After driving back to Oxfordshire we spent much of the rest of Tuesday catching up in general and doing washing. It was chilly and rained heavily – autumn might be here.
One of the chores was to swap over the bike’s carbon deep profile wheels for a slightly more modest pair which will be better suited to the coming weather. I should have done it before going up to the Lakes – the ride on Saturday reminded me that carbon rims (rightly) have a poor reputation for braking in the wet.
From comments, discussions and research, it seems that post challenge slump is ‘a thing’ and is fairly common. The ways to address it are extremely varied and appear to include:
- the cerebral (book assisted analysis as to why we run and how to bring back the fun)
- the visceral (sitting yourself down and giving yourself a good talking to)
- the masochistic (sign up for another challenge).
I was lucky that last week’s trip to the Lakes was part of a biannual (Covid aside) series of trips with the group of three couples to the Lakes and either Bournemouth or the Alps – the main purpose of which (other than spending time with really nice people) is cycling and walking in the hills and mountains.
That meant the exercise required no real thought on my part, but I think my approach to the slump will now be to try to make the exercise slightly shorter and/or ‘useful’.
I took a car in for a service and MOT on Wednesday, driving carefully as we are in the midst of a fuel shortage. The fuel is available at the depots but it isn’t reaching the pumps as there are insufficient HGV drivers, partly through Covid and partly the loss of drivers who were EU nationals, due to Brexit.
Still not having rediscovered my exercise mojo, I got back on the turbo for a lacklustre 45 minutes @ 27kph (16.7mph) in the afternoon before cycling in to collect the car – useful exercise!
I managed to get some fuel – oh, the joy of a full tank (actually, a bit short of a half full tank as they were limiting it to £30 per customer).
Another car needed its MOT and a service on Thursday so I decided to run back (more useful exercise) – about 5.9km (3.6 miles) in 33 minutes. I’ll say it quietly – but I quite enjoyed the run.
Friday was the usual gym session first thing (but a few minutes shorter than normal) followed by my weekly stint at the charity bike shop. I decided to run on Saturday and was even looking forward to it – but it was chilly (below 10℃ – 50℉) and was raining solidly. I realised I wasn’t looking forward to the run that much, so I used the turbo instead (a ridiculously hard 45 minutes @26.7kph – 16.6mph).
Friends over for Sunday lunch finishes another week – one that also marked the end of the domestic cricket season, which is always a slightly sad occasion.
To celebrate cricket generally, I thought I’d share one of my favourite bits of commentary from the 1966 Lord’s Test between England v W Indies. A very fast Wes Hall delivery, the penultimate ball of the over, struck batsman Basil d’Oliviera an awful blow in ‘the groin’. He collapsed at the crease and, as play was eventually about to resume, the commentator came up with, “Yes, d’Oliviera ready to face Hall…. one ball remaining”.
In confirmation of my general lunacy, in addition to the sprint triathlon in May, I have now signed up for the ‘Race to the Stones’ 100km trail ultra marathon for next July. I did the 50km second day of the race this year so 100km is only double that … how hard can it be (a rhetorical question only).
Great respect to everyone running in today’s London Marathon – what a great event … and yes, I’ve just entered the ballot for a place next year.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Restless feet might walk you into a snake pit
2. BBC News website: ‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself
Beyhan Mutlu had been drinking with friends on Tuesday when he wandered into a forest in Bursa province (Turkey). When he failed to return, his wife and friends alerted local authorities and a search party was sent out.
Mr Mutlu stumbled across the search party and decided to join them, but when members of the search party began calling out his name, he replied: “I am here.”
He was taken aside by one of the rescue workers to give a statement. “Don’t punish me too harshly, officer. My father will kill me,” he reportedly told them.
3. BBC News website: GB number plate sticker no longer valid abroad
British motorists driving outside the UK must now remove old-style GB stickers or cover them up. Instead they should display a UK sticker or have the UK identifier on their number plate.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Changing the national identifier from GB to UK symbolises our unity as a nation and is part of a wider move towards using the UK signifier across government.”
Getting to the heart of the really important issues of the day
4. BBC News website: Mortar tanker tailed by drivers looking for petrol
A tanker driver was tailed by about 20 drivers who were dismayed to discover he was not transporting petrol.
He was transporting 44 tonnes of mortar to a building site in Northamptonshire and when he reached his destination, he saw a line of traffic backed up behind him.
The tanker driver said “The man at the front wound down his window and asked me which petrol station I was going to,” he actually said “You could have stopped and told us you weren’t a petrol tanker”.
5. BBC News website: Nazi Stutthof camp secretary flees as German trial starts
96 year old Irmgard Furchner, was due to stand trial in northern Germany on Thursday for complicity in 11,000 murders. She had worked as a typist in the office of the Stutthof concentration camp commandant and was said to have known key details of what went on at the camp. During a 1954 trial she revealed how the commandant had dictated messages to her but claimed she knew nothing of the Nazi murders at the camp.
However, just before the trial she disappeared after taking a taxi from her nursing home and then, it is thought, taking an underground train to a station on the outskirts of Hamburg.
In no way belittling the gravity of the charges or the horror of the camps, the idea of a 96 year old ‘on the run’ is bizarre. She was later caught in Hamburg.
6. BBC News website: Bone marrow recipient runs marathon with life-saving donor
Vicky Lawrence was born in 2000 – the year Elliott Brock signed up as a bone marrow donor. In 2008, Vicky’s parents became concerned when their usually very active eight-year-old began to feel tired all the time.
When she was eventually diagnosed with aplastic anaemia – doctors told them that if she had not been brought in she would have died within a month. Elliott donated the bone marrow that kept Vicky alive and on Sunday the pair will run the London marathon to raise money for Anthony Nolan, the charity that brought them together.
Something good among the doom and gloom