Having run on each of the first three days of the month, I considered creating Janurunary and going for 31 days of running. Happily, the madness passed quickly, much to the relief of my legs.
Monday was cold, with an even colder wind, so we walked. We were out for almost an hour (4.2km – 2.6 miles). Having lived in the house for nearly 28 years the footpaths and tracks we are walking are not new – but what is new is that I’m looking forward to trying them for runs once they dry out. It should help freshen up my choice of routes and might even help with training for the ultra marathon in July.
The three of us ran together on Tuesday (7km – 4.3 miles) before our son and I added another 5.5km loop to make it 7.8 miles in all. Under the new lockdown guidance we are allowed out for one exercise session a day, staying in the ‘local area’.
We can go to buy essentials from shops in our ‘local area’ – and that must include the nearest town (3.5 km away) as there are no shops nearer! The usual loops we run don’t take us even 2km from the house so they must satisfy that guidance. We are also looking to run in areas with fewest people but if we want to do any longer runs, it looks like they will have to be multiple loops.
On Wednesday my wife wanted to walk rather then run so we used our once-a-day exercise allowance on a short walk round the neighbouring fields (2.8km – 1.75 miles).
Thursday was rather horrible. Sad news from the US, continued high levels of the virus in the UK, bleak foggy weather and a temperature not moving above freezing. I failed to summon up the enthusiasm to do very much at all.
The weather wasn’t a lot better on Friday but there was running to be done and someone had to do it – so I got out for 10.2km (6.35 miles) in 56 minutes. Much the same on Saturday – still just below freezing – but I ran with our son along some footpaths and farm tracks – 10.85km (6.75 miles).
I finished with a sharp pain in the right side of my back. It appeared unannounced and for no reason in the last mile of the run – muscular I assume. It eased over the rest of the day so I ran with our son on a still freezing Sunday morning – a different route but also exactly 10.85km (6.75 miles).
Four runs in the week, all over 10km, for 44.4km (27.6 miles). That’s perfectly OK for me – but it’s sobering to think that the 16 week ultra marathon training has only one (cut-back) week with less than 30 miles, and four weeks of 40 or more.
Both our sons are fit and active. The younger son (28) and I ran the Rotterdam Marathon together in 2019, he plays in a (field) hockey league and is running with us now he is marooned here in Oxfordshire. The older son (30) has just started to run – but is already doing 5km in under 24 minutes. There is a real chance of the three of us taking part in a race later in the year, either a half or full marathon. That would be great.
More worryingly, it has planted the seed of an idea in my mind that when Parkruns come back, I might attend one (my first) to try to see what sort of 5km time I can do – but, as the UK heads back into lockdown, it’s not going to be an issue for some time yet. According to Strava my best 5km is just outside 25 minutes – but digging into that shows it was entirely due to a Garmin malfunction!
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Do not call a dog with a whip in your hand
I apologise but cannot resist saying the obvious: ‘with a whip in your hand’ is an odd name for a dog
2. BBC News website: Australian advert of man eating bat sandwich investigated
The ad from outdoor equipment firm Boating Camping Fishing store (BCF) has been viewed more than 250,000 times on YouTube. In it, a man jokes that the pandemic was caused by someone eating a bat. BCF is no stranger to Australia’s advertising watchdog, making the list of most complained about ads in both 2016 and 2018.
3. BBC News website: Sweden official defends Christmas trip to Canary Islands
The Swedish official is head of the civil contingencies agency, which earlier in December had texted all Swedes urging them to avoid travel. He insisted the trip was necessary “for family reasons” and told Swedish media that he had “given up a lot of trips during this pandemic” but thought this one was necessary because he had a daughter living in the Canaries.
He is confusing “she lives in the Canary islands so I cannot see her without travelling” (true) and ‘she lives in the Canary Islands so I had to travel to go and see her” (false)
4. I had written stuff to pursue my fictional campaign to contest the vote that led to Lewis Hamilton becoming the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in preference to me.
As I write this on Wednesday night (UK time), current events in the USA are so awful and so far beyond satire or parody that I have entirely lost the heart to do it.