Archive for the ‘2017 Holiday Run Streak’ Tag

2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 7 (Final, 31 Dec – 6 Jan)   2 comments

407.3 miles at start of week, 38.1 miles on the week for 445.4 overall.  Stats geeks will already see that this was an average (μ) of 8.9 miles per day with a standard deviation (σ) of 6.1 miles (quite a spread).

New Year’s Eve: Jackie needed some items from a store in Uxbridge and I had 3 miles to run, so I did both our errands at once.  The trip was quiet: little traffic and Uxbridge wasn’t such a zoo as it normally is on a Sunday lunchtime.  4.7 miles:


New Year’s Day:

In need of provisions and 3 miles to tick off today’s quota, I made a standard Sainsbury’s jog, logging 3.2 miles (the last 1.1 of which involved a backpack full of booze and a bag with some bread and cheese in it).

Tuesday 2 January:

The lab was still closed but I went in, anyway, to restart some instruments.  After a bit of troubleshooting — and shit shooting with some other early returners — I took the 2 o’clock coach back to London and hurried to Wembley Park Station to run to Stanmore for another several segments on the TfL Run Project.  Eventually, this resulted in 7 miles with 3 pub stops.


Wednesday 3 January:

Incredible wind the night before…not farting, no, but sustained atmospheric breezes of 30 mph with gusts over 70 in our area (100 mph up north) resulting in a tree down across the tracks near Ickenham.  I had already planned a West-to-East run for lunchtime (with this helpful wind at my back) then catch the bus to return to work; but, instead I made my way headlong into the gale and over fallen limbs on the path to Hillingdon Circus for the morning commute.  Shit.  3.0 miles, in the dark, through mud and over fallen limbs (but there was some nice graffiti at the underpass).


Thursday 4 January:

The sustained winds dropped to 20-25 mph and were at my back for most of the first mile, but the route was a struggle the rest of the loop up Marston Ferry Road then back down to the University Parks this afternoon.  4.1 miles


Friday 5 January:

The Friday run (8.2 miles with a pub at the end) commenced just before sunset (I caught the 2 o’clock coach from Oxford to Shepherd’s Bush, arriving just after 3).  Written up previously, the run sights included this Vespa stood near the Bela Bartok statue:

Saturday 6 January:


The end of the effort was yet another TfL run, this time at the northern extremes of the Metropolitan Line.  7.9 miles, 2 pubs, and some more interesting terrain than the suburban locale might have suggested.  Glad for this batch of runs to be finished, I’ve got one more scheduled for tomorrow ahead of a long overdue day off (three, in fact, next week).


Posted January 7, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 6 (24 – 30 Dec)   1 comment

373.3 at start of week, 34.0 miles on the week for 407.3 since 18 November.  Also this week: broke the 2000 mile barrier for the year with a few days to spare.

Sunday 24 December:

Christmas Eve with everything important in for the feast on the morrow, I headed to Harrow & Wealdstone to tie a bow on some of the middle of the Metropolitan Line and the northern extremes of the Bakerloo (7.0 miles).



In the last mile I remembered that we were gifted a Christmas Pudding (I don’t recommend them, by the way) and started scanning the gardens I passed for a sprig of holly to stick in the top of it before dousing it with brandy and setting it ablaze.



Christmas:  The duck was in the oven, the dressing was ready to bake, and yet we had no crackers.  Already on the Christmas Cheer (egg nog to start, then rum in the coffee, then just rum) I went in search of some at corner shops, managing to find none in the 4.1 mile loop.


Boxing Day:

Sticking close to home, again, I managed 4 miles before we settled in to watch movies all day and listen to records most of the night.  Happy Christmas!


Wednesday thru Friday 27-29 December:

No maps, as they are all close to home and standard fare and barely making the Run Streak minimum (3.0 Wednesday, 4.0 Thursday, and 4.4 miles on Friday).

But, of note: Wednesday’s run took me to 2001.9 miles on the year, so I kind of feel like coasting into the New Year.

Saturday 30 December:

Finished the week, weakly, with a crawl from Watford Junction to Harrow & Wealdstone, 7.5 miles.


Posted December 31, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 5 (17 – 23 Dec)   2 comments

323.6 at start of week, 49.7 miles on the week for 373.3 since 18 November.  Sick most of the week, so this one was a struggle.  Here’s the details…

Sunday 17 December:

3.3 miles, taken very easy and with a stop to pick up some printer cartridges at Argos.

I had something longer planned, but fought off a raging fever all night.  It was still 101°F (38.3°C) and my normal body temperature is low at 96.8°F / 36.0°C (exactly 1°C lower than “normal” and with the unfortunate coincidence that 98.6°F is where the average person simmers most days; essentially, I’ll blame this high fever for this poorly constructed paragraph).


Monday 18 December:

Back to work after a 5 day weekend, the day was always going to be a struggle even without the illness.  At the end of the day I realised I hadn’t yet done my minimal distance so, after dropping some post off, I made my way around town-and-gown for a half hour (including stops for water and some cold meds).  Ended at the bus stop with 3.2 miles.


Tuesday 19 December:

Feeling no better and now having dragged Jamie into this feverish nightmare, I did the Tuesday run from the bus stop for a mere 3.6 miles all in, doubling back to pick up a bottle of Vin Santo from the Italian guy that runs the deli.


Wednesday 20 December:

Up early, I ran to the bus stop in Ickenham and found that I had left my wallet at the house.  I should’ve stayed home, anyway, since I returned home to go to bed mid-afternoon.  Still, this 6.6 miles made a difference in the lurgi, and the fever broke later that night.


Thursday 21 December:

The last day of work for the year, and once I shut down my bits of the lab and put out a couple of fires for people doing the same I was off to do a bit of the TfL Project.  I managed to get in 8.9 miles, a couple of pubs (the Pig and Whistle and the Gunnersbury), and spot some Christmassy items.


Friday 22 December:

The chesty cough persists and on Friday morning it was phlegm-rich.  Still, I felt like Christmas was nigh and I tried to morph chesty cough into “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” right up until I ran past the sign for “loved ones roasting “:


Sweating more than usual, I stopped the run at Harrow-on-the-Hill with 13.3 miles and another good section of the Metropolitan line done.


Saturday 23 December:

Three days in a row of Christmas-related road signs found me on a wine restocking run in Acton and Ealing:



This time, it took 10.8 miles to knock out the local loose ends of the Central and Piccadilly Lines with a side trip to the Majestic Wine warehouse behind West Ealing Station (Network Rail, not part of the TfL Run Project) and a pint at the Castle Bar.

The illness induced short-mileage will probably be matched by the feasting induced short mileage next week.  With 1983.8 miles on the year so far, I’ll hit my annual goal regardless.  Merry Xmas, y’all.


Posted December 24, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 4 (10 – 16 Dec)   4 comments

257.0 at start of week, 66.6 miles on the week for 323.6 since 18 November.  Here’s the details…

Sunday 10 December:


I’ve never really been averse to running in the snow (although I will never stop longing for the 95°F and 80% relative humidity of Summer in the Deep South), but I was hoping to knock out a section of the TfL Run Project on Sunday.  Snow related power supply issues knocked out all three lines near the house so that I would have a minimum run or 3 miles to or from the nearest starting or ending points on the system.  Instead, I took a 6.2 mile loop through the surrounding area so that I didn’t have to carry anything with me.  Sloppy out but whaddayagonnado?



Monday 11 December:   Fucking snow.  I went out with an intention of getting in a proper run before I fell the first two times on the ice along the Mesopotamian Walk — nearly slipping into first the river and then the canal — then doubled back to the Uni Parks where I only fell once more.  Ice everywhere, 4.6 miles overall.

Tuesday 12 December:  Stayed up late and had to catch the bus at the last minute, so I decided to run the A40 route to the stop…3.5 miles to make the daily distance.

Wednesday 13 December:

Lot’s of cleaning to do ahead of Jackie’s return from the States, I got out early for a TfL Run, written up at this link16 miles, 5 pubs, and a case of hypothermia.

Thursday 14 December:

Jackie’s return gave me the opportunity to tie up the Piccadilly Line loose end at Heathrow.  11.6 miles, written up shortly, here (link pending).

Friday 15 December:

Jackie was still recovering from jet lag so I caught the bus to South Harrow and knocked out a bit of the Piccadilly and Central Lines (write-up soon).  At the end of the TfL Run, I split off toward the HomeBase and bought our Christmas tree.  Hooray!  14 miles.


Saturday 16 December:

Sticking close to the house, I got in 10.7 miles and 2 Metropolitan Line segments (write-up soon) ahead of a lovely fish pie for supper.  The week ended a bit slacker than the last few but what-the-hell.  Cold and wet, it leads into the last week before the Christmas break from work.


Posted December 16, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 3 (3 – 9 Dec)   1 comment

Briefly, I covered 98.8 miles this week and 257.0 since 18 November (averaging 11.7 miles per day for the 22 days so far).

This is not how I envisioned the Holiday Run Streak this year.  Normally, I pick an arbitrary number of miles to do each day — sometimes as many as 5, this year 3 but overlayed with an ultramarathon training schedule –and spend most of the days making the minimum to 20% over.  Manageable.

But, this year with Jackie sorting her mom’s move to assisted living in Chattanooga, I decided to take some time off for myself and do a few longer runs to knock out a little bit of the Transport For London Run Project which, even with this extra time off, was probably going to take 1½ to 2 years.  Work circumstances have given the TfL Runs a sense of urgency and I’ve escalated my attack on the Network in the event that this is my last year living in London.

So, there’s the explanation for these ridiculous miles (that and trying to hit 2000 for the year after slacking off most of the first 8 months).  Here’s week 3:

Sunday 3 December:  It was raining lightly and cold despite the forecast and I wound up with at least 26 miles (having planned 22) but it may be more (the GPS crapped out for the first 18 but they were the easiest to reconstruct except for the dashes into parks or alleyways to take a whiz).  The TfL Run of the day finished the London Trams (beautiful landscape despite the weather, but dull stations) and two remote legs of the Overground.

Also, there were 5 pubs: the Claret & Ale, the Albert Tavern, the Coach and Horses, the Bridge House, and the Cherry Tree.


Oh, here’s the racist joke of the day.  Taking this photo of the tower in Crystal Palace, I off-handedly said to a Chinese couple walking by, “I’ve run too far and now I’m in Paris!”  The dude points, sweeping his hand across the landscape, and says, “yeah, yeah, in Paris…arr here are Crystar Parace.”  There was a brief pause, then in a Brit accent he added, “it’s a joke, mate.”  Pretty funny.


Monday 4 December: Needing a shorter distance for a break but eager to make some more segments, I caught the bus to Hounslow for a puny 11 miles to Richmond via Acton.  Two more pubs: the dire Royal and the splendid Express Tavern.


There were some lovely deco buildings on the run but this doomed mural was the highlight for me:


Tuesday 5 December: The end of my 4 day weekend was tied up with 21 miles to wipe out the remaining eastern extents of the Central Line and some more of the Overground.  Starting in Barking and making my way to Leytonstone before doing an appendectomy on the pointless loop to the red rail, I also managed to try out four more pubs and grab some fish and chips.



Wednesday 6 December:  Oxford.  Still overrun with tourists, I dodged through them to take a quick survey of the new shopping centre before escaping out to the Thames Path and looping back to work.  Netted 4.8 miles during the lunch break:



Thursday 7 December: Worked on an instrument all day with the only breaks those I took to see how the autoclave engineer we called in was getting on.  Missed lunch so, at 2:30, I sped out for a half hour to listen to the Mark Steel’s In Town Podcast from Bedford whilst making a pretty standard 3.7 mile loop down the Mesopotamia Walk, out to Marston, and back via the University Parks.


Friday 8 December: Out an hour before sunrise for 6.5 miles and another TfL segment, I was ahead of foot and most of the vehicular traffic as well as the first (but very lame) snow of the year:



Saturday 9 December:  I had planned to do these two runs on Sunday but the rain is supposed to be heavy and the temperature below 40°F (5°C) all day so I got out early.  Actually, the plan was only for the first 20.5 miles from West Ham to Cockfosters but I realised I would have to choose either the Overground or the Victoria Line from the Walthamstow to Seven Sisters areas.  I opted for the Overground but, feeling pretty good at Harringay Green Lanes, ran a little against plan to Manor House before continuing on to Cockfosters, with a plan.


That plan involved taking the Tube back to Finsbury Park and running back to Walthamstow picking up the previously skipped Victoria Line stations for an additional 5.3 miles.  And, a couple of more beers (5 in all, today).



Tomorrow, as I said, is due to be shitty weather-wise, and I have a few busy days at work to follow.  That should bring the mileage back down to something human.

Posted December 9, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 2 (26 Nov – 2 Dec)   7 comments

This week: 65.8 miles.  Since 18 November: 158.2 miles.

The best map item of the week was too far out-of-the-way to explore on my Saturday run but I put it here for the record.  Some background: the news media went nuts last week when these idiots from Arkansas (but I repeat myself) named their child Olivia Garton after the faux Italian restaurant, Olive Garden.  Here’s proof that isn’t such an original idea (picture linked to Google map):



Sunday 26 November:  One of the TfL Runs and, therefore, already written up here, the 16.1 miles is mapped below. I’m glad I have this time to knock out the suburban outskirts in the winter, though).


Best picture of the day was my proposed pub sign for the weirdly named 2nd pub of the run:

Monday 27 November:  Shattered after the past week, I made the day’s run a little over the minimum at 4 miles, just a straightforward jog from the bus stop at Thornhill Park & Ride to the labs:



Tuesday 28 November:  Some of this is just walking around, but the running bits totaled out at 8.8 miles on my University of Birmingham (failed) interview trip.  A shame, really, since I felt immediately at home here…it is a lot like Atlanta was in the late ’70s and early ’80s before the population explosion.  Pretty pictures from this route exist in this post mainly as a means of showing the wife, still State-side, that it wasn’t just a Brummie pub crawl: Birmingham Stuff


I mean, it wasn’t NOT one, either.  Pub #2000 and 3 others were added to this blog’s collection.  A Birmingham snapshot?  Here you go:


Wednesday 29 November: Still halfway recovering from the long weekend and resting ahead of yet another coming up, I repeated Monday’s commuter run with a hilly side trip to extend the route to 5.6 miles.  Good thing I chose to run in the morning because I was swamped at work for the day.


Thursday 30 November:  Already written up in the TfL thread, I got in 8.7 miles and three pubs from North Acton to Preston Road via a section of the Overground.



Friday 1 December:  Back from work after dark, I ticked off some more of the Metropolitan Line segments before heading south toward some takeaway for supper … 3.6 miles, net.


Saturday 2 December:  Bloody cold out, today, but there was some sun.  Yet another TfL run (write-up soon), this time 19 miles, 4 pubs, and sections of the Docklands Light Rail, District, Hammersmith & City, and Jubilee Lines.






Posted December 2, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 1 (Thanksgiving Week)   12 comments

Last year, a calf injury upended plans to repeat the annual Holiday Run Streak from the Saturday before Thanksgiving (the only US holiday I cling to) until the Saturday after New Year’s Day.  This year, as usual, it is a involves a minimum of 3 miles per day (which really only impacts my rest and cross-training days since I am already far exceeding this the rest of the week).  The ordeal started 18 November and continues until 6 January 2018…50 days instead of the usual 43 due to an early Thanksgiving and a Monday New Year.


Saturday 18 November (above) was the first of the ritual runs and was supposed to be 7 miles but ended up a little over 9 while I knocked out a simple section of the TfL Run Project from South Harrow to Ruislip Station (for the Piccadilly Line and picking up the Metropolitan Line at Rayners Lane).

Sunday 19 November was the weekly scheduled long run and I fell 3 miles short of the scheduled 23 but 17 over the run streak’s remit.


Already written up as part of the TfL Run Project, I would also add this trippers’ delight of a long-boat on the canal path about a mile from Paddington.  The collection of mannequins, other artefacts, and vegetation changes week-to-week, but there is always a bit that is either interesting or comic.  I see other boats that I look forward to, but this one is always a joy:


There was also this other chuckle on the Sunday run, between Edgware Road Station and Marble Arch (great name for a Super Hero, sort of):

Monday 20 November, the putative cross training day of the workout week, met the minimum with a quick trot from Hillingdon after work. Knackered, I forgot about the TfL segments I COULD have done. Oy.

Monday 20 November


Tuesday 21 November was a commute run from Thornhill Park and Ride out the wrong way to Wheatley then up Shotover Hill (more of a climb than I really needed) and into Oxford to grab a shower before half-assing some work:



Wednesday 22 November got a TfL Run Project write-up, too.  See if you can spot where I got lost:



Jackie had to return to the US to help out with a family emergency and flew on Thanksgiving Day (Americans generally don’t travel on TGD so at least the flights were cheaper).  Several friends (some current, some from yonks ago) suggested I put off the feast until her return but that is just not the way things work.  In fact, on the day’s run from Barons Court to Wimbledon (and then to Croydon) I spotted a couple of bins with “Feed Me” posted on them (which made me smile).  Later, checking the GPS app (Strava) on the phone I was confronted with this:


Cue the earworm of the day:


The meal was roast leg of lamb and a baked potato with fig bars for dessert, by the way.  Here’s the trail map:



Friday 24 November was the Black Friday Avoidance Trot from Watford to Chalfont & Latimer, covered elsewhere but without this final bit of detail:



Saturday 25 November: Okay, I am fully aware that this is an 8 day week, but the extra day was going to have to be dealt with at some point.  The 7 days from 18th to 24th November involved 81.4 miles, the stretch from the 19th thru today was 83.1 miles, and the total for all 8 days (the streak so far) is 92.4.

This final run  of the week was the Billy Bragg soaked Barking-Dagenham-Upminster (write-up soon) 11 mile run, here:



Posted November 25, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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