Monday was a good deal warmer than recent days, even the gym was a decent temperature for a change – no hat or gloves were needed for an hour on the weights.
We ran on a crisp but sunny Tuesday morning (the usual 7km – 4.35 miles).
Wednesday was reasonably mild but breezy and a bit wet. I ran for 14km (8.73 miles) with the idea to push the distance out a bit (for some unknown reason). It was tough but I still managed comfortably under a 6 min/km average. With the ‘Race to the Stones’ ultra not until July I wish I could bottle the extra training for use next year but I don’t think it works like that.
I have managed to find a way to slightly spoil my enjoyment of football (soccer to anyone to the left of the Atlantic). I’m in a small charity fantasy football league (only 74 people) but reached joint 1st place after the mid-week games. The problem is that I’m now split between my normal team allegiances and fantasy point scoring. I think I will be happier once I make the inevitable slide down to mid-table mediocrity.
I got out on the bike on a bright but cool Thursday morning – there were six of us in full Covid-compliant mode for a very good and sociable 64km (40 miles). Compression top, thermal top, winter cycling kit with long trousers, neck warmer, head band, thermal socks, gilet and ‘lobster claw’ gloves – cold weather wimp, moi?
It was a morning trip through a number of quaintly-named Oxfordshire villages, including Charney Bassett, East Hanney, Denchworth (for a good outdoor coffee) and Goosey. I enjoyed the ride, I enjoyed the company, no new pains in the legs and no need to get on the turbo in the evening. Wins all round.
Gym again on Friday, but it was very hard. Although cycling and running must use the same muscles (I don’t have any spares kept in reserve), I guess they use them slightly differently. It brought home how important it seems to be to do a variety of exercise to keep everything moving as well as possible and in the most versatile way.
Saturday was a lovely cool, clear, bright and crisp day – the first anniversary of my father’s death at nearly 96. It’s still a bit of a comfort that he would have hated the restrictions of 2020!
I changed into running kit but on the way back downstairs my knee started to hurt for no apparent reason. In a rare outbreak of good sense I decided not to run – which was probably for the best as, within half an hour, it was raining heavily. We had arranged to meet some friends for a walk and outdoor lunch so I did get outside to enjoy the day and their company.
In the afternoon came the unexpected news that ‘Christmas is cancelled’ as the Covid upsurge lead to the removal of planned relaxation of the rules over Christmas and the creation of a new ‘tier 4’ with more restrictions for some areas, mainly in and around London. I did the planned trip to collect our younger son (permissible as he’s in our ‘support bubble’) but our older son is not now allowed to join us. No doubt some people will ignore the new rules but we won’t, so he and his girlfriend have decided to stay in London. That’s miserable.
Another cool bright day on Sunday so another enjoyable run for 10.2km (6.4 miles) @5:36/km. I iced my Achilles after the run – it will be interesting to see if it makes any difference.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: A house goat does not know the value of the hunter
Does home schooling for goats need tighter regulation?
2. BBC News website: Kangaroos can ‘communicate’ with humans, study finds
Kangaroos are able to intentionally communicate with people and “ask for help”, a study has found.
I’m expecting that the next study is into whether, beyond asking for help, they think we are worth communicating with.
3. BBC News website: Unesco lists couscous as intangible cultural heritage
In a statement, Unesco says the listing is part of its efforts to encourage multinational awards in order to bring peoples and cultures closer together.
4. BBC News website: Man charged over allegedly corrupt betting on table tennis
A man has been arrested in Australia as part of an inquiry into a gambling syndicate placing allegedly corrupt bets on fixed table tennis matches in Europe, particularly in Ukraine. He is alleged to have pocketed A$500,000 (£280,000; $378,000).
I didn’t even know you could bet on table tennis matches, let alone find people who would fix them