After Monday and Tuesday’s ‘barefoot’ runs, I rested on Wednesday in case I was putting tendons and muscles under new or increased stresses that might cause problems.
My younger son and I checked the dry stone walls and decided that they had to be ‘glued together’ with mortar so we set about some pointing. I know that mortar needs to be applied by trowel (and have two perfectly useable ones) but within minutes I was using bare hands – simply because my trowel skills leave so much to be desired.
Our first morning session of exposure to the cement left me with nothing worse than fingers wrinkled like I’d had a 3 hour bath. Sadly, the second mortar session in the afternoon saw me with three cut fingertips – and getting cement into cuts is an altogether different proposition.
On Thursday we drove down to Bournemouth for some more gardening ahead of our older son and his girlfriend going down there at the weekend. It is the first time since the lockdown started that they will be allowed to spend a night away from the London flat they share – and have both also been working in. I really hope they enjoy the space (inside and outside) and being outside London.
I resisted taking my running kit. I love running along the seafront but the promenade is a bit narrow for social distancing and it was a flying visit. We got back to the walling on Friday, I was unable to do any more mortar sessions (because of the damage done to my hands on Wednesday) but our younger son and I managed a bit more wall building.
I ran with my son in ‘normal’ shoes on Saturday – 7km (just over 4.3miles) at a little better than 6min/km, which seems to be my standard pace at the moment.
We had a friendly sprint to the finish where the Garmin recorded 4.04min/km for a few fleeting moments. With nothing specific to train for, that’s plenty good enough for me. It felt good after three days off running and the legs were fine but I think I’d benefit from a stretching regime.
What is sobering is the realisation that my finishing sprint was over a minute slower than Kipchoge’s average for the marathon. Intellectually, I know the sub 2 hour marathon was a spectacular achievement but that just underlines how wonderful it was.
In the afternoon we drove up to London so our son could check his flat and I could do some work in ours, fitting a dishwasher (unexpected complications – only part 1 of the job was achieved). It is said that the ‘R’ number in London might have crept back over 1 – country folk like us are a bit nervous about that so it, and a sore knee, meant I didn’t run. A good trip but happy to get back to Oxfordshire.
Big(gish) news – next week will involve some cycling!
Interesting stuff this week
1. Boris Johnson’s newt-counting claim questioned
Investigative journalism at its best, fact-checking the Prime Minister’s claim that wildlife investigations hold up planning applications
2. Peas are a big hit with tadpoles
A wildlife photographer turn his lens to the garden during lockdown to address yet more key issues of the day
3. Coronavirus: PM urges people to be sensible as England lockdown eased
Fingers crossed that people listen – but I fear, with some, he might as well be urging the grass not to be green
4. Outrage as Indian judge calls alleged rape victim ‘unbecoming’
The judge said “The explanation offered by her that after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep is unbecoming of an Indian woman,” the judge said, adding that it was “not the way our women react when they are ravished”.