-miler in Maryland– so sending her strong WRW thoughts, too!
So many shout-outs for recent races… you ladies have been extra busy the last couple of weeks!  Last Saturday, a handful of WRW runners and alums–Carmine Najjar, Bjorg Fridbjornsdottir, Mee Lee, and Poornima Guruprasad— jumped in to a Central Park 10k to Save the Elephants (see photo at the end of e-mail).  Well done to all!  And I will add that, even doing it on a whim, Bjorg ended up winning her age group!  Also last weekend, Stephanie Gladis, Sharon Lemburger, and Kelly Willis ran the Victoria Park Half-Marathon.  All three had really strong runs and good things to say about the race itself, with Sharon and Kelly each winning their age groups, and Stephanie having a top 5 finish in hers.  Amazing, ladies!  I hope I didn’t miss anyone– please do let us know if you’ve been off running the world somewhere.

Finally… the best shout-out of all:  Leah Neenan had a beautiful baby girl, Helena Rose, on November 8!!  Tiny Helena is already a WRW veteran, because Leah ran the Milan Half last March with her ‘on board’– so a happy, happy welcome to our newest little lady in the group!  And big congratulations to Leah and her family!

Save the Date.  We only have half a dozen regular runs before the winter break, but be sure to mark your calendars for the very special, early morning Christmas Lights Run on December 4.  We meet at Barclays at 6:00am for a private tour of the city’s festive lights before the sun comes up and the crowds come out.  You don’t want to miss it!
I hope you all have a wonderful break this coming long weekend!  With all sincerity, as we pause to be thankful for the good things in our lives, I will count this group and all of you near the top of my own list.  The friendships and laughter, the solidarity and support, and the joy of running together in this beautiful city– thanks to all of you for making it such a wonderful thing!  Happy Thanksgiving…
xx Micki

Central Park Nov 2019

The Central Park runners last weekend.

ROUTES

Monday, 25 November– Holland Park to St. James Park cafe (8 miles)

Don’t forget your crazy tights!  We start out the same as our traditional Notting Hill Route [Circus Rd to Grove End, to St Johns Wood Rd to Cunningham, to Blomfield to the Canal, going west past the Westway to Ladbroke Grove].  Once on Ladbroke Grove, run south all the way until it ends at Holland Park Avenue.  Cross Holland Park Avenue, take a right and then a quick left on Holland Walk [just past Aubrey Road].  Holland Walk is a pedestrian way.  Run up Holland Walk until the first entrance into Holland Park on your right [opposite the Duchess of Bedford Walk].  Run into the park and then turn left on the broad walk which goes the length of Holland Park until it ends at Kensington High Street; turn left and run along Ken High Street.  (For a shorter run, you can leave at the Ken High St Tube which makes it about a 5 mi run).  Otherwise, continue on until you reach Kensington Park, where you enter it at the junction with the Broad Walk [just before Palace Gate road]. Take the Broad Walk to the first path on the right which turns into So Carriage Dr. You’ll run past The Albert Memorial and cross West Carriage Dr at the light. Continue on So Carriage Dr all the way to Apsley House/Hyde Park Corner.   Cross over Piccadilly and run under Wellington Arch, then cross at the light to run along the path to the left of Constitution Hill [the same route we take in going to Big Ben],  At the Mall, cross the street to run along the north side of St. James Park.  Turn right into the second entrance and go diagonally to the left (not straight as we usually do to run to Big Ben) and run to Benugo cafe where we will all meet up for coffee.  We can take the Jubilee Line home from Green Park after our coffee.  

Wednesday, 27 November and Friday, 29 November – No School at ASL, meet at Barclay’s at 8:30 to pick your own route.

18 – 22 November 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
It seems like maybe I say this all the time, but… what a great week running with you all!  The Remembrance Day run was, for me at least, a very meaningful way to mark the day.  Wednesday’s Hillzzz started the day with a feeling of accomplishment, and the Borough Market run was a treat as always.  Scroll to the very end of the e-mail for a glance at this past week’s runs.  Apologies for the late e-mail this weekend– I’ve been fighting technical issues all weekend to get the routes and photos to load into the e-mail (fingers crossed that they appear correctly here… if not, I’ll be back with another try later today!).  

Running this week.  Monday we are running to Finsbury Park via Highgate and the Parkland Walk.  We’ll sneak in the hill (since we didn’t do one Friday), but just remember there are bagels to reward you at the end!  Wednesday we will take on a different tempo workout– the Hyde Park triangle.  The full description is in the “Routes” section below, but basically we run hard along each side of a triangular-shaped route, and we jog very slowly around the corners.  Though your group will spread out during the up-tempo run, use the corners to regroup so that you can set out together on the next long section (tip: the second fast segment is the longest one.)  Friday we head up the hill again to do the Heath route of your choice.  Full directions and route maps are below, as always.

Training calendar.  Our WRW founder, Paula Mitchell, designed the training program we follow each year leading up to our Spring half marathon.  After the winter break, I will start sharing more of her training wisdom.  But in the meantime, here is a look at the training calendar our running schedule is based upon through March 2020.  Our routes team has taken this calendar into consideration when designing our runs, so if you are running the regular routes with WRW you are already following a training plan designed by a very accomplished runner and coach!  There is also a more gradual version of this plan (though not customised to our race date) on our website– it’s a great idea to take a look at this if you are new to running or are recovering from an injury or returning after a hiatus from running.


Announcements and Shoutouts.
  Last weekend’s Rocky Run alumni race in Philadelphia was a big success, with almost 40 women coming from all over the U.S. and the world (a few from London– Alysia, Carmine, Darcy…).  If you’ve run with WRW for more than a year, there will also be familiar faces of friends who have moved away from London.  It is such a fantastic thing that this group of alumni including Paula (front and center, below), the mastermind behind our group, have found a way to keep the WRW spirit going outside of London!  And a huge shoutout again to Ariadne Petrucelli for pulling together the organising end of things!

Save the date.  Mark your calendar for these upcoming runs you won’t want to miss:Monday, Nov. 25th, we’re doing a “crazy tights” run to Benugo in St James Park– who will find the wildest tights to wear?  Wednesday, Dec. 4th, we will meet at Barclays at 6:00 am for the annual Christmas Lights run– it’s our own private tour through the mostly deserted streets of central London to view the festive lights.
A happy and restful Sunday to everyone.  Looking forward to seeing you at Barclay’s tomorrow!
xx Micki

ROUTES
Monday 18 November – Finsbury Park via Highgate/Parkland Walk (7 miles) For this run we start up Fitzjohn’s as if we’re going to the Heath, but pass the Heath entrance and continue up Spaniards/Hampstead Lane into Highgate. Turn left down Southwood Lane (the road next to Gail’s) and go down the hill, then veer to the right (not a hard right turn!) onto Jackson’s Lane. Continue down Jackson’s to Archway Road and make a right, then a relatively quick left onto Holmesdale Road. Run a short distance on Holmesdale and the entrance to Parkland Walk will be on your left. Follow the path to Finsbury Park, cross over the train tracks, turn right and run along the western edge of the park and exit onto Seven Sister’s Road. Happening Bagel is across the street, Costa is to the right, and Finsbury Park Station is further down on the right (on the Piccadilly and Victoria tube lines).

Finsbury Park

Wednesday 20 November – Hyde Park Tempo Triangle
Head down to Hyde Park the usual way at a very gentle pace. Once you reach the park pick up the pace a bit around Speaker’s Corner, and then run very fast down to the SE corner of the park. Jog slowly around the corner while you try to bring your heart rate back down to a recovered rate. Once you reach the straightaway, run hard again to Carriage Road. Slow down to a recover rate again as you cross over the bridge and up to the path, where you will turn right and run hard along the diagonal back to Speaker’s Corner. Jog very slowly back to SJW or, even hop on the bus or tube from Marble Arch. If you are not doing tempo work, you can do this run at a regular pace (if you run back to SJW it is about 6.5 miles).




Friday 22 November – The Heath (4 – 8 miles)
It’s Friday, so we are headed back up the hill to Hampstead Heath!  Choose your route from 4-8 miles, as listed below.  This link will take you to all the Heath route descriptions and interactive maps, and our standard Heath route is shown below.
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Bonus photos… last week at a glance!

Nov 2019

11 – 15 November 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!  

Listening to the rain fall as I write gives me a little satisfaction that we managed to dodge the raindrops this week.  I KNOW that tempts fate, but it’s still worth acknowledging our good fortune to have had these beautiful runs around London.  Along with this week’s photo highlights, I snuck in a picture of the magical rainbow unicorns, because I didn’t get one in last weekend (and unicorns are so elusive).  Also, look for the specially skilled selfie-takers above– not all of us have that skill, so thanks for sharing your abilities and your photos, ladies!
Running this week.  Monday is Remembrance Day– Veteran’s Day in the U.S.  Last year’s run to the special “Shrouds of the Somme” exhibit was quite meaningful to many runners, so this year our Routes Team took on the challenge of finding another special run for the day.  The amazing Erin Roth has put together a very special route through our home turf– SJW, Paddington, Hyde Park, Westminster, Regents Park– and highlighted some surprising and touching historical sites most of us will not have been aware of, as well as some of the major memorials in central London.  Truly, I can’t say enough about the effort she put into researching and writing this for us– thank you, Erin!  So please, please take a look at the attachment we’re including, with all of its history of London and Londoners– particularly women– and how they lived and what they dealt with during times of war.  It will put you in the right frame of mind for an Armistice Day run.  The directions and maps below contain the highlights (and thanks to Amy Grace for doing the photo-highlights map!), but again, do take the time to view the attached pdf!  And note that even if the full 9 miles feels a bit long at this point, there are many places to exit via tube and shortcut back to St Johns Wood!  As for the rest of the week, we’ll switch our hill day and do the new Primrose Hillzzz route on Wednesday, then reward ourselves with a run to Borough Market on Friday.
Announcements and shout-outs.  Today in the U.S., about 40 WRW alumni are converging on Philadelphia to run various distances in the “Rocky Run”– you know, up the courthouse steps, like in the original Rocky movie?  It’s wonderful that so many women are gathering in the WRW tradition!  Best to all of you, and a special shout-out to Ariadne Petrucelli for organising the weekend, with the help of Alyse Driscoll, Stefhanie Howe, and Michele Cale!  We’re sending cheers, shouts and hugs from here and hoping you all have a great weekend together!
Save the date.  Mark your calendar for these runs you won’t want to miss:Monday, Nov. 25th, we’re doing a “crazy tights” run to Benugo in St James Park– who will find the wildest tights to wear?  Wednesday, Dec. 4th, we will meet at Barclays at 6:00 am for the annual Christmas Lights run– it’s our own private tour through the mostly deserted streets of central London to view the festive lights.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone!  Thank you for being this wonderful community you are– showing up for ourselves and each other, staying positive, and generally making every great thing about living here even greater!  See you on Monday…
xx Micki

ROUTES


Monday 11 November — Remembrance Day Run (9 miles, or exit early at any of the many tube stops close to the route)
Head down Circus Road and cross Grove End Rd to Hall Rd. Remember Davies the dental surgeon at the corner of Hamilton Terrace. Run down the hill to the Sutherland roundabout, taking the left after the Warrington Pub onto Warrington Crescent. Keep an eye out to the left for the five tudor style houses on your left — this is the site of the WW1 bombing. Carry on down Warrington Crescent, past the Warwick Avenue Tube Station until you reach the bridge over the canal — and picture those incredible “Idle Women” making their way in narrowboats carrying crucial war supplies from London to the industrial north and back again. Straight on to the tunnel that goes under the Westway, then over the curving metal pedestrian bridge to run alongside Paddington Station. You’ll pass a Paddington Bear statue on your right — a reminder of those young evacuees
Keep Paddington Station to your right as you leave the canal area, cross Praed St, cross Sussex Gardens and continue straight down London St until you come to a small roundabout with a Fuller’s pub ahead on the left. Turn left in front of the pub onto Strathearn Pl, right onto Clarendon Pl, and cross at the zebra crossing into Hyde Park, which would have had a very different feel during the two wars. Cross N Carriage Dr, the sandy horse trail and the hard path paralleling it, and then take the SECOND angled path to the left to head towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park — the goal is to get to the corner we always exit the park from onto Hyde Park Corner. There are a few path options but as long as you angle left here you will eventually end up in familiar territory. 
Cross into Hyde Park Corner with its four war memorials. After taking a look, cross at the traffic light as normal to Green Park, but turn left in the park to get to the Bomber Command Memorial inside its columned portico. Continue for a very short distance past the memorial and the path forks to the right — it is signposted “Buckingham Palace”. Follow this path towards the palace. At the open area where many paths meet and a large Victorian lamppost stands, turn right towards the palace. You’ll pass a modern, low-built Canadian war memorial in the grass to your left — it isn’t in the write-up but is something to visit sometime. 
Continue towards the palace, across the top of St James Park and left on Birdcage Walk. There is a long iron fence that runs along the right side of the road. Just after the gate marked with the “Wellington Barracks” sign in blue you will see the side of the rebuilt Guards’ Chapel with its low bell tower. Continue to Parliament Square with the statue of Churchill, then turn left onto Whitehall. The Cenotaph is in the center of the road and shortly after that you will come to the Women of World War Two Memorial.
Continue up Whitehall to Trafalgar Sq and stay on the right side of the road while edging around the right side of Trafalgar Square. Shortly after St Martin-in-the-Fields you will see the Edith Cavell Memorial, opposite the National Portrait Gallery. Use the crossings to get across to the Portrait Gallery, go around to the right of the Portrait Gallery onto the angled Irving St that becomes a pedestrian way into Leicester Square. Cross Leicester Sq on the diagonal and take a right after the big clock and M&M World onto Wardour St. Follow Wardour St all the way up to Oxford St. This will likely be a very busy stretch of the run…be careful of pedestrians and cars! 
At Oxford St, look across at the Next store, housed in the grand Bourne & Hollingsworth department store building with its handsome green window panels. Continue straight across Oxford St onto Berners St, left on Mortimer St, right on Langham Pl, right on Park Crescent, across Marylebone and into Regents Park. Follow along the right side of Regents Park and emerge onto the Broad Walk. The Home Depot would have been nearby buzzing with mail distribution 101 years ago. Cross the Outer Circle at the traffic light, across the canal, left to Primrose Hill. Run across Primrose Hill to the gate at St Edmund’s Terrace, and proceed to Starbucks as normal.

PDF of Remembrance Day Run

Wednesday 13 November — Primrose Hillzzz (4 miles)  
We’re switching the hill workout this week to a Wednesday session on the Primrose Hillzzz– the zzz for the zig zag hill repeats that are sure to get your hearts pumping and glutes working!

Head out from Barclays, past Starbucks, and take a right on Charlbert Street, heading into Regent’s Park at the North Gate entrance. Run straight into the park, following the left fork until you get to the first intersection, where you go left. The Hub and the cricket nets will be on your far right. Follow this path until the end, over the Outer Circle and the bridge, then bear right and cross the zebra crossing to the entrance to Primrose Hill. Once in the park, take the first path on your left, run up past the entrance from St Edmund’s Terrace and continue up until the path forks, taking the path to your right all the way up to the top. Enjoy a brief moment taking in the view and then head down the left path all the way to the bottom corner of the park (corner of Albert Terrance and Prince Albert Rd.) Run along the bottom of the park, past the Children’s Playground, Cafe and outdoor gym to where you entered the park. Repeat this loop two more times (or more if you like!). On your final loop run back up to the St. Edmund’s Terrace entrance and turn left out of the park. St Edmund’s Terrace will become Allitsen Rd and will take you back to St John’s Wood High St. Turn right and head back to Starbucks.

Friday 15 November — Borough Market (6 miles)
Let’s mix it up with a destination run to Borough Market, official address 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL. We can grab coffee at Monmouth before doing any shopping and catching the tube at London Bridge station back to SJW. Don’t forget your Oyster!

We start by heading to Hyde Park via the usual route. Head west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End Road. At the corner of St. John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road, cross diagonally at the light and continue south on Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue south on Seymour Place until it tees into Seymour Street. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then take the first left on Stanhope Place to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past the Victoria Memorial, cross The Mall at the light and turn right at the grand wrought iron gates into St. James Park. Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Continue past Big Ben and cross Westminster Bridge. After the bridge turn left down the stairs to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Just past Southwark Bridge, head right and then a quick left to go into a short tunnel that puts you onto Clink Street. Make a right on Stoney Street to get to the market (and Monmouth Coffee!).

4 – 8 November 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!
How much fun was it to get into costume this week?  You all looked fantastic!!  So many great photos this week, but I had to give the panorama top billing here (and I can’t resist asking ‘where’s Waldo?’).
Running this week.  Monday we are running a favorite destination route to the Tower of London.  We’ll go through Westminster, across the bridge and along the Southbank, past the turn for Borough Market and along another nice stretch of the Thames past the HMS Belfast and London City Hall.  Then we run across the Tower Bridge and finish outside the Tower of London.  Please check the directions and map below!  There is a big Starbucks near the Tower’s main tourist entrance if you have time to continue around the walls instead of turning toward the Tower Hill tube station as the run finishes.  
Wednesday we will do our first tempo session, a series of short, faster-speed intervals spaced with slow-jog recovery intervals in Regent’s Park.  This is a fun workout to do together!  During the up-tempo stretches, your group will naturally spread out, but the people near the front can circle back to rendezvous during the recovery jog part, so that everyone begins the next tempo interval together again.  You will be amazed at how quick this workout seems, and how good you feel for having done the change of pace!
Friday we are suggesting the Highgate route in the Heath.  It’s 7.5 miles and takes you up around the back side of the Heath into areas of the park not on our regular route.   But as always, you can find all our Heath routes here (our brilliant webmaster Amy Grace has recently updated all the maps on our website, so a big shoutout and thank you to her!).  Just a word about the Heath as we move into chillier days– be aware that the pavements there freeze sooner than they do in St Johns Wood, and they stay frozen later into the morning.  Do be careful up there if we have any precipitation, and look out for frost on cold mornings!
Announcements and Shoutouts.  As you already know from previous e-mails this week, we have moved to a waitlist for the Prague half marathon in March.  Here is the link to register yourself on the waitlist.  We will move most of our Prague communications out of this e-mail so that those not attending don’t have to skim over details, but please feel free to e-mail if you have any questions about the race trip.  And speaking of race trips, next weekend a large group of our alumni will be attending the Rocky Run in Philadelphia. I’ll do a proper shoutout next week on the day of the race, but I imagine a few of our London ladies might be headed out to join friends there, so an early good luck to all!
A few upcoming runs to note:Nov. 11 (Mon) – Remembrance RunNov. 25 (Mon) – Crazy Tights Run (Holland Park to St James’ Park Benugo Cafe)Dec. 4 (Wed) – Christmas Lights Run (early morning tour of the city lights before sun-up)
I’ll leave you with this stunning photo from Monday’s run, when three pace groups converged in Regent’s Park.  So beautiful (and the tree is nice, too)!   Wishing you a good weekend, and looking forward to seeing you next week!
xx Micki

3 pace groups converging in Regents

Monday 4 November – Tower Hill – 7 milesToday we will be running across, along and across the Thames and in and around some of the oldest parts of London. The sights will be stunning!

We start off as though we are running to Borough Market— down Grove End and into Hyde Park, under Wellington Arch, along Green Park, through St James Park and towards Big Ben then across Westminster Bridge. At the end of Westminster Bridge, exit left down the stairs and run along the Thames Path past the London Eye, Royal Festival Hall, Blackfriars Bridge, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe to the Golden Hinde, admiring all the landmarks as you trod past. Follow the walkway to the right of the Golden Hinde and at the junction with Southwark Cathedral, turn sharp left and follow Montague Close, passing through the tunnel. You are now on Tooley Street. Shortly, you will see the “Number 1” bar on the right and a London map sign on the sidewalk (see photo below)- turn left here and go through the passage to meet up with Thames Path, where you turn right. 

Continue east on the Thames Path past the HMS Belfast, City Hall and Potters Fields, to Tower Bridge. Climb the stairs up to the Bridge (don’t go under the Bridge), then run across Tower Bridge (the views!), continuing past the Tower of London (more views!) until you reach the stairs down to Tower of London Park. Take the stairs down and follow the paved path along the park. Just past the park is a junction in the path-turn right to run in a tunnel under Tower Hill Road, past part of the original London Wall and up to the Tower Hill tube station. Now, think of all the history you’ve witnessed in just 7 miles!

Wednesday 6 November –  Tempo Diamonds – Regent’s Park

We are focusing on tempo running on Wednesdays.  This week we will do ‘diamonds’—they are fast but also fast to be done with so give them a try!

Head over to Regents Park, the normal way.  Enter the Park at the Charlbert Entrance and veer to the left path.  When you reach the first intersection with the other sidewalk, it is time to turn on your running jets.  You will run hard for 1 minute, then recover by running slowly for 3 minutes; then run hard for 2 minutes and recover by running slowly for 3 minutes; then run hard for 3 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes; run hard for 2 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes and finally run hard for 1 minutes, recover run slowly for 3 minutes.

The ‘diamond’ looks like this:

1 minute hard                     3 minutes jogging recovery
2 minutes hard                   3 minutes jogging recovery
3 minutes hard                   3 minutes jogging recovery
2 minutes hard                   3 minutes jogging recovery
1 minute hard                     3 minutes jogging recovery

If you need to extend the amount of time for the jogging recovery, that’s fine, you can jog up to twice the amount of the hard run time [so 6 minutes max recovery jog for the 3 min hard run]

This type of running is best done within the park so you don’t have to contend with driveways etc.  If you find you need more mileage in Regents Park, just keep looping however you see fit.

Friday 8 November –  Highgate – 7.5 miles

Head up Fitzjohn’s, as usual, and continue past the Hampstead Tube and Whitestone Pond to stay on Spaniards Road.  Do not enter the Heath at the normal entry point, but stay on Spaniards Road as it wraps around the outside of the Heath, past Kenwood House and past The Bishops Road where Spaniards Road turns into Hampstead Lane.

Continue on Hampstead Lane as it edges around the outside of the Heath in a gentle rise until you reach The Grove, where you turn right. The Grove is a pretty, tree lined street just before the Highgate roundabout. Run to the first right lane, which is Fitzroy Park and has a traffic barrier across the road. Pass around the traffic barrier—this is fine! And continue down the road, past lovely homes and a famous allotment on the right side. This road curves downhill to the left and takes you to the entrance of the Heath near a set of bathrooms and just before Merton Lane to the left.

Enter the Heath, run past the loos and take the path to the left as it runs along the model boating pond, the men’s bathing pond and a third pond.  When the sidewalk dead ends, take a right to run along the exercise fields, track and children’s swimming pool. Exit the Heath past the swimming pool, crossing over the bridge onto Constantine Road. Take a right, running past South End Rd/Fleet Rd, past the Royal Free Hospital and cutting to the left just past the Royal Free’s entrance driveway to take a short cut to Haverstock Hill. Go left on Haverstock Hill; crossing at the pedestrian stoplight to the other side, then turn right on to Belsize Avenue. At Lancaster Grove, stay left on Belsize Avenue as it changes to Buckland Crescent.  Take this to Fitzjohn’s where you turn left to run towards Swiss Cottage Library, then scoot over to St Johns Wood Park Road and back to Starbucks.

The Heath (4-8 miles) – Option #2
4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill.   Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the reverse Heath route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.

28 October – 1 November 2019 Running Info

Hello Runners!

I can’t believe we will hit November this week!  A good-sized group of us had a great run to Hampton Court Palace this past week (photo above).  I even heard that several runners were so energetic they tacked on a a couple of extra miles just for fun?  Amazing, you strong ladies!  (… but maybe we’ll add a mile marker to the route instructions for where the bridge is next time!)  Anyway, hopefully everyone had a great week of running, whatever alternate routes you may have taken.  

Running this week.  This Monday we are keeping it local with the Morningside Crescent loop because we have a destination run on Wednesday.  And then Wednesday’s run is our annual Halloween Costume run to Whole Foods via Brompton Cemetery.  Finding or creating a costume to run in can take a little extra creativity, and we’ve had some great ones in the past!  But you can also keep it simple with a headband, a skirt, or a tail.  Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!  As for the run itself, the Brompton Cemetery we’ll pass through opened in 1840, and 205,000 people are buried there (including the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst).  The beautiful 39-acre space was designed to be a garden for recreation, as well as a burial space– so we should be respectful as we run through, but it is meant to be open to passers-by.  Be sure to look at the route below, so you can find your way to Whole Foods for a Halloween coffee and any last-minute treats.  Finally, Friday we run back up to the Heath, with a swing through the lovely Pergola on the 6+ mile route.

Announcements.  Yesterday you should have received an e-mail with a link to the Prague RSVP form.  Please do fill this out if you haven’t yet!  Carolyn’s team is putting together dinner plans, and we’ve got other logistics to manage, so it is important for us to have an idea how many runners are joining us.  The largest number we’ve ever had on a race was last year’s 120 women in Milan.  Because of venue and restaurant limitations, we need to cap this year at 120 runners on the trip as well.  After we reach that number, we will keep a waiting list.  So please, please, get yourself included in the count!
Save the Date.  Our calendar list keeps getting shorter as we move through the semester, but we still have lots of great runs ahead!  Following are the ones you might want to mark your calendar not to miss:
Nov. 11 (Mon) – Remembrance Run
Nov. 25 (Mon) – Crazy Tights Run (Holland Park to St James’ Park Benugo Cafe)
Dec. 4 (Wed) – Christmas Lights Run (early morning tour of the city lights before sun-up)
The Fall has flown by, and we are another week stronger!  It’s going to be another great week to get out and run together, especially after a couple weeks of school-related breaks and interruptions.  I’m really looking forward to seeing you all at Barclays and out on the pavements this week!
xx Micki

ROUTES

Monday 28 October – Camden/Morningside Crescent/Regent’s Park (5 miles)

Head to the canal going eastbound to Camden Lock, where we cross the small, cobblestone bridge, exit the canal and turn right onto Camden High Street (alternatively, turn right just at the bottom of the bridge and go through the opening between the buildings to get to Arlington Road). At the first intersection with Jamestown Road take a right after crossing Jamestown Road and then the first left onto Arlington Road. Run straight down Arlington Road, make a slight right onto Mornington Crescent, follow it around and turn right onto Hampstead Road. At the first intersection, turn right onto Granby Terrace and the second left onto Stanhope Street. Continue down Stanhope until we reach Trinton Square. Turn right and run between the office buildings at Regent’s Place, past the nice fountains, to the end of Trinton Street. Use the pedestrian crossings to cross Osnaburgh Street and Albany Street. Head left to the intersection of Euston Road, where you take a right and run briefly along Euston Road. At Park Square East, turn right through the gates towards Regent’s Park. We enter the park at the Outer Circle intersection and stay on the path on the far right (east side) of the park, cross the Broad Walk at the ornamental fountain and head along the path with the Zoo to our right. Turn left onto the Outer Circle, past the Avenue Road exit, and right at the second exit (where we usually enter for the canal or park). Run up Charlbert Street to St John’s Wood Terrace, make a left, and head back to Starbucks.

Wednesday 30 October – Whole Foods via Brompton Cemetery (6.5+ miles)  HALLOWEEN RUN!Today we’ll earn our post-run treat by ending at Whole Foods on the Kensington High Street!  Bring your shopping list if you want.We start out the normal way to Hyde Park.  Once you enter the park, turn left and run along the east side of the park.  At Hyde Park Corner turn right and run along the south side exiting at the gate we normally use at William Street [next to the French Embassy].  Cross the street, take a right.  Turn left at Brompton Road (just past the tube) and take Brompton all the way (admiring Harrods as you pass) until Fulham Road.  Veer left on Fulham Road and continue to Brompton Cemetery.  Turn right to enter the Cemetery.  Run through the Cemetery then exit and turn right onto Old Brompton Road, then turn left onto Earls Court Road. Cross Cromwell Road, then turn right onto Cromwell Road and then turn left onto Marloes Road. Continue north on Marloes making your way through the streets to Kensington High Street.  Whole Foods will be to your right.  

Friday 1 November  – The Heath Pergola (6.3 miles)Head out from Barclays to Avenue Road, then up Fitzjohn’s per all the Heath routes.
Continue past Hampstead Tube Station all the way to the roundabout just beyond Whitestone Pond. At the roundabout, use the pedestrian crossings to cross counterclockwise over to New End Way to Jack Straws Castle (now a personal training gym) and continue past the parking lot entrance and past the bus stop to turn left onto a small street called Inverforth Close. A short way down, there is a trail to the right with a green barrier gate and a sign that says “The Hill Garden.” Here are pictures of the trail:

Follow this trail until you come to an entrance on the left for “The Hill Garden and Pergola”, enter it and go to the right around the big bushes. You will see a beautiful reflecting pool. Run alongside it and up the stairs-you are on the Pergola! Run or walk the length of the Pergola.  Don’t forget to look at the beautiful views, admire the flowers and take a pic or two. Please be considerate and don’t run if others are walking the Pergola. When you have finished with your Pergola time and reached the far end, take the stairs down and turn left to run on the wide trail back to New End Road, turning right to run by Jack Straws Castle and crossing left at the pedestrian crosswalks by the roundabout to put you back on the standard Heath route. Turn left from the crosswalk and then right to enter the Heath. Run the wide path as usual but don’t turn left to run up Parliament Hill. Instead, veer right at that juncture and follow the trail across the ponds. After the ponds, the trail veers left and shortly after there is an opportunity to take a right turn on the intersecting trail that heads towards E. Heath Rd (taking you next to the fields used for the Art Fair, parking etc at different times of the year). Cross E. Heath Rd at the pedestrian crossing, then run on Downshire Hill Rd to Haverstock Hill Rd. Turn Left on Haverstock Hill, running home the usual way (turn right on Belsize Ave, left on Lancaster Grove, right on Crossfield, right on Adamson, then cut through the Swiss Cottage public area by the Hampstead Theatre, turning onto Fitzjohns to St Johns Wood Park Rd to St Johns Wood Terrace and then to Starbucks).

And of course there are always the other Heath routes if you prefer:

4 miles:  A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles:  The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles:  The full Heath route

Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.