Posts Tagged ‘walking’

London Walks

In London, walking on February 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

According to my London MoonWalk training pack, this is now officially Week 1 of the training schedule. I’ve got until 12 May to get fit enough to walk 26.2 miles across London, at night, in a bra*, to raise money for breast cancer charities.

It is also clear that a few brisk walks round Crystal Palace park aren’t going to cut it. At some point before 12 May we have to fit in around six 6 mile walks, three 7 mile walks, a 10, a 12, a 14, two 16s and, the big one, a 20-mile-er.

Ignoring the immediate question of ‘When am I going to find time…?’, and moving on to the slightly more fun question of ‘Where am I going to go?’ I’ve dug out my Time Out London Walks books, my collection of leaflets on things like the Green Chain and Thames Path (I am a compulsive leaflet gatherer) and hit Google, but could do with some extra suggestions. Read the rest of this entry »


Something for the weekend – Crystal Palace

In South London on January 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

Like most of my so-called ‘training walks (did I mention I’m doing the Moonwalk in May?), this one involved a 50 minute all-out brisk walk, followed by a less-brisk browse around an interesting area I hadn’t visited for a while (in this case Crystal Palace), culminating in an impromptu spot of lunch somewhere new I’d spotted (in this case dim sum at Urban Orient). OK, so it’s unlikely I’ll lose any weight through this training regime, but I can tell that my team mates (several of whom seem to view exercise as an end in itself – weird!) are secretly jealous of my laissez-faire workouts.

Even though Crystal Palace is only just far enough from where I live to work up a sweat, and that’s mainly because it’s uphill, I don’t go there nearly as often as I might. So I was pleasantly surprised to find it full of even more interesting junk shops and nice cafes/restaurants than last time and, of course,  amazing views. On that Sunday, the ambiance was humming with a relaxed local vibe – busy, but not the sort of oppressive busy you get in East Dulwich on a Saturday. Just about the perfect amount for a sunny Sunday.

Here’s some of the bits that caught my eye: Read the rest of this entry »

My MoonWalk training starts here

In walking on November 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Nike Zoom trainersI’ve decided to make today officially Day #2 of my new regime. I’ve had a few trial runs but now I think I should commit. From now on I will be doing a brisk 2-4 mile walk EVERY morning after dropping my son at school. Ok, almost every morning.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to ‘do a Brooker’ (his recent Guardian column on accidentally becoming a runner sums up a lot of how I feel about fit people). There is no danger of me going to the dark side and becoming actually sporty, although I have bought some highly engineered trainers to lessen the chance of injury and have been eyeing up some Stella McCartney leggings on the She Active website (and, having seen the price, will be going to Primark or Uniqlo instead). Read the rest of this entry »

#70 Climb One Tree Hill

In South London on January 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Unexpectedly finding myself at 9am on what began as a sunny Sunday with three free hours, and a red wine hangover trying to attract my attention, there was nothing for it but to go for a walk. As I was already out of the house when I received this temporal windfall (otherwise I’d have just stayed in bed, obviously), I just kept walking. Read the rest of this entry »

#61 Paris on 1,000 words a day

In Paris on November 11, 2010 at 11:43 am

If you haven’t had a full day to yourself since there was an elected government; or if the bus ride to work is the closest you get to ‘me time’; or if you are reading this in a spare five minutes (ok three) between deadlines and school pick ups, then LOOK AWAY NOW.

And if your toddler won’t even let you go to the loo alone, or if you never do anything except other people’s washing and other people’s suppers and other people’s homework, or if you’ve been reading the same page of your book for the past six weeks, then my sincere apologies in advance. Read the rest of this entry »

#36 Bring me sunshine

In Homeworking on March 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

It could be the weather teasing me, but it looks like we made it through another winter, and a pretty miserable one, unless you are a penguin. (Apologies to readers in Berlin who still have another month to go from the sound of things. And to penguins.)

This week temperatures reached double figures for more than two days running. The sun has shone, bulbs have flowered, washing has dried on the line, hats have been shed, light jackets have been worn instead of big coats, and some people have even been seen in sunglasses. Passing a local private school I saw one groundsman mowing grass and another painting the white lines of a rounders pitch  – two of the textbook Signs of Spring.

After long dark months of hibernation and stodgy food, the first Signs of Spring traditionally fill me with unaccountable energy, and I can’t resist the urge to just get out and walk. Everywhere. All the time. While this can be inconvenient when there are pressing things to be done around the home or at a desk, this compulsive walking is saving money on bus fares, petrol and gym fees.

A 30 minute brisk walk (approx 5mph) burns off nearly 200 calories. I calculate that this week I have clocked up at least 3 hours on foot in trips to the South London Gallery to see Michael Landy’s Art Bin,  Herne Hill for a meeting and home made hot cross buns, and Dulwich Pots for, er, pots – plus roughly half an hour a day on weekdays to and from and to and from school. That’s 2,200 calories by my reckoning. Or nearly 13 Creme Eggs.

Looked at another way, I’ve also saved £4.80 on bus fares and about £2 on petrol. That’s still 13 Creme Eggs – proving the reliability of the Creme Egg as an SI unit of measurement, hereby officially abbreviated to  ‘Ce’.

To walk ‘correctly’ you should apparently hit the ground with your heel and roll through your foot and push off from your toes, hold your arms at a 90 deg angle, keep your pelvis in ‘neutral’, your spine and neck long, your chin up and your eyes forward. Not stomp along hunched up, handbag pulling on one shoulder, neck disappearing into coat, forehead pushing against the wind. You should start each walking session with some simple stretches and, here’s the bonus, make sure you keep up the carbs (but not after 5pm).

On my travels this week I have happened upon:

a derelict building filled with balloons;

a fight outside Primark;

South London’s smallest and newest independent bookshop, Herne Hill Books;

an eclectic junk shop, The Good Companion, selling sideboards, carrot cake, and taxidermied stoats;

Nemo Converse (with fin) for kids;

plus all the crocuses, birdsong and grass cutting.

That’s quite a lot of pleasing diversion. Or, in SI units, 13Ce.

#30 A Colombian-flavoured micro mini break at the Elephant & Castle

In London on February 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm

My postcode-centric lifestyle has induced profound cabin fever. Those who still have jobs may yearn for more time at home, but the daily routine of get up-> take kids to school-> sit at computer  while wondering how long you can stick it out before you have to turn the heating on -> fry up leftovers or pick from fridge for lunch -> computer -> get kids from school -> sit at computer while throwing biscuits at kids to keep them quiet -> make their tea -> start own tea-> get them to bed  while burning own tea -> eat tea-> clear up tea -> sit at computer to make up for time lost throwing biscuits -> bed, is just as monotonous as a daily commute. Read the rest of this entry »