I planned to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday night but It begins late over here and I confess that I didn’t even manage to stay up to see the start. What a lightweight.
In part, that was due to an early start on Monday for a Covid-compliant ‘outing’ as our older son and his girlfriend moved house. Government lockdown guidance says that, where a removal firm cannot be used (it couldn’t as their completion came through quickly) one other household can help in the move, provided social distancing and appropriate hygiene is observed – so we helped.
It was tough, but rules are rules, so we were masked, distanced and sanitised like it was going out of fashion. It was also tough because it snowed gently throughout and a move across London means tortuous journeys. A hard 13 hours spent driving and shifting several car loads of packed boxes and bags down from their flat and into the new house.
Tuesday was equally cold so it was the turbo in the evening. No great payback for two days without a run – a hard 45 minutes @28.6kph (17.8mph). How did I ever get sufficiently cycle-fit to do the ‘everesting’?
A significant UK anniversary happened on Tuesday – but was certainly not celebrated. It was exactly a year since the arrival, in the back of an Uber, of London’s first Covid-19 patient at Lewisham Hospital. If only we’d known then what we know now …
Wednesday was (again) cold. As I was getting ready to run I remembered that nobody pays me to do it – I run for pleasure but was struggling to see what pleasure I might have got out of a run just then. Accordingly, the kit went back in the drawer and I decided that a session on the turbo in the evening was the better way to go.
I rationalised it away as part of my aim to reduce the running and increase the cycling this month ahead of April’s sportive and the start of the ultra marathon training in March – but I know I rather wimped out (and I can live with that). I did an hour on the turbo for 28.3km (17.6m).
Thursday was very cold again but it had almost climbed to freezing (other than for the significant windchill) by the time I ran in the afternoon. It was a cold 10.3km (6.4m) at 4 hour marathon pace (5:41/km).
Hard to believe, but Friday was very cold again – not Canada or Siberia type of cold, but cold for the UK. It’s not that it was too cold to run – just that it was too cold to want to run. Warm in my virtuous glow of having run on Thursday, I decided not to repeat the feat but I retreated to the turbo in the early evening. Another hour for 28.2km (17.5m).
Sorry for the broken record but it was below freezing again on Saturday with a biting wind. Going to the shops in the morning I’d seen a runner in shorts and T shirt – my kit, just after midday, included winter running trousers, three long sleeved tops and a gilet. The same 10.3km as Thursday, but 7 secs/km faster. Surprisingly enjoyable.
The cold snap started to break on Sunday, a little less cold but still with the bitter wind and with milder and wetter weather on its way – it will be good to be able to complain about the rain rather than the cold.
It appears that Valentine’s Day is not a day of exercise so my effort is going into eating and drinking.
Signs of hope with the virus in the UK as the second (tidal) wave of infections starts to recede but the lockdown continues to have severe effects in so many ways. For us, it’s less severe than for most and we are very grateful for that.
Missing out on our usual January family ski holiday is pitifully small beer in comparison to what others are missing out on. Sadly, it doesn’t look like skiing later in the season is going to happen as cases in France appear to be heading upwards and the resorts remain closed. It will be my first skiing missed in over 25 years. Roll on the vaccinations.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: He who runs after good fortune runs away from peace
2. BBC News website: Fines for breaching lockdown after a mountain rescue volunteer seriously injured in a fall while going to their aid
One man from Liverpool and another from Leicester were camping in breach of coronavirus rules above Kirkstone Pass (in the Lake District) in the face of severe weather warnings. The volunteer suffered “significant injuries” falling 150m (500ft) responding to reports of one of the campers suffering chest pains.
I struggle to see what part of ‘Let’s break the law, increase the risk of the spread of the virus, take on dangerous weather and put voluntary rescuers at risk’ is acceptable.
3. BBC News website: Katie Boulter (British tennis player) says she can win “a lot of matches” at Grand Slam level as she prepares to launch the British bid when the Australian Open starts on Monday. The 24-year-old is the only Briton playing on day one of the delayed Grand Slam, starting at about 03:00 GMT.
My heart sank when I read this and, of course, shortly after 04:00 GMT she was out of the tournament, beaten 6-1, 6-4.
4. BBC News website: Coup in Myanmar
The leader of the coup in Myanmar, General Min Aung Hlaing, has spoken on TV, seeking to justify the action amid mass protests. He said November’s election, won in a landslide by the party of detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, had been unfair.
The general did not issue direct threats to protesters, saying only that no-one was above the law.
A very sad situation. I wonder if the bit about no-one being above the law applies to leaders of military coups?
5. BBC News website: Small digital photo gallery has pictures blocked by Facebook for containing “overtly sexual” content
The Winchester-based photographer’s banned images include:
- a sign with the word “disco”, on the grounds that it was promoting alcohol
- a set of tramlines in France, which went against Facebook’s ticket sales policy
- a cow standing in a field
- the England cricket team in a huddle
- ripples on a pond which was said to be selling “adult products”
- another “overtly sexual” photo, of a high-rise office building