Week 44 – The Passage of Time

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Warm enough to grow bananas in Islington now.

In Which I Cycle 201k, Run 23k and Swim 2.6k

I’ve already blogged how I mentally break up my runs, swims and cycles into fractions as they progress and continually calculate proportions and percentages to occupy my mind and, maybe not coincidentally, dissociate from any discomfort or fatigue I may be feeling. However, on bike rides of between one and two hours each day, often on a repetitive circuit, this actually has the effect of making the exercise drag and seem interminable. I find it’s much better if I can hook my mind onto some subject that interests me – my legs just mindlessly complete their task of pedalling while my musings make me unaware of time passing and one or two miles can easily just fly by without effort. Some days this happens naturally if I have been stimulated by a thought-provoking book or YouTube clip but on other days nothing presents itself and I’m left with only the mind-numbing occupation of watching my computer log the wheel revolutions. Today, for example, I was thinking of a short clip I watched last night of Deepak Chopra in debate with Sam Harris. Chopra struck me as a smug, slippery con-artist full of meaningless pseudo-profound waffle and I was rehearsing as I rode the rebuttals I would confront him with if we ever met in argument. While doing so, several miles passed under my wheels unnoticed and apparently effortlessly. For the first, and possibly the last, time, I found reason to be grateful to Mr Chopra.


Diary

Thursday 29th October. Fine days are not to be wasted at this time of year and we are enjoying an incredibly mild October – it’s 15C already by mid-morning. Up and out early to put in a 6k run and 28k of cycling.

Fri. As if in confirmation of my wise words of yesterday, a horrid, rainy morning. I figured if I was going to get wet I may as well go swimming and managed 2.6k – and in doing so passed the 90% mark :). As often seems to happen, a solid start is let down by a bout of laziness, and I barely managed to crank out 24k of cycling before the light went.

Sat. It’s 9am on Saturday so it’s Parkrun. Not a spectacular time, but 5secs slower than on my stopwatch – there seemed anyway to be a bit of confusion around the finish tunnel so I wouldn’t be surprised to get the person-behind-me’s time. A beautiful day for painting my new terrace door but it was only with effort that I found time for 24k of biking.Parkrun25Sun. Cold and foggy morning, but it turns into what is, apparently, the warmest November day on record. Nice enough for a 29k cycle and a late 3k run, at least. Bump into, and exchange civilities with, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition at the cafe in the park.

Mon. More fog, with fog warnings on the weather forecast. Slept badly and had a dizzy moment on getting up – so this is what old age feels like. Feelings of apathy and anxiety appeared from nowhere. Gave myself a break – just 30k in the day of cycling.

Tue. After yesterday’s poor showing, I determined to put some effort in today. Went for a 6k run and cycled my daily target first thing in the morning, and as it was a dry afternoon, went for another ride to clock up 34k for the day and whittle one-fortieth off the remaining mileage.

Wed, A dismerable morning (new word – copyright pending). Dodged the rainclouds enough to post 29k of cycling with the slowly-diminishing daily target of 22.2k met in 1 hour 10mins. A late, 3k run in darkness – because the end is near!

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