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