Monday, 22 December 2008

Wimbledon Park to Osterley – (Surrey) – 22/12/08 – 11 miles approx – 9kg – Myself.

This being the fourth time this year I have done this walk. Well okay maybe not quite, as the last time I did it back in September severe blisters on my heels forced me to curtail some seven miles in at Richmond. Still I’ve solved the heel blister problem haven’t I ? Well yes but today I had a different foot problem emerge in its place. The problem seems to be around the ball of my right foot. Thus although a big blister had formed on that by the time I got home, I actually think it is more of an oversuse problem supporting weight there, which was a periodic issue going as far back as my jogging days. Thus rightly or wrongly carrying 9kg over 11 miles today, 13.5kg over 6 miles yesterday, and 18kg over 4 miles two days prior to that, probably constitutes overuse for me. So what started off as a minor irritation by the time I had reached Wimbledon Common, and what seemed to feel every stone sticking up out of the ground, found me walking with a very pronounced and painful limp by the time I had reached Syon Park. Still musn’t grumble !

Having become acclimatised to the cold when out walking lately, the jump in temperature over the last few days caught me out dresswise, which meant I was wearing one layer too many, and with a bag full of water ballast, it meant I had no storage option to remove a layer. After all this is supposed to be Christmas time, you know snow and cold and all that. And just in case one forgot what time of year it is there was a Christmas tree in Wimbledon Common to remind one. So by the time I had reached the windmill in Wimbledon Common I was sweating buckets and decided that I needed a break, stopping at the tearoom there. Needless to say a hot chocolate and a slice of Coffee and Walnut cake didn’t leave much change out of a fiver. Still the supermodel that served me was most impressive.

Richmond Park found me messing around with my camera trying to set the timer, and take the definitive Mike walking photo. Needless to say nothing came out right, apart from the more arty one you can see here, that has me heading in the direction of Spankers Hill Wood. Still I persisted, but with only one of my Mister Potato Head pictures (as seen) not looking like a wanted poster.

Now I am meant to be leading IVC on this walk in a couple of weeks, and the Dysart Arms that is opposite the exit at Petersham gate is slated to be our lunch stop. However a closer inspection outside did not see any food advertised. Alright yes I should have gone in and asked, but as I wasn’t planning to eat, I didn’t want to get an affirmitive answer and then just walk out again. Therefore I decided to do a left (rather than right) to see if there was any other local food serving pubs. Thus five minutes off route and I found one, only it seemed to specialise in Thai food so I decided that wasn’t going to be a runner (incidentally a search on the web when I got home revealed the Dysart does do food, but for reasons of price and loud Sunday lunchtime music, it is not going to be suitable either). Anyway that is all a problem for another day.

Coming out of Petersham Meadows I could hear a youngish couple chattering and coming up rapidly behind me. Thus it was immediately obvious that they were quickening their pace in order to overtake me. At which point I went into naughty mode and decided to keep increasing my pace so that they couldn’t get round. This went on for about 100 yards with them barely half a pace behind me, and me virtually panting now in order to stay ahead. They had the last laugh however as when we reached the gate that links up with the towpath, I tried to go through the wrong bit losing a valuable yard and my lead. The guy then held the correct part of the gate upon for me and graciously asked me would I like to go first (bastard). Thus feeling a bit of a twit now I conceeded that they were quicker than me, and let them through in front. All that effort however meant I had to stop and have a swig from my bottle, and when I looked up again, they were some fifty yards out in front.

Along the towpath by Richmond bridge I recceed various other places to eat for next time. However my right foot was now getting very painful, although I had no intention of curtailing this walk at Richmond station, as the pain wasn’t in the same league as the last time along here. Over Twickenham footbridge along some roads and the river and I had reached Syon Park, by which time the light had dropped considerably. After leaving there I joined the Grand Union Canal at Brentford. The original plan today was to continue along there all the way to Boston Manor station and finish at the point I am planning to do with IVC. However given how painfully I was limping that seemed pointless and I came off at my usual point at the Great West Road, and headed back for Osterley.

Limping aside, today constitutes one of my ‘exercise walks’ and I am sure it fulfilled that function. One thing I have tended to do during Christmas over previous years is to give myself the week off exercise wise. However considering that one usually eats three times more than normal during this period it has always been a mistake which I am determined not to repeat this year. What I decided last week however, is that as much as I want to do my Country ‘weight carrying exercise’ Walking, three times a week as my sole exercise regime, a combination of my shift patern and propensity to get ill or injured just doesn’t allow that (today being a case in point that will probably affect the rest of the week). Therefore I am having to remix it in again with my Urban Cycling workouts (not on this blog).

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