Race To The Line.

The shed has been a distant threat for ages, first because of the build time, then putting it on hold because of my broken shoulder, then further delay until delivery. Suddenly it’s all happening. I’ve got the sand and gravel arriving tomorrow morning, then the shed is arriving the week after. I’m hoping this time tomorrow I’ll have a nice flat surface for the shed. It’s really hard to do with mud, I’m hoping the sand will make it really easy to level off. Then lay the plastic grid things and fill with gravel. That’s strong enough to drive cars over so it will be overkill for my shed. I can’t wait to have it up. The ‘having a new shed’ thing is going to be great. The ‘getting a new shed’ thing is a bit of a nightmare. Also, to add to my stress, when I ordered the shed their website has a link to some bank that offer interest free loans for a year to spread the payments. Why not? It doesn’t cost any more and it makes it less of huge bill. I think they make their money by people running up credit they can’t afford and paying the minimum payment each month so essentially just paying the interest. I seem to recall us being in that situation at some point. Got to say, lorry driving (and not spending all the cash on beer) has completely changed things in that regard. As usual, I digress. I was approved for the 12 month loan, ordered the shed, all fine and dandy. Then I broke my shoulder, the shed was delayed and the loan agreement went past 6 months without initiating, which apparently makes it void. So I had to re-apply. They refused me! I think my time on sick pay benefits must show up on the credit report. In the end I had to pay for it in one huge lump sump. That stung. Grrrrr.

Other news, which is totally splendid and has just happened as I’m typing, is I think my bike has sold. For the full asking price. It was lockdown that was deterring the punters. Some guy has asked me to hold it for two weeks until lockdown eases then he’s coming to pick it up. He’s sending me £100 deposit, which he’s totally not getting back if he backs out of it. So that’s brilliant. Yup, I’ve just got the £100. He’s coming for it the Friday after lockdown lifts. Excellent. Full asking price and not gouged for £250 by eBay! That feels good.

I’ve had a few little rides on my new bike and the acceleration is a hoot. For a bike that feels a bit breathless and vibey at a ton, oddly the second gear is good from about 5mph right the way through to 80mph! It’s basically a big rev-and-rip. So much fun when you want to overtake. Blip the throttle and it’s ‘prepare for the jump to light speed, mister Sulu’.

My shoulder is as good as new now. Still a bit oddly shaped, but I seem to have full mobility and no pain, so, job’s a good ‘un. The gamble on not getting the plate fitted seems to have paid off. Now it’s my foot I have to worry about. Again. 5½ months resting it. For nothing. If I follow the Trainer Road triathlon plan I can hold it together. Run one day, cycle the next, it hurts my foot but gives it time to rest. The trouble is the emphasis is on the cycling part in the plan. That is where you can make the biggest gains in a triathlon. Which is fine, but my triathlon isn’t planned until next year, and I’ve got a bunch of marathons and such planned this year. So I thought I’d try upping the running distance on run days. Being the fool I am I decided to do it on the long run day. And doubled it. On a hill course. Yeah, I can see the slight flaw in that plan now. I went from a ‘long run’ of 7 miles to a hilly half marathon. Which smashed my foot something fierce. I’ve given it a week and it’s back to being usable again, but it’s very discouraging. I have a marathon in two months, a 24 hour race in 14 weeks, and supposedly a sub 3 attempt in 5 months. With a foot that refuses to heal properly. Today I stuck to the plan, more or less, and did a 10 mile, mostly flat easy run. I threw in one mile flat out, just to see where my fitness and speed are after all that time off. 22 seconds slower than my PB. That’s not too terrible. The main thing I was pleased with was I was able to maintain flat out speed for the mile. When I uploaded my data it said my heart rate peaked at 100% of max and the training effect was “5. Overachieving”. (Keep it up and you’ll damage yourself rather than improve.) It sounds a bit negative, but that is the idea of the 80/20 training plan. You spend 80% in zone 2 (easy heart rate) and 20% in zone 5 (up to maximum heart rate). That way you build the endurance with limited damage, and improve your speed with short bursts. The good news is my foot is sore, but not feeling done in like last week. I’m going to try and nurse it through all this year’s events and then consider taking all of next year off. I’ll be 40 stone and very miserable but it will be worth it if I can cure the tendon injury.

Twitter has been making me sad. I quit my politics account as it was just depressing news and a constant stream of impotent outrage. I set up a running/ triathlon one to try to focus on better things. Even so, the tories are being so vile it’s seeping into, and poisoning, that account. In a week they’ve announced they are going full-on nazi and wiping out gypsies/ travellers, banning the right to peaceful protest, and blanket monitoring all internet history of UK subjects. They are introducing laws to seize all traveller vehicles that park anywhere they don’t like. The ban on protest is to stop Black Lives Matter and Climate Change demos. It will basically give the police the right to stop anyone (a single person is a demonstration) from protesting anything (if they feel it could “impact” on one person) with a further caveat that the home secretary is passing a law that allows her to arbitrarily change any of the definitions to any part of the law to make anything she doesn’t like illegal. Up to 10 years jail for spraying graffiti at a demo.

This was on a week that women were out holding a vigil of remembrance for a woman who was walking home and got kidnapped and murdered. They’ve arrested a copper for it. Before the new nazi police state powers have even gone to parliament the police, from the same police department as the alleged murderer, have gone all fascist on the women.

They had the gall to claim it was a covid thing.

The propaganda wing of the tory party, the BBC, fearlessly revealed the police state abuse:

And we heard the same BBC was killing off one of it’s most successful comedy programmes because it was critical of the government and not in line with the new pro Brexit jingoism that the state media has now to churn out. North Korea would blush.

That is the state of the nation. We are goosestepping into authoritarianism.

But what of the saviour of the the Labour party, Sir Keir? He’s a human rights lawyer. He knows to what unchecked police powers lead.

Until the women’s protest/ nazi overreach event went viral on twitter he had told the party they had to abstain on the police state bill. Everyone on twitter has been calling for the head of the Metropolitan Police to resign. Sir Keir has just come out in her defence. What is the actual point of him or his “Labour” party?

The only good thing, and the only reason I’ve not actually quit twitter all together is that the twitter outrage caused the Labour Tory to change his stance.

It has been making me sad though.

I’ve taken a decision. It’s cowardly, but I’m going back to the original purpose of my sports twitter account; sports and motorbikes. I’m not engaging with the politics anymore. It’s no better than Sir Keir’s ‘roll over and play dead’ school of effective opposition, but it’s my last shot at twitter.

OK, that was depressing. Moving swiftly on.

Work is pretty good. I’m getting my head around the multidrop nature of many of the local runs. I have 4 shifts again next week (so far). This week I’ve had 3 really good distance runs, which made the job so much better. And one local multidrop run. I was up at the top of the Lake District for two days.

Still fairly parky.

I’ve been going through my ‘weeks worked’, and I reckon from the beginning of April I should be on full pay parity again. If I’m still on 4 shifts a week I should be on decent money. The bike should have sold. Might as well use that money to pay off the last of the bank loan. We’ve already paid for the shed now. That means we’ll be totally debt free for the first time in many years. If I keep getting the shifts we should be able to save! Lots! Hooray!

I thought we were going to be throwing the money at Wendy’s planned facelift, but she’s changed her mind. The full job is about £8K but if it made her happy it would be worth it. She’s decided she couldn’t live with the thought of blowing eight grand on vanity while there are starving kids in the world. We pay tons to charities. She deserves to be happy. But now she’s convinced herself she wouldn’t be, due to guilt. Meh. Guilt fades, cosmetic surgery is good for 10 years. Do the maths.

Talking of ‘er indoors, she’s had her first really good day today. The pills are finally kicking in. That’s great news. I hope that means she’s starting to get better now. Being loony is the worst thing in the world. My sister had to stop taking antidepressants so the smoking cessation drugs would work, so she could quit smoking, so her dentist would fit a false tooth.

Not. For. All. The. Tea. In. China.

I’d have walked around without a tooth in my head before I’d willingly go loony again. Terrible, terrible.

I was falling into the same mistake as last time by trying to “help”. “Don’t worry about it, don’t even think of going back to that job, stay sick for as long as possible then quit”, etc. Exactly like last time. Idiot. The more you run away from the less you can face. My “helping” last time lead to Wendy being housebound in a state of terror for years. She has been calling it right. Go out each day. Do difficult things. Be afraid and do it anyway. She’s a trooper.

Some other good news, Wendy and Lisa have their vaccination jabs next week! Yay! For some reason I’m still in the “expendable” category, apparently. Ah well, I’ve had a good innings.

Twitter wasn’t all despair.

Ooh, also I’ve ordered some plug plants after Wendy finding a previous gloriously successful hanging basket picture.

Roll on spring/ summer, nice weather, and hopefully the end of lockdown and Covid.

Stay safe out there.