We stayed in Bournemouth on Sunday night and drove back on Monday after a walk along the promenade, in a weak sun and a strong wind.
I decided to get back on the horse (figuratively) and went to the swim doctor session on Monday night – my first swim for three weeks. It wasn’t so much that I’d missed it, more a feeling that if I left it much longer I would have found it even harder to get back to it.
I was a little apprehensive because of the continuing cough but I made the swim a pretty steady front crawl for 900m. Even that left me breathing really hard … but it always does so it probably doesn’t prove anything other than that I still don’t swim efficiently.
Considering how lightly I got away with my recent (first and, I hope, only) dose of Covid, and being at the lower end of the sensitivity scale, It’s odd how much I’m anticipating problems as I get back to exercise. Despite that, I ran one of my usual loops on Tuesday – 7.2km (4.45 miles) and, to my surprise, managed just outside 5:30/km – a bit faster than usual.
I can only assume that I’m lucky enough to have little or no Covid legacy, and that perhaps the two recent parkruns and the 10k race have changed my perception of how fast I can run. Perhaps I just don’t feel that I have to leave the house and immediately slip into my previous ‘default’ plod?
As a matter of absolutely no surprise whatsoever, I maintained my annual ritual of failing to get a ballot place for the London Marathon. Our older son was in the same boat but our younger son got a place so my belief that the ballot is pure myth can’t be true.
An hour in the gym on Wednesday morning went really well and I managed to fit in sit-ups, the plank routine and some stretching alongside the weights. I drove up to London on Thursday for lunch with some old work mates.
Full of beer, good food and good wine, I decided to walk most of the way back to the flat – about 5km (just over 3 miles) in uncomfortable shoes that gave me blisters and a sizeable bruise on my right foot. I stayed overnight and walked (with different shoes) another 3km (nearly 2 miles) to pick up the car on Friday morning. Then I drove to our older son’s to help with more work around the house and garden and to pick up a ladder, some wood and some rubbish for disposal.
My foot was still sore and bruised on Saturday so I opted out of a run and, for a couple of pleasant hours, joined a working party developing part of the churchyard into a ‘garden of contemplation’.
I made the most of the clocks going back an hour on Sunday morning – and had the extra time asleep. If anything, my foot was worse so that put paid to the intended run. Instead I spent a couple of hours helping to clear out the bike shop – we are having to move as the current premises are being redeveloped and our new ones won’t be available for a month so everything is going into storage.
With the foot not allowing a run, I tried it on the turbo in the afternoon. Fortunately, in cycle shoes, it was fine and I managed an hour for 26.8km (16.65 miles) – longer than I’ve done recently but hot work.
An odd week for exercise, only one run but enjoying the benefit of liking a lot of different types of exercise. With no events on the horizon, I’m sure the relative rest won’t do me any harm.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: To get lost is to learn the way
2. BBC News website: More on Amy Pieters
Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters has taken her first steps since suffering severe brain damage in a training crash in Alicante in December. The 31-year-old, three-time Madison world champion, only regained consciousness in April after being put in an induced coma following surgery.
She is recovering in an intensive neuro-rehabilitation centre. Her website said she could “walk for short moments when supported” but could not yet talk.
Fate can be very unfair, but where there’s life …
3. BBC News website: “The world’s dirtiest man” dies aged 94
Iranian, Amou Haji had refused to use soap and water for more than half a century, fearing it would make him sick. He had avoided previous attempts by villagers to get him clean.
According to local media, he finally succumbed to pressure and washed a few months ago but became ill shortly afterwards and died on Sunday.
4. BBC News website: Woman killed and swallowed whole by a python
The lady, said to be in her 50s, had made her way to work at a rubber plantation on Sunday morning but was reported missing after failing to return that night.
A day later villagers found a python – which was at least 5m (16ft) long – with what appeared to be a large stomach. Locals later killed the snake and found her body, largely intact, inside.
That is just so sad
5. BBC News website: Are politicians too passive?
A Brazilian politician is in custody after throwing grenades at police officers who came to his house in Rio de Janeiro state to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the conditions of his house arrest.
The 69-year-old former leader of the PTB political party, also fired a number of shots from a rifle, shattering the windshield of a police car. Two officers were wounded by shrapnel before the politician surrendered.
6. BBC News website: Brian Robinson has died aged 91
Robinson, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, was the first British cyclist to finish the Tour de France (in 1955) and was the first to win a stage of the race in 1958 (and another in 1959). He also won the prestigious Criterium du Dauphine stage race in 1961 and was the first Briton to stand on the podium of one of cycling’s Monuments, Milan-Sanremo, finishing third in 1957.
Robinson, joined his local cycling club as a teenager and later took up racing while working for the family building company. He competed for Britain at the 1952 Olympics before turning professional, riding the Tour de France for the first time in 1955 when he finished 29th overall.
With all the success in more recent years, it’s easy to forget riders like Robinson who was a trailblazer, inspiring the generation that followed, including Tom Simpson and Barry Hoban.