Lovely London and the importance of legal aid

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So last week was my last week of training before taper week and triathlon. I tried to be quite full-on with the training but at some points my body just felt exhausted so I missed a few workouts… that’s okay, it’s good to listen to what your body is telling you! So here’s how my week panned out….

week in review

1. 10 hours training – not bad! That included 3 swim sessions, 3 days of cycle commuting, 2 5k(ish) runs, and 1 yoga session.

2. Loving open-water swimming! What has happened to me? I am a changed person… I went back to the RG Active swim training session at Stoke Newington Resevoir – a much bigger group this week than last! The sun was shining and I was perfectly warm enough standing outside in my swimming costume even at 7.30am. The hour’s swim session went well, I got kicked in the face which is another good thing to get out of the way before it happens in an event (last week I got cramp)! Then it was time to get out of the water, but I wasn’t the slightest bit cold and so a few of us decided to do some free-swimming laps – just over 400m. I did one with a lovely lady who is an ultra runner. After the one lap I decided to get out while she continued, I regretted that though as it was just so lovely in the lake and I wasn’t the slightest bit cold. I was genuinely really enjoying myself. Despite the fact I’d forgotten a towel so wasn’t looking forward to the process of trying to get dry!

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3. I had a great treadmill 5k before work on Wednesday after having cycled in – a kind of brick session. I played about with the speeds and managed my fastest ever treadmill 5k – 26min 40. I was sweating like I’d been for a swim afterwards and gasping but it was great.

4. A ridiculous sleep on Wednesday night / Thursday morning. I fell asleep before 10pm (around 9.45) with my alarm set for 7am the next morning – the plan was to cycle into work and then have a gym interval session. I woke up just before 7 and just felt exhausted… turned the alarm off and didn’t get out of bed until 10 past 8! Then had a bit of a rush to get to work but my body obviously needed the sleep as ten hours of sleep on a week day is a bit ridiculous!

5. On Friday evening the weather was so ridiculously nice. I left work early just after 6pm with the intention of getting the tube home, sitting out on the patio and then going for some dinner with James. But I just could not face going down underground on such a sunny day so I carried on walking past the tube… I walked almost out of Canary Wharf and then realised that it would take me a very long time to walk to London Bridge. I found myself at the ferry terminal so jumped on the ferry to take me up to London Bridge – what a fantastic way of commuting!

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Post-ferry, I called James but he was having drinks with work-friends and didn’t really want to eat dinner by the river… whereas all I wanted to do was eat dinner by the river! So I continued walking from London Bridge along to South Bank, just enjoying the evening, the sun, the view, the tourists. I bought a hot dog from a stall and ate it on a bench looking out over the river, before heading to my friend Chris’. He teaches at Westminster School and lives there which meant a walk across Westminster Bridge and past parliament. Some pimms with him and then around 9pm it was time to go home to bed 🙂photo 1 (4)

6. An incredible dinner at Story restaurant (which I blogged about yesterday) on Saturday 3 (4)

7. Brick session Sunday. A glorious 2 hour, 46k cycle to Richmond Park and with two laps around it. It was just wonderful, I loved every moment. The sun on my skin, the wind in my face, the green of the trees and the blue of the sky. I was completely happy and the cycle went well with a new PB in my Richmond Park loop time. Then home and off for a brick run. Immediately things did not go so well. I was dehydrated so I took a bottle of water with me, but it was slightly too late by this point. I probably hadn’t nutritioned (yes that’s a verb…..) enough. It was horribly hot. And my ankles hurt!!! I tweeted about this and the swim coach, Phil, from RG Active was kind enough to respond with some advice. We don’t move our ankles as much when we cycle so it takes some adjusting on the run. Strength and mobility work is needed to stop this. But now it’s too late as the triathlon is next Sunday and so I am definitely worried……… I’d done several brick sessions over a month ago on the road, and several more on the treadmill in the last month, and hadn’t had this problem so I just wasn’t aware of it until it was too late. This put a bit of a downer on my wonderful day!

photo 2 (5)Bike and me taking a well-earned rest in the sun

Cheered it up with some cider on my friend’s roof terrace in the sun, and then a wonderful steak cooked by James with mini roast potatoes, burnt leeks, asparagus, and a wonderful lemon-y herb dressing for the whole dish.


AND FINALLY tonight I’m walking 10k for the London Legal Support Trust. To be honest, I signed up for this as it gets me out of work early (4.30pm! yay!) and I get to do a fun walk through London with friends. Even better now the weather is so fantastic. I don’t normally ask people to sponsor me and if I did, it would be for a marathon or ironman or something like that. And I’m definitely not asking anyone to sponsor me for this. BUT… there’s always a but. This is a fantastic charity so if you are feeling generous, please don’t sponsor me, please just donate (perhaps via this link…)

Here’s why this is important. The point of the event, from lawyers from all over London taking part (I’m proud to announce my firm is producing the highest number of lawyers from any other law firm taking part) is to raise money for charities that provide legal aid services in London and the south. Legal aid ensures that people who can’t afford an expensive barrister can have legal representation in court – that is, that they don’t have to stand up and fight their own case against a qualified barrister. That seems like a basic human right to me… But due to recent cuts by the government to legal aid, many vulnerable people have been left without access to legal support. In cases concerning divorce, welfare benefits, refugees, housing issues, even domestic violence, the most vulnerable in society are having to represent themselves against trained barristers. This is a travesty of justice – how can the ordinary person with no experience of the law or being in court present their case and persuade the judge over someone who is trained to do it?! And it goes against the principles of human rights.

Where the coalition cuts, charities have to step into the void and the London Legal Support Trust is attempting to do just that.



  1. What a good cause you’re supporting.

    It sounds like you had a great week. I’m envious of your open lake swims. The weather is not quite so nice here yet, so that won’t be happening for a while. I will take your potato dinner with the leeks and asparagus though. 🙂

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