MLR with the elder brother.

I think I am more or less on course with the running now. I am about a third of the way into my training for the Brighton Half Marathon (which is on 28th February 2016) and I am feeling pretty good. I don’t think feeling good is particularly synonymous with objective improvement but I’m not injured, I’m running, things are going well.

Today I ran 14km in West London with my older brother as part of my MLR (medium long run). I’ve added the link to my Strava so you can see it. He ran the first 1okm (to a PB I should add) with me and I finished off the final 4km on my own. I do love running through London. I am by some considerable measure, an urban runner. Nothing quite inspires or invites me to run as the turning of road upon road. It’s an amalgamation of the history of the city, the buildings in ascension, the feeling of something significant happening; yesterday today and forever more. The space is bombarded by the blitz of relentless human endeavour. I’ve enjoyed many runs through fields and countryside but they never get me quite like urban running does. There’s only so many things you can do with a horizon.

I’ve added the pace chart from said run below.

Screenshot 2015-12-22 14.14.23

We kept a nicely gentle and comfortable pace of about 5:30min/km in the entirety of the joint run. The suggested pause just after 9km isn’t at all, merely a venture over a bridge and British Rail. I think he had begun to turn by this point as the pace had begun to drop off towards 6min/km. I continued onwards with the goal of keeping the pace of 5min/km for the final 4km. This more or less was achieved.

I’m getting to the point now where 5min/km is a fairly comfortable pace for me at distance. I’m probably teetering on the edge of my aerobic capacity. A venture toward 4:50 begins a tugging of breath and by 4:40 I am fully aware that I’m running.

4:40 is the intended goal pace for the Brighton Half. The goal time is 1″40. The current PB is a somewhat embarrassing 1″43. I feel I can do much better than that and hopefully now I should do, given that never before have I trained for a half marathon. There is something thoroughly depressing about watching 40 year olds cruise to 1″30 (I am 30 years old myself) whilst steam pours out of my ears. Happily, 4:45 should get me my goal time, but I am keen to arrive comfortably into the next time zone. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

2 mile intervals tomorrow in Lammas Park which I am looking forward to. I know, I’m a little strange.


Mark Twain in West London, or thereabouts (Not really)

I saw the Tree of Life the other day, Terence Mallick’s offering with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and to be honest – what there was of Sean Penn was so insignificant and unwarranted it was entirely pointless Penning. Anyhow, there was a beautiful recurring piano piece in the film; a take on Les Barricades Misterieuses by Couperin, that moved me enough that I felt compelled to make a video using the music. It is not so much an absolute work of art, but just a collection of moving images containing my brother who was kind enough to sell his face for the purposes of me running some film. I really love West London and the way it makes me feel when I am home and there is nothing quite like London in the summertime.

West London Walkabout

My leg had been acting up over the last day or so and so obviously I went for another run this morning. I figured, my odds had to be in – what could possibly go wrong? I am on day 3 of a 4 day weekend, the weather throughout has been outrageously majestic, I managed to ineptly assemble a surprisingly satisfactory video tribute to my home town (see prior post you heathen, Arsenal had crawled to another painstaking win against some other sorry bag of wankers in Shepherd’s Bush and had I ended the day by going out to the pub with two of my best friends from my childhood, to sup on whatever fizzy bullshit the vendor had arbitrarily stocked behind the counter, recounting tales of all the erratic ventures of our childhood. To share with you one interesting anecdote – on one occasion, Neil, one of our best friends from childhood turned 18 and did the only honourable thing to do in this situation and threw a stupidly big house party. Amongst nocturnal house egging trips, Police cautions, romantic fumblings and vomit we had a bit of fun. Neil spent the greater portion of the evening too inebriated to speak, topless with firm Irish nipples to the world. At one point I convinced him to throw himself into our band’s drum kit. For the life of me, I cannot recall whether he did. That man however, is about to have his first child, ladies and gentleman. He will rear life. The man who I spent the whole night awake with at a festival, so he wouldn’t aspirate on his own vomit as he slept face first in the ground, will be a father. Such is life.

Which brings me to this morning. I decided to broach the giddy heights of a 10K and do my loop of Gunnersbury Park. From Ealing, through Walpole Park, down the A406, around Gunnersbury and back makes for a nice 10K if you’re interested. It is fairly flat with an elevation of 24m and a suitably fast course, if you can manage. At the moment, with my geriatric fitness, this is very much not the goal. Simply making it is.

Right at from the start my knee announced itself, the complete and absolute prick. It decided to accompany me through the entirety of my run, waxing and waning at points, always present. I chose to ignore it for the most part, but can I assure you, it is the most detracting of injuries. It doesn’t quite hurt to cause pain and it is not apprehending to the extent that I cannot function. It beguiles me and I, who on occasion forget where I am, do not need these kind of perplexments. I just made that word up.


The weather was good, as you can see above and ideal for rapid movements on a Sunday morning. I ran 9.35K in 51:22 min. I decided to avoid the full 10K, because I’m nice to my leg like that. These are my splits.


Nothing particularly interesting to report. I was trying so hard to keep the workout anaerobic and improve my fitness in the long run (INTENTIONAL USE OF PUN) but as you can see from my heart rate, my heart was having none of that shit.


You can see that I hadn’t even been running for 5 minutes and my heart was up at 160bpm. That is simply astounding – I know I have said this repeatedly but HOW CAN 2 MONTHS FUCK A BROTHER UP LIKE THIS? The world is a racist place.



From a little cottage in Negril

Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time traversing the streets that raised me, camera in hand, papping everything that moved. It’s funny, people notice when you have a camera in your hand, especially one that is anything bigger than the standard sized credit card that most people content themselves with. I responded to most of the disgruntled looks with a stupid grin, which of course is the appropriate way to behave when one encounters an enemy. London rewarded my intrusion into the privacy of its citizens with a glorious day of sunshine and for the first time this year I sat in a park and read a book whilst two school kids jostled for the attention of a girl, so far out of their league, she would’ve made Brad Pitt look like a leper. I’ve not got anything thing against lepers mind, I just don’t think they have anything over old Brad.

Anyway, this is England.