Actually I am quite sure that is not what their real names are; nevertheless, they are the highlight of my running expeditions around Regents' Park.
Each weekend I do my long runs at Regents' Park: the glorious garden which caters to many runners, cyclists and walkers in central London. As I round up the outer path I first encounter the Keeper's quarters of the London Zoo before hitting the ticket box. Depending on how late I get there the narrow path is either deserted or filled with prams, children running wild and exasperated parents as they wait for the ticket office to open. After delightfully dodging this crowd my heart sing a high note as I peek across the road to the Giraffe enclosure. There they are: Annie and Frank. The first few times I ran around the park I was too early to catch them but lately my timing has been perfect. Their keeper usually opens their stalls and Annie saunters outside. Frank is a bit wary so he sticks his head out of the stall munching on morning oats or whatever it is that they eat. Most often I find Annie out and about enjoying the morning sunshine or cloudiness (this is London after all) while Frank watches her having a good time.
I have decided to run the half marathon in Edinburgh on Apr 5th. This is the first time I have trained alone, without the joy of sharing the blisters and adrenalin with a team; it's been challenging to be running 5 days a week by myself. One way I get through my long runs is by keeping exciting things along the way to look forward to - an art I perfected during my Washington DC full marathon where my dearest friends L and E as well as family alternated at various mile markers to keep me going. At Regents' Park I use Annie and Frank, a milkshake shop and fields of daffodils to keep me going. Spring is here so my running is accompanied by the glorious tweeting of birds; the males are shining their coats and practicing their arias for the mating season. It truly inspires poetry but luckily for you, my reader, I cannot compose a ditty to save my life! Here's a picture of daffodils that may instead, inspire you to go out there and run.