Sunday 28 October 2012

Advanced Racing Tactics (ASA Nationals day 3) (Oh and not for the squeamish)

Day 3 and my body is proving to me that I still have those basic survival instincts which kick in at swim meets, otherwise known as the "flight fight or sh*te" reflex.

This caused me a moment or two of anxiety this morning in the 100m IM; because an unfortunate upshot of my lack of conditioning is the fact that I've put on about 8lbs in weight since June.

I've already waxed lyrical about the spacial difficulties encountered in stuffing my ample frame into a racing suit see this.

Well the additional handfuls of flesh made donning this critical bit of kit extraordinarily tricky. Trying to roll the unyielding polyamide over the very flabby bits is really painful and difficult and you end up with friction burns on the inside of your thumbs as you try to work some space between flesh and fabric.

But having eventually succeeded I wandered onto the pool deck, now what is it about competitions that means no matter how short the period since you last visited the loo, the impending effort immediately means you want to go again? Figuring that I had time and that being lighter might improve my competitive edge (yes I was getting pretty desperate at this stage *); I slipped into the ladies room, big mistake, apart from the pain of removing the infernal suit, the temperature in the ladies was akin to a sauna and the sweaty struggle with the suit just contributed to the difficulty, talk about slick.

I escaped to marshalling with seconds to spare, and figured that I'd just endured a pretty tough warm up, but alas it didn't seem to help my IM as 4 lengths was about 77.5 metres too far... Oh Well there's always next year!

100 IM 1.25.28
100 swim down
100 breast 1.29.78
150 swim down (really went for it here!)

* (in more ways than one)

Oh and finally thanks to Nic Latty for immortalising my world masters 50 breast on  You Tube!

Advanced Racing Tactics (ASA Nationals Day 2)

Day 2 of the ASA Nationals and in the absence of any proper training I was reduced to experimenting with even more esoteric and obscure tactics.

Unfortunately I have to report that, go out for dinner on Friday night throw a couple of beers down your neck, along with half a bottle of wine and then spend a significant amount of time (and money at £7.90! for two drinks) in the hotel bar discussing Newcastle United till the wee small hours with Matt the Cash proved to be  not particularly great preparation for my swim.

The silver lining in this was I'd only entered the 50 free so at 33 seconds the pain was mercifully short, and if I'm being honest I think I probably already knew that a hangover doesn't quite cut it when you are trying to make the "zone"

Anyway I continued my policy  of eschewing a warm up whilst adhering to a strict 100 metres swim down! hardly worth blogging about but a swim is a swim.

50m free 33.24
100m swim down

Saturday 27 October 2012

Advanced racing tactics ( ASA Nationals day 1 )

So World Champs in June, National Champs in October and a soupcon of training in September (approximately 7,500 metres) this is not great preparation for a weekend of intense competition. 

I reckoned that to survive this weekend I needed to adopt some advanced racing tactics. My prime concern was leaving my sharpness in the warm up pool. 

I overcame this little hurdle by adopting a very strict "no warm up policy" and bl**dy hell it worked or at least in the 50 breast where I surprisingly went sub 40. 

I was to come a cropper though in the next session where a brain abberation had somehow entered me in the 100 m fly; went out in a controlled 40 seconds for the opening 50 but paid for this in the next 50 as I struggled to break a minute to bring the second 50 home. A fairly spectacular 1.39 ( a significant personal worst) 

As you can see I also didn't take the swim down very seriously either.

50 breast 39.48
100 swim down
100 fly  1.39.37
100 swim down
350 metres

Monday 1 October 2012

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Speedo (or when the going gets tough the tough go shopping)

Yesterday I missed my afternoon stint with Consett Masters for the most pathetic of excuses: I couldn't find a training swimsuit! Honest, I spent a good 20 minutes turning the house and my car upside down but utterly failed to locate this essential piece of swim kit.

Now I could've worn a knee skin racing suit but that seemed to me to be a bit over the top and pretentious for a training session (particularly in my current physical state!), so I opted for an afternoon's retail therapy at the Metrocentre instead, where I made a futile and superficial attempt to buy a new one.

To continue the Speedo saga, Teenage Triathlete came in from training last night and pleaded with me to hang her kit up to dry. Now I know that as a fifteen year old she should be doing these little chores herself but the guilt of a working mum kicks in and I pick up her bag and remove the sodden mess from the bottom.

I was somewhat surprised when my missing Speedo suit fell out of the towel! Now I know she wouldn't be seen dead in a 7 year old baggy endurance suit and it somehow seemed to be cleaner and much fresher smelling then when I last saw it but life's too short to ponder on these little mysteries so I didn't give this occurrence a second thought until lunchtime today.

A window of opportunity had opened up and I escaped the office for a 25 minute swim. As I walked into the pool towel over my shoulder, and swinging my cossie and goggles Pauline the receptionist greeted me with "so you got your cossie then" I must've looked even more confused than normal as she put me out of my misery and explained that I'd left it behind last Sunday and she'd picked it up and undertook to return it to it's rightful owner via her own teenage triathlete Poppy.

Mystery solved and a short lunchtime Tesco set (you remember "every little helps")

warm up
400 up free down alternating back and breast
3 x 200 freestyle pull @ 3.45
6 x 33 @ 55 breast kick
200 swim down