Run, turbo, run, run, (jab!), run, run

As if someone flicked a switch, we went from freezing all last week to about 10℃ (50℉) on Monday. I made the most of it and ran 10.3km (6.4m). Sadly, a second switch is about to turn on the rain. 

The next tranche of vaccinations in England (including us over 65s) was announced to be getting underway this week. On Monday I got my invite letter and by midday I had booked appointments for both jabs. Considering I have no (known) health issues and take no medicines, I’m sure there are more deserving cases – but I’m in the process and grateful for that.

The rain showers arrived over night on Monday – they weren’t as bad as forecast on Tuesday but I opted for an hour on the turbo – 28.5km (17.7m) – with a horrible example of how mind games can go wrong. I was deliberately not looking at the clock to avoid ‘death by watching time crawl by slowly’ but looked when I was sure I had done about 55 minutes. It was really deflating to see that I had done only 44. I’m surprised I managed not to bail out at the 45 minute mark.

I’m very impressed by people who have mastered new skills or learnt new languages during the various lockdowns. My own (rather pathetic) achievement is learning to sharpen my chainsaw chains. Much of Tuesday was spent cutting wood and taking some dead branches out of an apple tree. I’m not exactly setting the artistic or literary worlds alight.

Wednesday’s weather was also mild, breezy and wet. We decided to run (7km, 4.3m) between the forecast showers – but still got soaked. Much the same on Thursday but with a colder breeze and we did find a gap between showers for 5.5km (3.4m).

Friday was rather grey and dank so I took a rest day. It was really just laziness but I’ve decided to say I was mentally and physically preparing myself for an early evening trip to the football stadium in Oxford to get my first Covid jab. For die hard Swindon Town followers (we follow them but I refuse to support anyone to the degree that I have to hate anyone else) Oxford United are the great enemy.

Chanting is a ritual at British football matches – both to support your own team and to deride the opposition and their supporters. The Oxford stadium, quaintly, has stands on only three sides. At one match, taunting the (very quiet) away supporters, the Oxford fans chanted “Shall we sing you a song” to which the response came “Shall we build you a stand”.

It was a very slick vaccination process – in and out in under 15 minutes. Just a coincidence, surely, that I went to Oxford and got the Oxford Astra Zenica vaccine?

Happily, no side effects so on Saturday morning, other than a sore arm where I got the jab, so we all ran – fairly gently, just in case – for the usual 7km. It was surprisingly hard and I did feel very tired – I wonder if that was anything to do with the previous night’s vaccination. What is clear is that (sadly) there were no performance-enhancing additives in the Covid jab.

There would be no 6 Nations Rugby to watch while on the turbo on Sunday, so I went for a short run with my wife and son, before he and I added another loop for a total of 11.7km (7.25miles). The weather is improving and I ran in a short sleeve compression top and a long sleeved top that (it just occurred to me) I bought in 1997 for training for my first marathon – it doesn’t owe me a lot.


The running has been totally unstructured at present – no proper training schedule, no tempo runs, long slow runs, hill work, fartlek etc. – but at least my knee and Achilles are happier with the reduced mileage after January’s 200km.

I believe that the ultra will be OK (in the absence of injury or illness) but I am not sure if my ageing body will take the mileage of the proper training programme. As I am not too worried about how long the ultra takes, I may need to prioritise the longer training runs and replace some of the others with cycling.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death

2. BBC News website: Dog left $5 million (£3.6 million) by deceased owner

Bill Dorris left Lulu the border collie in the care of his friend, Martha Burton. The will states that Burton is to be reimbursed for Lulu’s reasonable monthly expenses.

I am very happy to adopt Lulu (or indeed, be adopted by her)

3. BBC News website: Mercedes-Benz car recall

The problem is with the cars’ eCall feature, which alerts emergency services of an accident and relays a vehicle’s location to them. A fault means it is possible that the wrong location could be sent.

Luckily, Mercedes have their eCall system to locate the cars. Of a recall affecting over 1 million cars, only 50 have been found (sorry, Mercedes, I made that up)

4. BBC News website: Man fined £150 for fly-tipping leaves in a wood

He swept the leaves from the pavement in front of his house and drove 3 bags of them to nearby countryside and scattered them to degrade in a wooded area.

Not exactly dumping an old fridge by the roadside – they weren’t even his leaves!

5. BBC News website: Dutch crisis as court orders end to Covid curfew

The court said the 21:00 to 04:30 curfew breaches citizens’ rights to free movement and was imposed by an emergency law when there was no “acute emergency”.

Catch 22: When the cabinet decided on the curfew they sought the backing of MPs, but by waiting for parliamentary support, in the judges eyes, they had disproved the need for emergency legislation.

Depending on your personal stance, either this the court showing proper regard for the law, free from political pressure, or an example of the judges’ pig headed detachment from the real world

14 thoughts on “Run, turbo, run, run, (jab!), run, run

  1. bgddyjim

    The courts should always err on the side of freedom of the people. First, politicians are always too quick to think their need to rule trumps people’s freedom. That happens far too often throughout history. We have several of those about to get theirs over here and it’ll be sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      I agree – I want judges to uphold the law but where laws restrict proper freedoms, I want the interpretation of the law to be on the side of freedom. As humans, judges will have their own political viewpoints but they must put those aside and I guess that’s not easy – I am certainly all in favour of judicial appointments being non-political.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. olderrunner2

    Glad you got your exercise in, some between (and in) the rain showers and that you got your first vaccine. I haven’t scheduled mine and my mom’s yet, since we both had CoVID in Dec and I haven’t been allowed to drive for 6 weeks. I’m going to work on scheduling next week. I wish our process here was like you have there. Everyone I have talked to say they give them an appointment time frame, along with a lot of other people, so you can sit in line for 3 hours waiting for your shot. I’m not looking forward to that.

    Seems silly for the guy to get fined for “dumping” leaves in the woods. But, I guess if everyone did it, it would make a mess. I’m glad I live in the middle of the woods, so don’t have to worry about raking them into a different part of my own property.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      I’m not sure if our vaccination process is as good everywhere or at every time – I may have got a bit lucky, but you’d like to think that the irony of bringing a lot of people close together for vaccinations wouldn’t escape the organisers. I hope yours and you mother’s go well and safely.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. unironedman

    Glad to hear you’re getting the vaccines rolled out. We’re a little behind here, and oddly enough, it’s all to do with Brexit. But there ya go! We won’y mention the war. Curfews really should be the last resort. The gas thing is, there’s no need for a bloody curfew here anyway, because there is bugger-all to do. Pubs, restaurant, cinemas… they’re all closed, so nobody is out and about after 9pm other than to buy a bag of chips. It’s a de facto lockdown-induced curfew.

    As regards training, I’d be putting my money into strength and conditioning, and keeping the mileage modest for now. Junk miles will only damage the areas susceptible to injury. And the bike will be your friend, too, when the weather improves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Not being in the illicit party set, I can’t remember the last time we were outside after 8pm. For all I know, wolves and bears might have made a return to the streets after dark. I am relying on the Women’s Institute ‘ultras’ to carry out patrols.
      I know you are right about the running but I feel that I should still be putting in the miles because the first week of the training program has 31 miles – so I ought to be doing 28 the previous week to stick to the recommended weekly maximum increase.
      To be honest, I know that the training programme is not going to happen as written and that feels quite a liberating realisation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. unironedman

        I know what you mean, though it’s important to realise these programmes were written by athletic young trainers and coaches with lots of time on their hands. Once you make the decision to write your own programme, it can be (as you’ve said), quite liberating.

        (Can’t help you with the wolves though!)


      2. The Omil Post author

        I can’t help but think if I was going to write a sub 4 hour marathon training programme, I’d be very much on the safe side on the basis that anyone using it and going well under 4 hours would be less likely to complain than anyone outside the 4 hours.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. unironedman

    I guess the difference between a set time programme and a ‘just gonna finish this thing’ programme is just that… time. Not sure what your programme is or what it’s designed to do, but I’m willing to bet it wasn’t designed just for you. So there has to be leeway in there. What’s critical for ultras? Good endurance, good cardio, and a set of legs that aren’t going to fall off. You would have the first two, no problem, from what I can tell, so the trick is to make sure something silly doesn’t derail you, like an Achilles, or an IT band.That’s where the time spent on S&C is worth it. And that’s from someone who really doesn’t like a gym and would rather be running.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Julie

        They unapproved the Astra Zeneca one for over 70’s so that messed up the whole thing. Still loads of elderly who haven’t heard a thing from anyone! It’s all about supply at this stage. Some days it’s harder to take than others!!


      2. The Omil Post author

        Ah, I see – strange how a vaccine can tell the recipient’s age to be properly effective for someone who’s 69 and not for someone who is 70! Oh well, I’m sure the experts know best … if only they would agree. Roll on the process for you both.


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