The rest day on Monday worked well so I took myself out for a run on Tuesday morning. To maintain normal levels of stupidity, I decided to see if I could up the pace a bit.
The answer seems to be ‘yes’ I can run faster, but not by much. It was hard work but I did something over 10km (6.2miles) in a little under 56 minutes – fractionally under or fractionally over 5:30 per km (depending on your view of the various different lengths Strava gives for the same route).
Fortunately, next year’s ultra marathon won’t put speed high up on the list of essential requirements.
Lunch out with friends on Tuesday and then gym on Wednesday morning. My aim is to go twice a week which (I think) means I should focus on legs one day and upper body the other. However, cyclists and runners (sprinters aside) seem to have relatively little use for upper body muscles (apart from the entirely understandable vanity reasons) so I’m a bit at a loss what to do. I did more on the legs Wednesday which was very hard.
A happy hour in the afternoon spent in the apple tree picking from what is a bumper crop this year. We have supplied four sets of friends and started almost industrial scale apple chutney production here – no doubt we will end up putting apples on the front wall of the house to be taken by anyone who wants them. Happily I did not fall out of the tree like I did 2 years ago … progress!
I ran with my wife on Thursday, one of our usual routes (7km – 6.3miles) @ 6:21per km. That’s 6 seconds a km faster than she did it 10 days ago, which itself was the fastest she has done for a few years. Bravo to her.
The afternoon was spent buying the wood for, and constructing, a couple of raised vegetable beds of 3m x 1.5m x 0.3m (10ft x 5ft x 1ft) for a part of the garden we have worked to repossess from the weeds. As usual, I don’t really know what I’m doing but they look OK and I’ll fill them with a base layer of grass cuttings and then the contents of some large compost heaps, enriched with windfall apples and some commercially bought compost.
They should be ready for vegetables next spring – assuming they haven’t fallen apart or rotted away by then.
Back to the gym for an hour on Friday morning. Despite knowing that one session should be legs and the other upper body, I concentrated mostly on the legs again. I’ve increased the effort for the gym sessions – where I used to do 3 sets of 8 or 10 reps, I’m now doing 4 sets of 8 or 10.
I’m not sure why I’m doing this – I suppose it could just one of those rather trite ‘if you’re not improving you’re falling behind’ things. In the absence of any element of competition, I don’t know who I might be falling behind – or why on earth it could possibly matter.
Another stint as bike mechanic at the pop-up charity shop on Friday afternoon and a good run on Saturday with my wife – extending the distance a bit to 8.33km (5.2 miles). We ran again on Sunday, this time driving a short distance to a flatter bit of road that we used to run on a good deal a few years ago – we ran 5km (3.1miles) at 5:22 per km even with Saturday’s run in her legs. I did some very poor pacemaking.
We might try the same run again after she has had a rest day to see if we can get her back below 5:15 (many years ago we ran the ‘Oxford Town and Gown’ 10km in under 59minutes).
After that it was up to London later for lunch with our younger son who has recently returned to London and to work after several weeks of lockdown with us – and to check that our flat is still there and secure. It is.
After realising that 6 successive days of exercise last week was probably too much, I did exactly the same this week. I do wonder about myself.
Interesting stuff this week
1. What’s in a name? There is a local car dealership called (after its founder) Dick Lovett. Having had cars from there for over 30 years, it is no big deal to us but a friend who was selling a car found that the dealership name appearing on the number plates nearly lost him the sale to a young chap who, obviously, felt that it would threaten his manliness. The day was saved by black electrical tape.
2. Man blows up part of house while chasing fly: A Frenchman who was irritated by a fly buzzing around him picked up an electric fly swatter – but a gas canister was leaking in his home. A reaction between the device and the gas caused an explosion, destroying the kitchen and partly damaging the roof.
3. African wise words: The lizard is not angry at the person who throws a stone at him, but at the bystander who praises the stone-thrower’s marksmanship.
Deep thinkers, those lizards.