I woke on Monday morning, not feeling any less healthy than when I’d gone to bed on Sunday night – so I went for a run with my wife in the weak March sunshine. The usual 3.9 miles (just over 6km).
I don’t remember the last time the lawns were actually dry but on Monday they were just about in a state to let me undertake one of the great annual events – the first mow of the season.
Of course, it’s not a quick or easy event but, after charging the battery, pumping two tyres and a trip to fill petrol cans, in the twinkling of three hours I was ready to go.
The start of the mowing season means the renewal of hostilities with the willow tree. On Monday it twice thought it had swept the ear defenders off my head but I caught them on both occasions so that doesn’t count. 1-0 to me, I think and a happy hour or two spent self-isolating on the mower.
With the Corona virus the garden might look very good this year – if gardening is the only thing I’m able to … alternatively it may look terrible if we are all confined within our own four walls for the next few months.
It’s disappointing (but not surprising) that the virus is already party-political. I hold no particular brief for our Prime Minister but I recognise that I don’t know what is the best thing to do – and nor do I expect him to know.
He is, at least, following the advice of the experts who have the key roles (and I’ve not heard it suggested that they are political appointees, or are under political pressure to come up with any particular advice) so I’m not sure I can expect much more of him at the moment. I hope the experts are as good as we need them to be.
No doubt, with hindsight, we will all be experts.
On that topic, I read that the Austrians have banned gatherings of more than 5 people. I assume that either doesn’t apply to domestic matters – or that the Von Trapps were the last Austrian family with more than 3 children.
The French have just closed all their ski resorts. I spoke to a friend out in Les Carroz, where we skied in January. He confirmed the inevitable – the snow and weather are now the best they have been all season.
At the moment there is no news on either the sportive due to be held in late April, or the ultra marathon in early July. Do I train as if both are going to go ahead or do I ease off to make sure I don’t weaken my immune defence system by training too hard?
Both events involve a decent number of contestants (about 600 for the sportive and 2000+ for the ultra?) but with both the people are spread across many miles of road/Ridgeway for most of the time. However, the starts and finishes and food stops will cause bigger groups – and will there be spare medics to make the events safe? Maybe that’s the key point – do we want stretched medical staff to be pulled away from the front line fight against the virus?
If the UK moves to cancel large gatherings in the fairly near future I guess the sportive will be off – but the ultra might be late enough to survive the cull? Hard to say but at my cycling club we are going to discuss whether we should cancel our own (smaller – about 200 riders) sportive scheduled for later in July.
One thing I think I can be sure of is that I’ll be in a worse state if I don’t train and the races are on, compared to training and then finding they are cancelled.
Looks like it’s carry on training for now, without going too mad with it. Of course, if we go the way of Spanish restrictions, it will not even be possible to go for a training run. I’m wondering whether it’s wise to give the gym a miss for a while.
So far in the UK we are just at the ‘stop non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel’ stage. Pubs, clubs, restaurants etc have not been shut but the advice is to avoid them. There’s a danger we are being treated as adults – will we live up to the challenge that poses?
‘Corona virus lockdown – lite’.
On Monday the news showed 24 cases of the virus in Oxfordshire (up two from Saturday) and 2 in the nearest large town, Swindon (unchanged).