We were due a power cut on Monday from 9am, for essential maintenance work. Strangely, when the power was still on at 10.00 I felt rather cheated. How weird is that?
Eventually the power went and returned, so to celebrate I swam in the evening. The aim was to go a bit further and I managed 1.5km in 45 minutes. I’m now worried that it’s my feet/legs sinking in the water that are slowing me down … but then I’m also worried that if they aren’t sinking, what is slowing me down?
With all the swimming, running and gym, I haven’t done any cycling for a while. Tuesday afternoon I got on the turbo to start to address that. It was hot in the conservatory but I managed 30 minutes @ 32.1kph (20mph). That’s faster than normal so I’m encouraged.
Pool again on Wednesday evening for another 1km in just under the half hour. I tried breathing every two strokes instead of every three to get more oxygen in but it rather disrupted my rhythm (if I have a rhythm) and I found that I hadn’t always exhaled out fully by the time it was due to breathe in again. More practice needed – why is swimming so complicated?
Gym for an hour on Thursday morning but a day off exercise on Friday, feeling rather jaded but the morning in the bike shop was good fun.
First run of the week on Saturday morning – dull and overcast but reasonably warm. I don’t really know what running is sensible so close to the ultra but my son and I did 12.5km (a bit under 8 miles) which felt quite good at 6min/km.
In keeping with some sort of exercise taper, I took Sunday off but we drove into Oxford for lunch which was very civilised.
Coming up to decision time on the ultra. Which shoes, shirt, shorts, what to carry with me, whether to run for as long as possible or adopt walk/run from the start, etc. At least the weather looks OK – rain early in the week, drying by the weekend and a comfortable temperature for my 6am start – and not getting too hot until after I finish (I hope).
On the European Championship fantasy football league I’m clinging on in second place. I’m making great decisions in respect to my substitutions but the performance of some of the teams have, frankly, been letting me down (yes, France, Portugal, Netherlands, you know who you are). In respect of the real thing, ‘Come on England’.
Vive Le Tour de France – especially the performance of Mark Cavendish as he rolls back the years. Saturday saw a great first stage in the alps including the three category 1 climbs, all of which I’ve done over the years: Mont Saxonnex, the Col de Romme (not too long but steep with an average of 8.8%) and the Col de la Colombière (one of my favourites). Oh, how I am missing my annual cycle trip to the alps. That’s two trips missed now – roll on a virus-free 2022!
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: When a needle falls into a deep well, many people will look into the well, but few will be ready to go down after it
2. BBC News website: South African government proposes to legalise polyandry
South Africa has one of the world’s most liberal constitutions, embracing same-sex marriages for all and polygamy for men – but the proposal to legalise polyandry (when a woman has more than one husband at the same time) has been met with objections.
Businessman and TV personality Musa Mseleku – who has four wives – is among those opposed to polyandry.
“This will destroy African culture. What about the children of those people? How will they know their identity? The woman cannot now take the role of the man. It’s unheard of. Will the woman now pay lobola [bride price] for the man. Will the man be expected to take her surname?”
None of my business and not a society I am familiar with, but sauce for the goose …?
3. BBC News website: Tour de France: Police seek spectator after crash
Police have launched a criminal investigation to trace a spectator in connection with a multi-rider pile-up during the first stage of the Tour de France on 26th June.
The spectator was leaning into the path of the speeding peloton, looking at the TV cameras and not the race, holding a sign with “Go granny and granddad” written in a mixture of French and German. Tony Martin (ironically, a German rider) brushed into the sign and fell, bringing down many others. Two riders had to pull out of the Tour completely and another eight were treated for injuries.
After appealing for witnesses, as of Wednesday, the individual was in police custody but the Tour organisers have withdrawn their threat of legal action
4. BBC News website: Man arrested for posting weather rant
A man has been arrested in Kuwait after posting a video on social media complaining about the weather. The video showed him laughing and swearing about the intense heat and dust while driving through a sandstorm.
The Interior Ministry tweeted that the man behind the “offensive” video would be subject to legal action.
I’d like to say that I love all the UK’s weather: rain, snow, sun, fog, sleet, gales … and that’s just one morning
5. My apologies for these:
a) After the Sweden v Ukraine game in the Euro Championships, the scorer of the Ukraine winner dedicated the goal to his beloved girlfriend back home. He loves his Chick in Kiev.
b) BBC radio commentary on the England v India women’s cricket test match: Talking about how the women players benefit from playing in men’s cricket when not on international duty, the comment was made that Tammy Beaumont ‘had played in the men’s leagues where she had enjoyed a lot of sex …… oh, er … success‘.
c) On Saturday rumours were going around that England’s Euro Championships match against Ukraine was going to be called off because a Ukrainian player had Covid symptoms. It was their left back Tickli Chesticov.
Hope those (the second is completely true) are not considered offensive, racist or sexist – my apologies if they are