Monday started with some interval training with my friend and training partner. His idea was for a gentle warm up run (across the fields) and then to do 4 repeats of 4 minutes at 95% effort with 3 minute rests. With no idea how to judge 95% effort, I felt that running just about as hard as possible was only likely to be 5% out, at most.
The first sprint was interrupted by having to open a farm gate so we decided to do the remaining sprints by distance rather than time. There was a section between gates – there and back was close to 1km. The ‘sprints’ didn’t coincide with kms measured by my Garmin but kms 3, 4 and 5 were run at 4m 54s, 4m 44s, and 4m 32s respectively. I can’t believe they got faster – that’s not at all how it felt. In all, nearly 7km at an average of 5.44/km.
It was a really hard session. The rests were supposed to be ‘active rests’ but I found trying to breathe plenty active enough.
I must find out how to stop him reading Runner’s World in case it gives him any more crazy ideas.
I gave the swim doctor session a miss on Monday but got on the turbo early on Tuesday evening. I managed 45 minutes @26.8kph (16.6mph). With the trip out to the alps looming, I’ve realised that I’ve not been out on a bike since two very short rides in October. I fear that the alps are going to seem steeper this year.
On Wednesday I dropped off a car to the garage (rogue brake warning light – sensor wire broken when they changed out the winter wheels last week?) and then drove to our older son’s in Kingston-upon-Thames. The fireplace in one of the bedrooms is not going to be a working fireplace but some filling in of the existing hole is needed so that the new cast iron grate can be plastered in properly to give it ‘the look’.
The idea was that I would leave them the car and make my way back to our flat to meet up with my wife who’d had a day’s shopping. That did not work out because his resident’s parking permit application was rejected as the car isn’t registered to his address (just like it wasn’t last year when he was granted a permit)!
I drove home instead of heading into London – but after the work and more than 4 hours of driving I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to do any exercise.
I ran in to collect the car from the garage on Thursday morning – 4.5km (2.8 miles). They had broken the sensor wire when they changed the wheels over last week.
Later I set about starting repairs to the garden shed that was trashed by a falling branch a few years ago. I have no idea why I’ve had a mental block about doing anything to it – but in the meantime it has, of course, deteriorated further making it a bigger job than it needed to have been. Crazy.
On Friday I discovered that the new floor to the gym has now been finished – a moody dark grey. They even seem to have changed the loop of music (and not made it worse!). I did an hour with increased weights which was tough, followed by 3 hours in the bike shop and then back to the re-roofing of the shed.
Shopping and more work on the shed on Saturday, and I was also watching out for qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, the Rugby Premiership final, the triathlons in Cagliari (great wins for the Brits in both the women’s and men’s races) and some great racing in the Giro. What an afternoon’s sport. A session on the turbo later in the afternoon – 45 minutes @28.3kph (17.5mph).
Rest on Sunday – with some watering of the garden as (for once) we are enjoying a dry spell … wait for the water shortages and hosepipe bans.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights
2. BBC News website: And I thought a ‘Fender bender’ was a car crash
A black Fender Stratocaster smashed by Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of US rock band Nirvana, has sold at auction for nearly $600,000 (£480,000). It was destroyed as Nirvana were working on their break-out album ‘Nevermind’ in the early 1990s. It has been put back together but is no longer playable.
It is signed by all three band members and also features an affectionate inscription by Cobain to his friend and musical collaborator Mark Lanegan – who died last year. Cobain, who often misspelt his own name, signed the instrument “Kurdt Kobain”.
3. BBC News website: And the aim is still to sell coffee
In a recent Starbucks advert in India a couple meet their daughter in a coffee shop after being estranged from her for years and the father shows his acceptance of her decision to transition by addressing her by her chosen name, Arpita, instead of Arpit.
The ad was released earlier this month and has since been viewed over a million times on YouTube and has over eight million views on Twitter. Many users praised the brand for its message of inclusivity, and for featuring a transgender model in the lead role but the ad was also criticised by some users who accused the brand of tokenism and claimed it was “against Indian culture”.
4. BBC News website: 95-year-old woman who was Tasered by police has died
She was critically injured after police responded to reports she was wandering around the care home with a steak knife at about 04:00 last Wednesday.
Last week, police said she was “armed” with a steak knife. On Friday, they confirmed that she required a walking frame to move and the officer discharged his Taser after she began approaching “at a slow pace”.
The 33-year-old senior constable who fired the Taser will face court in early July on charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
5. BBC News website: You couldn’t make it up …
Australian police are investigating after at least 65 women received letters through the post with handwritten messages and containing used condoms.
Police believe the victims are linked and part of a targeted attack as all of the women who have come forward attended the same private girls’ school in 1999 and the women’s addresses were obtained from a yearbook they put together as pupils 24 years ago.
Some letters were handwritten, some typed, but all contained “suggestive and threatening… sexualised” messages. Investigators are carrying out DNA and handwriting analysis to track down the perpetrator.
6. BBC News website: The end of a glittering road
Mark Cavendish, one of Britain’s most successful cyclists, will retire at the end of the season. He has won 161 races since 2005, two green points jerseys at the Tour and in 2021 he equalled the legendary Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage victories.
Cavendish’s other major achievements include an omnium silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2011 Road World Championships rainbow jersey, the 2009 Milano-San Remo ‘monument’ one-day classic, 16 stage wins in the Giro and three in the Vuelta a Espana.
Can he win a stage in this year’s Tour to take the record outright?
7. BBC News website: Let the train take the strain
France has banned domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to cut carbon emissions. The ban ends routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours, largely ruling out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, while connecting flights are unaffected.
Critics have described the measures as “symbolic bans”.
The UK is said (but only by me) to be considering the same but, taking strikes, cancellations and delays into account, banning air routes that can be replaced by a 2.5 hour rail journey only seems to rule out flights of about 25 miles