As usual, on Monday I woke with an unhappy right Achilles. I opted for an evening turbo session – 30 minutes of aimless spinning, with a hard last 15 for 22.35km @29.8kph (13.9 miles @ 18.5mph).
Some good news on Monday was the announcement that gyms will be allowed to reopen after the current lockdown ends on 2 December. On the ‘be careful what you wish for’ principle, if I go back to my usual 2 gym sessions a week, something else will have to give on the exercise front – but on a global scale, that’s really not a big issue.
Tuesday was cold so I decided on a second turbo session in the early evening. It also gave my Achilles a second day of relative rest as the turbo never seems to stress it like a run can. I went for 30km (18.64 miles) rather than a time target, and managed it in 1 hour and 25 seconds, in the usual pool of sweat.
It was raining Wednesday morning. I quite like it if it rains while I’m running but find it harder to get out for a run if it’s already raining hard – especially if it’s cold rain. There was never a plan to do three turbo sessions in a row but that’s how it worked out with the expectation of better weather for the second half of the week. I managed another 30km (18.64miles) – it was hard but I did it 50 seconds faster in 59:35.
One thing I don’t understand (among many things) is how I am more exhausted after an hour on the turbo than I was at any time during my everest, which was 18 hours of cycling over 22 elapsed hours – and the turbo doesn’t involve any climbing.
There was a hard frost Thursday morning which showed no sign of clearing but, although it was cold, it was dry and bright so we ran – 7km (4.35 miles). The first very cold run of the winter but it was worth it to ensure that the turbo would be off the agenda later in the day. I was wearing three layers, gloves, neck warmer and a woolly hat – we met another runner in shorts and a t-shirt. I am a terrible wimp when it comes to the cold.
Friday was very similar in temperature (hovering around freezing) and foggy. It felt like a rest day and that’s exactly what it became.
Saturday was a little milder but dank and misty. I did more soggy circuits of the old hill fort for 11.2km (7 miles), pleased to be well wrapped up (but no hat!) and wearing some trail running shoes that seem to have shrunk and gave me a blister.
During the week we’ve been going through box after box of belongings of my late in-laws (and sometimes their parents): letters they wrote to each other before they married, diaries going back 30 years, personal files, birthday and valentine’s day cards and hundreds of photographs. Sad work in many ways but they were terrific people and they live on in hearts and minds, not bits of paper.
Saturday afternoon I had a bonfire to burn the personal stuff and finished it with the burning of my father-in-law’s tweed jacket and cavalry twill trousers (almost uniform for the rural surveyor, auctioneer and land agent). Both were well worn and not suitable for a charity shop. My enduring mental picture of him is as he would come out (they lived next door) with a flat cap, garden fork and cigarette to join me as soon as I lit a bonfire.
I wore one of his flat caps – it seemed appropriate.
It was still very cool and foggy on Sunday but I got out for a bit over 11km (nearly 7 miles) at 5:40/km. It was quite hard work at times but I really enjoyed it and saw 21 other runners and 2 cyclists in a fraction over an hour – it gives you hope!
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: The place the child knows is where the rain falls
2. Mitch Benn, who I mentioned last week for singing a coronavirus song on youtube, was a contestant on ‘Only Connect’ (a very obscure and erudite TV quiz show) on Monday – and performed out of his skin in the ‘missing vowels’ round.
3. Oxford Dictionaries has expanded its ‘Word of the Year’ to encompass several ‘Words of an Unprecedented Year’.
Its words are chosen to reflect 2020’s ‘ethos, mood, or preoccupations’. They include bushfires, Covid-19, WFH, lockdown, circuit-breaker, support bubbles, keyworkers, furlough, Black Lives Matter and moonshot.
4. BBC News website: A strange metal monolith has been discovered in the Utah desert by a helicopter crew.
The pilot, Mr Hutchings, said a biologist counting big horn sheep in the helicopter was the first one to spot the structure from the sky.
“He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’. And I was like, ‘What?’. And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’,” Mr Hutchings said.
… but if ‘he was like’, and ‘I was like’, and ‘he’s like‘, what actually happened?
I have a friend whose daughter asked ‘can I have, like, £10?’ He gave her £5 on the basis it was like £10.