I was in London overnight on Sunday which meant the pleasure of a Monday morning run over Hammersmith Bridge, down to Putney Bridge and back up the Thames Path – 10.4km (6.5miles) @5:35/km.
The trip to London on Sunday had been rather less pleasurable. I drove to a main line station just before all trains got cancelled because of a problem on the line. Eventually a train took us one stop in the other direction to use the line to another London terminus. Then came the news that the next train to London would be going via the original (newly cleared) line. An hour and a half after I first arrived at it, I passed through the original station on a slow train to London.
Back to Oxfordshire later on Monday (without any travel dramas) and back onto the turbo on Tuesday – 45 minutes @30kph (18.6mph).
All of that was completely overshadowed by the news that our older son had been diagnosed with Covid, having felt a bit rough on Monday. He’s double jabbed so we’d guess it’s the highly transmissible Omicron variant which has little respect for the first two jabs – it looks like the next wave of infections will be something of a tsunami. We hope that the other part of its reputation is true and it is less severe in its effects. We have our fingers firmly crossed that a family Christmas is going to happen.
We ran hill reps on Wednesday morning. A bit short of time so I did 8 of the usual hill – 8.6km and 263m of ascent (5.3 miles and 863 feet) and just managed to make the last rep the fastest (or, more accurately, least slow).
On Thursday morning I got a ‘ping’ from the Corona virus app to tell me that, on Monday, I’d been in close proximity to someone who had since tested positive. That was probably either travelling in, or back from, London. I felt fine so was not too worried – but I did a lateral flow test which was negative.
Less happily, France tightened its rules on UK visitors (they are also experiencing very high infection rates, but fewer Omicron cases) so that’s our skiing holiday in January out of the window. It’s feeling a little bleak – successive daily infections records, news that a niece also just tested positive and a drinks party for Friday has been cancelled (a good call by the hosts; we were a bit nervous but planned to go and stay out in the garden).
Getting on the turbo on Thursday felt as pointless as ever – that didn’t stop me doing it but did stop me doing it very well – 45 minutes @29kph (18mph).
Gym on Friday. Recently I’ve increased to 4 sets of 10 reps on each machine but now I’ve upped the weights and cut to 3 sets of 10. I have no idea whether that’s a good idea or not. Then the usual stint in the bike shop.
Although the week’s 5 exercise sessions accounted for just under 4h 30m, I took Saturday off and had the pleasure of doing tax returns. Later we drove to London to make the trip to Sunday lunch with one of my brothers-in-law easier. That meant a run on Sunday morning – in a neat symmetry, I did the same run as Monday morning, 10.4km (6.5miles) but a whole 18 seconds faster! I may not be good, but I’m consistent.
Although we should have been 12 and turned out to be only 8 (all Covid tested specially for the occasion), we had an excellent lunch. In all, a really good week – and our older son is feeling good after a couple of slightly rough days. Roll on us all being able to get together for Christmas.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: The earth is a beehive, we all enter by the same door
2. BBC News website: Sleeping bag to solve astronauts’ squashed eyeball disorder
Some astronauts experience vision problems because, over time, in zero-gravity fluids float into the head and squash the eyeball. It’s regarded as one of the riskiest medical problems affecting astronauts, and could compromise missions to Mars.
Scientists have now developed a hi-tech sleeping bag that could prevent the problem. It sucks fluid out of the head and towards the feet, countering the pressure build-up.
Odd, I wouldn’t have guessed that squashed eyeballs was one of the big risks of space travel
3. BBC News website: Peloton’s ability to resurrect the dead
Fitness equipment maker Peloton was, no doubt, delighted to feature in the new Sex and the City series but the firm’s shares slumped after a key character died while using one of the company’s exercise bikes.
The company approved the show’s use of its bikes but said it was not told that the character Mr Big would die after the workout. Peloton has now released an advert that brings the character back to life.
4. BBC News website: UK Sports Personality 2021
The shortlist of six has been announced for this award, which is the subject of a public vote. Yet again, I failed to make the final 6 (indeed, I doubt I made the long list of 25 million).
They are diver Tom Daley, boxer Tyson Fury, swimmer Adam Peaty, tennis player Emma Raducanu, footballer Raheem Sterling and Paralympic cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.
All very worthy, no doubt, but if you like sporting facts that are almost beyond belief, in the 100m breaststroke, Adam Peaty has recorded all of the 16 fastest times in history.
5. The Daily Telegraph: No laughing matter in N Korea
North Koreans have been banned from showing joy for 11 days to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il. It is reported that the police are looking out for those who do not look upset and so harm the mood of collective mourning.