My legs and back were in reasonable shape on Monday after seven exercise sessions last week, but I gave everything a bit more of a rest by getting on the turbo later in the day – 45 minutes @ 27.7kph (17.2mph).
I was thinking about my run in London last Saturday which (although not fast) was faster than anything I’ve done recently and I have a bit of a theory.
I don’t know if this is typical but when running alone I seem to have two natural speeds. One is my ‘standard’ speed – the speed I fall into without really thinking about it (it happens to be about 6 minutes/km). The other is my ‘feeling sorry for myself’ slog which is about 30 seconds per km slower and cuts in if I’m not feeling the love for running, if I’m tired, or if I’m doing a much longer distance than normal.
There is a third speed but it’s less natural than the other two – it needs a positive decision to go for it and push harder, and that’s what I did on Saturday. It also seems that I need to try to run at the faster pace from the start – if I begin at my more normal pace my mind seems more than happy to accept that I’m running as fast as I can and resists any thought of speeding up.
It would be great to take 15 seconds/km off each speed. I don’t have any clear Idea as to how to do it but I anticipate that it will involve a good deal of discomfort.
On Tuesday I did the same hill rep session as last week – 8 reps and, in all, a run of 8.5km with a total of 263m of height gain. I don’t think that speed is an important factor with the hills but it was a little faster (1 hour compared to last week’s 1:03).
I decided to clear some gutters on Wednesday but, as is so often the case, one job led to another when I discovered a wasps’ nest under the roof tiles. I’ve dealt with that – but at the personal cost of two or three stings to my neck as a wasp got caught in my fleece. Not the most grievous of injuries but one I could have done without.
Realising that I was not keeping up with my aim of a weekly swim, I got to the pool in the evening. I always aim to swim at least 1,000m but that usually means that I only swim 1,000m. I had an entire lane to myself for the whole swim and, in spite of my puncture wounds, I remained watertight and managed to push on to 1,500m.
I sat in a long digital queue on Thursday but still failed to secure Adele tickets for my wife. That’s another hour of my life I won’t get back. I then cleared the remaining gutters – a heaped wheelbarrow full of leaves and moss. I felt pretty good and would have liked to have done some sort of exercise – but after 10 straight days with some activity I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and took a rest day.
Gym and bike shop, as ever, on Friday morning. I felt very heavy legged on Saturday so was perfectly happy that the morning run was thwarted by rain. My legs didn’t improve but the weather did, so I ran in the afternoon – 7.2km (4.5 miles).
Much of the rest of the day was spent preparing for some friends coming for supper and proof-reading our younger son’s first post-grad course essay. I don’t mind proof-reading for him – especially as my lack of knowledge of the subject removes any temptation to offer criticism on the content.
Sunday was exceptionally wet early on so running was off the agenda – but that was a good thing after an excellent supper on Saturday. The week will finish with what is certain to be a delightful evening with friends for the first Schitt’s Creek episode.
Five exercise sessions in the week was probably better judged than last week’s 7 and getting back in the pool was a plus in terms of trying to keep the swimming going over the winter. I do feel that I’m creaking a bit and wonder if that’s the effect of the hour of hill reps – it’s a hard session.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets hurt
2. BBC News website: Migrating birds spending longer in Europe
A study by Durham University found a number of trans-Saharan migratory birds are spending up to 60 days longer in Europe, possibly due to climate change. The changes could lead to longer breeding seasons for these species, as well as knock-on effects on others, both here in the UK and in the traditional winter migration destinations.
There could be increased competition for food in Europe during winter and autumn, while the loss of the birds in Africa would have “ecosystem implications” around insect consumption, seed dispersal and pollination.
3. BBC News website: Spanish court grants joint custody of dog
A judge in Spain has granted joint custody of a dog to a separated couple who went to court to determine who the pet (called Panda) should live with.
The Madrid court considered that both parties were “jointly responsible” and “co-caretakers” of Panda the dog. One of the lawyers involved said it was a “pioneering ruling” because her client was able to declare herself not as a “co-owner” of Panda but as “co-responsible” and as a “co-carer”.
4. BBC News website: Start-up launches £495,000 hoverbike in Japan
A Japanese start-up is hoping to convince motorists to swap their cars for a $680,000 (£495,000) hoverbike which is available for pre-order now.
It is claimed that the hoverbike can fly for 40 minutes at up to 100km/h (62mph) on a single charge and the company aims to have manufactured 200 single-rider 300kg (47-stone) hoverbikes by mid-2022. Each is equipped with a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors.
To me, it looks rather like a jet ski sitting on a giant drone
5. BBC News website: Facebook’s new name ridiculed by Hebrew speakers
Facebook’s announcement that it is changing its name to ‘Meta’ has caused a stir in Israel where the word sounds like the Hebrew word for “dead”.
Other translation issues have included:
- When KFC arrived in China during the 80s, its motto “finger lickin’ good” was “eat your fingers off” in Mandarin.
- Rolls-Royce changed the name of its Silver Mist car to Silver Shadow as mist can translate as “excrement” in German.
- Nokia released its Lumia phone in 2011, but in Spanish dialects with heavy gypsy influence, Lumia is a synonym for a prostitute.