I took a car in to the garage for a service on Monday morning and ran back – 6.3km (almost 4 miles). It was horribly hard – out of all proportion to the short distance. I had planned for the holiday ballast to go last week but having a son home meant more cooking and eating than usual – so this had better be a week of more discipline on the food front.
Gardening after that and then the swim doctor session in the early evening – my first for a few weeks. As hard as ever but enjoyable, nevertheless. About 850m of swimming, at a guess.
I ran with my wife on a cool but sunny Tuesday morning – 6km (3.7miles). Not fast but much better than Monday’s horrible run. I mowed again in the afternoon – I would have been happy to embrace ‘no mow May’ but the rain and holiday meant that the lawns were already out of control by the time May started.
However, I have not mown the paddock at all this year, so I think I’m doing my bit for the insects. In fact, the grass in the paddock is already so long that I’m not sure how I’m going to get a mower over it at all – but that’s a problem for another day.
On Wednesday I ran with my friend and training partner who has recovered from his broken metatarsal and (with his wife who recently hurt her knee) is back training for the Race to The Stones. I ran 17.3km (10.75 miles) along a mixture of farm tracks, roads, and muddy and sandy paths.
It started cool but finished fairly warm and I found it enjoyable but very hard work – I’ve not run that far since the 100km ultra last July. It does occur to me that I’d not now be too keen on (or capable of) running that 5 more times.
In the evening I drove down to Bournemouth and spent Thursday fixing two broken fence posts. A relatively tough job (I think it’s harder to replace posts than put new ones in). I managed it but then spotted a rotten rail further along so there’s more to do next visit. I also managed to mow – again the lawns hadn’t been done for quite a while.
Friday morning I went to the gym – it’s still camped out in the leisure centre’s foyer and one of the squash courts. The new floor in the proper gym was supposed to be finished by now but still has no completion date. It’s a pain because 4 of the machines I like to use are not set up – and the squash court doesn’t have air conditioning.
I’ve been getting very tired of the music playlist at the gym – it hasn’t changed for years and, if you go at the same time of day, you hear exactly the same songs. As an example of ‘be careful what you wish for’, it seems to have changed … for the worse.
After that I did the usual stint volunteering in the bike shop.
Lots of stuff on Saturday, including two trips to a friend in a nearby village to collect 5 bikes and a tandem from one of his neighbours who was donating them to the bike shop. Lovely British classic bikes, including three Merlins (the 1950’s Merlin Brothers bikes, not the modern ones), a Carpenter and a Bernard Lee (by the cycle frame builder of that name, not the actor who played ‘M’ in the early Bond films). I gardened, including repotting two olive trees.
We ran on a warm Sunday morning – 6.25km (just under 4 miles). I always find the first 1500m of any run to be hard, while my breathing and heart rate stabilise. It’s my own fault for never doing any warming up – but at the moment it’s harder than usual. I’ve lost about 3 lbs this week without doing anything particular to lose it but next week needs firmer action.
At midday I took another cycle training session – pretty successful with all the children making good progress from balance bikes to pedalling.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom
2. BBC News website: The celibate promoting procreation?
The Pope has warned that starting a family in Italy is becoming a “titanic effort” that only the rich can afford.
Italy has one of the lowest fertility rates in the EU and births dropped below 400,000 last year – a new low. Warning that pets were replacing children in some households, the Pope said a woman had opened her bag and asked him to “bless her baby” – except it was not a baby, but a small dog.
I must say that I did my best all those years ago – but can’t claim it was a ‘titanic effort’. I guess he isn’t planning on making a personal contribution on this particular issue
3. BBC News website: Wondering what to do with that jar of frog mucus?
An Australian court has been hearing evidence about two sudden deaths. One was from a suspected cardiac event, while authorities believe the other person died after injuries from severe vomiting. Both incidents happening shortly after the use of kambo – poisonous frog mucus – in an ancient Amazonian ritual.
Kambo is a waxy substance harvested by scraping the skin of a live giant monkey frog. In a kambo ceremony, humans drink over a litre of water, small burns are created on the skin and the substance is applied to the open wounds.
It triggers an intense so-called detoxification process, causesing blood pressure to rise, the heart to race and the body to purge by vomiting or defecating – often both. Symptoms range in severity, and typically last up to half an hour.
4. BBC News website: DIY robbery?
A high-profile Sydney jeweller has been arrested for, it is alleged, planning a robbery at his own luxury shop, and then making a bogus insurance claim.
It is claimed that two men threatened him and a female staff member at his central Sydney store, demanding access to the safe, but police say he organised the incident to defraud his insurance company. He faces a string of charges including robbery, fraud and deception.
You have to feel sorry for the innocent staff member who was, allegedly, threatened by one man with a knife, suffering physical injuries and, I guess, real trauma
5. BBC News website: Thank you, but I’ll have an aspirin
A man has been arrested in Mozambique for being in possession of a man’s head and genitals, police have said. Investigations led to the arrest of the man who confessed to killing a man and cutting off his head and genitals so that he could sell them.
Body parts are used by some so-called traditional doctors to make potions, which they claim can cure illnesses, remove bad omens and improve peoples’ lives. It is said that the suspect admitting to killing and decapitating the bodies of three other people.
6. BBC News website: The train now arriving in 1945 …
Travellers on an intercity train in Austria were startled on Sunday when a recording of an Adolf Hitler speech was played over the train’s intercom shortly before the train arrived in Vienna.
Train staff were unable to stop the recording and were unable to make their own announcements – it is assumed that the announcements were made by people directly on the train via intercoms. It is understood that complaints have been filed against two people.