Running from the Bungletruck

I got the bike out of the bomb shelter last night and pumped up the tyres, so I’d be able to ride down to the parkrun (assuming that the good weather would hold). This activated La Serpiente’s Anti-Racing senses, so at about midnight she kicked off and yelled at us for an hour, assuming this would prevent me going racing this morning. Her plan was outwitted by me being dumb enough to go out after only 5 and a half hours sleep, and try to run a 5k and ride 20km on the bike for the first time since the 20th of June (after which the arrival of our second daughter put a real crimp in my running schedule, even before the haze arrived).
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I didn’t sleep at all well last night, probably because of my late night phone call, so after getting five hours rest I went to work feeling a little fragile. I didn’t so much wake up this morning as feel that I was attending my own wake. This wasn’t good preparation for today, which I spent in a state of total panic, feeling that I was incapable of either doing anything intelligent or achieving anything. This was only worsened by it being the office Halloween party, where everyone else was busy having fun while I was swearing at my computer or on phone calls. Or on phone calls, swearing at my computer.
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A second spin cycle

I went back to spinning again today, after a lacklustre session yesterday where I didn’t manage to put much power down. Inbetweenwhiles I’d read an interesting bit of research showing that participants in spin classes tend to exceed their VO2max. Which is to say that there’s little point on just clambering on a spin cycle by yourself and trying to get exercise – it’s the whole group think / peer pressure / a madman shouting at you over the greatest hits of 90s techno to speed up that makes the difference. Well, either it was that today, or I was wearing my magic socks.

As a result, I felt full of joy and happiness all afternoon, until the combination of fatigue and stress struck me about 5pm, and then I ended up working late (until about 7:30) then went home, then had to stay up until a 11 o’clock call at work. So all the benefit of training hard may be for nothing, as I’ll have neglected lesson zero in all things fitness – rest as hard as you train.

Still, the day has gone very well. It rained a lot yesterday and the haze has abated. For the first time in what feels like forever, the sky was blue, so I could carry La Serpiente on my shoulders to school this morning, rather than fuss around with a taxi. Not having to wear a pollution mask may interfere with my ambitions to stair climb while sweating as profusely as possible, but I suppose I’ll have to work around that.

I’ll keep this short, as every moment typing is another moment away from bed.

Clearing the air

I was rather surprised this morning when I found that instead of having back to back calls from 7:30 until midday, almost all my meetings had been cancelled. Rather than be on the phone from home from the moment I got out of bed until lunchtime, I could have breakfast at a sensible hour and then stroll to work. And even better, because of the rain storm just after midnight, the air was clear for a change and so I didn’t need to wear a mask. Jubilation ensued.
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Gaston is a book about a French bulldog, that I chose for La Serpiente Aquatica Negra when we were at the library this week. It wasn’t that she particularly likes the French or dogs, more that I located a book of the right size and shape, and, not knowing what it contained, added it to the pile of books we would borrow for her. The last children’s book I wrote about, well, we won’t even talk about that. Gaston could be similarly depressing, but isn’t, which is a joy when you’ve had a long day and don’t want an aching misery fest to be the final thing you talk to your child about in the evening.

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Uphill slog

Another week of haziness looms, with again little chance to exercise. What’s worse on a Monday is that now the clocks have gone back in the UK, the 2pm meeting I have with London is now a 10pm call in Singapore. Undaunted, or rather unaware until I checked at 8:55 and realised my meeting was an hour away, I went off to do another ascent of the building.

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Things I learned this week

This pelican is something every parent should have.

My wife ordered this large bird-shaped jug from an American website a few weeks ago, and I thought she had lost her mind in buying effigies of cute animals. But it turns out to be really great. In the past, we’ve used an old plastic jam jar to rinse the shampoo out of La Serpiente’s hair, but that takes ages. The pelican has about double the capacity of water, and the larger volume manages to sluice the water out much more effectively – a few sloshes and she’s clean, whereas before it’s taken ages. It does, of course, have the problem that she keeps trying to kiss the pelican, but what price a more efficient bathtime? Alas Munchkin, the manufacturer, have not seen fit to produce any other bird-shaped rinsing devices. Yet.

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