Gym, run, gym, run, run (and remembering the Col des Glières)

Rest day on Monday after 6 straight days of exercise (and 12 in 13 – too many) so I started painting – nothing creative or beautiful but the more mundane matter of windows and doors in the garage block.

I also did some more work on the new raised vegetable beds. When I am out in the garden I tend to let the chickens out of their run – they joined me in the digging (but ate more worms). Once they understand exactly where to dig, they will be more useful.

Gym session on Tuesday morning. Although I enjoy the gym, I’ve been a bit unsure about its value beyond adding a little variety to my exercise regime. I’ve decided that I should carry on with it while I enjoy it, but should concentrate on strengthening my legs and core and leave the specific cardio stuff to the running or cycling outside.

Gardening and then supper with friends Tuesday evening and a rest day on Wednesday that turned out to be one of those rest days that’s so much harder than training. The idea was to run late in the afternoon but by the time I’d cleared a few hundred apples from the lawn and moved about 3 cubic metres (over 100 cubic feet) of compost into the new raised beds, I didn’t even have the strength to get into my running kit.

We ran on Thursday morning – 7km (4.3m). While running I realised that the stiff breeze was coming from the East (a bit of a rarity) making it exactly right for a bonfire as it would take the smoke away from the village and across the fields. With all the recent gardening the bonfire was huge and accounted for the next several hours of constant attention as it went up like a good ‘un but needed feeding from numerous piles accumulated around the garden.

There was enough time to watch Le Tour riding in the area near our apartment. They rode some of the climbs I’ve done in recent years – particularly Aravis and Glières. The latter is an ‘Hors Categorie’ climb – and that’s exactly how I remember it, really hard with a testing gravel plateau at the top. As I recall, the sign at the bottom says it’s 5.8km at an average of 11.5%.

An hour at the gym on Friday morning which was good – after that I mowed and worked on the bottom bracket of a very old bike that was a latecomer to the pop-up charity cycle shop. Many of the ball bearings could have passed as square and the races were unrecognisable.

I borrowed a post driver from a friend and knocked in some large stakes to support the new raised beds and the revamped compost heap dividers. I shouldn’t have bothered going to the gym.

We ran on Saturday morning, back to the flatter road, going for a faster 5km (3.1m). My pacemaking still leaves a lot to be desired (a bit too fast this time after being a bit too slow last time) but we were significantly faster at 30:09. Although I stopped to wait for her for a few seconds a few times, that’s got to be about 6:10 per km for my wife which is excellent going – with a headwind on the way back.

The bonfire was rekindled by the addition of some more weeds – happily no change in the wind direction – and then I watched Le Tour’s individual time trial. What a spectacle and so unexpected. Bravo Pogacar (who takes the yellow, polka dot and white jerseys – bordering on greedy) but I really feel for Roglic who must have thought the yellow jersey was his.

That was followed by some apple picking – twelve bag-fulls currently disappearing from the front wall, taken by anyone who wants them, and another 4 bags delivered to friends.

A run on Sunday morning – I had no real plan in mind but thought I might go further in view of having only two previous runs this week. Along Puddleduck Lane and then on to farm roads and footpaths, it was breezy but lovely and I ran 16.5km (just over 10.2 miles) taken steadily in about 1h 40m.

The plan is to put my feet up for the rest of the day and watch the end of Le Tour. It’s been really enjoyable but it has just underlined how much I’ve missed my annual cycling trip to the Alps.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: A man wearing tattered clothes should not leap over the fire.

2. BBC News website: German police have launched a homicide investigation after a woman died during a cyber-attack on a hospital. Hackers disabled computer systems at Düsseldorf University Hospital and the patient died while doctors attempted to transfer her to another hospital.

Of all the risks associated with hospitals and operations …

3. Bodies pile up as island funeral director gets Covid.

The governor of San Andrés says bodies are piling up on the Caribbean island after its only funeral parlour was hit by coronavirus. The parlour’s owner has Covid-19 and has been flown to hospital on the Colombian mainland. Her son has also tested positive, leaving only one employee at work.

Very sad – but note, Ms Morissette, that’s ironic

4. BBC News website: Leicester in talks with Roma over Under

Leicester City Football Club are hoping to sign Cengiz Under from Roma FC.

Reminds me of the film Airplane – Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?
Tower Radio, clearance, over. That’s ‘Clarence Oveur’, over. Roger. Huh? Roger, over.

5. BBC New website: Woman falls from car on M25 filming Snapchat video

She was hanging out of the window of the car being driven on the M25 (London’s orbital motorway) but was – almost unbelievably – not seriously hurt. Sometimes words fail me.

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