I was working in St Albans, North West of London, today and will be there again tomorrow. So I decided that rather than driving home tonight and back to St Albans tomorrow (a trip of approximately 40 miles each way via the M4 and M25 motorways) I would leave the car at my client’s office and walk home – and then catch the train back to St Albans tomorrow.
Google Maps indicated that it was only a 25 mile walk in a relatively straight line heading directly south via Wembley and it would give me the opportunity to join a small dot on my ever-growing map the rest of the map of my walks around London. I had run the St Albans parkrun back in November and my map showed a small dot miles north of anywhere else that I have walked, and I knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity to join the dot to the lines on my map today, I might not get that opportunity again for some time.
I was actually working in a small village called Wheathampstead which is about 5 miles north of St Albans, but my client offered to drop me in to St Albans after work and collect me off the train tomorrow morning as she would be going in to St Albans anyway, and the country roads between St Albans and Wheathampstead don’t have footpaths all the way meaning that they are not overly safe for walking – especially in the dark.
So I was dropped off at Verulamium Park (the venue for St Albans parkrun) at 6:15pm and started the journey south. This was only my second walk after the 50 miler on Saturday night (following an easy 80 minutes last night) and my legs appeared to be well recovered. I made good progress but by the time I got down towards Ealing my Garmin showed that I had already covered over 20 miles and I still had at least 8 miles to go. Under normal conditions that wouldn’t be a problem, but it was already 10:30pm and I was unlikely to be home before midnight (and on a school night J). So given that I had already succeeded in my mission to join my St Albans parkrun dot to where I had walked previously on my map, I decided to call it a night and completed my walk (22 miles in total) at the Ealing Broadway bus terminal which is where the number 65 bus to Kingston starts from. And I was home 30 minutes later.
To pee or not to pee
As well as physically joining the dots on my map I had a realisation whilst walking tonight. Something that I don’t fully understand but found very interesting.
For the last few months – since about the time that the weather got colder at the beginning of winter – I have found that I need to pee a lot more often than usual during my walks. I had put it down to drinking too much during the day. I am sure that that is a part of the cause, and since taking up walking 2 ½ years ago I have found that walking tends to put a bit more pressure on my bladder than running did, and I need to stop occasionally when out for longer walks.
But lately I have needed to pee every 30 to 60 minutes whilst walking and each time I would lose between 20 and 40 seconds while I stopped to answer the call of nature. Fortunately, being a man, I have also found that I don’t actually need to stop if I don’t want to. I can pee whilst walking and I only slow down by a few seconds rather than having to stop altogether. Obviously this is something that you can only do when on secluded trails (or deserted streets at night) and should not be done when walking in to a head wind!
Anyway, you are probably saying “Stop – too much information”, but this blog is as much about me talking about where I am walking around London as it is about me talking about my training and the challenges that go with it – which is why I am discussing this topic.
And the realisation?
Well, I discovered that when I took my gloves off, I no longer needed to pee. Strange but true.
In the early stages tonight it wasn’t that cold and at one stage I needed to pee but was unable to find anywhere to stop or anywhere secluded, and I was walking up hill at the time and decided to remove my gloves. Within 30 seconds I no longer needed to pee.
Later on in the evening I was in a similar position and I removed my gloves again. And the urge went away again.
Interesting, and something I will experiment with further.