Morning runs, Thames and Boats

At 51 miles, last week was probably the most training miles I have run in a week and all in my Luna Sandals!

Monday – I continued my early morning runs through Bushy Park and along The Thames which I really enjoy and will miss once I find some gainful employment again. That 10 miles for the day increased by another 8 miles as later that evening my friend Phil stayed over (we are running Bristol Half on Sunday though he will beat me by at least 5 minutes!) and we went for an 8 mile headtorch run round Bushy, which can be a bit unsettling seeing lots of pairs of eyes reflecting your light back at you and knowing their are very pointy antlers a few inches above those eyes!

Wednesday – Another 10 mile morning run via Bushy and The Thames.

Friday – A 9 mile run via Bushy and the Thames due to starting from Fulwell station rather than home as I walked Oliver to the station first.

After crossing Kingston Bridge and heading along the Thames towards Teddington Lock I saw the following barge towing another barge carrying large pieces of wood. I was trying to work out what they were but finally realised they were lock gates. Probably to replace some further up the river, and what better way to transport them. You get an idea of scale by the 2 guys sat on the 2nd one in Hi-Vis jackets.

 

Sunday – As I was taking Sam to judo at Budokwai in Chelsea and would have 2.5 hours to spare I decided to pass the time running from Chelsea to Barnes & back along the Thames Path which is 14 miles.

The weather forecast was rain so I threw on a jacket (which proved useful later). It was a good run and I had just reached my turnaround point at Barnes when it started to rain. But the path was fairly well protected from the rain as the trees still had a lot of leaves on. Having run the path in the winter parts get get very muddy which can be a challenge running in sandals.

I made good time and got back early so I had time for a wonderful vanilla latte whilst waiting for Sam to finish. The Starbucks staff looked very glad this sweaty, muddy runner wanted his latte to go!

 

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Training, River Relay and Bushy parkrun

What a great 7 days weather for running. I managed to get in 37 miles of running, most of which was even in sunshine (alas a few more weeks and I’l be glad if it is in daylight)!

A couple of 9 mile morning runs last week, no running at Bushy parkrun http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bushy/home on Saturday (more on that later) a 5 mile run on Sunday to the start of my 5 mile river relay (and the 5 mile race back in the midday sun and 29 degrees C) and this morning’s 9 mile run (where the photos are from) after walking Oliver to the train station (which is not far from the entrance gate to Bushy park).

My aim was to have a nice run for around 90 minutes so getting home around 9:30, I had a water bottle (as the sun was already quite strong) and set off running from Fulwell rail station in my Luna’s. For some reason the gate I was going to enter the park was closed so I carried on through Hampton Hill to the next gate (alas having to pass bakers and coffee shops with people sat outside eating pastries….the bas***ds!) which was open and entered the park.

The deer were hiding in the long grass & bracken but I disturbed them as I went past and got glared at by at least one of them.

It was a glorious morning to be running in the park, which alas my photography skills and an iPhone just can’t capture, but I have a go anyway.

On reaching Kingston bridge I crossed, looking upriver towards Hampton Court with the Thames Path on the right of the picture.

After crossing at Kingston I headed downriver along the Thames Path towards Teddington Lock (the only river crossing between Kingston and Richmond bridges, and pedestrian only) where the Thames becomes tidal. The photo is looking from Teddington Lock back towards Kingston.

After running past some of those river boats wafting the smell of bacon & eggs onto the towpath I finally got back home hungry after a great 9 mile run.

As for Bushy parkrun http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bushy/home, as I had a race on the Sunday I volunteered for Funnel on Saturday (my usual practice when I have a race the next day). Rodney McCulloch and I had decided to be on Funnel together (along with many other volunteers needed to run such events) as we expected to have a large field, with the combination of Olympic fever, sunshine and the fact it was pacers (people running with the time they will finish held aloft on flags for people to try and keep up with!) this week.

Well we were right, we had 981 runners (2nd largest field ever) so after an hour of directing tired runners into the correct lane (more like herding exhausted cats) I had almost lost my voice.

Although I must admit I almost get as much of a buzz from “funnelling” the large fields at Bushy as I do running it myself! I think Rodney feels the same.

Next Saturday I’ll be running, though I’ll probably jump into the funnel to help after I finish, just for a 2nd buzz!

Twickenham to Kew Bridge and back 11 mile run – 15th May 2012

Having dropped Oliver at Scouts for 2 hours and a dry evening I headed out for a 1 hour out & back run along the Thames to Kew bridge and back to stretch my legs, having taken it easy after a calf twinge at parkrun (during the usual sprint alas) on Saturday.

The rowers were out in force, along with a few leisure runners as well as “commuting” runners running home from the office with larger rucsacs containing laptops I presume.

When I ran through Richmond I even had a view of the royal row barge “Gloriana” (a scaled-up version of the 19 metre Prince Frederick’s row-barge, launched in 1732 and now in the National Maritime Museum) that will lead the royal procession down the Thames to celebrate the Queen’s diamond Jubilee celebrations later this year.

As the web strap on my Luna ATS laces had finally given out (Luna had already sent me a replacement pair of sandals) I had removed them and swapped back to the original leather laces instead. So as I haven’t used those laces for a while I may need to adjust them a bit to prevent rubbing, particularly as I will be using them on the Ultra next month (though I may cheat and wear socks as well).

The wildlife was certainly out and about, I must have seen 6 grey herons, one of which was stood at the side of the path which I ran past a mere 2 foot away! I had to run round pairs of Mallard ducks who had decided to nest in the middle of the path.

At turn around point (9k) I had a quick Clif bar, another swig of Nuun water and headed back, zipping up my top as the temperature was starting to drop.

The path consists of broken pieces of concrete in a few places but I managed to avoid stubbing my toe (always a risk) as one black toe (legacy of EcoTrail) is quite enough.

The pubs on the river at Richmond were starting to get busy (a cold beer looked a lot better than my Nuun) and running past someone on Richmond bridge eating fish & chips made me feel really hungry so I increased the pace and headed back to get Oliver, and some dinner.

Note to self: take money on runs so you can buy dinner!