I was back on the Grand Union Canal (Paddington Branch) on Monday this week and boy did it feel fantastic to be there again.
I had been requested by a member of my extended family of long distance runners to do a reconnaissance on the section between Bulls Bridge and Little Venice to which I was more than happy to do if only to get me out on the canal again and also have some purpose in my training.
My original plan was to run from Bulls Bridge to Little Venice but on my way there I was contacted by my work and was pulled into the office to "fix" a wayward server. With this change in plans so I chose to change the direction to save time.
The recent wet weather and winds left the canal-side wet in places with puddles formed in certain non-residential areas but as usual there were the usual sights and sounds. Cyclist whizzed by with a customary "ting-ting" of their bell, Polish fishermen were catching their supper, the occasional prostitute stood on a corner plying their trade and the boats sat in their winter moorings whilst the smell of burning wood hit the back of my throat. A normal day on the canal. The light was magical as you would expect on a cool winter morning giving everything a yellow glow and the boats form silhouettes in the water.
I had planned out a route of 21 kilometres on the canal and 2 kilometres either end to get between there and the stations. Yes, the run was hard, I am in no way at running weight yet and my cardiovascular is not at all good such that my pace was very slow but methodical, at best described as "ultra pace"
Swans hissed at me as I passed whilst I swore back at them, I overtook boats whose hippy captains tendered to their spluttering engines and the occasional drug addict looked up at me with paranoid eyes. I puffed and wheezed along inwardly smiling knowing where I needed to get to in terms of fitness and this run was the step up I needed.
Finding that I had bled my battery dry from taking too many pictures in regards to my Secret Monkey Mission I was unable to get my triumphant selfie at Bulls Bridge but happy to tell you it was still there but I can confirm it still is.
This run was a lovely run.