Archive for the ‘G-Had HHH’ Tag
Last month here, and next month here.
Recovery from the US trip was the first agenda item for this month but without any focus the runs have been more for pleasure and a LOT shorter. Moreover, with the time change from BST to GMT a week ago, evening runs are now all under cover of darkness and soon even the morning trots will be. Winter sucks and the daylight won’t last as long as today (1 November) until the 10th of February. Seasonal affective disorder is the order of the day.
Days run: 28 out of 31
Average, μ_all (over 31 days): 5.17
Average, μ (28 days actually run): 5.72
Standard deviation, σ: 1.76
Runs longer than μ + 2σ (9.24): 11.1 miles on Sunday 11th October
G-Hads: 1 (7 October)
Total for the month was 160 miles (lowest since January) with 2072 for the year.
There were two buses 15 minutes apart with one ready to go then another an hour after the second one. I had seen the coastline and the ridge and hills on my run, which just finished, but none of the town so, needing to change into dry kit anyway, I went walkabout eventually stumbling on the Poacher, a fine 350 year old structure. And, there was drink to be had inside!
West country pubs are good for cider and I got a nice, dry, cloudy one from a lad tending the taps then struggled to make my accent understood as I asked for the toilet so I could change. On my return, the population of the bar and, indeed, the building had doubled: steak night, and the special sounded tempting enough but I didn’t think I could do that and still make the journey to Bristol (and, once there, catch the last train to Swindon).
Instead, I listened to some blowhard spout off about cider classifications and tasting notes. What was great about his lecture to the patient landlord and my server was that he was using industrial ciders like Strongbow as his examples. Nothing wrong with Strongbow, mind, but talking shit like, “Oooo-errr-yes, yer Bulmers is dryer than that Magners but not so much as yer Strongbow…when you get yer foreign tourists in here, they’ll want to know that, they will.” I love bar jackasses.
I ran out of chalk just in sight of the Sheephaven Bay, so the evening’s effort at ruining a hash trail was at an end. The next job at hand would be demolishing another beer.
It is another large neighbourhood pub but it feels more like one in a small town than sitting such a short walk from King’s Cross. Packed, as it should be (not like that hipster/yuppie place where I started the evening…well, the fifth start of the crawl, anyway). Best I’ve found in Mornington Crescent.
I already wanted to hate the Edinboro Castle as a place that would welcome a group of hashers dressed in school uniforms, but the barman was so friendly. “How’s your day been?” he asked while filling a glass with cloudy cider, one of several to choose from.
“Aaaach, y’know…cold, hectic, alcoholic.”
“Well, then, this cider should set you right.”
“It’s worth a try…what could it hurt.”
The venue redeemed, I wandered out to the garden to enjoy the sun which had eluded me throughout the first runs of the day, out in the northwest reaches of the Borough of Ealing. Then, as quickly, it fell to shit, again.
Fucking hipsters. Why isn’t there legislation to protect us from hipsters? Sure, they are assumed to be harmless and to be fair, the guy in the photo really only has the beard to fall back on; but, without being able to hear what ever bloviation he was spewing (despite his using a slightly elevated tone in a vain attempt to let the rest of us hear his ironic brilliance), the cadence and his affected body language raised my blood pressure.
I had spotted the half arrows for the evening’s hash on the way into the pub; so, despite finding fuck-all in Regents Park on the way over, it was definitely pre-set and fair game for the G-Had. I had planned on using flour to alter the trail and didn’t bring any chalk nor could I find a skip in which to dig for plasterboard. I asked the second bartender if she had any chalk and initially she said no but then I pointed out the cow outside and she helpfully found me enough to do my work.
“What do you need it for?”
“Finishing up the Hash House Harriers trail.”
“Oh, you’re part of them? Well, see you later, then.”
Don’t count on it, love.
The long run today (I barely consider anything under 20 miles long any more but this was the peak of the week) took me to the Red Lion in Long Compton, a rare dip — albeit barely — into Warwickshire. I don’t know enough about the area to really judge but the village, middle class though it is, probably doesn’t support the pub as much as it needs to stay afloat. The house is quite unapologetically posh and I just don’t see the crowds flooding in, despite it being the only game for miles.
But, it’s not just posh, it is very nice; however, it seems built more for the comfort of folks that can tell you how long Stilton has been aged and whether the cave was chalk or karst. This is a very Frasier Crane vision of an English country pub (first day of the footie season? dart board? the Ashes coming home? fuck all, but I bet the Scotch eggs are quail).
And yet, I want to like the place. No one acknowledged that I brought my glass back and I got a blank stare when I set it on the bar and said, “thank you.” If they are out of business in 6 months that will be why. If not, it’s because tourists will take whatever you shove up their asses (but it will be the tourists that keep it afloat…endless…fucking…tourists).
Last week here, and
Next week here.
With the mileage falling off a bit this week I indulged the inner artist, confronted my phobia of midgets, and splattered my second 2222nd hash trail of the year. Things are going quite well in the wind down to the end of the August.
The “See Dick Run” on Tuesday was better as an idea than an execution and I initially thought I should at least perfect the cock picture before moving on to the more Georgia O’Keefe-esque renderings I had in mind lest I get accused of misogyny for drawing deformed looking cooters (see Thursday). I used the same canvas as the likewise unsuccessful ‘Bunny’ signature, but with even less success.
Wednesday found me racing (unsuccessfully) the rain and Sainsbury’s closing time on a 6 mile planned run from the Wiltshire Constabulary bus stop. Thursday saw me explore some tracks and trails south of Botley Road before heading back over to the University Parks to have a go at drawing some GPS lady bits:
I think the resolution of the GPS failed me at the southeast goal line (on the Google Earth rendering, but not currently on the field). I was being fairly careful about the outline of the ‘little man in a boat’ or, as I guess we should rename it here, ‘the goaltender.’ I’ll try again, next week, just doing a grid using the trees to see if the resolution is too little and thus a larger canvas might be necessary. Still, this Rorschach rendering of the front bottom is what it is.
Two 2 hour runs were on the slate for Saturday and Sunday but we another thing scheduled for Sunday so I pushed these ahead a day. For Friday, I exploited the Freudian groove (or rut) that had developed the previous few days to explore some of the darker corners of my psyche. Many if not most people who’ve had excessive drinks or drugs with me — no small list, that — will be aware that midgets give me the willies. I don’t know where it started and it doesn’t affect me having friendships with little people or anything like that. But, if I spot a dwarf across a car park or in a bar or somewhere I am not expected to interact with them I find myself involuntarily shuddering. The last several years on my birthday, a close friend from elementary school sends related comedy clips like the Doug Stanhope “fucking a midget” or “midget-on-midget porn” bits.
So, it was destiny that on the week I spent jogging obscene doodles around the parks of 1200 year old institute of higher education the two pub names that jumped out at me were the Spread Eagle and the Midget, both in Abingdon and both approachable, in that order, from Oxford via a beautiful riverside trail (and only a few miles away from a bus stop on my route home, although a brief stop at the White Horse convinced me I was already done for the day):
Spread Eagle Midget run
Saturday’s course had been on the calendar for ages (ever since the tutu-themed Cheltenham and Cotswold H3 hash trail showed up on the Oxford H3 calendar). As soon as the dates and location were confirmed, I booked advanced rail tickets for Moreton-In-Marsh (5 quid each way, First Class) and figured out where I could get morning pub service close to where the trail damage would be done. The G-Had H3 report will give alternative details, but the essence is the trail was due to start at 11 and the Red Lion at Long Compton opens at 10 (bar at 11) a few footpaths away (but a couple miles) from the hash bar. The run itself was hilly and rural and a complete delight in the sun and heat and (for a change) calm winds.
Last week here, and
Next week here
Although the mileage settled to ~67 at the end of the week, I consider this my peak week of this training cycle and will start something resembling a taper next week. There were only four runs, as well; Saturday’s slog demanded a bit of a rest today so I’m pretty much confined to the house but in less pain than expected.
I started the week off in hedonistic excess, as per norm, but at least I managed to bin my empties. Monday mornings in Swindon, though, there’s a path of destruction left by the local white trash such as this unusually tidy pile about 10 meters from an empty bin in Spring Gardens park:
Tuesday, I came into work early so I could bolt at 4 and still make a 6:30 train in Didcot with the pace only hindered by the duties of Hashlam: invoking Hasharia Law on the Didcot HHH and stopping by the holy Mole (Toot Baldon), the heavenly Seven Stars (Marsh Baldon) and the not worthy of the effort Barley Mow (Clifton Hampden).
Wednesday and Thursday were variations on my commute runs with one of them to home from the bus stop near Wiltshire Constabulary but with a loop into Coate Water park and along the golf course to Wichelstowe and on up the hill from there. The other started midway down the Botley Road segment of the regular to work run from Besselsleigh but making up the lost mileage by going up the Thames to Wolvercote (taking in the ruins of the Godstow Nunnery, below, from an angle I don’t usually get) then continuing on eventually to Marston and hobbling into the lab from the east.
Road kill of the week (or, bike path kill as it were) was this field mouse. RIP, little guy! If the skull avoids getting crushed by passers-by in the meantime, I’ll harvest that for my collection once the ants finish with the cadaver.
I dreaded the long run as this was the proving ground for a much stupider Bank Holiday trek (or, as it will be broken into sub-treks by short pauses distributed throughout, a SERIES of Bank Holiday plods is probably more accurate). I also savoured this one because it would take me into the Forest of Dean, an area of outstanding beauty as well as murderously steep inclines. I had a 39-40 mile path planned along the Wysis Way long distance path but that didn’t pan out and I wound up with just short of 36 more due to time constraints than exhaustion — although, admittedly, another 4 miles would have done me in at the over ambitious pace I did some of the running segments. I wrote up this run under a separate posting since it really deserves the attention, but here’s the map of my actual route with the pubs, those that delivered and those that disappointed, marked for reference: