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Tuesday, July 22

The Intentional Marathon

A week ago, I cycled 26 miles accidentally. This was caused by bad planning and bad transport. Tonight, I ended up asking myself whether I could repeat the experience on purpose. I'll save you the bother of guessing: I could.

A Marathon is, according to my sources, 26.22 miles. I know this because I googled "385 yards to miles" to find out the decimal bit to go after the 26 miles, having found out that it's 26 miles and 385 yards from wikipedia. Google is very good at numeric conversions, just ask it whatever you need to know.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure when my urge to do another marathon really kicked in. (I should point out that cycling a marathon doen't really count, so all you long distance runner readers can quite happily switch off and call me a lightweight. I know. Legs can't coast.) My original plan was to cycle to Twyford and then back through Bracknell. Along the way I contemplated how far this was - about 20 miles, and then thought I may as well stick on the other 6, and then I thought that it should probably be 26.2 miles to make it a proper marathon. I reckoned I'd be running under, so I'd have to think of detours.

When I set out for the cycle ride, I had some objectives. I wanted to get some exercise. I also wanted to visit a supermarket to by some surface cleaning wipes and maybe some more fruit. I like fruit. I'm eating a lot of fruit at the moment. In fact, having come home and filled my belly with fruit, I'm now, officially, rather fruity.

Anyhoo. I pootled along to Twyford and then onto the country roads that lead to Bracknell through Binfield. I found one hill that nearly threatened to stop me progressing up it, as it still required an awful amount of push even in my lowest gear, but I wouldn't be beaten. Overall, there was a lot of up and down and so I could achieve some high speeds, but I would also get the occasional drop in gear for a bit of a climb.

I had expected to stop halfway round for my supermarket break and maybe some refreshment. As it was, I actually kept steering myself back on course throughout the whole thing. I got as far as the outskirts of Reading, about 20 miles into the journey, before I took my detour to the supermarket. I went to Asda, half hoping to find more of those weird peaches I bought yesterday (all eaten).

At Asda, I bought supplies and took a break, sitting on a wall, to relax and put some liquid into my system. Then I headed home.

I realised as I neared home that my route had fallen short. So I took a slightly long route around the cemetery which sits on Cemetery Junction, just to get the extra point somethings of a mile. I miscalculated a little and ended up doing almost exactly 26.22 miles. I think I was only really expecting to hit 26.

And that was my night on the road. Not a ridiculous achievement, but an evening with enough exercise in it to make me feel sleepy enough for bed. I have a bit of work to do before I turn in, though.

No rest for the marathon man.


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