Saturday 30 April 2011

Happenstance & Spookiness

It might be apparent to you by now that I live my life in a permanent state of chaos. This is augmented at times with the worry that I'm exhibiting the early symptoms of senile dementia. Take Thursday morning for example, I'm still in Manchester day 3 of 8 on how to be a mediator were I'm caught in-between feelings of complete inadequacy and rapidly losing the will to live.

I wandered up for a reasonably early swim and called in at Cafe Nero on the way back for breakfast (coffee and croissants) clutching my almond croissant in hand I was a good 25 metre down the road when it dawned on me that I had left my latte on the counter. So retracing my steps I retrieved my drink and as I stepped onto Oxford Street for the second time walked straight into Proudy (swimming mate) from back home how spooky is that?

I covered 2100m this morning.

800 warm up  *
10 x 100 catch up @ 1.50**
300 swim down alt 50 free,50 brst

* 13 mins 20 secs
**these were all over the place because the lane was pretty busy and I was constantly having to speed up to overtake or slow down.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Passing Wind and Dingy Dungeons

Those of you with a sensitive disposition who are adverse to the more crude aspects of human bodily functions please stop reading this now. (hopefully that got rid of my mum who would be appalled at this rambling). Otherwise for the rest of you; you know that really embarrassing moment when you walk into a lift and inadvertently fart and just at that moment someone darts in behind you and you're left with that excrutiatingly embarrassing situation where the smell is permeating the entire lift space and there's no one else to blame it on.

Well, the hotel/apartment I'm staying in have that covered because there is a permanently foul stench in the lift, and a lovely apology from United Utilities and Bridgestreet Worldwide who acknowledge that "from time to time" there may be an extremely unpleasant aroma in the lift as a result of long standing problems in the sewers under the building. But guests could rest assured that they are doing everything in their power to rectify the situation.

I was pondering this on my trip in the lift as I went off to the pool this morning and I was particularly impressed about how thoughtful it was for them to provide a space where you could pass wind in an enclosed space without compunction and blame it on the smelly sewers. With that thought I headed off to the aquatic centre, for my morning dip where fortunately I had the technology to gain entry to the pool without the need to return to replensih the stock this morning.

My arrival at the pool coincided with a bus load of British Disability swimmers on a pre World Championship's holding camp, being disgorged from their coach as a result of which we (Joe Public) were relegated to the 50m training tank which I eventually located in the bowels of the building. There's definitely a lavatorial theme going on in this blog and whilst the surroundings were a little dingy, claustrophobic and dungeonlike the water temperature was perfect and I was sharing my lane with only 2 other swimmers.

700 warm up * alt 50 free 50 pull
3 x 200 @ 3.45 pull progressive
300 swim down up free down alt breast/back
1600 metres

* I thought that this might have been 800 but I swam it in 12 mins and 20 secs so I reckon I miscounted somewhere
** 3.25, 3.20, 3.18

Wednesday 27 April 2011

The Streets of Manchester are paved with 20 quid notes......(mine!)

Hi Guys and greetings from sunny Manchester, the final part of the bank holiday weekend was spent by me flogging down the motorway for the first part of a mediation course starting first thing Tuesday morning. I had that dilemma whether or not to spend all of the bank holiday at home and  have an unfeasibly early morning start which would mean trying to drive into Manchester during rush hour, or curtail the break and stay over.

The thought of Manchester rush hour traffic was the clincher so I checked into my (very nice) hotel apartment around 10.30pm on Monday evening. In a rare burst of forward thinking, I had deliberately selected accommodation midway between the Manchester Aquatic Centre and the hotel in which my course was being held, with the intention of having an early-morning swim to start the day.

With an unaccustomed burst of enthusiasm, I tumbled out of bed at 7:10 am on Tuesday, and decided that rather than take my wallet to the pool, I would just take enough cash to pay my entrance fee and buy breakfast on the way back. Stuffing a £20 note into my back pocket, I set off for the pool. On arrival, to my horror, I realised that the banknote had worked its way out of my back pocket and I was without the ability to pay for my swim. I retraced my steps assiduously scanning the pavement and roadways for the missing banknote without success.

Great start to the day, my planned hour swim was eventually reduced to 25 min and produced an uninspiring but nifty 1500m. I was actually quite relieved about this as swimming 50m is a bit of a shock to the system  first thing.

3 x 400 swim, drill pull
3 x 100 alternate free, breast
1500m *

Still no download of "toosmartwatch"

The Great British Bank Holiday ( & a Saturday Session)

It's bank holiday weekend no work, so how I do I choose to spend this luxurious amount of free time? Yes you've guessed it decorating. With me as you may have gleaned by now it's kind of all or nothing so after a solid 12 hours on Friday of sanding, priming, painting....

I was really looking forward to the session this morning to avoid yet another day of white emulsioning. Have you ever realised how difficult it is to paint over white paint with yet more white paint? It’s been about 5 years since a paintbrush was wielded in anger inside our house, so I resolved (and insisted Bob did too) to spend the bank holiday weekend tarting up the place.

Anyway after yesterday's DIY efforts I am literally aching all over and my knees are absolutely crocked, I may never swim Breaststroke again hurrah. The other difficulty I have is that the piece of kit which downloads the info from "toosmartwatch" to the Polarpersonal trainer website was tidied away and I haven't yet been able to locate it so no pretty graphs to illustrate today’s sesh.

Pretty steady work out not sure my DIY OD'd body could have coped with more.

6 x 100 back, 100 free and 100 IM
4 x 600 as 1 x 100 @ 1.45
                 1 x 200 @ 3.45
                 1 x 300 @ 5.00
4 x 50 kick with fins @ 75s
4 x 50 drill @ 70s
200 IM
100 swim down.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

A Family trip out....raises child protection issues.

In a rare showing of family unity both Bob and teenage daughter decided that they would come training with me this evening. I was quite taken aback by teenage daughter's enthusiasm to attend as she hasn't swum since she quit last October.

I stuck her in with the fast guys where she struggled along at the back of Jetpoodotcom and Synchro dad; that is until she and I were swimming in adjacent lanes and I managed to breaststroke kick her quite hard in the fingers (now whilst in the depths of my all too frequent frustrations with her I may fantasise about physically kicking her, you will appreciate that it was a complete accident).

It did however provide her with the perfect excuse to leave the pool and make her entry in the pool accident book (and forced me to dodge the social workers who descended on the pool to investigate the allegations of child cruelty.) She did however enjoy spending the rest of the session sitting on the poolside chatting to the C squad coach.

Congratulations and respect to the most eccentric member of our masters squad, "Finswimmer John" who was celebrating a two and a half second PB for some apneatic achievement involving a large plastic fin and a pool in Belgium. I don't pretend to understand this sport but I do recognise the satisfaction of a PB particularly by such a large margin.

It was left to me to come up with this evening's session, as the Fairy Snow Baby was sciving in Oxford. I was a bit out of touch having spent the last 6 -7 weeks minimising my swimming. (or living up to the title of this blog) I settled on a bit of variety and speed which included my favourite set ever which is the 125's 50 pull, 25 kick and 50 swim, it's swum at full pelt with the following thought processes.

I like to have a decent rest between repeats and to go off hard for the first 50 pull, hard for the kick (telling myself that my legs have had a rest during the pull) and then try and hang on to a really fast pace for the 50 swim (this time telling myself that my arms have just had a rest). It was hard work but it seemed to go down well.

600 warm up change stroke each 25
12 x 100 @ 1.50 drop 1 stroke per length each set of 4 x 100's*
8 x 75's no 1 25 easy 25 stretch and 25 hard
200 swim down
12 x 125 50 pull hard, 25 kick hard 50 swim @ 2.40
12 x 50's @ 65 working on turns
8 x 25's IM Order @ 40s
100 swim down
5000m total

* this was difficult but I settled down to 19's 18's and 17's

Saturday 16 April 2011

Saturday Session Debunks Conspiracy Theory of an Alien Plot to halt Binge's Quest

My recent abortive attempts to gain access to a public swimming pool were rapidly leading me to believe that there were darker forces at work to thwart me in my quest to complete half a million metres in 2011.

My delusional thoughts of Alien intervention or CIA or worse still Amanda Heath inspired plots disappated as I arrived at the new old pool this morning in glorious sunshine. I was reassured that I was on the right track as I met up with I'm Chris fly me the jetpoodotcom pilot and Matt the Cash in the car park and both of whom then proceeded to inflict some serious mickey taking on me "You're here at the right place and time!" 

It was our first session there having swapped from Heworth Pool and the bonus is we have 3 lanes instead of 2 and it cuts off about 15 minutes from my journey so I didn't have to get up until 7.35am. Things are looking up. I was seriously impressed the refurb job is terrific, the old Dunston Pool looks brand new. New entrance area, new changing village, open plan walkways around the small pool, completely retiled, new gyms and shortened from 27.5 yards to 25 metres.

Probably my first decent session for about 4 weeks, bit of an inauspicious start as we stood around with the kid's coach debating which direction and which way around we were all going to swim. Having ultimately settled on the direction we then decided we'd start from the deep end so we could see the clock. The guys promptly dived in and swam the wrong way round (couldn't work out they were at the other end!)

16 x 50 alt free ba, free br @ 60s & 65s
400 free @ 6.45
4 x 100 IM @ 2.00
2 x 200 free @ 3.40
2 x 200 IM @ 3.50
4 x 100 free @ 1.45
400 IM @ 7.50
8 x 50 free @ 55 secs
50 swim down
12 x 25 IM order, kick, drill swim @ 40s, 35s & 30s
50 swim down
4000 metres

Thursday 14 April 2011

Binge Swimmer 9.8 for intention -10 for execution

There's obviously a bit of a theme going on here, even if it is completely unintended. Monday saw the opening of Dunston Pool in Gateshead, and the introduction of a new set of training times and some changes of venue.

Fairy Snow Baby duly emailed me the amended schedule and the thought of checking out the new (old) pool was the clincher in jumping in the car to make training tonight.

You know what's coming don't you. I arrived at the pool and wandered into the new glass entrance hall with open plan stair case, I got as far as the first floor before a receptionist asked me where I was going..... "The pool, masters session? not here not tonight, she said brandishing a newly printed timetable.

On no is this some kind of record? being denied entry to 2 pools in less than a week it did feed my creeping paranoia. Dejectedly returning home I opted for a Tesco set in the Endless pool and checked my email to discover that this evening's session was actually at Gateshead Leisure Centre...doh! but you can't say I didn't try.

800 warm up
4 x 100 @ 1.45
25 swim down
1225 m

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Binge Swimmer maintains raison d'etre

Have you missed me? I am acutely aware that my mission to swim twice a week crashed and burned last week. No sooner had I blogged the immortal words, I need a proper challenge for April and thought that 45,000 metres was doable, my swimming came to a big fat stop.

 As usual I was full of good intentions, but ultimately I was defeated by an inflatable session in the Pingles Pool, Nuneaton. I was seriously out of my comfort zone for a Friday, which as regular readers will know is a regular personal slugfest consisting of  Beer Pizza TV & Sofa, because I had to attend a meeting at ASA HQ.

The evening rapidly deteriorated because it was "Loughborough Singles" night in the hotel (god that was desperate!). Following on from this exciting start to the weekend, I travelled to Nuneaton for a silver wedding, (sadly we are both that vintage when a lot of our university contemporaries are notching up this particular achievement.)

Killing time in Nuneaton before the celebrations kicked off, I thought that I might manage a dip and made my way to the local pool. I arrived there at 1.48pm on Saturday for a quick swim, to be advised by the girl on the desk that I couldn't go in until 2pm and even then I wouldn't be able to swim. (I was beginning to display signs of paranoia, how could she tell by just looking at me?  do I look like a non-swimmer? wasn't my World Swimming Championship's T shirt and Speedo knapsack complete with mouse hole a dead give away?.....)

Of course she had noticed that I didn't have a horde of kids with me, and rightly discerned that I might be looking for a bit of a serious swim.  The next time I could swim would be 9am on Sunday morning, knowing that I was destined for some serious celebrating that evening I immediately rejected that option. With hindsight this might've been the most sensible decision I made all weekend, it was certainly wiser than, yes please I'll have another glass of red or yes I'd love another pudding!

So consequently the only swim I managed was an Endless Pool session, I had intended to swim 1000, 800, 600, 400 and a 200, but was interrupted by Husband advising me that teenage daughter was available to be picked up. Now quite why it was more convenient for me to stop swimming, get out the pool change and go and pick her up, rather than Bob, tear himself away from the television programme he was watching is something that will continue to elude me....

1000 Warm up
800 free
500 free
Total 2300m

Sunday 3 April 2011

Spreadsheet outsmarting Binge Swimmer

Teenage daughter's netball match and a totally batty aunt's 80th birthday party were this week's obstacles (okay then really feeble excuses ) to adding some serious yardage to my total. If I'm trying to find a silver lining then at least I didn't stop completely like last year.

So March was even worse than January and as you can see from the "Slog" above only one reasonable week. I mentioned last week that I need a proper challenge for April and after giving the matter some considerable thought I 've arrived at 45,000 metres which may be harder than I think because with Easter and that wedding and a weekend away and 4 days in Manchester I can foresee a struggle to cover that distance.

My second session this week was a rather hurried Endless Pool dip less than 30 minutes....hardly counts as a swim at all and extremely unremarkable.....

3 x 200 @ 3.45 progressive
2 x 100 @ 2 mins
2 x 100 @ 2.15
4 x 50 @ 60s free
2 x 50 @ 60s breast
25 (Just for KB)
1325 metres

Was this the world's most boring post?