I can swim 1500 metres without much fuss. I didn’t used to be able to do this. Not so long ago swimming 15 metres would have been a struggle. But now I can do that 100 times over. I’m trying to remind myself this. Thinking of it as half an hour splashing up and down the pool makes 1500 metres seem less intimidating.

1500 metres is just 100 short of a mile. A mile seems quite far. A long way to swim, even further to climb. Almost a mile, straight up. How high would that be? The Shard is 308 metres high. I went up there one Christmas and it looked a long way down. I can see the top of The Shard from my front door. Five times up The Shard seems a long way to climb.

It’s just under two weeks until I take part in the Eco Trail Paris. I’ll be lining up for the 80km event. The course runs from the outskirts of Paris to finish at the Eiffel Tower. It’s made up of 95% trail. And it covers 1500m of climbing. It’s a number I’ve been a bit preoccupied with.

Last year I was fixated on another number, the 1200 metres of climb on the Ironman UK bike course. It was a course I didn’t finish. Here’s hoping I’m better at running up hills than I am cycling.

I’m a fan of race-specific training, so at the weekend I headed off on a route that best replicated the course in Paris. I set off from Finsbury Park to Hyde Park, via every bit of north London off-road terrain I could find. I ran along the Parkland Walk, through Queens Wood and Highgate Woods before running through Hampstead Heath.

At Hampstead Heath I could see the city ahead of me, including The Shard. From the top of Parliament Hill, it didn’t look so big.

I carried on to Hyde Park where I met Laura Stewart and 12 other women who’d gathered for a run to celebrate International Women’s Day. I forgot about running up hills and talked about running for the fun of it.

Last year in Bolton I learned that it’s OK not to finish a race. That you can still turn up, have a go and, if you you fall short, it’s still possible to have a good time. Who knows what will happen in Paris. As long as I have good time, it doesn’t really matter where I stop running.

2017-06-23T07:39:35+00:00 9 March 2015|


  1. mum March 9, 2015 at 3:04 PM

    Laura you do make us marvel at you. Good running in 2 weeks maybe we can watch on P.C. luv the Mustard Pots. xx

  2. MrsB | Mind over Matter March 9, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    I’ve been learning to swim front crawl since December. I can do 25m and then have to rest for 20 seconds before the next 25m. I cannot imagine at this point being able to just keep going and going and going…

    • Lazy Girl Running March 9, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      I promise you , it will come. I used to get really frustrated with swimming because I knew my fitness was good (like yours is) but I had to keep stopping to catch my breath. It’s all in the technique. Keep at it and you’ll get there.

  3. thenikjones March 9, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    What was the elevation of the Snowdonia marathon? You did that OK last year I think?

    I need to learn crawl, I can do breaststroke but 1625m takes an hour (determined to swim a mile!)

    • Lazy Girl Running March 10, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      Snowdonia had half the elevation, so it’s pretty much like running the Snowdonia marathon twice in a row. Not sure if that makes it seem easier or harder.

      Good luck with the swimming!

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