Me and the Big G man would have a funny relationship. Funny on the basis that I don’t believe in God, so as relationships go, it’s a bit of a non-starter. So we just ignore each other, and that seems to work fine. Not that it stops me popping in to say hi every now and again. Mostly for funerals, weddings, christenings… that sort of thing.
In Ireland, people of that ilk would be known as Submarine Catholics. They only surface in times of trouble.
Yesterday, Good Friday, and as I have done for the last few years, I put on my glad rags and headed up to the local RC church for 3 o’clock mass, representing the fire service. Members of the community have a short reading, so in the line-up we would typically have a member of An Garda Síochána, someone from the army, a doctor, a nurse, a scout leader, a local councillor. Ten in all, in keeping with many religions fascination with numerology.
It’s a couple of hours out of your day, all told, and I don’t mind. It’s the one opportunity to put on the dress uniform, and if that’s the only time I do so, then I am grateful, because for the most part, the number 1 uniform only comes out at funerals.
In preparation for this, I spent some time polishing.
And when you have the box out, you just start polishing everything, including your hiking boots and daughter’s school shoes (which will be redundant in a month or so).
I also popped down to see my good mate Terry, and took the Mercian out for a spin. Worth mentioning here the importance of decent tyre pressure. Not that any decent, self-respecting cyclist needs reminding, but correct tyre pressure just makes cycling better for a whole load of reasons: better and safer handling, less wear, more efficiency, reduced risk of pinch flats… you name it, soft tyres are just not smart. And here endeth the lesson. Which allows me to segue briefly into another post you really should read:
If you don’t already follow LoneSwimmer then you should. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy cold-water swimming, you will enjoy this blog for its unabashed promulgation of a fairly niche activity. And Donal, the blogger, will take you on some wonderful and at times strange journeys. Always worth the entrance fee, and of course, there IS no entrance fee to a blog. But think entrance more as a verb than a noun…
Pilates continues with a good, tough session on Monday, with a couple of runs during the week. I’m upping the pace for shorter runs now. Saturday’s 7 and a bit k were run at 5:28 pace. Wednesday’s a slightly more modest 6.7k at 5:51 (with some trails and hills that gobble up the time), and Friday’s 6.5k at 4:51 pace. Anything under the 5 minutes per kilometre for me I would consider to be a good effort. And I can push that pace out to 10k without huge difficulty.
What I am keeping an eye on is the right Achilles. That’s been an issue for months now (and pre-dates the Vibrams experiment, just in case anyone is keeping tabs). It hasn’t for now been such an issue that I can’t exercise, but I am aware of it and if you are a regular communicant in the church of wellness, then you not listening to your body is definitely a cardinal sin. As such, I am cutting back on the hill and speed work and the Vibrams experiment is on ice for now. I will build in some eccentric heel drops into my routines, and see if that helps, along with increased foam rolling for the calves. Achilles tendinitis can be a show-stopper, so I need to be careful.
During the week I dropped by to see some of my mates (one is on our crew) getting in some water rescue training on the Liffey. This is a discipline we all go through, and it’s one of the more enjoyable ones in the brigade. Whilst much of this ends up being put into use for retrieval, we have had saves too, and that’s what it’s all about.