Sunday 9 August 2015

Squirrel bait

This week started well. Following the LEL premiere last weekend I felt buzzed up enough to wipe the cobwebs from my bike and commute to work just like I should. The ride out was great - nice to be back on a bike and the weather was kind. So kind was the weather, I was able to wear my cycling sandals (no socks) and short sleeved top. As I was bombing up the canal, a blind lady indicated that I should stop. I have seen this lady many times walking up the canal with her dog - a slightly overweight black Labrador with bells jangling about it's neck. I don't think the dog is a guide dog because he is always a few feet in front or behind and never appears to be on a lead. Anyways, the blind lady asked if I could walk her to the where the tow path forks (recently added path) because she struggles to find her way and said she fallen into the canal on a few occasions! Of course I helped. We chatted as we walked along and she told me her name was Lubna. I felt pleased that I was able to perform a good deed so early in the day. Almost as exciting was a crazy squirrel I crossed paths with in the tunnel. This squirrel ran up the side of the tunnel wall and then jumped into the canal! Horrors! My next thought was 'can squirrels swim'? Apparently they can, because as I looked back I saw him climb out of the canal back onto the towpath. What an exciting commute!

Squirrel's epic swim across lake
Swimming squirrel

Tourists on board a pleasure boat in the Lake District could not believe their eyes when they spotted a red squirrel in the middle of Ullswater. The mammals can swim, but they find it very strenuous, and have been known to drown in water troughs.
But this determined squirrel had swum 300 yards (274m) - or about the length of six swimming pools - from the shore.
Passengers lowered a rope to the mammal and it climbed on board and hitched a lift back to shore.

Robert Benson, chairman of the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group, said: "I've been involved with the conservation of red squirrels for 15 years and I know they can swim, but I have never seen it.
"This squirrel was swimming strongly and had its tail coiled on its back so it didn't look bedraggled or as if it was struggling.
"I've never seen anything like it before."
Once ashore the squirrel ran along a fence and disappeared, apparently none the worse for its dip.

Red squirrel
My return commute was less exciting. Still great weather though. I spotted some broken slabs that were tipped that might have come in handy but won't go back for them lest I got done for fly tipping.

On Tuesday I faced my demons and went for a 10k run. I was worried how this might go after my last 10k effort last week. Glad to report all was good, despite me running slightly slower than usual. I met Lubna on route but just said 'hi' as I passed.
In the evening, SJ and I decided we would go for a quick jog together. This jog didn't happen. Something slightly disturbing was happening in our village - a whole bunch of police cars were blocking the road and some fella was wanted for firearms...

Wednesday was a multi-sport day. I cycled my old TTT 20 route in the morning and ran into work in the evening. I guess that was duathlon day!

Thursday was a usual cycle commute to work and back. I mostly followed the canal tow path but avoided the long tunnel because the lights weren't working properly. Mojo definitely with me this week.
Friday was the last day of the week that any exercise/training took place. I was real pleased that I managed to complete a 12 mile run without feeling so bad. Sure my feet hurt whilst I was running back but my legs and knee weren't anywhere near as painful compared to my previous long run. I flowed SJ's golden words of advice and started my run real slow. SJ sure makes a great coach. 
12 mile run, oh what fun :)


  1. Do you have a foam roller Tim. Great after a long or hard run.

  2. I don't have a foam roller, what is it? What would I do with it?


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