Friday, June 7, 2013

Where's the limit? Where's my pants?

It was that time of the year again to wear a "Holter" device - a small, portable Electro Cardiagram - for 24 hours, so that it wasn't really practicable to do any training on Monday. The reason for the Holter is that I am having a heart condition that has developed over the last 5 years checked out. It is a side effect of a fairly common adaptation that the heart makes to the simulus of exercise but, all the same, it is worth investigating in case it is masking something else more sinister.

I decided to do some interval training on Tuesday. This consisted of 4 x 200m @ 19 kph, 3 x 1k @ 17.5 kph, 2 x 400m @ 19 kph. Afterwards I couldn't find my pants or socks. I figured that I must have chucked them into a neighbouring locker but - unlike my locker - all the other ones were locked. As I was standing around with only a towel to protect my modesty, and after explaining my predicament to some amusement, I asked a colleague if he wouldn't mind fetching the skeleton key. My pants and socks were nowhere to be seen so I had to execute plan B: I put on my swimming trunks and a pair of flight socks that had been lurking at the botttom of my bag for who knows how long and started to put my suit on over the top. It was at this point that I realized that this wasn't my suit either! What was going on? No pants, no socks and no suit? Had someone stolen all my clothes for a laugh? Then it dawned on me, I was looking in the wrong locker altogether. Eventually, I found my suit and, of course, my pants and socks were there as they had been all along. A case of a lack of blood to the brain after a relatively hard workout.

I cycled into work the next day, as did Tony, so we arranged to go back together along the "scenic route" which passes through the Casa de Campo. With a short stop for a caña on the way, we covered some 26 kms, virtually all of which was either cross country or along cycle paths. We could see a black cloud with the tell tale streaks of rain below but, miraculously, our route avoided it completely.

I opted for another hard workout on Thursday, mainly to get my legs for the 5K race on Sunday. Last year I managed a rare appearance on the podium as the fastest employee; this year will be somewhat harder after absorbing the 10,000 or so employees of Banesto. This time I repeated another workout I did in preparation for San Silvestre of 4 x 1k @ 16 kph, 6 x 200m @ 19 kph and an acceleration run of 3,200m @ 15-17.5 kph. This last section I did at home because I got too hot and my shoes too sweaty and slippery to be able to finish it in the gym at work.

In the evening I attended an event held by Santander in which José Luis Alciturri - the Head of Human Resources of Santander - and Josef Ajram ("Where's The Limit?") talked about their expreiences in extreme endurance events such as the Sables Marathon, their links to corporate values and the role of brands and marketing in sport. José Luis, for being a General Director of a company with 190,000 employees, evidently dressed in such a way to make Josef Ajram feel comfortable (although it was probably unnecessary as he said that this was the only place where he didn't feel criticised for being a "trader"). Apart from having shared a jaima in the 2010 edition of the Sables, they have in common an interest in finance, ultra-distance and tattoos. In spite of aiming to be an equal opportunity employer, there is undoubtably a bias in the male-female ratio although you wouldn't have known it had you been in the audience last night. I suspect it had more to do with the presence of Josef than José Luis (sorry).

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