Turbo, run, walk, ride, walk, walk – head for the hills!

Rydal Water – probably my favourite in the Lake District

I don’t know if it’s widespread but I tend to suffer a bit with ‘post-challenge-slump’ syndrome. Generally it’s a reluctance to get out and exercise – and finding it less enjoyable when I do.

Following a significant physical challenge – like the cycle everesting or the ultra marathon – it’s easy to understand that could have a lot to do with general tiredness and the need to rest muscles. After those challenges and the ride of 550 miles out to the alps there was also an element of ‘what’s the point of a 40 mile ride or a 5k run?’.

But that doesn’t explain why I felt rather flat last week after the Blenheim triathlon. Since the triathlon was only 1hour 37 minutes of activity, and I didn’t feel any stiffness, and there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary in the distances, I guess there must be more to it than just the physical side.

Like most things to do with the mind, I guess it’s a complex issue. For me, I think there is the fact that a challenge takes up a lot of hours a day either consciously or sub-consciously mulling it over and mentally rehearsing – the absence of that must be quite significant. That slightly single-minded focus on the challenge with everything building up to the day itself must create a bit of a vacuum once the event has passed.

It’s noticeable that as soon as a challenge is finished, I start thinking about the next ones. What was interesting last week was that the exercise I found myself enjoying most was the trip to the lake for a swim – that’s the exercise that continues to provide the biggest challenge.

Having retired, I sometimes wonder if I have replaced the stretch and achievement of work with sporting challenges as a means of feeling fulfilled and ‘validated’ … oh, that’s getting a bit deep for me …

Anyway, I have some likely, significant, challenges for next year, in particular the 100km ultra and the olympic distance triathlon, so even though they are some way off I can start to think about them.

I went to the pool midday on Tuesday but it was really busy and it didn’t look like I’d get a decent swim in so I canned that and got on the turbo in the evening – 45 minutes at 29.1kph (18mph). I must try to stop slipping back into 30 minute turbo sessions. I ran with my wife of Wednesday morning – one of our usual loops for just over 7km (4.4miles).

On Thursday we drove the 4+ hours up to the Lake District for a long weekend with the friends we’d been in Bournemouth with last month. We’d all gathered there by Friday mid morning and had a short walk (just under 7km) up Black Crag later in the day.

On Saturday the three men took to the bikes and we had an excellent ride of a little under 80km (50 miles) with nearly 1300m (over 4200 feet) of climbing, heading south west from Ambleside. The trip included a circuit of Coniston Water where Donald Campbell set various speed records before sadly perishing while making another attempt in 1967. A fine ride in excellent company – but it was tough in extremely wet weather and on a relentlessly hilly route.

We all hiked on Sunday, intending to get to Red Screes but (surprise, surprise) the weather turned against us. Although there were times when it was too warm for jackets, eventually we had to turn back before we reached the intended destination as the wind got up, the rain set in and the visibility reduced.

We still walked over 13km (8 miles) climbing nearly 600 metres (almost 2000 feet) – and got completely drenched. Who would have imagined that anywhere called the Lake District could be prone to so much rain???

On Monday we walked for about 16km (10 miles) around Rydal Water and Grasmere in the usual 4 seasons of weather but in the evening we did a ‘meal deal’ at one of the two excellent vegetarian restaurants in Ambleside followed by a film. Although very much a meat eater, the restaurants are so good that I never notice the lack of meat and always enjoy the food.

Some of us chose to watch ‘The Alpinist’ which was terrific – I rarely recommend music, TV or films because everyone’s tastes are so different but the film was a rare delight.

We drove back on Tuesday – it was a great weekend with excellent company.

My one (very minor) regret was that we had taken swimming things (even wetsuits) in the hope that it might be possible to try a bit of wild swimming. It was always a long-shot and the weather and routes we took meant that it didn’t happen. We probably needed a walk to a lake where we could swim and then dry in the autumn sun but much of the time we were as wet at the side of the lake as we would have been in it.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together

2. BBC News website: Fashion house in backlash over ‘racist’ $1,190 sweatpants

High end fashion label Balenciaga is facing a backlash, after critics said that a $1,190 (£860) pair of sweatpants it sells rips off black culture.

The garment features a built-in pair of boxer shorts peeking out from the waistband, mimicking a style popularised by hip hop musicians. A TikTok post which called the pants racist was viewed 1.6m times and black culture experts have raised concerns.

I always thought that racism was about prejudice, oppression, discrimination, or antagonism based on racial differences or perceived superiority. While ‘cultural appropriation’ might be in poor taste and cause annoyance, is it racist?

3. Public Information (a repeat): How many lakes are there in the English Lake District?

Officially only one (Bassenthwaite Lake) as the other 15 are ‘Meres’ or ‘Waters’, (plus there are many other – generally smaller – bodies of water referred to as ‘tarns’).

4. BBC News website: Glastonbury Festival – Traces of drugs found in river at site

Environmentally damaging levels of MDMA and cocaine have been found in the river running through the Glastonbury Festival site. It is suspected that public urination on the site finds its way into the river. Festival goers are being urged to use the toilets provided.

Anyone reading this nonsense might recall last week’s reference to German scientists training cows to use a ‘Moo Loo.’ Perhaps festival going should be restricted to well trained cattle?

15 thoughts on “Turbo, run, walk, ride, walk, walk – head for the hills!

  1. adamc1969

    Interestingly, I have been feeling exactly the same, it has been such a struggle since my failure at RTTS. I have many excuses that I wheel out which end up stopping me running, and I’m trying to get clarity on what’s happening there! I’ve started reading ‘The Happy Runner’ by David and Megan Roche, which is leading me to think deeply about why I run. Quite useful….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Sorry to hear that, but I admire your thoughtful approach. I’m sure you’ll get it sorted and suspect that the solution does indeed lie in taking the pressure off and restoring the fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. unironedman

    I think you are right about the post-race blues. It’s the time it consumes pre-event. The distance is largely irrelevant. I suspect Usain Bolt’s pre-Olympic nerves were jangling, despite it being the small matter of 100 metres; an event you can complete without breathing. You are also not the first triathlete to discover the joys of swimming, so embrace it!

    Also, if you see me with my pants sticking out of my trousers, feel free to drown me at your earliest convenience. And that’s not racist. That’s just the decent thing to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. annecreates

    First of all, the African proverb is one of my favorite quotes about running. Second, I’ve pondered the post-event slump myself. Post-marathon blues are a thing for me. I think the spare time and the accomplishment of a goal makes us grieve that effort and goal seeking, in a way. This, of course, leads us to look for the next goal to chase!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Thank you. I’m reassured now I know I’m not alone in the slump – there must be different ways to address it but I think deciding on the next challenge is up there among the best.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. theleadlesspencil

    I’m not at your level of fitness but I totally understand this slump. I did the Scottish Half, nearly 3 weeks back and immediately after I laid plans to keep the long run going because I had that immediate post-run elation. I’ve barely done 2 short runs a week since then! I now remember why I had to book several races in a year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      It seems to be more common than I’d thought – which is a bit of a comfort in feeling that it’s not just me. I’ve managed a couple of ‘useful’ runs this week (actually using them to get somewhere rather than just running a circuit) and that.seems to have helped. I enjoyed your post on the Scottish Half (congratulations) – but don’t you just hate those headwinds (they always seem sneakier than ‘honest to goodness’ hills).

      Liked by 1 person


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