I’m not sure if it’s a permanent thing but, for the second week, Monday started with a run (partly with my wife) of a bit over 9km (5.8 miles) and finished with the evening ‘swim doctor’ session.
The session was testing, as usual. Butterfly stroke was optional – so I stuck with front crawl as I’d prefer to get closer to being proficient at that than confuse myself with something new. About 500m swum, I guess, and enjoyable in that sort of ‘my, this is incredibly hard’ way.
After Monday’s run and swim, a long run was probably not the best idea on Tuesday but I managed 22km (13.7 mIles) a bit faster than last Friday’s long run. Chilly, blustery and a few spits of rain but it was, again, strangely enjoyable. It’s great to have got the long run out of the way early as it does tend to become a bit of a millstone if still to be done later in the week.
I had a good example of the power of the mind on Tuesday’s run. I was going at around 6:15/km and feeling that was plenty fast enough and that I didn’t have a lot left. Coming into the village I was overtaken by a chap I don’t know but have seen many times – wanting to have a brief chat I fell into pace with him and, with my mind occupied with something other than my own running, my 22nd and final km was run at 5:03/km.
Friends came over for supper on Tuesday evening and I took a rest on a very cool and wet Wednesday. Back to the running on Thursday – a very decent run of just over 7km (4.4 miles), with my wife.
Gym and charity bike shop on Friday, followed by hill reps on a cold and breezy Saturday morning – 9km and 296m of ascent (5.6 miles and 970 feet).
I got on the turbo trainer on Sunday. That’s the first time for a couple of weeks but my first ‘event’ of the year is a sportive in early April so I do need to start peddling. The aim was really just time on the bike but I managed 28.1km (17.4 miles) in an hour.
For now at least, I’m sticking with my aim of pushing through 40km of running each week with one longer run. With 4 runs, a swim, a session in the gym, and one on the turbo, I’ve got to double up on one day to get a rest day. Any more sessions (I should be swimming at least twice and getting out on the bike) would mean more double exercise days. This is getting difficult and simply confirms my admiration for proper multi-sport athletes.
100k corner (an occasional place for ultra worries and plans)
The cumulative total running required in the first 2 weeks of the 20-week ultra training plan was 43km. I’ve done 96km – I think I’m on track (!) as long as I don’t do too much, too soon.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Where there is love, there is no darkness
2. BBC News website: Life may actually flash before your eyes on death
A team of scientists set out to measure the brainwaves of an 87-year-old patient who had developed epilepsy. But during the neurological recording, he suffered a fatal heart attack – offering an unexpected recording of a dying brain.
It revealed that in the 30 seconds before and after the attack, the man’s brainwaves followed the same patterns as dreaming or recalling memories.
3. BBC News website: Ultimate football irony?
The EFL cup final at Wembley Stadium was Chelsea v Liverpool and was 0-0 at the end of extra time, which meant it went to penalties. In the last few seconds of the game, Chelsea made a substitution to bring on a goalkeeper with a reputation for saving penalties.
Against all the odds, all 20 outfield players scored their penalties which meant that the two goalkeepers had to take one each. The Liverpool ‘keeper scored (meaning that the Chelsea specialist penalty saver had conceded all 11 that he faced) but he then missed his own attempt, giving Liverpool the win.
4. BBC News website: Neom – a futuristic eco-city
Neom claims to be a “blueprint for tomorrow in which humanity progresses without compromise to the health of the planet”. It will feature glow-in-the dark beaches, billions of trees, levitating trains and a fake moon.
It’s a £366bn ($500bn) project that is part of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ plan to wean the country off oil. The plan is for a car-free, carbon-free city built in a straight line over 100 miles long in the desert.
It will cover a total area of over 26,500 sq-km (10,230 sq-miles) – larger than Kuwait or Israel – Neom will, developers claim, exist entirely outside the confines of the current Saudi judicial system, governed by an autonomous legal system that will be drafted by investors.