Sunday 29 January 2012

Captain's log goes green, as it records 49,900 metres for January

Thanks to Judith Middleton of @JudithsDivorce (despite the missing apostrophe) for this link from a tweet and the theme for this afternoon's blog.

On showing the tweeted video clip to Bob he became more animated about  DIY then I have ever known him and thought the idea of a Holo deck in the lounge was just the best and that we should "make it so". (Well what should I have expected from someone who has the description "Trekkie, Triathlete and Techno geek" engraved on his iPod. I suppose "it's life Jim but not as we know it").

I needed to swim and add some metres to my very own (captain')s log today, and on the basis that resistance is futile, I gave in to the urge to swim and made it to Consett's session where I was rewarded with not 1 but 2 Evil Mutant Swim Coaches.

Martin Cook was back from a trip to South Africa sporting a broken wrist (an incident with a dumbbell) and then proceeded to take it out on us with the following set.

466 freestyle warm up
8 x 33s @ 40s free
266 as 100 free 33 non free x 2
200 free steady @ 3.30
6 x 33 @ 35s
200 free recovery
200 free steady @ 3.30
3 x 66 @ 65s
200 free recovery
200 free steady @ 3.30
2 x 100 @ 95 s* (no rest, "you canna change the laws of physics")
200 free recovery
200 pull swim down
3000 metres

Live long and prosper!

Binge emerging from chaos? probably only momentarily.

Now just as I was feeling all smug about my tidy office and having kept it that way for nearly a whole two weeks, I read that:-

 "An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands" see more here

Before and probably the not too distant future
Mind you as usual it was too late to save me the overtime and the wasted Saturday, which leaves me with a bit of a dilemma; do I make a superhuman effort to try and stop the inevitable descent into this familiar and comforting morass, or, do I try and maintain the clearish desk policy.

The nagging doubt is, am I the exception to the rule? is it possible to exist in chaos without having a "creative limber mind," and being a better parent or nicer and cooler. Answers on a post be dropped on a pile on my desk

Anyway I didn't waste this Saturday on the swimming front as I made my second session (well I'd been slacking a bit this week.)

400 Warm Up
8 x 50 free progressive 1-4 & 5-8 @ 60
12 x 50's odd ones drill* 25, swim 25, evens kick 25, swim 25 all with fins
6 x 50's @ 65 progressive swum as steady, sprint 10m steady 40m, sprint 20 m steady 30 m etc
200 steady
6 x 50's @ 65 progressive swum as steady, sprint 10m steady 40m, sprint 20 m steady 30 m etc
300 steady
6 x 50's @ 65 progressive swum as steady, sprint 10m steady 40m, sprint 20 m steady 30 m etc
400 steady
600 pull with paddles swim down
3800 metres

*drill single arm 12.5 metres non swimming arm at side breathing on non stroking side

Saturday 28 January 2012

Beware the arrival of the Fitness Frog and the Endless Blog

Took it easy this week, (as if I'd planned it!) because of the imminent arrival of the fitness frog and my annual attempt to swim every day next month (and as if that wasn't enough there's 29 days in February this year)

A little bit of joshing at the swimmers who turned up today after ducking the T 30 last week, amazingly new guy Vi turned up again after his baptism of fire last week and even enquired about how he paid! (good grief keen and with money!)

10 x 100 @ 1.50 25 swim, 50 catch up, 25 swim (long & strong)
4 x 400 @ 7 mins
no 1 dps
no 2 count strokes
no 3 drop 1 stroke per length
no 4 drop 1 stroke per length from no 3
4 x 200 @ 3.40
no 1 slow  3.20
no 2 steady  3.12
no 3 100 hard 100 steady  3.07
no 4 hard  2.55
6 x 50's @ 65 IM changeover
4 x 50's @ 55 free
100 swim down
4000 total

Sunday 22 January 2012

The power of three....

What is it about Sundays? finish the warm up and look up at the white board and there it is: a set of 100's.....we've been here before haven't we, this subliminal attraction, coaches have for 3 length repeats on the sabbath.

As you might imagine there was a fair amount of grumbling and mumbling going on but we got stuck in and it went over pretty well. For a change there was a clear difference in pace between the steady and the hard repeats.

This gave me a third consecutive green week (just)

400 choice warm up
4 x 100 steady @ 1.50
2 x 100 hard @ 2.20
3 x 100 steady @ 1.45
1 x 100 hard
133 free drill 10s RI
100 breast drill 10s RI
66 back drill 10s RI
33 fly drill 10s RI
4 x 66 steady @ 75
2 x 66 hard @ 90
3 x 66 steady @ 70
1 x 66 hard
200 swim down
2600 metres

Saturday 21 January 2012

Tired Swimmer Syndrome

I know how he feels
In a moment of madness I decided to dip into the triathlon session. (with Mrs FSB this time)  Just had to keep the yardage going.

This photo sort of sums up how I feel at the moment, this is Harper who was rescued from a bin bag and was suffering from "puppy swimming syndrome", and needed a course of aqua therapy.

I know for sure that's the last thing I need at the moment.

3 x 200 @ 20 s RI
8 x 25 @ 35 s  increasing pace
8 x 25 @ 30s sprint 15m easy 10m
4 x 100 easy @ 1.45
4 x 100 @ 1.50 75 strong pace, 25 drill
4 x 100 @ 1.50 25 hard 50 easy 25 hard
4 x 100 @ 2.10 25 dog paddle, 75 swim
4 x 100 @ 2.30 *
700 swim down
3700 metres

* 83, 84, 85, 84

T 30 Challenge, (where were you you wimps!)

5 of us including a new guy Vi, undertook the T 30 Challenge this morning a bit of a brutal start to your masters career when your first session is a 30 minute all out time trial.

Where were you Matt the Cash and Awesome Emma?  you wimps! We were assisted in recording by Synchro Dad who is currently suffering with a bad back but turned up to help record.

I ended up swimming side by side with the Fairy Snow Baby which was an interesting experience, as I was fair buffeted by his wash each time we passed. It was impossible to judge how I was doing, the pace clock is rubbish, and my steamed up goggles made any attempt to sneak a glance at the clock impossible.

I was heartened by the fact that it took almost 500 metres before the FSB lapped me, last year he swam 300 metres more than me so I figured this was an improvement, I was aiming for 2000 metres and simply set out for a straight 2K swim, eventually finishing with 2055 metres, or 2057 to be precise.

200 warm up
2100 swim (2055 in 30 minutes)
100 swim down
2400 metres

Not so Grumpy Judge!

Friday Swimming was proving increasingly
problematic for Binge
Busy week at work again, (our senior partner has taken himself off to Australia for a month) so it was Friday lunchtime before I made the pool.

A bit of a bonus session which I wasn't expecting, as I was forced to stand in for Counsel at a hearing in front of the same grumpy judge I had encountered towards the end of last year. I was anticipating a long and gruelling and seriously unpleasant morning.

Despite my client not being prepared to "fess up" for him in the way that he had hoped, (after he found that my girl had "lied" comprehensively in a four day trial before Christmas, imagine that!), I survived unscathed and even managed a civil exchange with him.

The other bonus is we finished the case off without the need to return for two more days of battle this week. So taking advantage of the window of opportunity I dropped into Consett and fought my way through the crowded (between 14 and 20 breaststrokers) lanes for a short 2.6K.

1000 warm up as 200 free, 200 catch up
400 pull @ 6.45
2 x 200 pull @ 3.30
4 x100 pull with paddles @ 1.45
6 x 66 @ 75s
2600 m

Saturday 14 January 2012

Saturday Blow Out and a Saturday Throw Out

I've undertaken a bit of a mini binge over the last 48 hours to make sure that I turned my week into a green week. (i.e over 11,100 metres) and I'm playing catch up with the blogging.

After the motoring blow out this morning I thought I'd do a swimming blow out this afternoon, partially to reward myself for the Zen like experience I had at work today. 4 members of staff volunteered for overtime to come in and help me clear 25 years of crap out of my office!

The idea is that all of my files are put away in the filing cabinet and all of the filing is up to date, (really radical stuff this, isn't it?). In theory I will be able to find everything (yeah right!) and I can now fully focus on one task at a time. I know I've been reading too many self help blogs and doing too much daydreaming.

There's a bit of a doubt over whether or not I'll make the Consett session tomorrow so I hit the last hour of the Ryton Tri workout.

100 drill @ 10 s RI    Recovery Pace
200 free @ 15 s RI    Easy Pace
300 free @ 30 s RI    Steady Pace
400 free @ 60s RI    Strong Pace
100 drill @ 10 s RI    Recovery Pace
200 free @ 15 s RI    Easy Pace
300 free @ 30 s RI    Steady Pace
400 free @ 60s RI    Strong Pace
8 x 50's @ 25 s   25 kick, 25 drill
200 swim down
2600 metres

Flat Saturday

If morning training wasn't bad enough; our session got bumped from Dunstan to Gateshead Leisure Centre, because of a kid's gala. The drawback was it started at 7am, an hour earlier than normal.

Nevertheless, still full of enthusiasm (just a slight exaggeration) I rolled out of bed and into a freezing cold morning (-4 degrees) and 10 minutes down the road, the 2012 Bingemotor jinx struck as the car developed a flat tyre.

Surprisingly I huddled in the car while Bob gallantly fought with the replacement. The catastrophe meant we were about half an hour late for the session but as there were only 3 swimmers in the pool we had a lane each and I bashed through a fairly unimaginative set, but covered 3.4k in less than an hour

600 Warm Up 200 mixed, 200 drill, 200 swim
2 x 800 pull with paddles @ 13 mins 1st 100 breathing every 6 strokes
2 x 400 pull with paddles @ 6.45 1st 100 breathing every 6 strokes
2 x 200 @ 3.30 1st 200 pull 1st 100 breathing every 6 strokes 2nd 200 swim down
3400 metres

Fat Friday

Binge opts for the new Speedo
Fat skin 3 and matching goggles for
her Friday lunchtime work out
Bit light on the old swimming this week (which is more than can be said for my overall volume after the Christmas blow out) so dipped into Consett to grind out some metres. It was pretty busy with a dozen or so people swimming lengths and 1 woman swimming widths.

I picked out a relatively clear line and set off (Consett doesn't do lane ropes so it's a bit of a free for all). Because of the ducking and diving I left the paddles off on "elf and safety grounds".

1000 warm up
400 free pull @ 6.50
2 x 200 free pull @ 3.25
3 x 133 pull @ 2.30
4 x 100  pull @ 1.50
6 x 66 pull @ 75
200 swim down

Thursday 12 January 2012

Human Cyborg Relations or a Defence Engagement Event.

I wasted a whole 2 hours of my life yesterday lunchtime at a "Defence Engagement" event organised by the Crown Persecution Service to talk about moving criminal practice to the clouds. I know some people might think that we're already there or at least in cloud cuckoo land like most of my clients.

They were advising us of the snappily entitled T3 (transforming through technology) initiative where they are going to abolish paper and we're all going to have to download our papers from "the cloud". Yeah right! It is of course a poorly disguised attempt to pass on the £75,000,000 CPS copying bill to the defence solicitors.

The irony was lost on them when the beleaguered defence lawyer they'd corralled to sell this concept to a jaded bunch of criminal hacks tried to set up his demonstration which failed because he couldn't get a good enough 3G signal!

The high point of the event, was the free lunch and then sharing with us the fact that they actually had a technology project called C3PO. The particular protocol droid delivering this nugget of information just couldn't quite see the funny side (obviously spent too long on the dark side).

So a busy week meant that I made my first session this evening, Proudy and Matt the Cash were discussing whether or not they could do 40 x 100 on 1.30...this was the resulting compromise.

600 Warm up 59 free, 25 back, 50 free, 25 breast
6 x 100 @ 1.35
6 x 100 @ 1.35 pull
6 x 100 @ 1.35 pull with paddles
16 x 25 @ 30 s IM Order
200 swim down
3,000 metres

Sunday 8 January 2012

Revolting Swimmers?

First session back at Consett today and as usual Evil Mutant Swim Coach 2.0 was trying to crank up the pressure.

The first set after the warm up was basically 5 or 6 lengths continuous swim and then a bit of a break. Now we had all worked this out in advance and adapted accordingly. Having said that the first repeat of the first three sets was way too fast!

There was however an interesting air of revolt amongst the swimmers, who fresh (or perhaps not so fresh) from their Christmas break were adamant that they were going to call the shots. Revolting swimmers are not an usual phenomenon particularly after a Saturday night beer and curry ( see here,) but there was a frisson of dissent detectable today.

I found myself sandwiched between Clarkie and Sparkie who were in excellent form and came up with some great crack about swim coaches. This included at one point suggesting we get the coach talking so he missed the send off time, (we audibly cheered as EMST 2.0's explanation continued whilst the red hand ticked past the 60 giving us an extra 30 seconds rest) and as Sparkie suggested that we were running out of time to complete the swim down he came out with the immortal aside " we have to let him believe that he's in charge"

And apologies guys I missed 200 out somewhere along the line it was 2600 not 2400, (still no where near the 4000 it felt like mind you).

400 warm up mixed strokes
12 x 33 4 @ 30secs, 4 @ 40 secs, 4 @ 50 secs *
6 x 66   2 @ 60secs, 2 @ 75 secs, 2 @ 90 secs*
6 x 100 2 @ 1.45, 2 @ 2.00 2 @ 2.15
8 x 33 breast kick 4 @ 50 secs,  4 @ 60 s
4 x 66's catch up  2 @ 75 secs, 2 @ 80 s
2 x 133s swim down
2600 metres

* the first set of all of these were continuous swims....

Saturday 7 January 2012

Binge outsmarts spreadsheet after only 7 days!

Woohoo 7 days into 2012 and already my slog (Swim Log) has capitulated conceding that my 2012 challenge is a sensible one. (Anyone who has followed this blog with any regularity will know that sensible is not usually an adjective that can be applied to me.) See last year's progress and explanation here and here.

Now as a long suffering Newcastle United fan and given their spectacular demolition of Manchester United earlier this week, it seems appropriate to fall back on some footballing (soccer for the 15% of you that read this blog from across the pond) clich├ęs, such as "I'm not letting myself get carried away" "I'm taking it one session at a time" there are still a few twists and turns in this season yet" "but it's an encouraging start."

If any of you want to download your own Slog this is the link go to Trondi's post at the end of the thread as he files a second bug free version.

I think swimming at the moment is all about just getting back into the groove and covering a decent distance. So nothing too challenging but trying to think about strokes, breathing patterns and technical bits of turns to alleviate the boredom.

800 warm up as 100 free, 100 back, 100 free, 100 breast
400 pull with paddles @ 6.45
10 x 50's drill @ 60s odd 50's catch up even 50's finger trail
400 pull @ 6.45
10 x 50's @ 60 steady swim work the turns, dolphin leg kick 2 strokes before breathe on break out
400 swim @ 6.45
10 x 50's @ 60 progressive 1-4, 5-8 one easy one hard
4 x 100 kick with fins @ 2.15
100 swim down
4000 metres

Friday 6 January 2012

Return of the Frogs

I think 2012 is shaping up to be the year of the Frog: as my mad client who was the subject of  this post and who I'd risked life and limb (and my sanity and patience) to bail out on Boxing Day managed to get herself arrested again on New Years Eve (a Duty Solicitor snafu meant she was directed to a similar sounding firm as mine and I wasn't notified this time) and consequently she ended up remanded.

This really gets my goat (can you see that there's a zoological theme going on here) as she is ill and needs to be in a caring facility and not incarcerated as a criminal. The criminal justice system is harsh and brutal and she shouldn't be part of it, it's simply wrong and uncivilised. Rant over.

So from a box of frogs to the new improved 2012 February Fitness Frog who appeared with the entry information on the Tulatin Hills Barracudas Masters Web Site this week see (take me to Oregon). In a strange sort of way I'm really looking forward to putting my focus on swimming for the month and taking part again and I think you should all join me and use the month of February to get the yards in. The T shirt looks pretty good as well.

Not wanting to start this cold and mindful of the mile a day challenge I walked!!!! (long story my car conked out yesterday morning and I had to abandon it outside a remote County Durham village) to the pool over lunchtime.

5 x 200@s continuous odd lengths free, even lengths alternate drill, back, breast
5 x 400 pull with paddles @ 6.45's swimming around 6.10's
200 mixed swim down
3200 metres

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Mad as a Box of Frogs

How did your festive holidays go? I love the Christmas break because pretty much everything stops so you don't come back to shed loads of work like after your usual holidays.

Now when I say everything, I suppose that technically isn't quite right, because crime doesn't stop. As I found to my dismay when I receiving a call from a distraught duty solicitor at 8 am on Boxing Day morning.

He clearly wasn't relishing the thought of dealing with a client of mine at the local Christmas remand court as he was struggling to get any instructions from her and deemed her "as mad as a box of frogs"

I should have read the warning signs, as he sounded so relieved when I foolishly said I'd turn out.  I (also foolishly) thought that she might respond better to someone she knows and trusts and I'd acted for her in care proceedings earlier in the year. The circumstances of which are quite unique as when approaching the age of 50 she was being treated by the local medical services for a number of complaints, the cause of which they couldn't quite identify, until one evening she went to the loo thinking she was constipated and produced a healthy baby!

Unsurprisingly this trauma resulted in her suffering a psychotic break. I knew I was in for a long day when I read the synopsis of my girl's interview under caution in the police summary of the "domestic" which led to her incarceration.

It had all started so well with a simple admission which then fatally degenerated into uncontrollable shouting and throwing coffee around the interview room, quickly followed by the coffee cup. This performance had resulted in the compassionate Durham constabulary charging her with an assault  and an appearance in front of Newton Aycliffe remand court.

Steeling myself I made my way to the cells and spent a rather unproductive 2 and a half hours trying to make sense of how and why my client arrived here. You know someone hasn't quite grasped the severity of their situation when they are obsessing about the sandwich wrapper their lunch arrived in as opposed to trying to provide you with an alternative address they can be bailed to. The one piece of information I did glean was that she had an emergency appointment with a psychiatrist at 3pm in a local hospital.

Returning to the court room it was clear the bench were taking no prisoners and they were locking punters up left right and centre. We were called on and things degenerated when my girl lost control and did not respond well to the chairwoman's increasingly curt warnings to be quiet.

Now I'm a great believer in the maxim "when you're in a hole stop digging" so perhaps screaming "what sort of f**king kangaroo court is this" whilst struggling with the security guards wasn't quite the right comment to make at this point.

Not a particularly impressive debut in the magistrates court, as security were ordered to take her down, leaving me to make the point to the magistrates in my most sincere and caring voice that she was obviously not a well woman and I firmly believed she should not be in the criminal justice system but should be in the care of the mental health services.  I mentioned the appointment with the crisis team and offered to drop her off there on my way home from court.

Anyway it worked! it was apparent to everyone that my girl's behaviour was far from normal and having garnered some sympathy for her explaining about the care proceedings and the traumatic effect this had had upon her (possibly the only vestiges of goodwill seen in that particular court room that day,) they adjourned the case and granted unconditional bail on the basis that I would take her to hospital.

Having bailed her out, the fun and games didn't stop there, in her bag of belongings (rather smelly bag of belongings) she had the princely sum of £5.02 and insisted I stopped for cigarettes at a petrol station on the way to hospital. I obligingly did so but realised the mistake as she muttered something about buying a teddy bear and was in the shop for an inordinate amount of time, as customer after customer filled up but no one emerged from the shop.

I sat there thinking what an idiot I was for even stopping never mind allowing her to go into the shop, I got out the car to see if I could help just as she came out muttering about how rude the assistant had been. My surreal day ended when I finally deposited her and her bag of belongings in the cavernous and deserted reception area of Lanchester Road Hospital.

(Note from Binge just in case you're interested in how this all turned out see here)

A bit of a different Boxing Day for me then and I was toying with whether or not this would justify my having another day off in lieu, but somehow it doesn't work like that when you are self employed, so I returned to work and swimming today. My first swim of the year produced 1% of my total for the year in a fairly steady session which almost looks like it could have some thought behind it.

800 free drill every 4th length @ 13.30
700 continuous 4 x 25 medleys (drill fly) @ 13 mins
600 free kick every 6th length @ 11.45
500 as 75 back, 50 breast @ 10 mins
400 pull @ 7.30
300 medley change over
200 free breathing every 6th stroke
4 x 25 @ 35s
13 x 100's pull with paddles @ 1.50 swam these comfortably on 1.30's
6 x 100 kick with fins @ 2.15
300 swim down
5800 metres