The Long Run: Kew(l) Loops


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.


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.

10km, Kew and the Wind

It was windy today. The weather forecast suggested a 21mph wind WSW, which according to the Beaufort Scale is a Category 4 wind and a fresh breeze. I don’t know who described these scales. There was nothing fresh about the breeze today. As soon as I left the house, I was hit by a sucker punch of wind that had probably originated from a fart in Guernsey. This persisted throughout the first 6km or so of my run, culminating on Kew Bridge. It was a miserable affair. I hate the wind.

Today was supposed to be a recovery run but I decided to decorate each kilometre with 200m strides at 800m. See, I like the idea of fartleks but I lack the intuition to do them. If I am running and I have to randomly assign myself a period of running harder, then I assure you, as day follows night, I will not run any harder. Therefore regulated strides work well for me. I know they are coming, I fucking hate them, but I do them anyway because I hate giving up on things. So that’s what happened.

Here is the workout and the pace chart below.

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The pause was at the junction of Ealing Road as it passed underneath the A4/M4. It wasn’t intentional. In fact it was a real ball ache. I hate standing and waiting for traffic to pass. However, not being run over is contingent with life and so I let this pass.

This is the map of the route if you are interested.

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It’s actually a fairly nice route. There’s some racy stuff on the A406 back up to Ealing and the traffic just never seems to quieten down but it’s a relatively nice route. It’s actually well worth extending the loop through Kew which is beautiful to run through. For the point of the 10km today it was excess to need and so I reigned it in.

The strides went well overall. The wind was pretty relentless as I headed southwards and by the first 5km I was honestly contemplating cutting them to only 5 repetitions. As I came back up Gunnersbury Avenue, my legs were really feeling stiff and I was pretty tired. I have no idea how I managed to make it back into Ealing, I was puffing like a steam engine.

All in all it was a good run, coming in as my 3rd fastest 10km which is no bad thing. I feel the strength is beginning to build and hopefully the strength in combination with a stronger aerobic base will serve me well. We’ll see. Christmas Day Parkrun tomorrow.

Oh yeah, merry Christmas Eve!