I ran with my wife on Monday morning 7km (4.3miles). We should have got out before 9.45 as it was already 23℃ (73℉) but it confirmed I was right to take Sunday off after Saturday’s half marathon.
Despite that, it was back to the pool in the evening for more inelegant thrashing about – I may not be good at swimming but I am persistent. It continues to feel a little more natural in the water and the bilateral breathing is working reasonably well which seems to be freeing up a few grey cells to think about head position, shoulder roll and the occasional flap of the legs.
I managed 1.3km in 40 minutes but the main ‘personal best’ that I set was in starting sneezing within 5 steps of leaving the pool building.
At the open water swimming introduction we were told that we need to swim three times a week to really improve. I explained to the instructor that this would be more than twice a week – but it didn’t change his mind. I’m not sure I can/want to do that much swimming. Perhaps it’s simply the price I have to pay to get through the swim at the triathlon?
After a day of domestic chores on Tuesday we got out an hour earlier on Wednesday morning but it was still hot. We just did the short run – 5.67km (3.5 miles). Back to the pool in the evening (the last booking period of the day starts at 20.50 and seems to give a reasonable chance of a fairly empty pool) and another 1km in 26 minutes. Still slow, but a little faster.
I gave our younger son a lift to get his first Covid jab on Thursday (to which he had no reaction beyond a slightly sore arm). From there we drove down to Bournemouth to tackle the knee-high grass in the front and back lawns – which now look rather less like meadows.
Gym first thing on a very wet and cool Friday morning for an hour and then the usual session at the charity bike shop before collecting our older son from the train station in the evening as he came back for Father’s Day (Sunday) and my wife’s birthday on Monday.
The family weekend was excellent – a long walk, dining out at a pub by the Thames on Saturday (the only dry day), a 7km family run on Sunday (the first time the four of us have ever all run together) and Tomahawk steak – due to be cooked on the bbq but done in the oven due to the weather.
After the second round of games in the European Championships I’m in second place in the fantasy league table – so far so good.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Where water is the boss, there the land must obey
2. BBC News website: Fast food staff arrested for not giving police free burgers
All 19 workers at a fast food restaurant in Pakistan were were rounded up by police at 1am on Saturday and held overnight after refusing to give a group of officers free burgers the previous week.
Nine police officers involved in the incident have been suspended.
Obviously, very good burgers – but not good enough to pay for
3. BBC News website: Dog sold for record-breaking AU$35,200 (£19,228; $27,068) at a working dog auction
Eulooka Hoover, a two-year-old “all-rounder” in herding, was sold to a sheep and cattle grazier. The sale beat the previous record price for a working dog – a border collie who sold for £18,900 in the UK last year.
The dog is said to be equally skilled at herding sheep and cattle, and have a ‘cool personality’. ‘He’s just such a happy-go-lucky lad,’ said the breeder. ‘He’ll go to work eight days a week if you let him.’
Cool personality and happy-go-lucky, but unable to count to 7
4. BBC News website: Strong-Willed Pig: Animal that survived earthquake dies
A pig that became famous in China after surviving 36 days under rubble from a powerful earthquake in 2008, has died. Zhu Jianqiang, or “Strong-Willed Pig”, died of “old age and exhaustion”, according to the museum where it resided.
Following news of the pig’s death, people took to social media to pay their respects. The hashtag “Strong-Willed Pig has died” has had 430 million views on Weibo.
5. Fines for loud cockerels feather councils’ nests
English local authorities issued 6 million fines in 2020. These included fines for minor offences including cockerel-crowing, loud children, encouraging pigeons to gather, eyesore gardens and covid breaches. Parking offences accounted for 4.7 million fines and littering another quarter of a million.
In 1997 the number of fines was just 1,000.
6. BBC News website: 21st-Century tech traps killer
A 32-year-old pilot has confessed to the killing of his young British wife, having claimed three robbers had broken into the couple’s home near Athens, tied him up and suffocated his wife.
His wife’s smart watch showed that her heart was still beating at the time her husband claimed she was murdered. The activity tracker on his phone showed him moving around the house while he said he was tied up and the recorded time at which data cards were removed from the home security camera also told a different story to his version of events.