Beach, bombshell and beast of burden

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Bournemouth seafront looking East. The mound on the left is Hengistbury Head. The land in the distance looks to be mainland but is actually the Isle of Wight (with ‘The Needles’ off the right hand end – sadly, the rock that looked most like a needle collapsed in 1764).

We went down to Bournemouth on Sunday night after supper with friends (including our two medical consultant friends who seemed happy with my Achilles’ progress!) arriving at about 1am.

Monday morning was cool but clear and bright so I ran along the promenade. It was so good for running that I was overcome with (youthful?) exuberance that I ran further and faster than planned – in all 8.57km @10.99kph (5m 27sec per km). I make that 5.3 miles @ 6.8mph – about 8m 48 sec per mile. Comfortably inside 4 hour marathon pace and really enjoyable.

Just doing the maths (‘math’ the other side of the Atlantic?) for that run made me notice a bit of a bombshell – well perhaps something almost slightly interesting – over the difference between running and cycling (apart from the fact that one involves a bike the the other doesn’t). It’s how speed is measured.

When I cycle I may ride at 20 mph (or 32 kph). I don’t ever think of the fact that I am doing 3 minute miles. When I run, I may run 9 minute miles (or 5:37 per km) but I don’t think of myself as running at 6.65 mph.

I don’t remember hearing about Roger Bannister being famous for being the first to run a mile at just over 15mph.

I wonder why. Is it that cycling is more usually done on a scale that makes counting several miles a realistic proposition, whereas running is more usually at a scale where providing a measure for each mile is more meaningful?

Anyway, not running for 3 weeks to see if that would sort out the Achilles’ means that I was badly slacking in my role as unpaid personal trainer for Mrs O. To start to remedy that we ran for just a couple of miles on Tuesday.

We drove up to London on Wednesday night and early Thursday I ran to our younger son’s flat to sit in and wait for a workman who was due to replace the non-functioning front door closer. Just 3.89km (2.4miles) of vague navigation – and not very fast as I was carrying a heavy and cumbersome laptop bag. It’s a fairly trivial encumbrance in comparison but one that makes me wonder how on earth people manage to run marathons in rhino outfits and the like.

After yet more wasted hours waiting for workmen who don’t arrive because management are incapable of getting the materials delivered, I ran back again. I still don’t like running with the laptop bag but at least I welcome the reinforcement of the view that I don’t want to be carrying any unnecessary extra weight in body fat for the Rotterdam Marathon.

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