My back had improved further by Monday morning so I went to the gym, but kept to the machines. I gave the Swim Doctor session a miss for once. to go to a meeting at the village hall.
The meeting was about a project to look at a ground-source heating system for the whole village. I’m all in favour if it’s greener (and cheaper) but although the village has a real mix of houses, there are others like ours that is large, very old and built without cavity walls or any thought of energy efficiency. How these schemes work with a lot of energy-inefficient properties is not very clear.
For us, there is the added difficulty that we are ‘listed’ which means we are limited in what we can do to the property because of its age/architectural interest. It all looks quite problematic but what is obvious is that we should all be doing what we can sensibly to insulate and reduce our demand for power.
Hill reps on Tuesday – I managed the usual 8 reps and they were (a little) better and faster than the last two sessions. This time it measured 8.3km and 266 metres of ascent (5.1 miles and 873 feet). Exactly the same run was a kilometre longer last week!
I don’t obsess about my weight but I’m certainly over my cycling-up-mountains weight of under 67kg. I decided that a bit lighter would be a bit better for the 10km race on Sunday so I resigned myself to restraint for a day or two. I got on the turbo in the evening – 45 minutes for just over 22km @ 29.4kph (14 miles @ !8.3mph). It was a bit easier than last time, once I put some more air in the rear tyre.
Down to Bournemouth on Thursday to mow and check the troublesome electrics that had misbehaved last time we were there. All was well. Our older son had asked if he and his girlfriend could come back for the weekend, having just endured a stressful few days over some works to their house (happily resolved, but stressful nonetheless) and they arrived on Thursday evening.
That’s any chance of weight-loss gone, as my wife slips into cooking-overdrive.
On Friday morning I ran to, and back from, the gym with my training partner and did a weights session in between. Autumn is coming and there was a distinct nip in the air first thing. Only about 5.6km (3.5 miles) in total but quicker than usual. The normal stint in the bike shop after that.
No exercise on Saturday, just a lot of ferrying our younger son about from the station and to and from the wedding and evening reception. I could have done with the last taxi trip being before midnight – but at least it saved me from an evening with a bottle of red wine.
Sunday’s 10k race
Sunday morning (at a civilised 11am) saw the local 10km race I entered with my training partner and his wife – also joined by both our sons and our older son’s girlfriend. It’s a small village event but sees about 150 entrants, and I’m sure 80% of runners were wearing club vests. Last year, the winner – an under 18 – clocked 33.22 and it would have required 52 minutes to get in the top half of finishers. It’s not even a fast course!
The village sits a bit above the Thames so the race starts with a decent drop (on a rough stony track) to a section through fields and along the river itself, before turning back towards the village (with a sizeable hill) and a a narrow bridleway before the finish. It’s all off road and although it was dry, a lot of the paths were cracked and a fair bit of care was needed.
For me, it was going to be less of a ‘race’ and more of a ‘run’, I had no real target in mind but 56 minutes was the dream. I found it difficult not to push fairly hard in the ‘race’ environment so it didn’t end up as a gentle jog.
Although my Garmin registered a bit under the 10k, my son’s device showed it at just about the right distance and my personal timing gave me a time of 52 minutes 58 seconds, which was well beyond my highest hopes on what is billed as ‘not a course for personal bests’.
Our older son broke 50 minutes and younger son was just behind me. Great times all round including our friends and older son’s girlfriend.
An excellent event, well organised, friendly and with a lovely route (despite the treacherous ground underfoot in places). My only gripe is that the age categories for the results were too wide – veterans were in one group which included everyone over 44 years of age!
A fine weekend with all the family around, a run with our sons and a decent time, I loved it.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: He who refuses to obey cannot command
2. BBC News website: Music festival goes ahead but orgies are banned
Revellers have begun to arrive at Itanda Falls on the banks of the River Nile for the Nyege Nyege music festival. Uganda’s parliament had issued a directive that it should be cancelled over alleged immorality.
However, the festival will bring in much-needed revenue following the Covid-19 lockdown and promotes the country’s profile as a tourism hub so festival organisers have been issued with a number of guidelines to follow, including that minors are barred from the venue, sex orgies and nudity are prohibited as well as vulgar language, songs, expressions and gestures.
I’m not a festival goer, but does that undermine the whole idea of festivals?
3. BBC News website: BBC News website: The cost of traditional Chinese medicine?
Nigeria’s customs service has intercepted 7,000 donkey penises at an airport, that were headed to Hong Kong. The animal parts were packed in 16 sacks found in the animal export section.
The consignment is estimated to be worth 200 million Naira ($478,000; £416,000). Donkey parts are sought after in China where they are used to make traditional medicine but Nigerian law forbids such exports.
4. BBC News website: First instalment of invasion reparations paid
In a rare case of accountability for violations of international law, Uganda has handed over $65m (£55m) as the first instalment of a fine it was ordered to pay the Democratic Republic of Congo for invading the east of the country two decades ago.
In February, the International Court of Justice ( ICJ) ordered Uganda to pay $325m as reparations, made up as: $225m for damages to persons; $40m for damages to property; and $60m for the looted resources.
5. BBC News website: Sale of iPhones banned if a power adapter is not included
Brazilian consumer agency Senacon said Apple’s decision not to include power adapters with new iPhones discriminates against consumers by selling an “incomplete product” and Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security said it has fined Apple 12.275 million reais (£2.04m).
Apple stopped including power adapters and headphones in iPhone boxes with the launch of iPhone 12 in 2020 saying that the move would help reduce Apple’s carbon footprint, by making packaging smaller.
Apple said it will appeal against the ban.
… and there I was thinking that no adapter or headphones was just cost saving