Saturday 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve (more of a whimper than a bang.)

Here's how I did it!
With the euphoria of completing my Binge Challenge on Christmas day I haven't quite atrophied or suffered from chlorine withdrawal.

In fact Teenage Triathlete and I turned up for the Thursday Session at Gateshead Leisure Centre (along with quiet Clare) only to discover that it wasn't on. (for some reason that session always catches me out).

But the Saturday morning session was, and we were joined by Sumo and Judo who made the trek from Cumbria, to swim, shop and ultimately join in the New Year festivities at the Binge household in deepest darkest Ebchester.

Now being in such elevated company as Judo, I was trying desperately hard to stay on her feet (and failing miserably) but I did manage the set of 100's off 1.35 (thanks for the tow Judy.) As you can imagine there was a fair bit more chat and a bit less swimming during the session which meant we didn't quite cover 3k, which I might have managed, had I not been half way to the pool when I realised I'd left my kit behind.

400 warm up mixed strokes
8 x 100 @ 1.35
16 x 50 @ 65 medley order
8 x 50's kick(with fins) @ 1.20
12 x 25's medley order @ 45s
100 swim down
2800 metres
502,842 metres.

So 2011 ended with a (fairly) gentle paddle, but having been well and truly bitten by this blogging and swimming lark I'm planning to continue (not sure whether that's good or bad news for everyone.) I also thought I'd give the blog a new look for the new year so watch this space, have a great evening and all the best for next year.


Sunday 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas...Chore is Over

Christmas Eve a somewhat calm and tranquil
(and totally out of character)
Binge household
Well by 10.06 this morning it was all over, 40 minutes in a rather cool Endless pool and that was it. I was taking advantage of Bob going out for a run and teenage triathlete visiting her cousins with her grandparents.

You know how sad I am, well I thought I'd celebrate my half a millionth metre in a full body suit which made it challenging to firstly get into it and secondly to hang on to the pullbuoy in the last set. 

An uninspiring session but hey it got the job done!

7 x 200 @ 3.30
4 x 100 @ 2 mins pull
50 sprint to finish
1850 metres

Thanks for sticking with me and have a great day.......

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve Session and 99.6% there (according to the spreadsheet)

The Saturday session was sparsely attended today as the majority of  Gateshead swimmers found more useful ways to spend their Christmas Eve morning.

Fairy Snow Baby turned up with one of the baby fairy snow babies, who gamely worked her way through his session. (although in the 10 minutes it took the two of us to finish off the kick set she managed to swim 4 x 100's and 6 x 50's (allegedly) at about Michael Phelps pace).

We bashed through this set which put me within a session of my half a million metres... on that thought have a lovely Christmas and here's to 2012 challenges.......

600 warm up change stroke every 25
6 x 300's @ 5.15 2 pull with paddles, 2 pull, 2 swim *
12 x 50's medley changeover @ 70 seconds
6 x 100 kick with fins @ 2.20
450 swim down
4100 metres total

* miscounted here and swam 50 too much

Thursday 22 December 2011

Christmas Dip & Chicken Dippers

Ooh as feared the inevitable Christmas slump is upon me, as I descend into madness trying to do the zillion things in time for the holiday. After a particularly gruelling day I decided I would collapse in front of the telly with a drink.

Collecting the glass from the kitchen I held it under the fridge ice dispenser there was a gurgle and a growl and my kitchen appliance dispensed into my glass 2 whole chicken nuggets and a macerated mulch of breadcrumbs and bits of nugget.

Does your freezer end up so full that you stuff things in the ice making compartment?  Neither teenage triathlete nor Bob would fess up to this although they both thought it was hilarious. (Mental note clean out the freezer!)

Amidst the Christmas chaos I found time to slip away on Thursday afternoon to take a further 1800 metres off my total.The pool was pretty quiet which came as a pleasant surprise as it is school holidays. Only 5908 metres to go.

800 warm up
8 x 100 @ 1.45
200 swim down

Saturday 17 December 2011

Jaws 2 (the return of Bart the Shark)

Oh no not that Shark fella again
With the throes of Christmas well and truly upon us I found myself reduced to a taxi driver for Teenage Triathlete as her social whirl spun completely out of control. Consequently I'm making very little progress on counting down those metres.

A rather snowy and somewhat hairy drive to Hexham for the triathlete's Christmas party and a sleep over gave me a quiet night in on my own and the opportunity to swim this morning.

The session was pretty busy with a number of people who don't normally swim on a Saturday including the return of Bart the Shark who was hoping to get his life back on track in January and thought he'd steal a march by coming in today.

The session was varied and fairly relaxed, I was really pleased with the progressive 200's given that in January I was struggling to swim sub 3.15's. Awesome Emma was complaining that there was too much rest on the 25's! I did explain that as I was now under 10k I thought the pressure was off and we could take it easy, (so we promptly dropped the turn around time to 50's.)

Beckleberry dad was his usual harbinger of doom by commenting that there was still time for me to slip on the snow and ice and break my leg, cheerful huh. Well I'm now down to 7,708m (although I'm not really sure where the extra 8 metres comes from).

Oh and I've cleverly left my lap top in Court 13 at Newcastle County Court so I'm struggling to post this blog!

13 x 50's  5@ 60s  8 @ 55s
25 m to move to the other end so I can see the clock
5 x 200 @ 3.40 progressive* no 1 easy, no 2 hard 50 easy 150, no 3 hard 100 easy 100 etc
100 swim down
8 x 100 @ 2 mins 25 swim, 25 kick, 25 drill 25 swim
8 x 25 @ 50s hard 1st 12.5m streamline, dolphin sprint kick
4 x 50 @ 70  breast
4 x 50 @ 70 free
4 x 50 @ 70 breast
4 x 50 @ 70 IM order
25 m to get to the other end to get out

* chuffed with a 3.05, 3.00, 2.55, 2.50, and 2.45

Sunday 11 December 2011

Christmas shopping and gatecrashing a session

Now I don't know about you but I'm a bit of a last minute kind of person, so it's two weeks to Christmas and I haven't even started my Christmas shopping yet. So there's the dilemma I really need to get started on the acquisitive part of Christmas; do I Shop or Binge, Shop or Binge.

In an attempt to have my cake and eat it, I was toying with the idea of driving into Newcastle shopping for a couple of hours, driving back to Consett for the session and then returning to Newcastle for the last couple of hours......mmh not very environmentally friendly.

So while I was debating whether it was really worth the 30 mile round trip just for a swim, it struck me that there was a Newcastle Masters session in the City Pool. Could I just drop in and plead with Geoff Peart the Masters coach to let me in?

I guess with it being Christmas, and also the South Yorkshire Masters Meet I arrived (a little late having struggled to park the Bingemobile and eventually abandoned it behind a Lloyds Bank Office building where I was certain to be clamped) at a fairly quiet session (about 10 swimmers) and was welcomed in. About half way through the workout the penny obviously dropped with my coach for the day as he enquired whether or not this was a Binge session?

Now I just love the little pool at the City Baths, I love the greenhouse like glass roof and the ornate plaster work but most of all I love the fact that it's only 25 yards long and it feels really fast to swim in. Of course when I finished the set I could truly use the term yardage, it sounds so much better than meterage, thanks very much Geoff. Only 11,308 metres to go........

2 x 200 @ 3.00
2 x 150 @ 2.30  50 free, 50 back, 50 free
2 x 4 x 25 IM @ 2 mins
3 x 200 @ 3.00
100 50 free, 50 breast
4 x 25 @ 45s breast 1st 15 yards flat out
200 steady
4 x 25 @ 45s breast steady up, flat out from a dive back
200 steady
4 x 25 @ 45s free 1st 15 yards flat out
200 steady
4 x 25 @ 45s free steady up, flat out from a dive back
200 steady
4 x 50's @ 60  max effort on 1st 3 strokes (break out)
50 swim down
3000 yds
2,700 metres (actually 2743 metres to be precise)

Saturday 10 December 2011

Double Dip Saturday

So for the third Saturday in a row the Binge made a double swim session, clearing the Ryton Tri Session just in time to dash home change and head out to the hostelries of Durham City, (the Court Inn to be precise) for Durham Tri Club's Annual Christmas Bash and Awards evening.

Now as the name may suggest this particular establishment is a little close to the Crown Court, the Prison and Durham nick for my liking and the cartoons painted on the wall of desolate  looking criminals behind bars was a bit close for comfort in respect of the day job, but the food was good and the company and the crack was great.

And congratulations to Ellen Ann and Donna who ran the raffle with brutal efficiency ....... Thanks for the hospitality guys we had a great night...

Fortunately the alcohol wasn't sufficient enough to eradicate the session from my memory.

450 metres warm up
5 x 50's 20m fist 30m swim
400 free hard every 4th length
8 x 100 @ 1.45 finger trail 1st 25 swim last 75
400 free hard every 4th length
8 x 100 free 25m kick 75 m pull with paddles
400 free hard every 4th length
428m swim down

I did actually swim out to the 14 metre mark and then swam back to tidy up my cumulative total (ie. get rid of the odd 28 metres)

Temperature reality check!

No Matt the Cash this morning, he's obviously saving himself for his day out at the South Yorkshire Masters Meet in Sheffield tomorrow. This left me to come up with the uninspiring work out at the bottom of this post.

I know I've been whinging on about how cold it's been this week, but I pulled this image off Nuala (Mad)-Muir-Cochrane's Facebook page after her little sprint set in some lido pool in deepest darkest north London this morning, (I'm guessing Parliament Hills) makes me look a real wuss.

So with a mere (God doesn't that sound good) 17,978 metres to go in the 2011 Binge challenge, the question is do I go for a double dip today? I'm wavering and becoming a bit complacent here.....

I do like to leave on a cliff hanger!!!!!!

8 x 75's warm up @ 10s RI 25 swim, 25 drill 25 swim
25m to swim to deep end to see the clock
800 pull with paddles @ 60s RI
600 pull with paddles @ 40s RI
400 pull with paddles @ 30s RI
200 pull with paddles
10 x 50's @ 65 working on streamlining at start and the turns
6 x 4 x 25 IM @ 1.55
325 metres swim down
4100 metres

Friday 9 December 2011

Happy Birthday Donny

I'm going to dedicate my swim this afternoon to Mr Donny Osmond who celebrates his 54th Birthday today, not that there's much left of today to celebrate.

Quite a few people obviously had the same idea as the pool was pretty busy and there was a far bit of ducking and diving whilst navigating through the session.

I gave a young guy in a pair of hideous Bermuda shorts with an awful screw kick a bit of a scare; when he stopped to turn round at one end and I followed him into the wall swimming back crawl and only just stopped myself tumbling and planting my feet in an unmentionable place. It was of course his fault as he exhibited a rubbish sense of direction choosing to swim diagonally across the pool!

A bit more garbage yardage this afternoon but I thought the 200's were encouraging.

1000 warm up 66 drill, 66 swim
7 x 200 @ 3.15 pull with paddles (all under 2.55)
6 x 33 breaststroke kick @ 50 s
3 x 4 x 33 IM @ 3mins forwards, reverse, forwards.
300 swim down
3300 metres total

Monday 5 December 2011

Brrr the first proper snow....

There was a smattering of snow on the ground as I drove past the tree line and up into Consett this morning, still it's a lot less than last year's big freeze. But it's still "a bit parky" as we say up here in the north east.

A case I was involved in very conveniently settled at the very unaptly named "Civil and Family Justice Centre" in Durham (I've rabbited on here about this building) so I sped back to work to snatch a quick dip in what was left of my lunch hour.

It was definitely a Tesco session but.... (every little helps)

1000 warm up
6 x 33's breast kick @ 50s
6 x 33's free breathing every 8 @ 45s
200 swim down
1600m total

Sunday 4 December 2011

Sparkie fizzles out

Grief it's cold, not to mention we had the first snow of the winter today. Well actually it was technically closer to sleet and although it didn't lie on the ground as I drove up to Consett I could see the white tops of the moors in the distance. Brrrrr

The original Evil Mutant Swim Coach had given way to Evil Mutant Swim Coach II (otherwise known as Framie) and actually the session was ever so slightly gentler than the recent Sunday's thrash and dash. I'm not sure if I'm in any fit shape

Sparkie Walton was well intentioned and dived in to start the set, he lasted 8 lengths before succombing to his man flu and abandoning the session. I'm not totally unsympathetic as I recognise that there's nothing worse than trying to swim when you can't breathe... get well soon Graham.

400 warm up change stroke every 3rd length
4 x 133's @ 2.30 max effort length 1, 6, 11, 16
3 x 100's @ 2.00 max effort length 1, 5, 9
2 x 66's @ 90s max effort length 1, 4
33 max effort
133 swim down
33 hard @ 60s
2 x 66's @ 90s hard effort lengths 2,3
3 x 100's @ 2.00 hard effort lengths, 2,3,4,6,7,& 8
3 x 133's @ 2.30 hard effort lengths 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,12 *
100 swim down
2500 metres total

Evil Mutant Swim Coach II got a bit carried away and missed one out! (thankful for small mercies)

Saturday 3 December 2011

Kicking Saturday

For the second Saturday in a row I thought I'd try two swim sessions so I ducked into the Ryton Tri session this afternoon and was rewarded with a further 4100 metres leaving me with less than 30,000 metres to cover in the next 4 weeks. Now I reckon that's eminently doable!

It was pretty painful trying to swim the second session and I paid for it in the second set of fast 100's which were anything other than fast.

The session was fortunately cut short by a demand from teenage triathlete that I take her to the Metro Centre because she desperately needed new mascara for going out this evening! "I really really.... really need this mum!" Why do I give in? (to escape the rest of this session?)

On looking back over today I reckon I've swum more kick today than I've done in the whole year and god I really really ....REALLY hate kick.

800 swim with fins every 4th length kick
12 x 25 with fins fly kick on back on 10s RI
4 x 100 sprint @ 2.20  84,s last one 82
800 pull with paddles
4 x 100 @ 10 s with fins shark fin drill
4 x 100 sprint @ 2.20 completely knackered by now
600 pull with paddles
6 x 50's finger trail
100 swim down
4,100 metres total

Birthday Non Binge!

I was extremely grown up at the chambers party yesterday evening and didn't touch an alcoholic drink! On my birthday as well, I'm beginning to think I'm taking this binging malarky way too seriously.

No kids in the session this morning and we were quite thin on the ground so we all had a lane each. The FSB turned up for the first time in a fortnight having fought off a recent chest infection. I tried valiantly to keep up with him on the 100's (it lasted for about 12 metres)

Matt the Cash suggested the 100's which were quite hard work and not particularly rewarding in terms of time.

800 warm up change stroke every 25
25 (to change ends)
10 x 100 @ 2 mins holding 85's or less
8 x 50's @ 65 drill
4 x 200s @ 3.30 progressive 3.10, 3.05, 3.02, 2.53
8 x 50's @ 60 up breast down free
5 x 100's kick @ 2.20
275 swim down
4200 metres

Thursday 1 December 2011

December already?

Well it's December and shock horror I'm sticking to my quest and still swimming, a lunch time session at Consett took my under the 40,000 metre mark on Thursday.

I think I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel and I'm becoming increasingly confident that I can actually make the half a million metres mark.

I am aware however that a nasty cold or one of life's other banana skins which all too frequently appear in front of me could of course derail my efforts.

9 x 4 x 133's odd ones 33, free drill, 33 back, 33 free drill 33 breast
                     even ones all free
3 x 400 free pull with paddles (what else) @ 6.30 swimming 5.55, 5.50 and 5.55
200 breast kick
6 x 66's up drill down swim @ 80s
3000 metres

Monday 28 November 2011


Teenage triathlete has a sad association with technology, more specifically iPods which includes losing them (for just long enough to have them replaced,) and latterly shattering the screen in 2 places creating a definite dimple and some missing shards of glass which is currently covered by sellotape.

We finally get around to enquiring about a repair in the local Apple store, to be advised that we needed to make an appointment with "a Genius" but couldn't have one until Sunday, which meant flogging into the metro centre through the Christmas Shopping traffic for our appointment with "a Genius".

Being the devoted mother I am, I agree to this and we arrive for our meeting with the Genius who is a spotty faced, long haired individual called Sam and for some reason didn't strike me as someone who would live up to his title. His diagnosis was that the warranty didn't cover the abuse that teenage triathlete had inflicted upon it and it would cost £119 quid to repair.....  (and it took a separate appointment with a Genius to tell us this?) needless to say the sellotape make over can stay for a bit longer.

My efforts to resolve her problem went completely unappreciated as I was made the object of a status update on her Facebook page when she captured my being annihilated at "Lego Indiana Jones" by two seven year olds while we waited.

But back to today's reality a quick lunch time dip brought me within a smidgeon of 40,000 metres. It was all a bit rushed as I was pressed for time.

1200 metres free Warm Up
8 x 200 free @ 3.15  pull with paddles *
4 x 100 @ 2 mins 66 drill 33 swim
3200 metres total

* 1st 7 all between 2.55 and 2.57 last one 3.01

Sunday 27 November 2011

Consett Carnage (where's Cloughie and Clarkie?)

The Hangover Shark
The carnage from yesterday's Consett session was all to evident in this afternoon's session with the hangover shark claiming a significant number of Consett Masters who continued with their marathon sesh after wusses like me had departed seriously early.

I was clearly not worthy to be in the company of  Sparkie Walton who was still drinking at 11pm last night but turned up to coach the kids and then  finished up the masters swim session (truly an awesome feat) Fireman Mike and Nigel also turned out to complete our depleted group.

I'm seriously thinking about whether or not I should make a masters all day and night session a challenge for next year. My only concern is the fact that I would probably lose three days out of the rest of my life as I recovered from the hangover from hell.

As for the swimming sesh Evil Mutant Swim Coach still had his hundred theme going on as you can see. But, the 3k we covered gave me my third highest weekly total of the year, can I keep this mini binge going? I really don't want to be swimming in public sessions during the Christmas holiday.

Warm Up
533m 100 free, 33 breast
6 x 100 @ 1.50 5 hard 1 easy swimming 82-84's
4 x 100 @ 1.50 3 hard 1 easy swimming 83-85's
2 x 100 @ 1.50 1 hard 1 easy 83
133 swim down
4 x 66 @ 1.15 3 hard 1 easy
3 x 66 @ 1.15 2 hard 1 easy
2 x 66 @ 1.15 1 hard 1 easy
133 swim down
3 x 33 @ 40 2 hard 1 easy
2 x 33 @ 40 1 hard 1 easy
1 x 33 @ 40 hard
233 swim down
3033 m total

Saturday 26 November 2011

Swim wins over drink! wots going on here?

No I couldn't believe it either, I actually drank coke and with steely determination and a fair amount of regret I tore myself away from  the Chinese lunch. This was despite encouragement from Clarkie on facebook....and the lure that the rest of the Consett Crew were going out on the lash around the local Consett hostelries.

I staggered down to Blaydon to be faced with this little set from Bob, it was a fairly constant pace and considering I had swum this morning I was pretty happy with the performance, I was chased all the way by Mrs Fairy Snow Baby, who was swimming a blinder.  I'm paying for it now though as I feel my arms are about to fall off.

Warm Up
2 x 200 free
4 x 50's @ 10s RI 25 swim 25 kick
8 x 25's  @ 10s RI
Technical Set
300 swim 6 strokes free, 6 strokes back
200 swim 6 strokes fists 6 strokes open hand
100 swim 6 head up 6 head down
Anerobic Set
400 @ 7 mins  swiming 6.03
2 x 200 @ 3.40
4 x 100 @ 1.50
8 x 50's @ 60s
4 x 100 @ 1.50
2 x 200 @ 3.40
400  swimming 6.05
Technical Set
300 swim 6 strokes free, 6 strokes back
200 swim 6 strokes fists 6 strokes open hand
100 swim 6 head up 6 head down
Swim Down
4 x 100 pull with paddles @ 1.50
5400 metres

Friday 25 November 2011

4000 metres further and a Binge dilemma

I know I'm a bit statistically obsessed at the moment, but one milestone I haven't mentioned which I passed yesterday was the ten thousandth hit on my blog. (okay now maybe 80% of them are me and the rest are probably my mum) but I thought it was a bit of an achievement.

I haven't made our Saturday session for a few weeks, and we were seriously depleted in numbers with only me and Matt the Cash to start with, (I'm not counting Bob and Bill)  however by the end of the warm up we were joined by Awesome Emma and Daddy Beckleberry and a new guy called Mark who turned out to be an old acquaintance so sort of a new old guy.

You can see from the set that I didn't have much to do with it until the 8 x 125's but it took me 4000 m nearer my goal and my spreadsheet is forecasting 495,170 metres for the year so I am seriously considering swimming with the triathletes this afternoon. The one thing that is likely to stop this is the fact that Consett Masters are having their Christmas do a Chinese, (very festive!) this afternoon.......mmmhh swim v drink swim drink swim drink..........

5 x 50s @ 60s Warm Up
5 x 50s @ 55 Warm Up
6 x 50s @ 50 Warm Up
4 x 100 @ 2 mins free
4 x 75 @ 2 mins free
6 x 50s @ 90s free
8 x 50s @ 70s breast
4 x 125s @ 2.20 free, pull 25, catch up pull 75, pull 25
4 x 125s @ 2.25 free. pull 25, catch up 25 pull 25 catch up 25 pull 25
4 x 4 x 25 IM @ 2.15
400 swim down
4000 metres

Suicidal Pigeon Snatched from Jaws of Death by passing Swimmer

Another Suicidal Pigeon
With my fascination for wildlife with a death wish, see here and here  this really made me chuckle this afternoon, about the only light relief in an otherwise monotonous week.

I did however have a proper lunch break and made it to the pool where I weaved my way between a bunch of guys playing with their woggles and occasionally straying into my path.

As you may have gathered by now I really like swimming pull and with the paddles the session flies over (anything for an easy life) I was swimming pretty well although I lost it a bit on the 3rd repeat. My efforts took me to a grand total of 443,688 metres for the year, 56,000 give or take to cover in 36 days.

800 warm up @ 66 free, 33 back, 33 breast
3 x 600 pull with paddles  @ 9.45 *
3 x 4 x 33 IM @ 2.50
66 swim down
3266 Total

* no 1  8.55
   no 2  9.02
   no 3  9.12

Thursday 24 November 2011

Mediation, Collaboration and Frustration

It's been an Alternative Dispute Resolution sort of day to day, starting with a Mediation Group meeting all afternoon, (you know how many different ways you can play Rock Paper Scissors,) followed by a collaborative  pod executive meeting.

God I really know how to live on the edge don't I? Now the up side of this was that I knew I was going to be late in, and I persuaded teenage triathlete to go to her grandparents from school allowing me to fit in a swim at Gateshead Leisure Centre.

The downside was that the pod meeting overran a bit so aargh! I only managed to fit in a 40 minute swim; in a session with a seriously depleted squad; I arrived to discover Proudy and Awesome Emma working their way through a 400m Hungarian, now I nearly explain this concept here. ( but not quite).

I plunged in and thrashed my way through 1400 meters at which point Proudy decided that he couldn't quite face the ascending part of the set when we arrived at the second set of 2 x 200's so we went for a bit of technique to finish off and to take my total down to 59,579. (with 37 days to go)

200 Free Warm up
4 x 100 @ 1.45 s
8 x 50's @ 55 secs
4 x 100 @ 1.45 s
2 x 200 @ 3.30 50 swim, 100 drill, 50 swim
4 x 50's @ 55 s working on the turns
2000 metres total

Wednesday 23 November 2011

A Late Lunch, A Quick Dip & a very Short Post

A short notice hearing (like less than 24 hours notice), a health and participation meeting and then an interminable practice conveyancing meeting all conspired to royally bugger up my day. (For goodness sake conveyancing!!!!!).

The end result being that my lunch hour finally opened up around 3.35pm, I scooted around to the pool, to be warned that the public session ends at 4pm when the kids swimming lessons start.

So it was a very short and frenetic swim to cram as many metres as possible into the 23 mins I had before I was chucked out by the lifeguards.

400 free warm up
2 x 400 pull with paddles @ 6.45
133 swim down
1333 total

Tuesday 22 November 2011

62,912 metres to go ( and 39 days to do it in)

The Binge 2011 yardage challenge moved a bit closer today (3400 m) closer to be accurate. Thanks to yet another lunch time dip, no Sparkie this time (although he allegedly was there at some point).

The pool was really quiet, one lane roped off with half a dozen school kids and two other members of the public swimming head up breaststroke. As you can imagine for a Billy No Mates set there was lots of pull and I thought I'd try odd distances hence the 7 lengths and the 4 lengths just to make a change.

The hour seemed to fly by, and I'm beginning to feel a bit more optimistic about completing this challenge. (touch wood, fingers crossed etc)

1000 warm up as 200 free, 200 back, 200 free, 200 breast, 200 free
6 x 233 @ 4 mins pull holding 2.35's
6 x 133 @ 2.30 catch up holding 2.10's
200 swim down

Monday 21 November 2011

Ninja strike on Binge's better half (arguably)

Watch out Bob I think she's a Ninja!
I hadn't realised that working as a sports lecturer at a British university was such a dangerous occupation, until my other half forwarded this particular press release photo to me this afternoon.

Obviously the piece was a warning about the threat of random Ninja attacks, so as I blog this I'm wondering if Bob escaped unscathed and whether or not he'll make it home this evening. I suppose if he doesn't that means more supper for teenage triathlete and me.

Sticking to my quest I set off for a Billy no mates session this afternoon and discovered I wasn't alone as I found Sparkie Walton ploughing his own lonely furrow  up and down the pool. We discussed our relative plans both of us were into garbage yardage my 4 x 800's won out over his straight mile, sadly both proposals were showing a serious lack of imagination. But after an hour of solitude I was down to 66,300 metres.

800 Warm up change stroke every 33
800 pull breathe first 66 every 8 strokes thereafter every 6 @ 14 mins
800 pull breathe first 133 every 8 strokes thereafter every 6 @ 14 mins
800 pull breathe first 200 every 8 strokes thereafter every 6 @ 14 mins
200 swim down
3400 m total

Sunday 20 November 2011

Evil Mutant Swim Coach goes soft!

Actually there were 9!
At the Club Presentation evening yesterday, Evil Mutant Swim Coach Martin Cook was honoured with a life membership after about 45 years at Consett and 33 years on the poolside, I wonder how many 100's he's doled out to his swimmers in that time.

He celebrated his elevation today with a more measured 9 of them. Honest Martin there is a fair degree of tongue in cheek when I winge on about this and as I said last week it's always varied and gives you something to think about.

My efforts this afternoon took my 2011 total to 430,228 metres, with 41 days to cover 69,712 metres it'll be a painful December if I'm to complete my challenge.

400 Warm Up
4 x100 Free @ 1.40
133 @ 2.40 recovery
4 x 66 @ 1.10
133 @ 2.40 recovery
4 x 33 @ 35s
133 @ 2.40 recovery
3 x 100 @ 1.40
100 @ 2 mins recovery
3 x 66 @ 1.10
100 @ 2 mins recovery
3 x 33 @ 35s
100 @ 2 mins recovery
2 x 100 @ 1.40
66 @ 1.40 mins recovery
2 x 66 @ 1.10
66 @ 1.40 mins recovery
2 x 33 @ 35s
66 @ 1.40 mins recovery
133 swim down
3233 total

Saturday 19 November 2011

British Gas Flip Flop debacle!

John Charles Sports Centre Leeds venue for the Northern Round of the Masters Inter County 

A last minute trip to Leeds this morning to swim in the Northern Round of the Masters Inter County Competition, the reason it was sort of last minute was because for some reason I thought it was scheduled for tomorrow. It was only on checking my email yesterday I realised I needed to be in Leeds for lunchtime.

The event's great fun it's not often you get the opportunity to swim in a team event, and our county team (Northumberland and Durham) gallantly hung on to third spot, behind Yorkshire and Cheshire who will undoubtedly be in the mix to win the national competition.

All Right Now!
The Big Binge Bollock I dropped today related to my (de rigeur) British Gas Flip Flops, last year at this event I forgot to pack my pool shoes, but not this year I remembered to pack a pair of flip flops, did I say pair, what's wrong with this picture. At least it's not two left feet!

In a desperate attempt for Binge Metres I swam twice my normal warm up today.

1350 warm up
1 x 50 free in relay
2 x 50's breast in relay
1 x 50 breast individual
1550 total.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

A Grimm Fairy Tale

I had a bit of a surreal experience this afternoon, and not just because for the third lunchtime in a row I went swimming and am clearly suffering from chlorine logging of the brain. On the return journey to work I stopped at a local petrol station to fill up, as I walked back to the car a woman sauntered past me, smiling and saying hello.

Not a particularly unusual event you may think, but there was something just not quite right about her, it wasn't until I drove away that the penny dropped and I realised she was wearing a full Snow White costume.

Now I'm not quite sure what's more worrying, a grown woman stalking the grounds of a Total petrol station in the middle of the afternoon dressed as a character from a Grimms fairy tale, or the fact that I didn't immediately recognise or register this rather strange anomoly.

I guess unlike the session below I couldn't make this up.

800 warm up change stroke every length
6 x 300* pull @ 5.30 1st 100 breathe 6's 2nd 100 breathe 4's 3rd 100 breathe 6's
4 x 100 catch up @ 1.55 swim down
3000 metres total

* swimming around 5 mins  for each 300

Tuesday 15 November 2011

A November PB

Spurred on by yesterday's lunch time foray, I juggled my schedule and yet again made it to the public session in Consett. You can see how I'm doing in the "My Stats" summary from my spread sheet.

Having covered 20,000 metres in November I am truly in uncharted territory, as I've commented before I usually stop after the Nationals, (apart from swimming in the inter counties).

The 3200 metres I covered today took my total to 84.5% of my goal in 87.4% of the time, and whilst I'm narrowing that gap the prospect of 78,000 metres before Christmas fills me with dread.

Today's swim was a matter of how quickly can I cover these metres so not much thought and variety but a pretty smooth session (assisted by doing it mainly pull!)

1000m warm up 33 free, 33 alternating breast and back
1000m pull breathing every 6 up the pool and every 4 down the pool
5 x 200 pull @ 3.40 breathing 6 up the pool and every 4 down the pool
200 swim down
3200 metres

Monday 14 November 2011

Desperate Times

Desperate times
With the half a million metre mark looking decidedly dodgy and the prospect of humiliation, ignomy and scorn looming large I decided I needed to take some drastic action: so I set off at lunch time for a session in Consett pool.

It was a bit of a Billy No Mates session, as I slid into the pool between the head up breaststrokers and the Big Splash loyalty card Klatch. Because It was only me I could do what I wanted, not surprising then it contained a fair bit of pull and a bit of drilling and no IMs.

I covered the 3k in less than an hour and got out feeling very virtuous, here's how I did it.

800 Warm up
4 x 400 free @ 6.50 pull breathing every 6 strokes (3 arm cycles) for the 1st 200 and every 4 strokes for the last 200.
400 free drill
200 swim down
3000 metres

Sunday 13 November 2011

Sunday hundreds!

It's Sunday and I'm back doing 100's again, now there's a surprise. Is it that the start of both words sound the same, so that when the coach (evil mutant swim coach) gets up in the morning he thinks hmm Sunday and then the old rhyming association subliminally sends him the message that he has to do sets of 100's.

I think this might be the explanation because even when Martin can't make the session and we end up with Ian it's still 100's so maybe it just sort of pops into coaches heads.

Now in their defence, purely from a selfish point of view, it's probably better doing 100's than 200's or god forbid 800's or IM's, and there's always a bit of imagination and variation in the sets so I shouldn't really moan and I do sort of enjoy it.

200 warm up
2 x 200 @ 3.30 last length breast
4 x 100 @ 1,45 last length breast
3 x 100 @ 1.45 33 hard 66 steady
2 x 100 @ 1.45 66 hard 33 steady
1 x 100 @ 1.45 hard
1 x 100 @ 1.45 33 hard 66 steady
2 x 100 @ 1.45 66 hard 33 steady
3 x 100 @ 1.45 hard
200 swim down
8 x 33 hard down up easy
33 swim down
2700 metres

Fuming Binge and A Lucky Tri Session

My week began with one of my little crims being arrested for breach of his tag. Yes the same one whose mum's home had blown up in August (see exploding houses and suicidal pheasants)

He didn't (or perhaps more accurately the local custody sergeant) didn't bother to tell me so the first thing I knew was when the little darling's mum (who was thankfully unscathed in the August episode) demanding that I travel to Peterlee to bail out "our Ande*" "cos he's done nowt agen".

With a morning full of appointments this was impossible so I sorted out the court duty solicitor to cover the hearing.....only to be telephoned by the unfortunate individual to say that he had tried to deal with the case but it seemed that my little treasure didn't want him and had referred to him as "a knob" and refused to leave his cell.

Fuming I spent the rest of the morning sorting stuff out and eventually headed over to court (an hours drive away!) for just before 1pm to have him dealt with before the lunch break... no chance it was obviously pay back time for the court.  I walked into the court room and they adjourned for lunch and I ended up at the back of the afternoon list.

I was so mad by the time the case was called I eviscerated the CPS and the Group 4 evidence about his breach of bail. With the result that the magistrates found the breach of bail unproven, cherub was released and I ended up having to give this foul smelling creature (well you try spending 24 hours in police custody) a lift home. Where's the justice in that?

My week continued in much the same vein culminating in my having to appear almost simultaneously in courts in Gateshead, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Durham, on Thursday morning which naturally I completely failed at. The week was then rounded off with a trip to Loughborough for a couple of  Master's meetings on Friday evening and Saturday morning so my week's swimming was in tatters.

Ah but a decent run back on Saturday afternoon and I arrive in Gateshead in time for the Ryton tri session and as luck would have it I hadn't taken my kit out of the car from the previous Sunday! I ended up swimming in the top lane with a seriously fast teenager who took no prisoners but another 5000 metres nearer.

19 x 75's @ 10s RI middle 25 reverse IM
3 x 4 x 50's @ 65secs accelerating arm pull until you lose feel for the water
200 free @ 15s RI
2 x 4 x 25 IM @ 2 mins
4 x 50@s @ 60s 25 kick on side 25 swim
8 x 25 @ 152 RI hard pace
4 x 50@s @ 60s 25 kick on side 25 swim
2 x 4 x 25 IM @ 2 mins
200 free @ 15s RI
3 x 4 x 50's @ 65secs accelerating arm pull until you lose feel for the water
1000 metres pull stretch count strokes every 4th length
300 steady
200 mixed swim down
5000 metres

*please note the name has been changed in the interests of client confidentiality.

Enroaching Senility, (you mean you've only just noticed!)

Hi I'm back, and although I have had the week from hell, I have done a little swimming, but haven't yet managed to find the time to blog about it, so I'm playing a bit of catch up here.

Last Sunday we were given a really nasty set of 100's on a decreasing time interval and an increasing pace aargh! (Now that's novel isn't Sunday afternoon and I find myself swimming 100's.)

Queenie Reed and I were suffering through them, but such a lot has happened in the last week that all I can remember about them (apart from the excruciating agony) is that there were 18 repeats in the main set. I do however have a very vivid recollection of swearing at the coach (under the water) throughout the swim which gave me some mild distraction from the pain. You should try it sometimes it does help.

Anyway this painful but unremembered session took me 2933 metres nearer to my total for the year.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Remember Remember....

Katy Perry where are you?
A solo trip to Dunston this morning, and entering uncharted and potentially very troubling waters. In the past few years it has been a highly unusual occurrence for me to continue swimming after the nationals.

In fact I've generally only entered the water once or twice between the end of October and January, and that has usually been for the inter-county event in November and a couple of years ago desperate for some Decathlon points I entered the South Yorkshire Masters in the run up to Christmas.

Now I am rapidly being outsmarted by my spreadsheet which is telling me that we are 84.7% through the year and I have only completed 81.2% of my challenge. With a forecast of 479,330 metres for the year, I think it's subtly trying to tell me to get my finger out!

With 8 weeks left I need to swim 11,778 metres per week to hit the half a million mark. I really have to think about fitting in at least one and possibly two more sessions per week in, because the run up to Christmas will be manic and I'm likely to falter at that point and I'm reluctant to spend my Christmas holiday trawling up and down a pool during the limited public opening times.

Anyway, astonishingly Matt the Cash came up with this morning's little session, or at least the 3 x 400's free his excuse is that he's chasing Decathlon points at Sheffield and is anxious to swim a good quarter mile! Sadly my newly energized toosmartwatch has bitten the dust so no graphs until I can have it repaired.

Warm Up
800 free, IM drill every 4th length
5 x 50's free @ 60
5 x 50's free @ 55
5 x 50's free @ 50
1 x 50 free
3 x 400's @ 7 mins progressive*
200 swim down
+ an odd 50 because I made everyone swim to the other end of the pool for the 400's so that I could read the clock!
3650 total**

No 1  6.30
No 2  6.20
No 3  6.10

** this might also have been 3,700 because both Beckleberry boy and myself reckon the top lane miscounted the 50's

Monday 31 October 2011

Unremarkable 400 and encouraging 50 breast (Road Trip day 3)

So the final day of racing at Sheffield and a more relaxed schedule, no relays and 400m free followed by a quick 50 breast.

The extra hour in bed helped my recovery from the 200 free I'd swam the evening before where I managed, (albeit only just and by the minutest of margins,) to hold off a very fast finishing Maggie Smith. Who had generously given me over two and a half seconds start at the 100 mark.

For a Sunday morning swim the 400m  time was OK although  I was hoping to go under 5.20. Next time maybe.

By the afternoon session I'd lost the will to warm up and despite this my 50 breast was probably the best swim of the weekend as sneaking under 39 was encouraging. One other landmark I achieved over the weekend, was I finally broke through the 400,000 metres mark for my half a million metres. I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of swimming 50k per month in November and December.

600 warm up
400 free  5.21.49
200 swim down
50 breast   38.94
350 swim down
1600 metres

Sunday 30 October 2011

Proof Positive 800m Free and 200m Breast shouldn't be swum in the same session

So swapping the 800 for the 1500 seemed like a good idea yesterday, but the reality of this decision produced a bit of a scheduling snafu, as I ended up  swimming the 800 free, a team race followed by the 200 breast.

The 800 was pretty good, fairly even paced and a respectable 11.03. Funny how 3 and a bit seconds can make such a difference I would have been thrilled with 10 minutes something.....

I nearly stopped after the first 100 of the breaststroke. Producing a rather unremarkable time especially for the pain and effort which went into it. I was so close to stopping after 4 lengths..come to think of it why didn't I?

The Saturday session at Sheffield was probably the longest day of my life, I know that when the programme was set, the idea was to make Sunday afternoon deliberately short so we could all leave in a decent time. We certainly paid the price in enduring Saturday. An experiment that probably won't be repeated (stuffing more events into Saturday).

700 warm up
100 free 1.12.32
200 swim down
700 warm up
800 free  11.03.50
200 swim down
200 breast  3.18.84 bleargh
200 swim down
600 warm up
200 free
200 swim down
4,200 metres

Binge and the ASA Masters (Another (shorter) Road Trip)

In theory it was easy, leave the house at 9.45 and I should be in Sheffield in time for the start of the warm up; practice however turned out to be slightly different.

It was fatal to call into the office to tidy up some odds and ends and to expect teenage triathlete to be ready to go when I returned. Unfortunately....relying on a teenager to leave its bed before midday during a school holiday was always going to be a struggle. We eventually leave at around 10.45, not to worry can always telephone my confirmation for the 1500m.

Just passed Durham I hand the phone to teenage triathlete and ask her if she can ring in to confirm my swim, which astonishingly she complied with. The conversation did seem a bit bizarre when she was told that I had already been entered, but I thought nothing of it until I arrive at Sheffield to discover I've been missed off the start list........ and there were no more empty lanes.

I was fortunate because I managed to produce my phone showing the call recorded at 11.05am and ended up negotiating an entry into the 800 the following day. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to compare my 1500 from Leeds in June....but there's always next year.

So I had a pretty low key start to the event, and found myself swimming a reasonable 100 breast, without having 1500m in my arms.

600 Warm Up
700 Warm Up
100 Breast 1.27.25
200 swim down
1600 m total

Sunday 23 October 2011

Binge and the Taper

It's been a good few years (about 15 actually) since I've considered doing a Taper for a big event, that's because it's a good few years since I've done any training to taper from.

My normal National's build up is to swim sporadically in September have three weeks off and then die horribly in all of my events.

This year however, although I wouldn't quite go so far as to say that I've had a decent chunk of training leading up to the event, I have swum most weeks this year and today in the midst of a typical Consett Sunday afternoon session all of my 100's were 1.25 or under with a couple of 1.22's thrown in. Now I know that's pretty mediocre but it does represent a bit of a leap forward.

So it'll be interesting to see how I go, I'll try and keep the blogs going through the event. Now ideally I would like to get one more session in before Friday but that's looking unlikely and I'm not too worried about it if I don't.

266 warm up 
4 x 100 @ 2 min 
100 easy @ 2 mins 
4 x 66 @ 1.30 
100 easy 
4 x 33 @ 45s 
3 x 100 @ 1.50 
100 easy 
3 x 66 @ 1.20 
100 easy 
3 x 33 @ 40s
2 x 100 @ 1.40 
100 easy 
2 x 66 @ 1.10 
100 easy 
2 x 33 @ 35s 
166 swim down 
2833 metres total

Binge in IT Meltdown

Aargh new IT systems, they are supposed to make you more efficient aren't they?

The infuriating thing is even when they are creating absolute mayhem as they are being installed you can see ultimately they might just make things a little easier and it encourages you to believe (just a bit) that the carnage in the meantime is worthwhile.

At one point last week there wasn't a single piece of equipment in our office functioning...  so a valid excuse to dodge training all week.

Now with the count down to Sheffield* at the end of this week, I'm not too worried about this lack of swimming as it creates a kind of mini taper and I've been able to hit the weekend sessions to keep ticking over.

I'm really looking forward to the break, (although not the 1500m free or the 200 breast) (come to think about it after those two swims I don't think anything will be very pleasant). There's a record entry so it should be a great meet.

So Saturdays session was pretty sedentary really, although the 75's were meant to be fast and I swam the 1st and 3rd set breaststroke. Not very enjoyable.

6 x 200 warm up @ 4 mins
even numbers free
odd numbers alt 50 back 50 brst
8 x 50's @ 60 prog 1-4 & 5-8
12 x 75's swum as 3 sets of
75  25 hard, 50 steady @ 2mins
75 50 hard, 25 steady @ 2 mins
75  all hard @ 2 mins
75 steady
4 x 150's 50 kick 50 pull 50 swim @ 20 s RI
8 x 25 @ 40 s IM order 25 easy 25 hard
200 swim down
3,500 metres total

* ASA (not to mention British Gas) National Masters Championships at Ponds Forge

Sunday 16 October 2011

Where's Clarkie? (See what you're missing)

This is exactly what the last set felt like!
It's Sunday again and I'm faced with an Ian Frame session and I just know it's going to hurt. Having seen a status post on FB for Clarkie that he was sunning himself somewhere exotic and was "gutted" he wouldn't be joining us, I ended up chasing Sparkie with very little success in getting anywhere near his feet.

We completed the warm up and stopped to look at the white board which contained the sole phrase "4 x 100 @ 2 mins last one max."

Now it didn't take an IQ of genius levels to work out that there was more to follow and the reason it wasn't on the board was that it would contain a fair amount of pain. This left Sparkie and I to speculate on further sets on a decreasing time intervals and an increasing number of "max" efforts.

Unfortunately and somewhat uncharacteristically we were right, and I think our coach for the afternoon was having a laugh when he got down to 4 x 100 @ 90 all 4 max!  They were certainly max as my pulse rate shows in the now mended toosmartwatch printout.

400 every 3rd length drill 20s RI
266 every 2nd length drill 20s RI
133 every 2nd length drill
66 swim
4 x 100 @ 2 mins no 4 max  *
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.50 no 3 & 4 max **
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.40 no 2, 3 & 4 max ***
66 active rest
4 x 100 @ 1.30 all max ****
233 swim down
2900 metres total

* 1.24
** 1.24 & 1.22
*** all under 30
*** 1.25 for the first 1.30 ish for 2nd and we'll just not go there for the rest.

RIP Toosmartwatch (temporarily at least)

With the ASA Nationals less than two weeks away I thought we'd introduce a bit more quality, and after consultation with my other half who pointed out that we should be swimming the quality stuff nearer the beginning the 4 x 100's were put in straight after the warm up.

It was all a bit painful especially the 3rd and 4th rep and the exertion (pulse rate 160+) was obviously too much for the toosmartwatch which stopped working pleading "low battery". I know just how it felt!

As a result there is no print out today to fill out space in today's blog, however a trip to ASDA last night located a new battery and normal service will be resumed for Sunday's session.

warm up
12 x 50's @ 5 sec RI
8 x 25 @ 35 progressive 1-4 & 5-8
4 x 100 @ 3 mins no 1*
25 @ 30
50 @ 60
75 @ 90
100 @ 1.45
200 @ 3.30
300 @ 5.15
200 @ 3.30
100 @ 1.45
75 @ 90
50 @ 60
25 @ 30
6 x 50's kick @ 10s ri
6 x 50's drill @ 10s ri
6 x 50's @ 40s
200 swim down
3500 total

*no 1 was 1.39, no 2 was 1.38, no 3 was 1.42 and no 4 was 1.43ish

Sunday 9 October 2011

Smile Breathe and Go Slowly

Aargh teenagers! having been relegated to the position of taxi driver I spent a frustrating 15 minutes trying to encourage her out of the house on time and then a further 20 mins stuck in traffic fuming as the start of my swim session ticked past.

As it turned out I was only about 7 minutes late for the start and practising my Zen mantra helped except as I've mentioned before going slowly is a concept that just isn't recognised in this session and despite the late start I covered almost 3k in 55 mins which was more than enough for the afternoon.

I spent the session chasing a 16 year old (well a bit like yesterday trying to stop being lapped). Even with the painfulness of the session, it makes such a difference having a coach on the side calling out your repeat times as you come in. (even if they were getting slower!)

I think the aim of the set was to try and hold the same repeat time in the second set with less rest. Yeah right Martin!

200 warm up
200 @ 4 mins
2 x 100 @ 2min
3 x 66 @ 1.40
200 @ 4 mins
2 x 100 @ 2min
3 x 66 @ 1.40
400 free
2 x 100 @ 1.45
3 x 66 @ 70
6 x 33 @ 35
2 x 100 @ 1.45
3 x 66 @ 70
133 swim down
2933 total