The training plan had Monday as a rest day. After the weekend’s 6 and 12 mile runs I embraced that warmly, devoting the day to bike mechanics and planting a bank in the garden with wild flowers.
The week’s training programme (in miles) requires 6, 5, 6 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and 6 and 14 (Saturday and Sunday) for 37 miles in total. In Km that’s about 10, 8, 10, 10 and 22.5), total 60km.
On Tuesday I ran up the village with my wife and then did 10 laps of the old hill fort at Badbury Clump. It was glorious weather – my first run for months with no base layer or gloves. In keeping with my running shoe rotation policy, I ran in my minimalist shoes (shoes No6) and the whole thing was lovely. In all, it was 10.8km (6.7 miles).
For months I’ve whinged about how the lap of the old hill fort seems to be under-recorded on my Garmin – I may not run fast but I know that I’m running laps faster than the 7min/km which is sometimes what it’s been recording. This time, suddenly, I was running over a minute a km faster. As a creature of habit, I run the circuit clockwise. For some reason on Tuesday I ran it anticlockwise. What on earth is going on?
We all ran on Wednesday morning and I added a bit to make it 9.1km (5.65 miles). That made it something like 220km (136 miles) for the month and 577km (358 miles) running for the first three months of the year – nearly half of my total for the whole of 2020.
On a colder Thursday I went back to Badbury Clump and ran 9 circuits – 3 clockwise and 6 anticlockwise. I’ve checked again and the Strava segment for the circuit run clockwise is 0.59km but the segment for running it anticlockwise is 0.65km. Perhaps whoever set up the segments had better satellite reception for one than the other so that one segment is a bit approximate? Whichever way it was measured, I ran a total of 10.7km (6.6 miles) and will now carry on running anticlockwise.
Now I want all those miles back that I’ve been cheated out of over the years ….
End of ‘cluckdown‘
Since mid-December an outbreak of avian flu led to the lockdown of poultry in the country. That has now been lifted so the chickens are released from their much reduced wild-bird-secure run. They are very pleased – but to be honest they were never very grateful for my efforts on behalf of their safety.
Friday was a rest day – we took advantage of the removal of the ‘stay at home’ requirement and drove to see our older son for only the second time since November (we helped him and his girlfriend move in February but that was hard work). We were outside and socially distanced but seeing him was a real treat, with the added bonus of a walk in the lovely (and huge – 2500 acres) Richmond Park.
The plan required runs on Saturday and Sunday – 6 and 14 miles respectively (10 and 22.5km). Since I am incapable of anything but blind adherence to the plan, that’s what I did. Saturday’s run was less enjoyable than usual with tired legs and a cold north-easterly breeze but we managed 10.14km (6.3 miles).
Sunday was brighter but still fairly cold, although the wind had turned to come from the west. The bonfire we lit on Thursday was still producing wisps of smoke but nothing to be a problem for the rest of the village. I ran the required 23km (14.4 miles) along farm some roads but found it very hard indeed at just under 6:30/km. Rarely has an Easter egg been more earned.
|Week 3: Miles (Km)||37 (60)||40 (64)|
|‘Running’ Totals||101 (163)||109 (175)|
White Horse Challenge
The White Horse Challenge sportive has been confirmed for 25 April. I can’t now get into any sort of cycling shape, especially with the demands of the ultra training, but I’ll ride it anyway, just for the pleasure of a long ride (it’s 90 miles – 144km). I’m not quite sure what to do about that week’s runs but I’ll think about it nearer the time.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: When you befriend a chief remember that he sits on a rope
2. BBC News website: Endangered bird ‘has forgotten its song’
The ‘regent honeyeater’, is listed as critically endangered; just 300 individuals remain in the world. The Austrian songbird has become so threatened that it has started to lose its song, as “They don’t get the chance to hang around with other honeyeaters and learn what they’re supposed to sound like.” Scientists are now using recordings of wild birds to teach captive honeyeaters their own song.
3. BBC News website: France seeks Unesco heritage status for the baguette
The UN intangible cultural heritage register aims to protect traditions, knowledge and skills, so they are not lost over time. Altogether it contains more than 350 traditions and crafts, ranging from better known practices such as Spanish flamenco dancing and Indonesian batik fabric making to (even) more obscure items such as a Turkish oil wrestling festival and a Mongolian camel coaxing ritual.
France has now nominated its staple bread stick for inclusion. Some 10 billion baguettes are consumed in France each year, but about 20,000 bakeries have closed since 1970. French bakers say listing would safeguard an art that has been passed down through generations and protect the baguette from global plagiarists.
‘Global baguette plagiarists’?
4. BBC News website: Earth “safe” from asteroid for the next 100 years at least.
Apophis (named for the ancient Egyptian god of chaos and darkness) is Earth’s most threatening asteroid. Close calls in 2029 and 2036 were predicted and later ruled out. A slight threat still remained for 2068 but now, based on new analysis, Nasa has dismissed that threat.
We can now sleep at night
5. BBC News website: Spongy Roads – Slough’s new claim to fame
Slough (just to the west of London) is one of those places that has a bad, slightly comic, reputation. It was the setting for Ricky Gervais’ The Office and poet John Betjeman famously wrote ‘ Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough it isn’t fit for humans now’.
It now looks set to gain a new claim to fame as it will get the Chinese “sponge city” treatment. The flood defence system will see selected roads transformed with permeable surfaces that soak up surface water.