Turbo, swim, Bournemouth, ride, walk, swim, ride, walk, ride

Bournemouth seafront with Hengistbury Head to to the left and the Isle of Wight in the distance

Working in the garden on Monday, repairing a wall and making a gate for a path that goes nowhere – apparently, it’s all about ‘the look’. 30 minutes of turbo reality later @30.9kph (19.2mph).

More domestic bliss on Tuesday, finishing both the wall and the gate and then off to the pool in the evening. I still don’t love the swimming but it needs to be done if the triathlon next month is going to begin without a complete disaster.

One good thing about the swimming is that it seems to be putting a little muscle on my puny runner/cyclist chest, arms and shoulders. I swam 1250m and then started sneezing before I reached the car park.

Still slow – but I did notice the benefit of the ‘drafting’ effect of swimming behind someone (before he swam away into the distance). With the buoyancy of the wetsuit, if I could latch on and follow a slow swimmer, it might just work.

On Wednesday we got ready to go down to Bournemouth for a long weekend with two couples who are very good friends. We drove down on Thursday morning fora bit more mowing and housework in preparation, and they all joined us later in the day.

Even though we have managed to have frequent evenings together, Covid has meant that we hadn’t done our usual group weekends in Bournemouth or the lake district for a couple of years, so it was great to resume a very fine social tradition.

On Friday all 6 of us cycled to Brockenhurst in the New Forest and had a really good 5 mile (8km) walk around the town and its surrounding area – lots of New Forest ponies on the loose and we found a very good site for a picnic. A round trip of just over 31 miles (50km) on the bikes.

I’m always nervous setting routes to places I don’t know because I feel responsible for everyone’s enjoyment of the ride. As it was, although I’d used the ‘avoid highways’ option the route finder, eventually, it had us on a slightly busier road than we’d want on the way there. We found a quieter alternative and came back by one of the national cycle routes which used a lot of defunct railway line paths – why would the route finder not know about those?

On Saturday we cycled across to the other side of Bournemouth to Compton Acres – 10 acres of really lovely gardens set in a valley heading down towards Poole Harbour. It was a bit of a punt on my part as I’d not been before but it was very good indeed, even though we had to cycle back along the roads rather than the promenade as that bans cycles between 10am and 6pm in July and August. Nearly 28km (17 miles).

Getting back reasonably early, we all went down to the beach for a (non-wetsuit) swim afterwards. It was cold with some moderate waves so not exactly triathlon training but good fun nevertheless and more acclimatisation to the SOW (scary open water). It reinforced my view that an open water triathlon swim in a lake is certainly plenty enough for me at the moment.

Sunday was one of our friend’s birthdays so we walked out along Hengistbury Head and had a picnic on the beach. When we got back, virtuously, David prepared a route and I rode it with him (about 25km – about 15.5 miles). Much more virtuously, Ian (who is the friend with whom I will be doing the triathlon) went back to the beach and swam, putting me to shame.

Everyone went off on Monday morning and we followed fairly close behind. Not a big week for training but a really excellent weekend with lovely, intelligent and interesting friends who are a delight to have as house guests.

The Fantasy Football competition started again on Friday, with the resumption of the Premier League. It’s very difficult in the first few weeks as teams settle down after so many players have been involved in international tournaments during the summer. Oh, the pressure.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: Being happy is better than being king

2. BBC News website: Postcard from Chile arrives in UK after 30 years

A postcard sent from South America has been delivered to its intended recipient 30 years after being posted.

Neil Crocker sent the card from Chile in 1991 when he was serving with the Royal Navy, returning from the Falkland Islands, on board HMS Cumberland. He said he “vaguely” remembered writing and sending the card which commented that the “weather and beaches are lovely”.

Cutting edge news like that is worth waiting for

3. BBC News website: Germany fears thousands got saline, not vaccine from nurse

Authorities in north Germany have asked more than 8,000 people to get repeat Covid vaccinations because a nurse is suspected of having injected saline instead of vaccine in many cases.

In April the nurse had admitted giving saline to six people to cover up the fact that she had dropped a vaccine vial on the floor but as the police investigation has suggested that many more people had been given saline instead of the vaccine.

4. BBC News website: Tusk reveals woolly mammoth’s massive lifetime mileage

Mammoth tusks were a bit like tree rings, insomuch that they recorded information about the animal’s life history and some chemical elements incorporated into the tusks while the animal was alive can serve as pins on a map, broadly showing where the animal went.

By combining these two things, researchers worked out that a male mammoth that lived 17,000 years ago in Alaska had covered 70,000km of Alaskan landscape during its 28 years on the planet. For comparison, the circumference of the Earth is 40,000km.

5 thoughts on “Turbo, swim, Bournemouth, ride, walk, swim, ride, walk, ride

  1. unironedman

    Just on drafting (and I don’t wish to add to your anxiety in any way) but if I was you, I’d ditch the draft idea in favour of getting clear open water in front of you. In order to draft well, you need to be confident of your pace and ability to keep up with the geezer in front, and then be sure you won’t get kicked in the face if you’ve underestimated their ability. Think bike, which is more your thing: would you ride on the back wheel of a total stranger at 30kmph?

    The beauty of picking a relatively clear ‘lane’ in front of you for open water swimming is that you can stop whenever you fancy, for a breather, and if you do get a decent stroke going, you are less concerned about ploughing into the swimmer in front (when they also stop for a breather). A little breaststroke to get your bearings is no harm. Just don’t try backstroke, which is generally banned from triathlon!

    In other news, go mammoths!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Undoubtedly you are right – my hope was that I could find another slow swimmer – who would (obviously) still be faster than me – and draft for as long as possible. In any event, I fear it won’t be too long before I have clear water in front of me as the pack pulls, inexorably, away. What I need is an arrowhead bodyguard formation in front, a la Kipchoge in the sub 2 hour marathon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. unironedman

        Ah, wouldn’t that be great! But I’m guessing this is your first triathlon, so actually the most important thing to do is enjoy the day. You’ll find there’s lots of folk in the same boat (albeit NOT in an actual boat…) and it’s actually good to let the serious players plough on ahead in the water and then whizz around on their super-duper carbon frame bikes, decked out with tri-bars and alien helmets. Let ’em at it. Enjoy the moment. It will fly by. Set your own pace. I absolutely guarantee that you will not be last home, and in any case, so what? I’ll be mildly surprised if you don’t sign up for another one within the week…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Omil Post author

        Thank you very much for the wisdom. I say much the same to friends entering their first marathons – it’s so much easier to give good advice than it is to take it!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. unironedman

        I’m not sure if much of what I say counts as wisdom, but you are more than welcome to take whatever you can from it. My best piece of advice ever is to first-time parents just before the baby is born. I strongly suggest that whatever anybody says to them; ignore it!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s