A quiet start to the week with a painful right foot (again). That ruled out a run and the Monday swim doctor session but I got on the turbo – just 30 minutes for 13.5km (8.4 miles)
Having hurt my foot recently through an ill-advised long walk in ‘work shoes’, I blistered it again on Saturday after nothing more than a day wearing a pair of trainers that have caused no problems whatsoever in about 450km of running. The foot became a bit red and puffy – a low level infection?
On Tuesday we went for our Covid seasonal booster jabs, having waited as required after we had Covid itself. My foot was improving but was now feeling more like I’d dropped something heavy on it (which I hadn’t). I remembered that, to bodge the fence in Bournemouth last week, I had my foot under the gate to lift it so I could latch and bolt it to the broken fence post. I think that probably bruised my foot – and the blister on Saturday was a random and unconnected bit of bad luck.
So, no great dramas on this occasion but it’s always the small toe on my right foot that causes the problems (it was the site of the only blister after the summer’s 100k ultra) so it needs watching.
Nothing for it but another session on the turbo on in the evening – 45 mins @27.2kph (16.9mph). Not that long, not that fast but the third day in a row and plenty tough enough – possibly not helped by the Covid jab?
I didn’t feel any obvious bad reaction to the jab but I didn’t sleep that well and felt shattered on Wednesday, so I did very little (one of the luxuries of retirement). I slept nearly 11 hours Wednesday night (another luxury of retirement) and felt a lot better.
The sport recently has been spectacular with World Cups going on in the women’s and men’s rugby league, the women’s rugby union and the men’s T20 cricket. A phenomenal performance on Thursday saw England’s cricketers into Sunday’s final (fingers crossed for the weather in Melbourne), with the women’s rugby union team in their final on Saturday (in New Zealand, against New Zealand – we are favourites but I’m very nervous as they are improving all the time and we seem to have hit a plateau).
Off to the gym later on Thursday for a good hour – I can still feel where the jab went in on Tuesday, but even the arm machines were fine.
With the foot problems and no run for a week, I expect Friday’s should have been ‘shorter and slower’. I scored one out of two with my ‘longer and slower’ decision but I had an enjoyable run along the farm tracks to Eaton Hastings and back – just over 11km (short of 7 miles) but well outside 6m/km. I hadn’t intended to go fast – but nor had I expected to go that slow.
Disappointment at the women’s rugby as England lost the final to New Zealand by just 3 points having played three quarters of the match a player down after an early sending off. Thus ends a 30 game winning streak – what a time to lose it!
I thought about a turbo session on Saturday but couldn’t find the motivation so had a day off. With low expectations for exercise next week, on Sunday I did the same run as Friday – just over 11km (nearly 7 miles), but this time at under 6m/km.
A funny old week in many ways – a bit of injury, a bit of illness (and/or reaction to the Covid booster), decent gym sessions, OK on the turbo, poor with the first run and not great with the second. All part of life’s rich tapestry …
… and just time to confirm that England won the T20 Cricket World Cup. Of course, we didn’t make victory over an excellent Pakistan side at all easy, but we got there.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow
2. BBC News website: Sporting commitment or just the football red mist?
Ten players were sent off as Racing Club won an Argentinian Champions Trophy final that ended early because Boca Juniors had only six players on the pitch.
Each team had a player sent off in the 95th minute after an argument, while another Boca player was dismissed for a second yellow card five minutes later. However, Carlos Alcaraz’s 118th-minute winner was the flash point for the major incident when he celebrated in front of the Boca fans. The Boca players surrounded him, grabbing him by the ear and throwing the ball at him.
The referee sent off Alcaraz along with five Boca players, including one of their unused substitutes, and a player who had been replaced earlier. An unused Racing substitute was also shown a red card.
3. BBC News website: Billions being spent in metaverse land grab
Nearly $2bn (£1.75bn) has been spent on virtual land in the past 12 months, as people and companies race to get a foothold in ‘the metaverse’. It is confusing but there are actually many metaverses and until one platform starts to dominate, or these disparate worlds join together, companies are selling land and experiences in their own versions.
In Sandbox, one of the crypto metaverses, Adidas, Atari, Ubisoft, Binance, Warner Music and Gucci are just some of the multinationals buying land, and building experiences to sell and promote their products and services.
Gucci has also built in Roblox which is seen as one of the most mainstream of the fledgling metaverses. Gucci Town has had more than 36 million visits in the year since it was launched, while Nike Land has recorded more than 25 million in 11 months. In Gucci Town, players can buy clothing for their avatars with real money. In Nike Land they can get T-shirts and shoes for avatars with points earned by playing games.
The thing I agree with most in all this (and perhaps the only thing I really understand) is the statement “It is confusing“
4. BBC News website: Football World Cup approaches
This week the disgraced former head of world football said that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a mistake. Really? The bidding was for a (N. hemisphere) summer world cup but after its award they suddenly discovered Qatar is hot in the summer so it was moved to winter.
More importantly, there are concerns about human rights, the treatment of foreign workers building the competition infrastructure and Qatar’s treatment of LGBTQ+ people, as same-sex relationships and their promotion are criminalised, with punishments ranging from fines to the death sentence.
A Qatar World Cup ambassador has just told a German broadcaster “[Homosexuality] is haram. You know what haram [forbidden] means? I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind”.
The world football governing body (FIFA) recently wrote to the World Cup teams urging that football should not be “dragged” into ideological or political “battles”, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was them who created exactly those circumstances.
Qatar’s World Cup organisers have said “everyone is welcome” and no-one will be discriminated against, but the Qatar 2022 chief executive has also said the government would not change its laws on homosexuality, requesting visitors “respect our culture”.
Everyone is welcome … but some are more welcome than others?
5. BBC News website: Sadly, it’s terminal at the terminal
Born in 1945 in Iran, Mehran Karimi Nasseri flew to Europe in search of his mother in the late 1980s. Expelled from countries including the UK, the Netherlands and Germany for not having the correct immigration documents, he ended up making the airport’s 2F Terminal his home in 1988, inspiring the 2004 Tom Hanks film, The Terminal.
He was given the right to live in France in 1999, but stayed at the airport until 2006. He ended up returning to the airport a few weeks ago, where he died of natural causes, an airport official told AFP.
6. BBC News website: KFC (Kindly Forgive Catastrophe?)
In Germany, the fast food chain sent an app alert, saying: “It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”
‘Kristallnacht’ was a Nazi-led series of attacks in the country in 1938 which left more than 90 people dead and destroyed Jewish-owned businesses and places of worship. It is widely seen as the beginning of the Holocaust.
The message, heavily criticised for its insensitivity, was later blamed by KFC on “an error in our system”.
It beggars belief
7. BBC News website: Just as we thought it was safe to back in (on) the water …
A cruise ship carrying 4,600 passengers and crew has docked in Sydney, Australia, having sailed from New Zealand. About 800 passengers had tested positive for Covid-19 by halfway through the 12 day cruise.