Week 45 – On My Knees

In Which I Cycle 192k, Run 20k and Swim 2.6k

Two of my long-suffering joints

Something I never contemplated when I started this themed blog is that the weekly blog might be almost as  much work as the physical exercise. Especially on a slow news week like this one. The weather has been unseasonally mild and undramatic, and my exercise schedule has been almost identical for the last several weeks. Nothing is new and nothing much changes, so I am scratchling around for anything worth talking about. Fifty weeks is a long time to sustain an interest in what is essentially a hamster running around in a wheel. But weeks that are identical in physical aspect are often quite different at the subjective level. Some days it’s easy to put in a long run, but on others it feels like a gargantuan effort for no obvious, observable reason. This week I have been noticing a dull ache in both knees when I run. Maybe it’s always been there but my mind has been elsewhere, or maybe it’s a result of extended, repeated exercise or something more sinister and long-term to do with the ageing process and mortality. In any event, it reminds me that every component of my body has a ‘sell-by’ and a ‘best-before’ date and in strengthening my heart I may be weakening my joints. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve been a net beneficiary overall from this year’s challenge, but it’s still nice to think that after the year’s end I can move on to something else. Already I’m musing on a challenge for next year – a chess rating of 1800? visiting every European country? writing a novel? That’s my trouble – I’m always dreaming about the future instead of getting on with what needs to be done here and now – some 670 miles of cycling, 27 miles of running and 5 miles of swimming.


Thursday 5th November. Bonfire night, but no great fireworks in my training schedule – out for a 6k run and 26k cycle on a day of dodging rain squalls.

Fri.  The pool for a swim – 104 lengths/2.6k. More rain, which made cycling a bore. Had a day of dizziness – food poisoning? lack of sleep? brain tumour? Only time will tell, but although fine on the bike, the legs felt a bit unsteady for running. Didn’t feel well enough for my usual Buddhist Centre volunteering.

Sat. Parklife – I mean Parkrun. On a rainy day I dressed for autumn, but what I got was summer in disguise; wet and grey but rather humid and uncomfortably hot going up the hills. A pretty standard time though. Afternoon tea with a friend and a bit of a rush getting my cycling in before darkness at around 5pm (23k).


Sun. I’ve no recollection of this day at all. All I know from my training log is that I cycled 30k.

Mon. An early 6k on the Parkland Walk – a mistake as it was very muddy after the recent rain. 24k on the bike – some circuits and a couple of shopping/bank trips.

Tue. It’s double-stamp day on loyalty cards at the park cafe, so I rode my daily target in a rather casual 1hr 16m and tucked in to scrambled eggs on toast, with coffee. All-in-all, 30k cycled in the day and a 3k run around dusk – a mere 43k left now to run.

Wed. For no reason at all, my left ankle has decided to swell and ache – it started before I even got out of bed! Maybe it’s asking for a day off from running. I’ll give it one. Just 30k cycled.


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