The Long Run: Kew(l) Loops

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The real problem and only one if we’re being particular, with the Garmin 610 running watch is the ANT + connection. Fundamentally, it is to great detriment of the good folk at Garmin and a colossal oversight that they did not think to include a hardware connection between the watch and it’s receiving computer. ANT + is a fine gadget when it works, but this is choice and seemingly more temperamental than a girl with her arms crossed on date night who is very definitely “fine”. I cannot tell you how many countless occasions I have sat by my watch coaxing it into cahoots with my macbook, only to languish after the most recent episode of pavement pounding I have undertaken. Today the problem was defined by its absence – i.e. not ANT + stick altogether which meant no workout to upload and hence share with you. It is beguiling that there is no other means to access that workout but that’s the way the world works. There are greater injustices in the world but right now I can’t think of them.FullSizeRender-2

The following chart is taken from walkjogrun, a fine application that is well worth looking into for route planning. My older brother and I rose with the dark dawn skies for our long run.The plan was to cover a looping 19km from Ealing, through Brentford (where these industrial monochromes are taken) via Kew back to Ealing. I strapped my GoPro head mount on using a time lapse which didn’t bear much fruit but I’ll have to look into that to see if there was anything worth salvaging. Halfway through it turned itself off and I reverted to film which itself turned out to be a staccato and irritating affair.

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The final route didn’t quite resemble this but it did serve a fantastically sad meander through industrial London as it previously stood. I will touch on this again in the future but we shared some interesting conversations as we coursed quietly through this decaying Kingdom. A total of 15km were realised together and I completed the final 4km on my own. At points he wanted to walk and I would be lying if I said that my legs didn’t feel thankful for the respite. This only really occurred at the 10-11th split. The pace was very gentle and overall settled at 6:05min/km, incorporating the shameful walking. A total running time of 1hr 56min was observed.

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I returned home weary and fatigued. The run had been enjoyable but was the signature on a seemingly heavy week on the legs, a total of 77.6km banked in earnest. In conversation the other day I mentioned that I felt exhausted and I was met with the appropriate reminder that exhaustion is not tantamount to improvement and indeed does not corroborate a healthy running lifestyle. I thought about this and realised that I both understood this completely and not at all. While I assured myself that exhaustion would be in keeping with near collapse – I was by no means close to this point, but that said, I had no idea how I should feel if I were.

In the same manner in which someone might point at a sky and comment on how blue it is, I often wonder if our blues are of the same spectrum. When I say I am tired, I don’t really know if I’m as tired as I should be, or even as tired as you. I don’t know if I’m tired enough. These circular arguments often repeat within me and are as confusing to me as they are comforting. When the lights go out and I let myself slumber I wonder, does anyone feel as tired as me and realise that there are people who don’t and somewhere in this peculiar world of ours, some of those will be running.

Box Hill Ride

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One week post Le Jog with legs somewhat recovered, the next ride was on the cards and what better than a squander to the North Downs and Box Hill with esteemed ChainLUBE member, Daffyd Garrick. Unfortunately Rafe Watson and Parker Johnson were absent for this trip, having ambled down to the West Country to make the most of the oddly Indian British Summer.

The day began with a one stop servicing in the Garrick Bike Clinic who winced as he heard my chain spin. “When did you last oil it?” he ventured, perhaps optimistically listening to the strain of metal upon metal. “Uh, before the tour mate,” I returned to the disappointment of Garrick. “Not doing a service to the team name eh?” he proposed as he generously lubed.

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We rolled out of Hanwell into the forgiving temperature of 22 degrees. Traffic was slight and our anticipated prediction of a flux of cyclists on the streets ahead of the Ride London 2013 event was unfounded as we kept the streets largely to ourselves. By the time we had traversed the 10 miles or so to Richmond we were thoroughly warmed up with Garrick pace setting at a relentless 15mph or so. Perhaps surprisingly, I did not struggle as much as I thought I might and indeed where on other rides his bike had often vanished off into the distance, it remained at least a steady speck on the horizon – Saxo Wank, I mean Bank Jersey in sight. At one or two points, some stealth attacks were attempted vainly by myself, batted right out of the park by an unforgiving Garrick.

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Box Hill itself was relatively quiet also and surprisingly slow. As we skirted around the base Daffydd informed me he had scaled the hill in the highly respectable time of 6 minutes or so. I assured him that this would not be the time I would be attempting and that he was to go forth and take the hill as it suited him. Myself, I settled into a steady pace, ascending the hill for as much as possible in the big ring before succumbing just after the first hair pin to the more forgiving small. Several riders from a local club passed me with ease towards the summit and I cursed them good naturedly under my breath. As I sped into the summit, I was rallied by my own fitness; keeping my heart rate just under 150bpm throughout.

After a short break at the summit and an appreciation of the epic view of Dorking, we tore through the remaining miles back home ending the day at a total of 53.5 miles in 3 and half hours of moving time. My legs were slightly sore and I was aware of my ITBs but not painfully enough to remove the satisfaction of an excellent ride. I made the final 200-300m ride home alone looking forward to trawling through the Garmin data of the ride which is given below for your view pleasure.

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