Can I STILL Run 10km in 1 hour? 😀

At one point I claimed I could do a 10k race in one hour any time. Without training.

That MIGHT have been trueat one point.

I did work up to it in 2019.

Day two 2023 I felt pretty good. Running steadily, made 8km in an hour. About 7.5 minutes / km.

My goal is 6 minutes / km.

A few days later I ran much better. I was well below 6 minutes / km to start — but couldn’t keep up the pace.

Ended up 6min and 45sec / km.

Next day I switched to Strava, an app much more accurate than Apple Watch Workouts if you make U-turns. (Apple Watch is ideal for checking pace on the fly, however.)

Ran better. 6min and 11sec / km.

On Feb 3rd I psyched up to make my goal. And pulled it off. Started slow. Sprinted the end … to make it. Barely. 😀

In real life I never have to run an hour. This was base training. I’ll switch to sprints and hills now as I find those help more for my cycling and hiking.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of running in Bermuda on YouTube.

I got my 5th Covid jab

NO … I’m not worried about cardiovascular disease or stroke. The tiny risk is far outweighed by the benefit of the vaccine.

The XBB.1.5 variant is super infectious, though not all that dangerous.

We’re all going to be exposed. Scientists feel about 80% of those exposed will get it sometime soon, even if you are vaccinated or have had Covid in the past.

I’m hoping another vaccine might help (a bit) when I get it.

So far as I know, I haven’t had Covid yet.

Also, I’m traveling soon to Bermuda, a nation that is behind most of the rest of the developing world in vaccine & natural protection.

There’s a pretty good argument not to bother with #5 — but getting the vaccine is free, easy, and I’ve never had a side effects.

I got TWO Shingrix vaccines

Not wanting to EVER badly suffer from Shingles, I finally got the treatment.

Two doses of Shingrix are recommended in Canada, which provides about 90% protection at 3.5 years.

It’s recommended for those age-50 or older. It may be less effective in those age-80 and older.

Shingrix is not free in Canada.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Canada Fitness Award Program

The Canada Fitness Award Program was subjected to Canadian school kids from 1970 to 1992.

I remember the annual challenge fondly, being something of a jock.

50 yard run, the 300 yard run, flexed arm hangs, the shuttle run, speed situps, and the standing long jump.

I can’t recall getting the highest Excellence rating — but always got Gold, the second highest.

Worst was the … PARTICIPATION ribbon. 😀

Unsurprisingly, it was finally cancelled due to being “discouraging to those who needed the most encouragement“. And sometimes resulted in “destructive eating and exercise practices” by the least fit.

I’m always leery of awards programs for kids. At many Gymnastics Clubs I tried to discontinue the annual “awards” night.

These memories came back after listening to Canada’s greatest comedian talking about how traumatized he was by the annual humiliation. Rick Mercer couldn’t do the flex arm hang.

As an adult Rick become surprisingly fit, trying many different sports for his TV shows.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It was related to another government program called ParticipACTION. We blamed the Swedes. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ParticipACTION included a TV show, started 1988, with interracial couple Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. Every Canadian of my age remembers BodyBreak.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I was punched in Spain 🥊

I can’t recall being in a fist fight since elementary school.  I’m no a fighter. 

Walking at night on a crowded pedestrian street in Málaga I sidestepped to avoid running into a guy. 

He deliberately shouldered me — for no reason. 

I did the wrong thing, reflexively giving him an equal shove back.  And calling him a Fuckwad.  

He punched me, but not that hard.  More than a slap.  Less than a punch. 

It didn’t hurt but happened to draw blood as my glasses cut me and were knocked to the ground. 

At that point I did the right thing.  I stepped into the crowded outdoor restaurant and sat down beside a waiter.  

My opponent had still said nothing.  But started removing his jacket as he’d seen toxic macho actors do on TV.  Ready to fight. 

It would have been difficult at that point to drag me out of the restaurant. I was confident the fight was over.

Finally another big guy, another local, intervened as peacemaker, and convinced him to move on. 

Travel is easy in 2022 with the internet and map apps.  But there’s still some adventure to be had. 😀 

Here’s the damage done.  Do I look scared enough?

Happy November 2nd 🎈

I’m 65 years young today.

Give me ALL the pensions. 😀

Last year I was in Lisbon for 64.

For the 62nd I was in Nepal.

53rd was in Porto, Portugal.

I’m usually travelling the world on my birthday.

30 years ago I decided on my far-from-typical philosophy.

Life is short. Too short to waste working. Do what you want.

Financially my plan was to retire” from age 33 to 65 — then go back to work full-time when I’m no good for anything else. At age-65. Today.

I can do that as a Gymnastics coach. There are plenty of elderly full-time Gymnastics coaches.

Sounded a brilliant plan. But I think I’ll put off un-retirement for a while longer.

Perhaps until I’m medically tied down.

All the best from Liverpool, England. I’m here for the World Gymnastics Championships.

What’s next? … I’m researching sunny European hiking destinations. Azores? Canary Islands?

Israel And Palestine, Explained

Nuseir Yassin is an Arab–Israeli vlogger who is most notable for creating over 1,000 daily one-minute-long videos on FacebookTikTok and Instagram under the page Nas Daily.

One reason I like Nas is his open-minded worldview. A Palestinian Israeli. With a Jewish American girlfriend. 

With Nas Daily videos, he tries to bring people together.

They are very uplifting.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

I first heard about a jungle covered ancient city in Honduras on Kraig Becker’s Adventure Blog.

In 2017, Douglas Preston wrote the book about a project headed by documentary filmmaker Steve Elkins that used lidar to search for archaeological sites in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve of the Gracias a Dios Department in the Mosquitia region of eastern Honduras.

The Lost City of the Monkey God

After a privately funded lidar survey revealed complex archaeological sites under the rainforest cover, Preston accompanied a joint Honduran-American expedition to do ground truthing of the lidar results.

They were able to confirm the presence of large abandoned prehispanic settlements and to document plazas, terracing, canals, roads, earthen structures including a pyramid, and concentrations of artifacts, among them decorated cylindrical stone vessels and metates, confirming the existence of an ancient city.

The official name of the principal archaeological site that was mapped has been changed to the City of the Jaguar. …

The book is very well written. A fascinating story.

My main takeaway — however — was that nearly every person in their exploration party was exposed to leishmaniasis, a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted by the bite of sandflies.

What a horrible disease.

Between 4 – 12 million people are currently infected in some 98 countries.

DO NOT GET BITTEN BY SANDFLIES.

There’s no vaccine for humans.

My Skyrace in Norway 😀

I was stuck in Tromsø — the Paris of the north — waiting on my bike and gear which were stuck at Heathrow airport for over 2 weeks. Why not race !!

Tromsø Skyrace was launched 2014 by Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg.

Kílian Jornet is the fastest mountain runner of all time though Karl Egloff has bettered some of Kilian’s records.

Emelie Forsberg is Kilian’s partner, mother of two, and also an insane mountain runner.

I’d like to claim I was in the mix with the sponsored super athletes in this video … 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

There are 3-4 different distances raced each year. Mine was shortest.

I signed up 2-days in advance of the race for the EASY 16km up and down.

It was more of a hike than a knife edge ridge.

I ended up 153rd, 1hr 44min behind the winner in the short race. My time 3hr 11min.

BUT I was happy with how I did. Running in I still felt great — avoiding muscle cramps which threatened throughout. I’d not really gone running in over a year before this day.

Louise finished ahead of me. We recovered with free vegetarian chile. So tasty, I bought some to take cycling.

In fact, at that point, Louise was wondering what happened to her brother Henry — turned out he had kept going at the short race turnaround. Henry ended up running an extra 7km or so.

Happily, his luck changed later — winning an official race hoody.