Bonfire and the vanities



I can almost hear my late father-in-law saying ‘Edges into middles’. He was a fine man who loved a good bonfire.

Having, reluctantly, given up the vanity kph that came from the old, under-resistant, turbo trainer, on Wednesday I decided to treat myself to not one, but two ……….. bonfires.

I don’t know if it’s a primal thing about fire but I do like a good bonfire. Living in a village means we are lucky enough to be able to have bonfires but they do need careful timing as the prevailing wind would share the smoke with a couple of hundred people.

The first was the normal garden affair, the second was in the paddock and resulted from cutting back a hedge to put in a new fence.

Although I know that bonfires tend to be hot (not much gets past me) I was marvelling at just how hot the first was (I couldn’t go within 12 feet comfortably) when one of the next door neighbour’s dogs arrived and lay down within inches of it. That reminded me of our (late, lamented) dog falling asleep in front of an open fire and having to be woken and moved when his fur started to smoke.

Singed cocker spaniel is not a good smell.

Anyway, all that was a surprisingly good workout – and no dogs were harmed in the burning of these bonfires.

In the afternoon I went back on the new turbo for another very hard 30 minutes for 16.76km @ 33.5kph (10.4 miles @ 20.8mph). I changed up a gear for a while but noticed that meant I was turning the pedals at under 80rpm – so I clicked it back down and will keep it there for now.

The old turbo gave a good cardio vascular workout because , with little resistance from it, I went for speed – but the proper resistance this one has works the muscles a good deal harder. I guess the new one will help, if I survive the extra degree of difficulty.

On Thursday, Ian, my usual run-to-the-gym companion, couldn’t make it. Without his good influence I drove – but did an hour on the weights to compensate.

It’s now over a week since I last ran and the tendons seem to be improving as a result. My main concern is that the problem will recur once I resume running – and that will be a bit if a blow to the Rotterdam Marathon target, to say the least. In the meantime, I’ve decided to stick to the turbo, the stretches, the exercises and the gym while I ponder on when to run again.

I’ve discovered why Achilles tendons heal slowly – it’s because they have a relatively poor blood supply. This leads me to this week’s top tip: when considering which part of your body to hurt next, choose one with a strong blood supply.



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