I went for a run on Monday – 13.7km (8.5 miles). The weather has changed and it was bordering on warm, although I suppose it is too early to start complaining about the heat.
Monday evening saw me miss the swim doctor class for the first time in 7 weeks – it was the cycle club AGM and I always help out by taking minutes and trying to ensure we follow the company’s rules.
The regular 8 hill reps on Tuesday morning were, rather depressingly, even harder than usual – one of those days when you wonder if the effort is worth it and whether you’re making any progress at all. Just over 9km and 289m of ascent (5.7 miles and 948 feet). Getting them done was good – but doing them was a real slog.
I felt better than expected on Wednesday but I think I should avoid running three days in a row so I constructed a third raised vegetable bed and started to remove a sizeable mound of soil and rubble at the end of the garden.
Having missed the lesson on Monday I knew I should keep the swimming going so I went in the evening. I didn’t try swimming any faster but wanted to know if a kilometre would be any easier than it was before the lessons – and I think it was. I’m nervous about trying to do it faster – it would be depressing if I couldn’t. The nasal spray is doing a good job on my sinus’ reaction to the chlorine.
Thursday was warm and bright so I fitted in the week’s long run of 22.2km (13.8 miles). First time this year wearing lycra running shorts and no compression top under the shirt. It was sufficiently warm that I ran two different loops so I could get a slurp of water half way round from the bottle I left outside the house – but I still lost over 1kg (just under 2.5lbs) during the run and caught a bit of sun.
Gym on Friday morning, going easy on the tired legs and concentrating on arms, shoulders and core – if I’m going to swim faster, I think I need to pull harder in the water.
Friday afternoon we drove up to London and had a very good Turkish meal in the evening near the flat. On Saturday we ran across Hammersmith Bridge, down the Thames Path, over Putney Bridge and back. In all 10.3km (6.4 miles) in lovely weather with the added bonus of the Head of the River race on the Thames – the best part of 300 eights racing on the Boat Race course.
Later we went to Kew Gardens to initiate the membership my wife bought me for Christmas – it was glorious apart from the tube line we needed to use being shut for maintenance work which led to a slow and painful journey and another 8km (5 miles) walking by the time we’d been to a very good gastro pub in the evening.
Mother’s Day on Sunday so our sons entertained us at a brasserie in Putney – great to see them, as always. Then back to Oxfordshire for a rest. Another week with no turbo trainer session. Big sportive coming very soon and I still haven’t been out on the bike this year – big mistake, I fear.
Just over 55km of running this week – and (say it quietly) still feeling pretty good.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito
2. BBC News website: Crops grown in the Chernobyl exclusion zone used to produce alcohol to benefit Ukrainian refugees
Originally, the aim was to show that slightly radioactive fruit, grown in orchards in or near the contaminated exclusion zone that surrounds Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant, could be distilled into a spirit that was no more radioactive than any other. Profits were channelled into communities that live in deprived areas close to the zone.
Now, as Russian troops occupy the land where that fruit is grown and harvested, this unusual company is making a defiant marketing move by releasing two more “premium drinks” and donating profits to help Ukraine’s refugees.
3. BBC News website: Spotify paid $7bn to music industry rights holders last year, accounting for almost 25% of the industry’s total revenues
The streaming giant said 52,600 artists earned more than $10,000 (£7,500) from Spotify in 2021. Of those, 130 were paid more than $5m (£3.8m) over the last 12 months.
4. BBC News website: Hospital capacity to be assessed before racing at this year’s TT races can go ahead
Due to the creation of a dedicated Covid ward, the number of beds available for orthopaedic trauma patients has been reduced. Two wards were usually kept free for dealing with trauma patients capacity was reduced from 31 beds to just 16.
All elective orthopaedic surgery would also be cancelled during the period as was the case in previous years, he added.
The TT races are in June – really exciting to watch but so, so dangerous that even the hospital has to make special preparations
5. BBC News website: More must be done to recover unpaid taxes due to Covid
The Public Accounts Committee said the total UK tax debt was £39bn – more than double the amount at the start of 2020. It said HM Revenue and Customs must pursue businesses and individuals who were choosing not to pay their taxes while supporting those still struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
After the UK first entered lockdown, HMRC paused most debt collection activity. The move, along with the wider economic impact of the pandemic, saw the number of taxpayers in debt rise from about 3.8 million in January 2020 to 6.2 million in September 2021.
6. BBC News website: Some Mazda drivers in Washington State unable to retune from National Public Radio network
Owners of 2014-17 Mazdas, in the Puget Sound area, contacted KUOW to report their infotainment systems were permanently locked in to the network. Missing file extensions in album images sent with its digital-radio broadcast reportedly triggered the glitch.
The fix, according to Mazda, requires the replacement of the $1,500 connectivity master unit but Mazda said customers could apply for a free “goodwill” replacement.
That’s big of Mazda