Autumn seems to have arrived so it was a short sleeved compression top, a warmer long sleeved top and long tights for Monday’s 7.25km (4.5 miles) run with my wife.
Off to the swim doctor session in the evening; there were fewer drills and more front crawl than usual so I swam 1050 metres. It feels like I’m making some (almost imperceptible) progress but I still don’t love it and it will get harder to leave the house to swim as the evenings get darker and colder. Perhaps I’ll stick with the structure of the swim doctor sessions over the winter and reassess next year.
I had a good hour in the gym on Tuesday followed by some woodworking and mowing, in between showers. Having missed them last week while in La Manga, it was back to the hill for the usual 8 hill reps on Wednesday. This time it measured 9km and 267m of ascent (5.6 miles and 876 feet) but the Garmin seems to measure the same run differently every time. Inevitably, more mowing in the afternoon.
A short run (on very tired legs) with my wife on Thursday – 5.6km (3.5 miles). I rather overdid the cold weather gear so it turned out to be a bit of a sauna.
Gym for an hour on Friday morning and that was followed by the bike shop – a happy couple of hours replacing cables, fixing punctures, truing wheels and adjusting gears. The rest of the day was cold and wet but, eventually, it brightened up a bit so (despite sage warnings that it can become a bit of an obsession) my friend and I decided to go to the parkrun on Saturday.
There was every possibly of that being a mistake as it was my 9th session of exercise in 8 days but I enjoyed run, even though the label ‘race’ yet again meant that I pushed hard. People say if it’s not hurting, you’re not trying hard enough – at least I’ve cracked the ‘making it hurt’ bit.
The conditions were good despite a lot of rain in the previous 24 hours. There was a distinct breeze and a turnout of 116 runners. The run felt slower and tougher than my first parkrun last week and I really noticed the 30+ bends (most 90°) in the 5km. I wasn’t expecting much of a result but, to my surprise, I managed to get the ‘sub 25 minute’ monkey off my back by clocking 24m 36s.
Perversely, I’m quite pleased I didn’t go a bit faster as I don’t immediately feel the ‘go sub 24 minute’ monkey climbing aboard.
My friend and training partner was a few seconds behind me but had put in a good run on Friday which, I guess, will have cost him all that time. It tells me that, even though it’s only 5km, it does deserve a bit of preparation (no more that a short run or little leg work in the gym Friday morning and no more than 2 glasses of wine Friday evening?).
I was 29th overall but 5th on the ‘age grading’ list. My rating is 69.44% – nearly at 70% which is Regional Class Level. I was second in my age group. The chap who was ahead of me has run more than 130 parkruns and is a member of Gateshead Harriers, one of the country’s most famous clubs (think Brendon Foster, Jonathan Edwards, Richard Kilty) so I don’t feel at all bad about that.
I acknowledge that it’s a bit strange to take a 24 mile round trip for a run that is shorter than I’d do if I just stepped out of my front door. It’s fun and I like the competition – but it probably means that I won’t be there every week.
We have friends coming over for lunch on Sunday so a welcome absence of any exercise while I enjoy watching others run the London Marathon – very best wishes to them all. Oh yes, yesterday I put in an entry for the ballot for a place next year.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Rain does not fall on one roof alone
2. BBC News website: Naked chess, a move too far?
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has openly accused fellow player Hans Niemann of cheating.
Niemann (19) has admitted cheating online twice, when he was 12 and 16, but has strenuously denied ever cheating over the board. He says he is willing to play nude to prove his good faith.
3. BBC News website: Latest prototype of a humanoid robot on show
Optimus appeared on stage at a Silicon Valley event, where it waved to the audience and raised its knees. The robot, being developed by the Tesla electric car company, could be on sale to the public in a few years’ time at a cost less than $20,000 (£17,900).
People were shown a video of Optimus performing simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars. The Tesla boss spoke of “a future of abundance” ahead., saying “It really is a fundamental transformation of civilisation as we know it,” .
I wonder if ‘Skynet’ ever said much the same (or am I confusing science fact with science fiction?)
4. BBC News website: Golden Globe race – 3rd edition of the race since 1968
The race set off in September and consists of a nine-month, single-handed, non-stop sail around the world, covering 30,000 miles. It is ‘sailing like it’s 1968’ so entrants are limited to similar yachts and equipment to what was available to the winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, in the first race. That means sailing without modern technology or the benefit of satellite-based navigation aids.
Nine sailors took part in the original 1968 event – just one finished and the others sank, retired or, in one case, disappeared in what looked like a suicide.
The rules bar entrants from contacting family and friends or putting into port. Some call it “a voyage for mad men”.
If only I sailed …