After Saturday’s 21km run in a chilly 3℃, Spring returned Monday at 9℃ (48℉). Good running weather but my knee was whinging about the run so I used the turbo – 45 minutes @ 28.6kph (17.8mph).
Last Monday, watching Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, I managed 29.1kph. I’m pleased that I have, scientifically and irrefutably, proved that 1970s kung fu is 0.5kph faster than a modern early evening quiz show.
My knee had stopped complaining by the time we ran on Tuesday which was another lovely back-to-Spring day. In the spirit of science established by my experiment on the turbo trainer effect of kung fu v quiz shows, I wore another pair of Asics running shoes. These were the ones that irritated my Achilles’ when I first got them in 2019 – with the Achilles’ improved, this seemed like the time to give the shoes one more chance.
The shoes felt good – well cushioned but a bit heavier and surprisingly warm. If I’ve just set my Achilles’ back a few months, at least I’ll have no one but myself to blame. It was a good run – 7.2km (4.4m) @ 6:08/km – my wife is getting faster so bravo to her.
Wednesday was cold, wet and windy – but the initial results of the change of shoes was encouraging with the Achilles continuing to improve and the knee complaining less. Despite the weather we all ran, but just the shortest of our usual routes – 5.5km (3.4m).
It was very windy on Thursday which made running hard – but I ran with our son who set a quick early pace that I struggled to stay with. It helped take us through 7.1km (4.4m) at 5:29/km (8:50/m).
I unpacked a new pair of Puma “Netfit” shoes. Once on, the fit is good – but they are significantly harder to get into. The box shows 5 different lacing options being ‘Standard’, ‘Stability’, ‘Wide Foot’, ‘Narrow Foot’ and ‘Heel Support’. Interestingly, the lacing arrangement they came with isn’t any of those – which makes no sense at all.
The charity bike shop has reopened so our son and I did a stint playing shopkeeper and bike mechanic on Friday morning and I have a bike I brought back for some work on the bottom bracket which needs either adjustment or new bearings. I took the rest of the day off.
Continuing with our plan to push the weekly long run distance, I ran with my son on Saturday. At various times we had sun, rain and hailstones – but the ever-present was a very strong wind. As always, you lose more running or cycling into the wind than you ever gain with it behind you, so that made it an unreasonably hard run.
In the end we did 25km (15.5m) – half the distance of July’s ultra – at 6:19/km. I’m not sure at what point ‘proper’ nutrition comes into the equation – pre run I had a couple of cups of coffee and a two finger Kit Kat bar and we took nothing with us.
Could I have run further? Yes.
Did I feel like turning round and doing the whole run for a second time? No.
I could have run today (Sunday) but showed some rare strength of mind and didn’t – not a difficult decision as my legs were rather sore. I’ve only once had a massage of any sort – while training for my first marathon in 1998 I had ITB problems in my left knee because of knots in the quads and a massage sorted it out perfectly. I suspect that I should consider a second once lockdown rules permit.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend
2. BBC News website: ‘Toxic bullying’ at Sellafield nuclear site
The bullying of staff cannot be condoned, but the fact that it’s toxic seems horribly appropriate for a nuclear power station
3. BBC News website: Trader got painted stones instead of $36m (£26m) of copper
About 6,000 tonnes of copper blister was loaded into containers for shipment to China in more than 300 containers on eight vessels. It was surveyed by an inspection company and seals were fixed to the containers.
However, before its journey, the containers were opened and the copper replaced with paving stones, spray-painted to resemble copper. The fraud wasn’t discovered until the ships began arriving later that month.
All that glitters is not copper
4. BBC News website: Questions asked about missing Tanzanian president
President John Magufuli has not been seen in public for over a fortnight, as a leading Kenyan newspaper has an unconfirmed report that an African leader is in a Nairobi hospital with coronavirus.
Tanzania is one of the few countries in the world not to publish Covid data. Mr Magufuli declared Tanzania “coronavirus-free” last June but just last month seemed to accept that there is an issue although Tanzania has no plans to carry out a vaccination programme. He has previously promoted prayer and steam inhalation as a way of combatting the virus.
The government dismissed the claim saying that the President was ‘not a TV presenter or leader of a jogging club’ so he didn’t need to post selfies of himself every day, and the Prime Minister has claimed that the President is in his office, working hard.
I hope he is well and not working too hard
5. BBC News website: Brazil experts issue warning as hospitals ‘close to collapse’
Health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapse because of Covid-19 cases, its leading health institute warns.
Experts warn that the highly contagious variant in Brazil may have knock-on effects in the region and beyond. It has the second highest number of deaths in the world after the US and the third highest number of confirmed cases.
President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently opposed quarantine measures and expert advice on fighting coronavirus – he recently told Brazilians to ‘stop whining’ about Covid.
My very best wishes to them all