Onto the Ridgeway on Monday for the second run getting familiar with the route of next summer’s ultra. Heading east from the Uffington White Horse – 12.3km (7.65miles) with 230m of ascent.
It was noticeably harder than last week’s section (even though they are adjoining) – hillier, much more rutted and treacherous underfoot with the morning dew/thawed frost making it slippery. We ran to Sparsholt Firs above Lambourn. A lovely bright crisp day – about 2℃ but the chill breeze made it feel more like -2℃ (28℉).
My legs had felt heavy on Monday’s run because of the turbo on Sunday evening – and were even heavier on Tuesday because of Monday’s run. Despite that I ran back from taking the car into the garage for the winter wheels and tyres to be put on. About 5.5km (3.4 miles) in temperatures hovering just above freezing.
Gym on Wednesday morning – back with the leg exercises as the knee has stopped aching (for now?) as quickly and inexplicably as it started. Later we drove up to London to have supper with friends at The Wolseley on Piccadilly. Lovely old building that was the Wolseley car company regional office and car showroom in the 1920s. Very good – but painfully slow service.
I drove back on Thursday morning but rather suffered from an enthusiasm slump for much of the day. I’m not sure if the arrival of winter and pretty cold weather or just accumulated tiredness from a few months of exercising 5 or 6 days a week. Either way, it was hard to drag myself to the turbo but I managed it (just) for 45 minutes @29.7kph (18.5mph).
That was it for ‘proper’ exercise for the week as on Friday I drove to the house in Kingston-upon-Thames that our older son shares with his girlfriend, to help with the continuing building and decoration work. Back into London to the flat afterwards (stupid peak Friday traffic – 9 miles at 7mph – how do people live in cities?) and back to their house for more of the same with my wife and younger son on Saturday and with my wife on Sunday.
On Friday I removed the elasticated knee bandage that I’d worn for a week – the knee ached a bit after the work that day so it was refitted on Saturday.
100k corner (a place for occasional ultra worries and plans)
It’s often said that, where possible, training for an event should include training on the course itself. The fact that I ran the ultra on the Ridgeway in the summer without setting foot on the Ridgeway does not disprove that fact, it merely shows I was foolish – and lucky that it went well. In early preparation for next year’s run, my running partner and I have already been up there twice and the aim will be to have run all/most of it in sections before next July.
Less encouraging is the fact that the knee has been playing up a bit. There’s a lot of time to go yet but it reminds me that a delicate balance will have to be found between doing enough training to make the run possible and not so much that I don’t make it to the start. No prizes for being in good shape in June (if I’m lucky) and wrecked in July.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: All monkeys cannot hang from the same branch
2. BBC News website: Australian TV host costs network an interview with Adele
Matt Doran – from Channel 7 – flew from Sydney to London on 4 November to meet Adele for her only Australian interview about her new album, but, after admitting during it that he had not listened to it, Sony withheld the interview footage.
Australian media reported that Doran’s trip with two colleagues to London was part of a rights package that had cost the network A$1m (£500,000; $700,000).
Doran apologised and said he had missed an email with a preview copy of the songs. “It was an oversight but not a deliberate snub,” he told The Australian newspaper. “This is the most important email I have ever missed.”
3. BBC News website: Limited bathroom breaks for ATP tour next season
Players will be allowed one bathroom break of up to 3 minutes per match, which can only be taken at the end of a set. The clock will start when a player reaches the bathroom, with time violations enforced if individuals take too long.
If only it had been introduced at Flushing Meadows
4. BBC News website: Mission to smash into space rock launches
A spacecraft has launched on a mission to test technology that could one day tip a dangerous asteroid off course. The spacecraft will crash into an object called Dimorphos to see how much its speed and path can be altered.
Nasa’s $325m (£240m) Dart mission wants to see how difficult it would be to stop a sizeable space rock from hitting Earth. If a chunk of cosmic debris measuring a few hundred metres across were to collide with our planet, it could unleash continent-wide devastation.
That’s all very well, but it would have been so much cheaper to have simply watched ‘Armageddon’ or ‘Deep Impact‘
5. BBC News website: James Webb Space Telescope launch delayed
The telescope was to have been sent into orbit on 18 December and will now go up no earlier than the 22nd of the month. A US space agency statement said an “incident” had occurred during launch preparations that induced a sudden vibration in the observatory.
JWST is the $10bn (£7.5bn; €9bn) successor to the veteran Hubble telescope. It will look deeper into the Universe and so will look further back in time – more than 13.5 billion years ago. The aim is to see the first stars to light up the cosmos.
Looking 13.5bn years backwards is fine but if you only look backwards you won’t see the delay coming