Week 16 – Doubts!

In which I Cycle 75k, Run 26k and Swim 2.5k

On Thursday I had a wobble. I’d done my run and some cycling, been shopping on the bike and put in a hard afternoon in the garden getting on top of the ivy. By the end of the day I was tuckered, but had still not put in half of my daily cycle requirement of almost 34 km. Now, if I don’t cycle my daily requirement goes up by a 130m each and every day thereafter and every subsequent day it will be even more. Some rough calculations on my approx speeds of swimming at around 1.25k/hr, running at 10k/hr and cycling at 12.5k/hr means that meeting my target will consume around 980 hours of the year. Put another way, 28 weeks of 35 hours. I have effectively given myself a half-time job. Every time I have a physically demanding day – gardening, conservation work, walking etc. – I don’t really have the energy for my challenge. I’m 60 now and I want to put my feet up a bit! I also enjoy travelling, sunbathing, reading, socialising, gaming online, meditation, voluntary work, and sleeping and I find I am already sacrificing some of these pleasures to meet my challenge totals. In short, I’m starting to doubt that I can actually find the time to meet my target for the year. The running is going well and I have completed 40 of the 100 hours needed, and the swimming is only about 80 hours over the year, of which I have already done a quarter, but the cycling (another 700 hours in less than 260 days) just seems a bridge too far if I am going to have a reasonable portion of my life left over. Mostly I have been cycling on footpaths and towpaths, which is slow but enjoyable. I could save time by riding on roads or getting a proper racing bike instead of the clapped-out tourer I mostly use. But where would the fun be? I still have 8,750k to cover this year and it’s not looking probable. I think I might scale back my cycling target to 5,000k minimum, while keeping the running and swimming targets the same.

Thursday 16th April. 7k run, a park cycle of 12k and 2k more to the library and shops. A strenuous afternoon in the garden.

Friday. Both a bit tired and wanting to be fresh for tomorrow’s Parkrun. Just 5k on the bike

Saturday. Unexpectedly fast time on the usual 5k Parkrun, shaving 40 seconds off my previous best endeavour. Then a mooch around the South Bank with a friend, Tony, which added 25k of cycling.parkrun9

Sunday. An approx 5-mile walk organised by my Buddhist group. Plenty of exercise, but only 4k of it on a bike to count towards my targets.

Monday. Morning run of 8k in and around the park. Accidentally took a wrong turn and messed up my timing (36″03′ for 7.2k). 4k cycling.

Tuesday. Had friends staying, so most of the day was spent with them and doing work in the garden. Racked up 13k of cycling accompanying them to Euston Station when they left.

Wednesday. 100 lengths of the pool (2.5k) – then a frustrating day waiting for the neighbour’s builder to rectify some of his damage to my roof. He didn’t show. With the day nearly gone I went to the park and ran 6k’s-worth of frustration out in 29″04′, passing the 400k mark for the year as I did so. Also 10k cycling in the course of my two outings.


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