Week 10 – Mind games

In which I Cycle 110k, Run 34k and Swim 2.3k


Although I generally feel good afterwards, all this exercise is mostly very boring at the time – a lot of repetitive actions in familiar surroundings. I don’t know where most people’s minds go in these situations but mine, when it’s not just blankly receiving sense-impressions, usually ends up losing itself mental arithmetic. For instance, if I pass the 1k mark on a 5k run I’ll probably be thinking something like “that’s 20% done, which means I only have to repeat that four more times, and it’s one-third of my daily target and one-eight-hundredth of what I still have to do this year and as there are 300 days left this year it represents the same effort as running 3.33 metres every day, or to put that another way……” and while I’m working out all these fractions I see  another marker coming up and it starts all over again. I’m aware that this seems rather nerdy, and I should probably be thinking up creative solutions to real problems or at least something more constructive but this is just where my unfettered brain ends up. On the bike, with its constantly changing odometer it’s the same. I don’t know how other people react to the monotony – it would probably be quite fascinating and revealing to know how different minds cope

Thursday 5th March. A short cycle jaunt in the morning (7k) and an intended 3k untimed afternoon run that turned into 5k and brought up the 200k mark for the year. My daily running quota is now down to 2.66k while my cycling and swimming ones inexorably rise – but I still have 301 days left.

Friday. 4k running to the Buddhist Centre and a short ride on the bike (3k).

Saturday. Another 5k Parkrun. I set off at a comfortable pace and decided against any heroics. Now I know that I can avoid the humiliations of not finishing, walking or coming last I feel that I should just try to enjoy a companionable run, but of  course, other runners, either just ahead or coming up from behind, give an impulse to push that little bit harder. As a result I finished the race absolutely spent, but in another personal best. Afterwards I cycled down to the South Bank for coffee (20k total) and then enjoyed a rest in the back garden on the first sunworthy afternoon of the season.


Sunday. A mild spring-y morning with a 3k run and 11k of cycling in Finsbury Park.

Monday. Another long 8k run, but by mischance I reset my stopwatch extricating it from my glove so the run was untimed. Errands and an afternoon pootle added 26k to the biking total.

Tuesday. An early morning 2.3k swim (92 lengths) taking me past 10% of my target. Emerged into a mild, palely sunlit morning in contrast to earlier swims, which were followed by damp, chilly rides home. It made me hope that I can knock off the nearly 90 kilometres I still have left to cover before next winter arrives. 35k cycling mostly around park paths in the sunny afternoon, fuelled by cake and coffee. A 3k run in the evening rounds off a most productive day.

Wednesday. A sunny morning for a Parkland Walk 6k in 31″26′. 8k cycling.


3 thoughts on “Week 10 – Mind games”

  1. I bet most people would go on similar mental trips if they weren’t umbilically attached to ipods or tvs. Thanks for asking – the running is going great but the cycling and swimming less so. I thought I would address the totals in week 13, the quarter-way point.


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