Swim, run x3, gym, turbo (plus false teeth and Barry Manilow)

Happy days when there was sun coming into the gym – it was ‘see your breath’ cold this week

Monday saw my ‘swim doctor’ session. The pool turned out to be exclusively for those signing up for the lesson – just 7 of us – thus addressing my usual ‘too many people’ gripe.

There were a variety of drills – not really my sort of thing but doing them was a good discipline. I swam for about 750m but it was much tougher than 750m of ‘ordinary’ swimming and it was also hard having not swum since November. I still don’t love swimming but it has to be done with two open water triathlons signed up for this year.

It leaves me both discouraged and encouraged. There doesn’t seem to be a ‘silver bullet’ that will turn me into a much better swimmer – but nor I was consigned to the ‘no-hopers’ category. At one point the instructor said I swam well – I suspect she was being more kind than honest.

Perhaps the hardest thing is that doing drills to work on my (many) faults confirmed that I am unable to concentrate on anything new without forgetting everything else. This swimming lark is very complicated (and although the instructor was very pleasant, I don’t think she really is a doctor).

On Tuesday, my running partner and I started our weekly Ridgeway run above Wantage and headed east to where it passes under the A34 near West Ilsley in the neighbouring county of Berkshire, and back. We ran 17.4km (10.8 miles) at 6.16/km. Much harder than last week – further, hillier and the run back was into an even stronger headwind.

Over the last few weeks we’ve run a third of the whole 100km route (in fact we’ve run that third twice as all the runs have been out and back). It’s been really good but it is a bit daunting in the way it underlines the length of the ultra.

I had planned a turbo session on Wednesday but thought better of it after the tough trail run on Tuesday and my intention to do hill reps on Thursday.

I’m glad I did take Wednesday off as the 8 hill reps on a cold but dry Thursday – which logged 8.9km with 292m of ascent (5.5 miles and 960 feet) – were done on very tired legs. Despite that, I decided to see if I could do the session in less than an hour (recently it’s been stubbornly about 1:03). I did manage to break the hour – by just 18 seconds.

It was back to being ‘see your breath’ cold in the gym on Friday morning. A tough session, possibly because it followed a day with hill reps rather than the usual more gentle run? At least there is a heater in the bike shop where I did my usual stint.

On Saturday I was on the turbo, watching the first half of the Six Nations Rugby Match – France v Ireland. At 10-7 inside the first 9 minutes I was regretting my ‘random jeopardy’ approach of doing 15 revs sprint per point scored. Happily, they sorted out their defences and it was 19-7 at half time – but by then the damage had been done (to me). In all, 45 minutes @ 29.5kph (18.3mph).

Sunday morning was wet, cold and windy but I thought I’d found a gap in the rain and went for a run. The gap lasted nearly two minutes and then the rain resumed heavier than before. Still, the rule is that if you start a run it has to be finished and, setting out with low expectations, I surprised myself with 10.35km (6.4 miles) in 59 minutes.

I’ve lit the log burner for my wife’s eventual return from meeting up with her brothers yesterday, then it will be watching the rugby this afternoon as it continues to rain heavily. Nothing even resembling exercise, beyond a short walk up the village for what I know will be a great evening out with friends.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole

2. BBC News website: Original ending of Fight Club reinstated in China

As mentioned here, the original ending to the 1999 film Fight Club had been changed by a Chinese streaming service to show a message on screen saying the authorities won and saved the day.

The change ignited intense debate about cinematic censorship in China.

I’m too modest to claim that the news appearing in my blog made all the difference …

3. BBC News website: Lifelong fans gutted as soap faces uncertain future

The UK’s Channel 5 is dropping Australian soap ‘Neighbours” (first broadcast in 1985). The UK station has been the main place anyone in the world has watched Neighbours for several years – and that includes Australia.

One fan said he got hooked on Neighbours about a year ago because it was “very digestible”.

Ah, one of those one-year ‘lifelong fans’. I think dropping it might be good news as he can get out more

4. BBC News website: Tourist reunited with false teeth lost in Spain 11 years ago

A holidaymaker lost his false teeth 11 years ago while vomiting into a bin on a boozy night out in Benidorm. He rummaged around in vain for his dentures in the bin.

His dentures were found in a landfill and Spanish authorities used DNA records to track him down and the teeth have now been returned to his home in Manchester.

Classy .. but why would the authorities go to so much trouble, especially after 11 years?

5. BBC News website: Secret weapon against protesters – Barry Manilow

Authorities in New Zealand have been playing songs by the US singer on a 15-minute loop, along with the Spanish dance tune ‘Macarena’, in an attempt to dislodge protesters camped outside the parliament building.

Tactics used by the authorities to try and get rid of the protesters involved turning on the water sprinklers on the lawn where they were camped on Friday but they retaliated by digging trenches and building makeshift drainpipes to re-route the water.

5 thoughts on “Swim, run x3, gym, turbo (plus false teeth and Barry Manilow)

    1. The Omil Post author

      I certainly prefer open water swimming – but not at current temperatures. I suppose learning in the pool is easier, but I do miss the buoyancy of the wetsuit.



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