Week 41 – Autumn

In which I Cycle 223k, Run 16k and Swim 2.6k

Finsbury Park – on the turn

Back from my travels to find that autumn has arrived since my departure. The paths are strewn with falling leaves (dangerous for runners) and the shadows lengthen. Suddenly my usual cycling garb feels insufficient and I am dusting off my beanie and gloves after months of disuse. Early mornings are plunged into darkness and I am beset by memories of the year’s beginning, when I had to tog up warm for even a short run and could keep my keys and cycle computer in my gloves. I am feeling very much like the fabled grasshopper who sings (or stridulates) away the summer and is caught unprepared for winter. Now I’m starting to rue those lovely summer days when I could have put in a little extra time on the bike or on my runs at no great hardship, but must now make up the uncompleted mileage in far less benign circumstances. I’m not much looking forward to having to brave the dark, frost – and worse – to meet my schedules. Unhappy memories of  cycling to the swimming pool in darkness, with frost spangling in the sodium glow, and coming back in sub-zero temperatures with damp hair recur. I resolve to work harder now so that I do not have to travail in the bitterest days of winter. But also I know how my resolutions usually work out.


Thursday 8th October. The long trip back from Crete – 14 hours door-to-door. Zeroes across the board in my activity diary.

Fri. A beautiful day – the ideal coming-back present. Still a bit jaded from yesterday’s flight but went for a cycle in the park, and later to get some food in and volunteer at the Buddhist Centre – 40k all told.

Sat. Das ParkRun. I don’t know why I felt compelled to Germanise that; now I just feel slightly embarrassed. Felt a bit heavy-legged, which was reflected in my time, but every 5k helps and the coffee and chat afterwards is a good motivation. There followed a brunch in Islington and a few laps of the Arsenal ground to add 27k of cycling.


Sun. A peerless October morning so I kicked out 20 miles in the park on the bike to take me past the 8,000k/80% mark 🙂 An afternoon ride resulted in 39k for the day.

Mon. Bright and crisp – just right for a 6k run on legs somewhat achey from Saturday’s effort – all my little 3k morning runs were not adequate preparation for a hard 5k with hills.  Gorgeous weather tempted me out both morning and afternoon to put in a very respectable 53k.

Tue. Wide awake at 6am, so nothing for it but to head off to the swimming pool in the cold and dark once more. 104 lengths (2.6k to go past 80k/80% 🙂 ) followed by a cycle and breakfast in the park and by the end of the day’s business, 37k clocked.

Wed. To the park, bright and early, to trace the Parkrun 5k route in a rather dilatory 24″24′. Then cycled for half an hour before meeting up with my housemate Aura, who had a day off work, for coffee. Eventually tallied 27k for the day by bike.


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