Tag Archives: Riverside Park

Friday Five – Five lovely places to run in Southampton

22 Jan

I’ve now been living in Southampton for 20 years, so although it’ll never feel like my true home (Cornwall), I’ve lived here for long enough to discover some lovely running routes (they’re not quite far enough off the beaten path to count as hidden gems).

Southampton

Technically, not all of these locations are actually in Southampton, but they’re close enough for me to run to them.

  1. Southampton Common has to be first on the list as it’s the main location for runners in the city. It’s a 326 acre site that’s less than a mile from the city centre, and is the venue for the incredibly popular parkrun that regularly boasts over 600 runners. There are lots of different paths, so you can choose whether to run on tarmac, compacted gravel or grass. There is also plenty of parking by the Common and a lovely cafe at The Hawthorns that is really welcoming to runners.
  2. Testwood Lakes. This was the first location that I ran to when I joined Lordshill Road Runners, and I did a lot of my training for my first marathon there, even when it flooded in 2012:

    Testwood Lakes

    Tim checks the depth of the flood water at testwood Lakes back in 2012 © Irene Moreno Millan

  3. Riverside Park. I don’t run here as often as I’d like, but it’s a staple of my long training runs, whether they are half marathon or marathon training runs. This park is where Southampton Junior parkrun takes place and it’s also got a large pitch and putt area.
  4. Lordswood trails. It’s easy to get lost here and apart from the distant sound of the motorway, you really do feel like you’re in the countryside.
  5. Weston Shore. I love running from my home, over the Itchen Bridge and along Weston Shore to Royal Victoria Country Park. (It’s exactly 10km from Foyes Corner in Shirley to the start of parkrun in RVCP, which is helpful to know if you’re marathon training).  There are some early modernist tower blocks on one side and on the other you have the Itchen and can see the cranes and towers of the refinery, so it might not be everyone’s idea of beautiful, but it’s a great run route.

Where are your favourite places to run that are near to Southampton?

A slow start to January

4 Jan

I went out for my first run since I had laser eye surgery yesterday. I’ve been desperate to go out for a run. I didn’t want to push too hard and was looking to have a social run, but I didn’t see anyone I knew who was going to be running at conversational pace – possibly because it was cold, wet and windy.

first Soton parkrun of 2015

Nearly finished!

I knew that the run was going to be tough as I’ve not eaten well for the last two weeks, which was made worse by the total lack of exercise. I also realised at the start of the run that I had forgotten to pick up an inhaler, so I had to be careful. Every time that I started to have breathing problems, I slowed down a bit. Fortunately,  this strategy seemed to work. It wasn’t a fast run, but I finished:

parkrun 3rd Jan 2015

Now, I just need to start eating healthily again and get back on the training wagon, to knock three+ minutes off that time!

Amusingly, in the evening, I received this email:

Fastest pace 2015

Clearly, if I want to receive a cheerful email, I need to go out at a fast pace on my first run of the month!

I read this post on RunKeeper this week: Brian: Losing 365 pounds and getting my life back. It’s really inspirational, so I urge you to read it.

If you use RunKeeper and want to connect with me, I’m here: http://runkeeper.com/user/fatgirltoironman

I tend to ‘use’ quite a few exercise trackers (mostly as I use tapiriik to sync my data to all of them)

GarminConnect is my main tracker, but I quite like what Strava does. I also like their new code of conduct: Stand with us.

Strava stand with us

If you want to find me anywhere else, you can also find me:

I’m also doing Jantastic again this year: https://www.jantastic.me/ It’s a challenge that runs through January, February and March, where you set your own goal sand then aim to meet them. I had to reset my goals as I had intended to swim at least twice a week throughout January. I’m not allowed to swim again for a few more weeks, so I had to change that goal.

This morning, Teri and I had agreed to run, but she also needed to go to junior parkrun with her children, so I agreed to go along and marshal as well before we went for our run.

Volunteer at junior parkrun

Initially, I didn’t think it was very cold out as there wasn’t any frost, but after standing around for just over half an hour, I was definitely feeling the cold. I took off my jogging trousers and put them in Teri’s car, but couldn’t bring myself to remove my running jacket as I just had a short-sleeved t-shirt on underneath.

We started off at a steady pace – mainly because I couldn’t go any faster. We ran around Riverside Park, which was a nice change from running on The Common. Then we headed along some of the route of Southampton Half Marathon. It’s quite hilly, so I know that I need to do lots of hill-training between now and April.

On the way to The Common, we saw Irene and Alice from Lordshill Road Runners, then on The Common we saw Rob and Nick out running. It’s lovely that whenever I go for a run I see people I know.

Teri and Tamsyn

Still wearing sunglasses to protect my eyes

This afternoon, I’ve been in the kitchen. I’m hoping to plan all of my meals for the week and also prepare my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow to try to get the week off to a good start. For tea tonight (and tomorrow and Wednesday), we’re going to have a home-made chilli – yummy! It’s quite a simple dish:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • chilli powder
  • paprika
  • coriander
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • miscellaneous dried herbs
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 1 small tin tomato puree
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 carrots
  • red pepper (capsicum)
  • green pepper
  • spinach
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 can borlotti beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans

It’s a smoky bbq type chilli as a consequence of the chipotle paste and the molasses. It’s also a dish that improves after a day or two. I quite often cook large one-pot meals like this, so that I don’t need to cook every day.

As I’ve not been able to go out and exercise, I’ve watched a few TV programmes online. I finally had a chance to watch ‘The Adventure Show’ on BBC iPlayer. The episode that I was interested in was episode 5, which is one that focused on a group of cyclists doing an Audax event in Scotland. This is something that I would like to do one day, but I need to build up my cycling quite a lot before it happens!

I also watched an excerpt from the Graham Norton show, featuring Bradley Wiggins:

What have you been up to?