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So after my last post, and having freed myself from the shackles of my own self-inflicted silence, I guess I should divulge what I’ve been up to recently?

Where to start? The bank holiday weekend I guess?

Knowing that we had the Bupa London 10000 run on the bank holiday Monday, Shelli and I had a pretty quiet weekend. We went into Reading Saturday afternoon as Shelli was after a new camera, having missed using the old Southby Canon DSLR.

We ended up in Jessops with the aim of looking at the cameras, holding them and having a play before heading home and ordering something online, no doubt for quite a few pounds less than the high street price. Surprisingly, this didn’t end up being the case.

Having had a nose around she ended up looking at the Canon EOS 500D as it was on offer, and a pretty good offer at that: the Canon EOS 500D and two Canon lenses – the usual 18-55mm kit lens and a 75-300mm zoom lens, all for the bargain price of £579.95! That’s a saving of almost £200, pretty much giving you the zoom lens for free.

I had a quick look on Amazon to see what the price of the 500D was on there and they couldn’t come close to that price without the zoom lens so after a little bit of inner turmoil about spending so much she took the plunge and picked one up.

It’s a much better camera than the two I’ve got and I’m sorely tempted with upgrading myself, replacing my old 300D, although I do like the look of the Canon 7D but that’s a little bit on the pricey side. I won’t even think about looking at the Canon 5D as that’s way out of my price range! One day…maybe!?

As mentioned earlier, on the bank holiday Monday Alex, Shelli and I took part in the London Bupa 10000. Both Alex and Shelli had put in quite a bit of training for this run but to be honest, I’d been extremely lazy and only did a 3K, 5K and 7K run over the two weeks before the big day – I wasn’t confident at all about my performance or if I’d even make it round!

We’d checked the weather and it was looking as though it was going to be a bit cooler and overcast – perfect as I hate the heat at the best of times but running in it? No thanks. Unfortunately they got it wrong and as we walked from Paddington to Green Park for the start of the run the sky cleared and the sun came out…brilliant!

Alex’s mum and little brother had come along for the day but they got the tube down as we walked and warmed up before the run.

After dropping of our kit bags and little run round chasing Christian (Alex’s brother) it wasn’t long before I had to make my way to the start line. I was in a different starting block to Alex and Shelli, it being based off your expected finish time, so I headed past the Mall and Buckingham Palace to the race start on Birdcage Walk.

I was a little on the nervous side as I felt so unprepared – my own lazy fault – so I put on my headphones and stood waiting for 11am and the start of the race. Unbeknownst to me, the race was going to be set off in waves based on the starting blocks: red A, B, C; blue A, B,C; green A, B, C. As I was in blue C so was confident it wouldn’t be too long after the start that I’d be over the start line and on my way. They started a little after 11am but then it seemed to take forever for each of the blocks to be set on their way. I think it must have been around 11:15am by the time I finally got to the start line only to be told over the PA that we only had another two minutes to wait before we could go!

Finally on my way I concentrated on my pace but in a moment of madness as I was sorting my kit out I decided that I’d take my little Canon point-and-click camera with me to record the even. So, as I ran round the course I snapped away, hoping that some of the pictures would come out okay. Before you ask, no, I didn’t stop while I took photos. I ran the entire course, taking the photos as I was running.

I started out pretty good, checking my pace and hitting the first three Km markers bang on pace for my one hour finish time. Unfortunately, as we were running down the embankment the sun was directly in my face and the day’s temperature was going up and up. This really began to hit me by the time I got to the 5Km marker and by this time I was already off pace by 46 seconds…I wasn’t happy!

As I said, I managed to run the entire course – even in the heat – hitting the finish line in an official time of 01:04:05, only 4 minutes over the time I wanted, or 24 seconds a Km slower than planned . Not bad considering I’d done next to no training and the heat was just horrid. I guess I’d better prepare a little more for the next run?

Having collected my goodie bag and medal I headed back to the finish line to wait for Alex and Shelli to finish, catching up on some water and eating the sweets they’d kindly put in the bag.

Alex came in at 01:14:26 looking rather hot and bothered. He’d run with Shelli up to the 9Km marker and then headed off on his own. Shelli came in a couple of minutes later at 01:16:43. A brilliant effort by them both, especially Shelli as I knew she was very worried about the run, never having actually run that far before, and the weather was not what she wanted at all. Well done honey, extremely proud of you! I know how worried she was about coming last but there were another thousand people after her, the slowest coming in at 02:08:48!

To put our times into perspective though, Mo Farah – the men’s winner – came in at 29:15 and Jo Pavey – the women’s winner – came in at 32:22. It was a little demoralising making your way down the embankment, having only reached the 1Km marker only to have people coming back towards the 9Km marker in the other direction!

Once we’d all cooled down and picked up our kit backs we headed off to Leicester Square for some top grub and a well deserved beer at Wagamamas. That really hit the spot seeing as I’d only had a couple of bananas for breakfast and a few sweets after the run.

Fed and watered we walked Alex, his mum and Christian to Picadilly tube station and said goodbye. Shelli and I decided to walk back up to Paddington – I love walking round London, much nicer than jumping on a hot, stuffy tube!

One thing I did make sure I did on this run was to smile at the official photographers if I saw them. The photos from the Bath half marathon are good but I look as though I’m really not enjoying it and I wanted some better shots this time. If you’ve already looked at the photo gallery then it might be worth having another look as the original gallery only had the photos I took on the day. It now has the official photos and a picture of the course route too.

I have to say it, I didn’t do too badly with the photo taking as there are only a couple that are out of focus. I’m pretty sure I got some very strange looks as I made my way round the course, snapping away. It actually helped sometimes though as it took my mind off the heat and the pain in my legs as I concentrated on taking the photos.

If you want to see what the course was like have a look at the video someone put together using images from Google maps. It’ll give you some idea of the distance we covered.