A sad farewell, a jab and some progress

The big news for the UK this week was the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. I am a bit of a Royalist, although not at all nationalistic having spent so much of the last 40 years out for the country, so I do find it sad to witness the passing of an era. He was the last of the royals to have served in the second world war, and will be forever connected to Britain’s recovery from the devastation of that time. I also feel very sorry for the Queen to be left alone after 70 plus years of marriage, and even if her husband’s gaffes must have been excruciating for her at time, they did seem to trust and rely on each other very much!  But things do change and how the state and the people handle his funeral, especially in this age of Covid, will be a very obvious sign of the times. RIP Prince Philip, you served the nation proud.

Prince Philip & Queen Elizabeth
The Queen and Prince Philip over the years

The big news for me this week was that I eventually managed to get my first vaccine. Seems I had slipped through the cracks due to my somewhat itinerant lifestyle and was not able to get an appointment, so after several weeks back and forth with the local and national vaccine authorities, I eventually got a last minute call to take advantage of some left over Astra Zeneca, which I happily accepted. All went well other than being totally exhausted the next day, and I now eagerly await my second jab in a couple of months’ time.

Training has been going well, I have seen a continuous downward trend in weight and blood pressure with an upward trend in my endurance. Injuries are all in abeyance and I am slowly getting further and faster (still slow but not as slow as a month ago!!). I am seeing many of the races planned for this year looking likely to be cancelled or already being cancelled, but… fingers crossed, touch wood, three hail Marys and the sign of the cross…. I do believe that one of the big ones on my calendar may well go ahead. This will be my first full Ironman since 2018, and will take place in mid-July in northern Spain. I imagine there may be various restrictions in place, but as long as I can get there, I very much hope this will be my return to triathlon. It’s actually a carryover from a different race that was cancelled due to weather (pre pandemic), and although I will be nowhere near my fitness levels of back then, I can’t wait to get out there and at least try to finish before cut off.

IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz – have never posted a video before, so hope this works 😉

Training Week Three – week beginning 5th April 2021

Weight:  Monday 5th April – 84.1kg

Run: Total 4hrs 38mins. 3 sessions.  Long run 22.1km

Bike: Total 7hrs 45mins. 4 sessions all indoors. Long Bike 4hrs/118km (yes, indoors. It hurt, but working on those buns of steel!)

Swim: None (pools closed). 1 x 45, 1 x 60 minutes rowing

Walk: 4hrs 17mins

S&C : 2 x 30 minutes stretching and body weight exercise

Monday is my quiet day, so just a walk and a bit of rowing. Tuesday I felt very tired and very de-motivated, a little bit of the solitude catching up on me I think, as well as a few negatives from work (I work remotely for my business in Japan). However I knew if I did nothing then the negativity would just increase so went out for a shortish run followed by a (pre planned) easy bike. I went to bed happier than I awoke, especially as I got a late call asking me to come to the clinic the next day for a vaccine.

Wednesday I was excited and happy, I have put so much hope in the vaccine bringing everything back to normality, I couldn’t wait to get mine. I knew I maybe tired afterwards, so did a hard 90 minute on indoor trainer beforehand, then walked the 4km over the hills to get the jab. Everything went smoothly, and another day done. I did feel the after effects on Thursday though, so I cancelled all my plans and basically rested on the sofa, sleeping and sweating. Had enough energy come evening to do a short walk and some rowing, just to assuage my guilt and allow me to eat the chocolate I desperately needed 🙂

Friday was great, felt positive and energetic, so went out for a 10km run across the hills. Without planning or even thinking about it, I saw I had hit my MAF HR of 126, which is a good sign that not only my training but particularly my MAF training has worked to reset my base and get me stronger. I finished off with another session on the bike trainer, this time some pretty nasty intervals, which I was very happy to be able to complete.

The forecast was showing Saturday wet and Sunday cold, so decided to do long indoor bike first and the long run the next day. It has been quite a time since I sat on my trainer for 4 hours straight, but my new smart TV gave me lots of choices to keep me occupied, and it wasn’t as bad as I had thought, although the shower stung a bit afterwards!

Finally we reached long run day, which while cold enough to have frost on the grass, was pretty sunny. Morning was all about weekly chores, followed by lunch and a quick nap, before setting out mid afternoon. My legs were complaining about having to run after 4hrs on the bike the day before, so I did a deal with them and agreed if they got out the door, I’d settle for 10km and see where we got to. My legs being incredibly stupid concurred as they always do, and as expected started to warm up nicely around the 10km mark, so we agreed to go for 12k… then 15, then 18, then 20, and finally headed home after a grand total of 22km running, the longest I have managed to run (and without pain) since summer 2019. I also managed to keep my HR at an average of 128, so really can feel I have got running strength back. Now I need to work on my speed, as I am at least 90 seconds per km below what I should be doing.

Al in all, another good week. Pools and gyms open Monday so will be cutting back on other sports a bit to make enough time. Has been over 3 months since I swam, and there is a lot of catching up to do.


4 thoughts on “A sad farewell, a jab and some progress

  1. Another great week Richard! I do not know how you sat on the trainer for 4 hours! The most I can manage is 60 minutes and then I am starting to stand. And well doing your 22km long run at 128 HR. I could never do that. Keep it up and I am sure you will have a result in Spain.

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