Gym (x2), ride (a small one), ride (a much bigger and very hard one)

A Monday morning gym session is part of my regime in the brave new world of Covid-lockdown relaxation. I was the only person there for the hour it took me to lift some weights.

A big advantage of the gym is that, at the end of a session I always do some stretches – something I almost never remember to do properly at home. I’m working on the basis that the strengthening and stretching must be helping mend my knee.

Back to Bournemouth on Tuesday for more gardening and house maintenance and hedge planting at home on Wednesday. After I defrosted from an hour in the gym on Thursday morning (it was ‘see your breath’ cold in there) I drove to our son’s house just outside London to leave him a car to drive down to Bournemouth for a few days.

The original intention was that I’d run the 8 miles from his place to our flat and then on a train back home. The knee put paid to that so I stowed a bike in the back of the car and cycled from him to our place, leaving the bike there to be collected next time we go up (remembering not to use my wife’s Mini for that trip).

The only times I’ve cycled in London have been for the Ride London sportive – very early to get to the start or on closed roads for the sportive itself. As it turned out, there were bike lanes and wide pavements shared between pedestrians and cyclists for most of the way so it was very enjoyable even though my route ran along a major road.

I took my wife’s hybrid bike and that was a good move as I never felt any need or inclination to go particularly fast. In the end, 12.4km (a bit under 8 miles) in a leisurely 37 minutes. Then a trip across London and a train back.

Cycle shop on Friday morning and friends over for drinks in the evening. I had a restful Saturday because Sunday saw the White Horse Challenge sportive.

With little cycling (four previous rides this year and the dodgy knee), riding the White Horse Challenge sportive was a bit of a no-brainer (as in ‘you must have no brain to come to that decision’). However, the sensible thing I did was to opt for the 70 mile route with over 4900 feet of climbing, rather than the 90 miler with over 5500 feet of climbing.

(That’s 112km with 1500m of climbing rather than 144km with 1700m).

It was really tough – cold at the start (3℃, 37℉) and there was a relentless 20+mph wind, which I rode into, solo, for about 30 miles. I managed 4hrs 34 min, not very quick but it was certainly not a day to post personal bests. To my surprise, that was gold standard and I was 4th overall of those on the 70mile route and 1st out of the over 60s.

With apologies for being a knee bore (but hoping not to become a knee jerk), it is still improving, but slowly. Having now ‘invested’ over two weeks in not running I’m uncertain as to when to restart. I risked the cycling (and seem to have got away with it) but would be a shame to spoil the recuperation by running again too soon. Still a while away from running yet I think.

I’ve abandoned the original training plan for the ultra – even if the knee healed tomorrow I’m more likely to follow the plan on the event website from here on.

 Target Plan My Actual
Week 6: Miles (Km) 20 (32)
‘Running’ Totals 87.5 (140) 120 (193)
Week 6, Ultra Marathon training (with rounding)

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: A fish has nothing to do with a raincoat

2. BBC News website: Ambulance Service dropped woman, 89, at wrong house

Elizabeth Mahoney had been in hospital for 10 weeks but when she was discharged, instead of being taken home, she was put to bed in a stranger’s house. The man who lived there had been expecting the arrival of his sister, who had dementia, but had not immediately realised Mrs Mahoney was not his sister.

Mrs Mahoney had tried telling the crew she was not the patient they thought she was, and that she was being left at the wrong house – but was then frightened because she thought she was being put in a home.

3. BBC News website: Product placements may soon be added to classic films

in 2019 the total global product placement industry, across films, TV shows and music videos, was said to be worth $20.6bn (£15bn). Now technology can insert computer-generated images so that the human eye does not realise has been done post-production.

Soon there could be new labels on the champagne bottles in Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, and different background neon advertising signs to Ocean’s 11. Then a few weeks, months or years later the added products could be switched to different brands.

I must be in a minority – product placements put me off because I feel they are trying to play me for an impressionable fool

4. BBC News website: Hospital employee accused of skipping work for 15 years

A hospital employee in Italy is alleged to have stopped turning up to work at the Ciaccio hospital in the southern city of Catanzaro in 2005.

The police have also accused him of threatening his manager to stop her from filing a disciplinary report against him. That manager later retired and his ongoing absence was never noticed by her successor or human resources. Six managers at the hospital are also being investigated in connection with the alleged absenteeism.

12 thoughts on “Gym (x2), ride (a small one), ride (a much bigger and very hard one)

  1. bgddyjim

    American wise words: “Why run a 31-mile ultra on a knee that doesn’t appreciate running more than a half-marathon when you can ride your road bike six times further without pain?”

    Couldn’t remember if you were 50k or 50 miles. Sorry, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Only the boy’s distance – 50km.
      You have a point – I now remember why I started cycling instead of running (something to do with the knees!). After I do the ultra, I expect normal (and more sensible) service may well be resumed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bgddyjim

        Looking at your situation with my melon, I’d ditch running distances greater than a 10k… lest you push it too far and have to ditch running altogether. I have a riding buddy who did exactly that and it broke his heart.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Omil Post author

        If only I’d asked for your wise counsel before I entered. I think it was just that I couldn’t see a suitable cycling challenge for 2021 …. (I should have looked harder)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. bgddyjim

        My “wise counsel” would have been useless back then. After reading your posts for so long, everything finally added up and
        it simply just dawned on me. Talk it over with your lovely wife, maybe let that entry fee go to save your knee. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bgddyjim

    “product placements put me off because I feel they are trying to play me for an impressionable fool”

    You are not alone… and I tend to stop frequenting those places that pay to place their products. Great post, man.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. olderrunner2

    Great job on the White Horse Challenge sportive. I’m glad it didn’t hurt your knee. If you do decide to run, another American wise word (not mine) is that when you think it is well enough to run, give it another week.

    I feel so badly for the 89 year old women. That must have been so scary for her.

    How in the world can a hospital pay someone who hasn’t been to work for 15 years?! Don’t they have to sign in or something?

    I don’t like product placements either…esp in a classic film. That’s just wrong. I also hate it when a company reduces the amount of product, but leaves it in the same size container at the same price it used to be for more. Again, feel like they think I am foolish enough to not know that I am actually paying more. Just raise the price and give me what I am expecting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. unironedman

    Great stuff. And I see that fella Jim has been on pushing his cycling drug! You must resist! Get back out their running and absolutely, eh, trash that knee for good…

    Well, okay, I’m a fan of running, and there’s plenty of science that will suggest running can be helpful, or at least, not damaging, if done right. I’ve had knee problems over the years, and sometimes it’s just down to pushing the mileage. Also, bad bike set-up.

    Plenty of good exercises to strengthen up that area, and also bad ones that cause more harm than good, so find the good ones, and ditch the bad ones. And that plan sounds like it was a part of the problem too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Thank you. I will carry on running because I enjoy it. I’ll never be good at it, while I might get to the point of being almost adequate on the bike so it looks like ‘cyclist who runs’ has more of a long term future than ‘runner who cycles’. Keeping on with the gym and about to start some swimming – that might help.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. unironedman

    We’re cut from the same cloth then. Swimming is definitely the best low-impact sport going; indeed, even zero-impact, if you go steady. Never had an issue when swim training. I plan on being one of those annoying old f**kers who does triathlons when they’re 80, if I live that long.

    Liked by 1 person


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