In Which I Cycle 170k, Swim 2.5k and don’t have to run.
I think it’s been grey and wet all week. If the sun has ever been out I can’t remember it. It’s a shame, because it’s also the darkest time of year in terms of day length and I need what little comforts I can get. With the work this summer on turning a window into a door I now have a lot more light and, it being west-facing, afternoon sun on the top landing. I’ve squeezed a little chair in there, although it’s not strictly practical. I’m the only person who uses the top floor of the house so I don’t have to think of the inconvenience or danger to others. On a sunny afternoon I can bask in tepid sunlight and read without my glasses even now. In summer I’ll be able to open the door and sit outside on the flat roof of the bathroom – I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously, I have a bit of tidying and redecorating to do as well.
One feature of this ‘featureless’ week is that even though it has been consistently grey and wet there are almost always enough gaps in the rain to be able to fit my running and cycling in. Apart from a handful of times where I’ve had to go out in the rain to attend events or meetings on my bike I have pretty much avoided getting wet. Once this week I found myself cycling park-laps in drizzle and had to dry off in the cafe afterwards, and it made me think how lucky I have been in that that was the only time I remember getting wet on my bike apart from one day in the summer when a thunder-shower overtook me unawares. Once or twice I went running in light rain rather than put it off for another day. It has surprised me that in what we consider a fairly damp country I have managed to exercise outdoors for between one and two hours a day consistently over the year and only get more than slightly damp on perhaps four or five occasions. I think it illustrates how we magnify the inconveniences of our climate. Of course there really are days when it is so windy or wet that going out is an act of masochism, but that on close to 99 times out of 100 it’s possible to find some window somewhere in the day when things are not so bad that getting out for a run and a ride are not feats of endurance. Of course, thick snow could put the kibosh on everything, but that’s becoming a rarity now in London.
Thursday 10th December. At last I make it down to the pool for 100 lengths (2.5k) – only one swim left to go now. Afterwards, went by public transport to see my father in Morden to break the news about my mother. Only managed a mere 19k on the bike as a result.
Fri. A ride in the park and breakfast there. It’s really rather marvellous that I don’t have to think about going for a run any more. Afternoon tea at the Buddhist Centre to thank all us volunteers for our work over the year. 29k biked.
Sat. Parkrun time, but I have the luxury of just volunteering to be a marshal, directing, cheering and clapping the runners as they go round. Still time for the social afterwards and another in the evening, bringing up 29k cycled.
Sun. Grim & wet. Can I take a day off? Better not – it only makes the next one harder. A dour 23k of cycling
Mon. Another soggy day – 24k cycle and met my friend John in the caff afterwards.
Tue. Grey day dittos. God is cloning the weather this week. Just 28k a-biking.
Wed. 23k cycled today. Otherwise – forgettable.