It started to feel like Spring last week but, although I don’t remember being asked to vote on it, we appear to have decided to miss out Summer and go straight into Autumn.
Accordingly, a dull and cool start to the week. To rest my legs after the weekend’s running I did 45 minutes on the turbo on Monday evening, expecting little but I managed an encouraging 29.1kph average (18.1mph).
A few days previously I had to re-route the aerial for one of the TVs and had borrowed a lead from the one I use when on the turbo. With no TV to watch I had to use the integrated DVD and chose an old Bruce Lee film – ‘Fist of Fury’. Clearly 1970s kung fu is a good performance enhancer.
On Tuesday I ran with my son – 7km (4.3m) @ 5:33/km – faster than recent runs. The three of us did the same route on Wednesday and I even managed to get in the first mow of the year, before the afternoon rain. First cut on 3rd March? Probably another personal best.
The vaccination programme in the UK continues apace with about one third of adults having received their first jab – my wife now has dates for her jabs too.
Although the EU’s regulator approved the Astra Zenica vaccine for use with all age groups, the French President said that the A-Z vaccine was ‘quasi-ineffective’ for older people – completely bewildering given that the most cautious view I heard was simply that there were insufficient older people in some studies to give conclusive evidence as to its efficacy for them.
On Tuesday France reversed its stance and is making the vaccine available to the 65-74 age group. On Thursday came the announcement that Germany is now going to use the A-Z vaccine for all ages and Belgium is following the new stance taken by France. I hope the hiatus will not have caused any long-term damage.
On the vaccination topic, here is one thing I had never expected to write: ‘Kudos to Dolly Parton’. I might not be a fan of the music, but she is a real trooper!
I ran with my wife on Thursday – 5.5km (3.4m) and in the afternoon our son and I did a couple of hours of hard labour at the cycle park – charitable volunteering is an acceptable reason to leave home in the lockdown. The two bits of fitness equipment we installed last year are being well used and we had to dig out the rather muddy areas around their bases because they had become potential slip hazards. The areas will be filled with wood chippings.
Laps of the old hill fort on Friday – 9.9km (6.1m). I’m trying to run on different surfaces and using at least 4 different pairs of shoes which is supposed to help avoid injuries. I’m also trying to remember to stretch and do core exercises – but it’s so much easier to do those as part of my normal gym visits. The gyms are due to re-open on 12 April.
My son and I set ourselves the challenge of extending our long runs. We do 10km (6 miles) fairly regularly but last week pushed that beyond 16km (just over 10 miles) and had the aim of getting to a half marathon this week.
Saturday was cold (about 3℃ or 38℉) and it probably wasn’t the best day to choose being my seventh day of running in eight consecutive days of exercise – but it was dry and bright so off we went. We decided to run two different out and back routes to keep local.
We didn’t exactly undertake text-book preparation – I had a couple of cups of coffee and a chocolate bar before we went out and we didn’t take any food or water with us – but we ran steadily and did just a little more than the half marathon (21.24km, 13.2m) in a very enjoyable 2hours 12 minutes with no great dramas, unreasonable exertions or lasting pains.
I could have run (slowly) or cycled on Sunday but a rest day seems like a much better idea.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: If you do not have patience you cannot make beer
Fortunately, you can still drink it (in moderation, of course)
2. BBC News website: Briton sentenced for breaking Singapore quarantine
Nigel Skea, 52, was quarantined in a hotel but walked up 13 flights of an emergency staircase to spend the night with his fiancee who had booked into the same hotel, even though she lives in Singapore. They spent nine hours together.
I like the fact that the report mentions 13 flights of stairs and 9 hours – a sign of some admiration ..?
3. BBC News website: The BBC condemns online abuse
A reporter received ‘online abuse’ after her (to my mind, slightly crass, but nothing more) interviews after Wales’ 40-24 Six Nations rugby win over England.
She wrote on Twitter: “Toxic, embarrassing, disgraceful, appalling. Just some of the feedback I’ve had. Now imagine getting inundated with abuse for doing your job. In my car crying. Hope you’re happy.”
I don’t like to think of her upset but I do struggle a bit. Of course, abuse is not acceptable – but is the use of ’embarrassing’ and ‘appalling’ actually abuse or is it just criticism? No to abuse – but are people in the media exempt from reasonable and fair criticism? How and where is the line to be drawn?
4. BBC News website: Doctor joins Zoom court hearing while operating on patient
The surgeon was dressed in surgical scrubs in an operating theatre when he appeared at his virtual trial in a Californian traffic court. He said he was happy to go ahead, and that he had “another surgeon right here who’s doing the surgery with me”.
The judge said that would not be “appropriate” to proceed and postponed the trial. The Medical Board of California has said it will look into the incident.
And women say men can’t multi-task …
5. BBC News website: Malasian “sugar daddy” dating app
‘Sugarbook’ promised to link younger women (‘sugarbabies’) with older men who are expected to provide financial support. The app’s slogan is “where romance meets finance”.
The founder has been arrested under anti-prostitution laws