Sunday 31 August 2014

Yet Another) Road Trip Day 10 The start of a rest day after a record breaking August

It was all getting just a bit much for me today so I decided I'd take the rest of today and tomorrow morning off. I am also celebrating because August (thanks to two rather long road trips) has just been my most successful month in terms of people reading this blog so thanks guys (all 7 of you)

So after a rather leisurely swim and breakfast I did a stretch and relax class and then flopped down with a rubbish novel and spent the rest of the afternoon on a sunbed.... isn't that what holidays are for?

Oh and practising the black art of taking selfies, Bob seems to need more practice at it though!

AM Session
200 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
2 x 50 Bk/s steady @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
2 x 50 Br/st steady @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
2 x 50 Fly steady @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
400 f/c build to 90% @ 30 s RI
2 x 200 IM @ 30s RI
4 x 100 f/c (50 drill, 50 kick) @ 20s RI
8 x 50 IM Order (Fast?) @ 30s RI
4 x 100 alternate back best  stroke length
2 x 200 IM @ 30s RI
400 f/c reduce from 90% - easy
100 swim down
4000 metres

Saturday 30 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 9 - Binge succumbs to a Snickers Ice Cream Bar and a Magnum (in the interests of science)

Another cloudless day with empty swimming pools and blisteringly hot sunshine I was almost looking forward to this afternoon's swim.

So this week I've covered, at a fairly ponderous pace 32,450 metres which is a distance pb for this year and I've still got tomorrow's swim to count.

My arms and legs start malfunctioning once I get into the high twenty somethings so I might not be in a fit state to finish off blogging about this road trip.

I have successfully managed to get through today without undertaking any extraneous activity, purely because although psyched up to do the AB Attack session I turned up at the wrong venue!

I did however discover that the supermercardo sells Snicker's Ice Cream Bars, which look suspiciously like a Magnum.

In the interests of science (of course I had to try both to decide which was the most superior product (especially as I have waxed lyrical about regular Snickers bars (here and although I never mentioned them in the post they kept me going here.) I can say without hesitation the Magnum Almond bar won hands down (just incase you were interested)

AM Session
Warm Up
8 x 50 @ 10s RI Brst, 25 drill, 25 swim
4 x 100 @ 20 s RI 25 drill, 25 swim
8 x 50 @ 20 s RI Progressive 1-4 & 5-8
9 x 200 f/c as
no 1 steady 15s RI
no 2 25 fast 75 steady @ 20 s RI
no 3 50 fast 150 steady @ 20s RI
no 4 75 fast 125 steady @ 30s RI
no 5 100 fast 100 steady @ 30s RI
no 6 125 fast 75 steady @ 40 s RI
no 7 150 fast 50 steady @ 40 s RI
no 8 175 fast 25 steady @ 60s RI
no 9 200 fast
8 x 100 IMs @ 2:30 (25 fast IM order rest steady)
8 x 50 pull paddles DPS @ 75  reduced from 32 - 25
100 swim down
4300 metres
PM Session
Warm Up
5 x 200
no 1 f/c easy @ 20 s RI
no 2 f/c build to 85% @ 20 s RI
no 3 IM Drill @ 20 s RI
no 4 f/c build to 90% @ 20s RI
no 5 IM Kick
4 x 50 Br/st drill @ 10s RI
4 x 50 Br/st kick @ 10s RI
2 x 100 @ 30 s RI  1:35 : 1:37
400 pull with paddles 6:17
4 x 50 f/c drill @ 10s RI
4 x 50 f/c kick @ 10s RI
350 swim down
2750 metres
7050 metres total

Friday 29 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 8 - An Accidental Selfie!, Stand Up Paddling & Pilates

Well another tough day in paradise! The start of the second week and as I worked my way through this morning's session the sun appeared and burned off the cloud cover leaving a brilliant blue sky, which of course I thought I'd show off with a black and white piccie!

This was an accidental selfie as we walked back from the beach. (TT and I'd been stand up paddling! see below) I noticed she took a picture using one of the buttons on the side of her phone. I tried with mine and voila or should that be vila!

We also had an interesting hour on a "stand up paddle board" what on earth is the point of that? It took forever to paddle up the lagoon and is no comparison to a kayak. Although on reflection I suppose your legs can get tanned as they are in the open rather than shoved in the cockpit of a canoe.

Teenage Triathlete had cunningly taken a lesson in stand up paddling before I arrived but I did eventually get the hang of it.

I didn't really feel like swimming properly today, but there's something about having someone put themselves out for you, (in this case EMSC 4.0 who had kindly written the session out for me) anyway I dropped into the water and worked my way through all of this morning and a fair bit of this afternoons. My swim workout was curtailed because I had to fit it into the 50 minutes between Ab Attack and Pilates.

I'm not really sure why I chose to undertake any of these activities as a full day on a sun bed would have been just as exhausting. And the only good thing about AB Attack is it only lasts 25 minutes! (and I can only do 20)

AM Session
Warm Up
400 f/c steady 20 s RI
100 kick 20 s RI
300 f/c steady 20 s RI
100 IM drill 20 s RI
100 IM kick 20 s RI
100 IM swim
1 x 200 IM steady @ 30 s RI
2 x 200 f/c @ 3:45
4 x 50 fly @ 15s RI
2 x 200 f/c @ 3:45
4 x 50 back @ 15s RI
2 x 200 f/c @ 3:45
4 x 50 brst @ 15s RI
2 x 200 f/c @ 3:45
4 x 50 f/c @ 15s RI
1 x 200 IM steady
Swim Down
300 metres
4200 metres
25 mins AB Attack
PM Session
300 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
2 x 50 Back @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
4 x 50 (2 x back, 2 x brst) @ 10s RI
100 f/c steady@ 20 s RI
6 x 50 (2 x back, 2 x brst,2 x fly) @ 10s RI
400 f/c steady 30 s RI
4 x 100 @ 30 s RI (25 IM fast 75 f/c steady)
4 x 50 IM order fast @ 30 s RI (should've been on 60s but I wasn't going very fast and I was running out of time
200 steady swim down
2,400 metres
6,400 metres total
50 minutes Pilates class......

Thursday 28 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 7 Vorsprung durch tecknik

The really great thing about being here is you can pretend to be a full time athlete, and swimming two sessions a day is a lot easier to do here then at home. (although it is still a pretty painful experience)

I think I need to take some better photos to illustrate this blog, especially as I've done most of my swimming in the old pool, which for some reason I'm more comfortable in.

It might conceivably be something to do with the wind tunnel effect at the new pool which is obviously created with car design in mind.

I suppose it might help out a swimmers streamlining as well, especially as it had a pretty dramatic effect on my swimming with paddles two days ago. Really teaching you to recover your hands properly!

EMSC obliged again with two sets written out for me and scheduling a mere 8.6 k! for me today. I completed this mornings set but needed the sanctity of a sunbed to recover and after an afternoon slobbing around I arrived at the pool way too late to complete the main set which should have been 3 repetitions of the 900 metres 300 easy, 2 x 200 and 4 x 50's as you can see I only managed 1 and then had to get out because the pool closes at 7pm and dinner was calling.

My other achievement of today was to completely miss any sort of class..... not quite sure how Teenage Triathlete let me off with that one

AM Session
Warm up
5 x 200  @ 4:00 as
no 1 steady
no 2 build to 85%
no 3 50 drill 50 swim
no 4 build to 90%
no 5 50 kick 50 swim
Main set
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 f/c drill2 10s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 f/c with paddles
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 brst kick @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 f/c pull with paddles @ 10s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 brst kick @ 10 s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 f/c with paddles @ 10s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 f/c drill @ 10s RI
200 f/c steady @ 20 sRI
4 x 50 Progressive 1-4 @ 30 sec RI
200 swim down
4400 total

PM Session
Warm up
200 f/c easy
4 x 50 f/c @ 20 s RI progressive to 90% (in your dreams)
300 f/c steady @ 20 s RI
6 x 50 f/c progressive 10s RI to 100%
8 x 50's f/c 25 @ 20s RI fast kick, 25 fast swim
300 f/c steady @ 20s RI
2 x 200 @ 30 s RI 85% (3:17 and 3:12)
6 x 50's @ 10s RI at 90%
200 swim down
2,600 total
7,000 metres

Wednesday 27 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 6 EMSC 4 to the rescue

Decision for the day: which lane do I swim in?
After yesterdays epic fail, Dr Bob (also known as Evil Mutant Swim Coach four point zero) stepped in to put my swimming back on track by writing a couple of sessions for me.

it"s always easier to follow a preplanned session than to make it up on the spot. Now admittedly his turnaround times were just a bit optimistic so I had to amend them a tad, but I did work my way through 7K.

I am now knackered and also starving, don't care what I have for dinner as long as there's a huge portion of chips to go with it. (very healthy!)

Note to self Pina Colada's and hot chocolate doesn't really mix very well.

AM Session
4 x 300 warm up
300 free 100 drill, 50 kick, 100 swim, 50 kick
300 brst 100 drill, 50 kick, 100 swim, 50 kick
300 back 100 drill, 50 kick, 100 swim, 50 kick
300 fly   100 drill, 50 kick, 100 drill, 50 kick
4 x 50 IM order @ 10 s RI
2 x 100 Brst @ 20 s RI
4 x 200 progressive @ 3:45  3:35. 3:30, 3:25, 3:20
4 x 50 IM order @ 10 s RI
2 x 100 Brst @ 20 s RI
4 x 200 progressive @ 3:45 3:37. 3:32, 3:25, 3:20
200 swim down
3800 metres

PM Session
2 x 50 free @ 10 s RI
100 breast drill @ 20 s RI
4 x 50 free @ 10s RI (build to 80%) yeah right
100 breast kick
8 x 50 free @ 10s RI (build to 90%) hmmm
200 free @ 3:45  (3:20)
4 x (4 x 50 breast pull @ 10 s RI)
200 free @ 3:45 (£:20)
4 x (4 x 50 free pull @ 10s RI)
200 swim
3200 metres
7,000 metres

Tuesday 26 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 5 Binge bored of being Billy no mates

Well today was almost a complete swimming fail, while it's nice to have 2 side by side 8 lane 50 meter pools to train in; it's quite lonely when there are only 3 people in the water and you have the whole of a pool to yourself.

I lost all motivation to do any work, so got out after a mere 1.8k and then tried two or three dives off the blocks experimenting with a track start and the position of the back foot rest.

My start is pants see here and if I wasn't on holiday I might seriously do some work on it.

Anyway a multi grain croissant and a decent cup of coffee were calling so I sauntered back to the apartment for breakfast and then for some reason decided I would spend the rest of the morning in a pilates (intermediate) class followed by a yoga (for beginners) class. Trying to revitalise my Zen, actually the easiest way to do that was to spend the afternoon reading trashy novels on a sunbed.

600 easy swim
16 x 50 @ 70 25 easy 25 hard @ 70
4 x 50 breaststroke kick
4 x 50 free pull
200 swim down

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 4 (Monday) Binge swaps Ab Attack for 2nd Swim Session

The holiday mood really began to take hold as I only made it to the pool for a morning dip today (Monday) although it was a reasonable session and I covered a fairly respectable distance.

As punishment I was forced to go to yet another ab attack session parts of which were undoable and hurt quite a lot.

This evening we made a bid for freedom and taxied into La Santa for dinner as we wandered back they were closing up the pools for the evening. It was a pretty impressive sight two side by side 50 metre pools, that's a lot of water.

800 warm up free, down drill
5 x 200 @ 3:50 progressive from 3:37-3:20
20 x 50 @ 60 pull with paddles
4 x 100 @ 2:15 25 fly, 75 steady
4 x 50 kick
200 swim down
3600 metres

Sunday 24 August 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 3 6k and Sunbed day

Yesterday evening's Aerobic session at the Volcano, under a blistering sun completely killed me and I found myself seeking a shady area for the stretch and relax class.

Now a "stretch and relax" class in the shade just doesn't have the same attraction as a "stretch and relax" class in the sun and I resolved that today would be a keep my face out of the sun day.

Of course I still had to swim and what a brilliant excuse not to have to swim backstroke!

The wind in the new pool was truly blowing a hooly! In the main set wearing a pair of paddles pinched from sports booking it was like having sails as you went up the pool but oh dear coming back into that head wind! and the chop.

I therefore resolved that in between sessions all I was going to do today was to recharge on a sunbed.

Teenage Triathlete went off to do an unfeasible amount of classes which started with Body Combat or something equally as tortuous, ( I'd bailed after 20 minutes in this class on Friday) and ended with an egg throwing competition. (was it a chucky egg?)

Although it did involve her having to catch it as well,  things were all white until the distance 16 metres when her team mate bowled a complete yorker (or should that be yoker) with the eggspected results.

After a few hours on the sun bed catching up with the blogging, I made it to the pool for a very leisurely dip. Not very much effort there and a fair bit of garbage yardage, but my 6k today salvaged a green week.

AM Session
1300 warm up
100 free
50 free, 50 back
50 free, 50 breast
100 free
50 single arm left 50 single arm right
100 catch up
100 free
100 catch up
50 single arm left 50 single arm right
100 free
50 free, 50 breast
50 free, 50 back
100 free
5 x 400 @ 7:30 pull with paddles
4 x 50 fly drill with fins @ 75
4 x 50 free kick with fins @ 75
4 x 50 free DPS @ 70 s

300 swim down
4200 metres

PM Session
800 mixed drills warm up
400 breast stroke kick
8 x 50's breaststroke drill
8 x 50's free drills
200 swim down
2200 metres

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 2 - Binge in Exercise Class Shocker!

Beware Binge Aerobiccing! 
Saturday 24th August 2014 Teenage Triathlete had been gleefully planning my ultimate humiliation for the last week, and yesterday and today put her little wheeze into action!

By insisting that I attend more exercise sessions in the last two days then I've done in a lifetime. This included 2 "ab attack" sessions, I can tell you now that there is no chance my ab's are going to attack anyone because they are completely non existent!

Also I discovered during aerobics (for beginners of course) that the only place my arms and legs will work in a collaborative fashion is in a pool! and even then it's only sporadically. I've done 2 Yoga classes, the aforementioned ab attacks, 2 Stretch classes, Pilates and Aerobics! I drew the line at body toning and went for my second swim of the day.

I can tell you that I ache in places I didn't even know I still had! Sun bed beckons tomorrow but beginning to catch up on the yardage front! Also Tony Cherrington (who is currently somewhere in the English Channel as part of an over 70 years relay) you were right, the wind tunnel in the new pool makes the second 50 brutal.

AM session
800 Warm up 400 swim 300 drill 100 swim
12 x 50 @ 90  breaststroke kick
16 x 50 @ 70 DPS breathing every 6 reduced stroke count from 39 – 36
200 swim down
8 x 50 @ 60 25 hard, 25 easy
200 swim down
3000 metres
PM session
6 x 100 @ 2 mins
3 x 200 pull with paddles @ 4 mins
400 mixed kick with fins
100 swim down


(Yet another!) Road Trip Day 1 (Friday 22nd August) Club La Santa

Missing you Mum- Not!
You may have noticed there's been a rather typical Binge Swimming hiatus for the last 12 days as a jet lagged Binge struggled to cope with reality. The daily grind only lasted a short time as annual holidays called. 

So I was off on my travels again and my achievement yesterday was covering the 150 metres or so from the Ladies’ loos in the departure lounge at Newcastle airport to gate 22 in about 15 seconds flat; especially as I had to dodge and weave through the rest of the strolling and straggling passengers making their way to Gates 20 and 21. 

I know you are curious to learn the reason behind for this rather unbinge like haste? Well there I was sitting on the loo minding my own business when a tannoy announcement filters into my consciousness, “this is the final and urgent call for Passenger Dobbie travelling on flight LS545” oops…

Had I missed this I would have really been in the doghouse with Bob and Teenage Triathlete (especially as I was bringing out more cash) who were already on holiday. I must’ve passed through a temporal anomaly somewhere in the duty free shop because I hadn’t even seen the instruction to "Go to the Gate!" 

Thankfully I did make the flight, pretty much jumping through the plane door as it slammed shut and then having to look suitably sheepish and apologetic as I made my way to my seat with 279 pairs of eyes looking at me and thinking there's the silly cow who's held us up.

Anyway a relatively crash free flight! and reunited with Club La Santa, oh and Bob and Teenage Triathlete. First swim today (Friday) didn't want to overdo it after my recent break! 

800 warm up
7 x 100 pull @ 1:50

1500 metres

Thursday 14 August 2014

Road Trip Day 10 - Saturday August 9th- The end of the adventure

Whilst the World Championships didn't end officially until the Sunday, sadly my trip came to an end at 2pm on Saturday as I left the pool and headed for the airport.

I was able to catch some of the action down at the open water swim which was fabulous, glorious sunshine, perfect course fantastic day.

I know this was exactly the sort of day, and the very spot when 20 years ago, I was inspired by the open water event so much so I thought I needed to enter it at the next World Championships. Of course this was where reality set in, as the next time turned out to be a very cold and rainy morning at Holme Pierrepoint!

I was also able to watch the final pool events and cheer on Crystal who was thwarted in her attempt to hunt down Anne Bourne by a mere 2 hundredths of a second, a fantastic tussle for the bronze medal place by the two Brits.

I managed to grab a swim in a very civilised warm up pool, changed and set off to finish my packing and catch the shuttle to the airport.

So what's next for Binge, well I've currently been abandoned by Bob and Teenage Triathlete who have jetted out as an advance party to Lanzarote.

I'll join them next week, in a vain event to keep up this training lark and also to try and put my mile a day challenge back on track. In the meantime I'm having a civilised evening with the house to myself.. I could get used to this.

I'm planning on a training raid at Newcastle's Final Friday Saddo session tomorrow.

600 steady warm up

Saturday 9 August 2014

Road Trip Day 9 - August 8th- Apologies to Gobbie

Woke up at silly o clock this morning for my one early swim of the week, and Crystal was also awake and on Facebook, (well what else do you do first thing in the morning?) when she happened to mention that someone had posted that Gobbie's mistress has a latex allergy.

Have you ever had one of those light bulb moments you know when the penny finally drops and everything becomes well Crystal clear. 

You see I have spent a considerable amount of time in the last two days considering what earthly use a nappy pin could be, unless we all run a bit short on the Tenna ladies front.

But there it was the explanation....Like a bolt out of the blue I realised it wasn't a Nappy Pin it was an Epipen. Oh profuse apologies for taking the mick Gobbie I finally understand why you were on the pool side with your owner and I take back all the slightly snidey remarks I made.

Anyway last swim of the World Championships for Binge and I made a complete Horlics of it. I spent the whole 200 arguing with myself to go faster and then telling myself not to be so stupid cos it would hurt! My head won in the end and although I went from 20th to 12th I wasn't particularly happy.

I spent the rest of the day just generally lounging around, watching the rest of the breaststroke swims and chatting and drinking and sitting in the sun. I did manage a swim in the open water course in the rowing basin which was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. 

There was lots of action in the pool with the 200 fly providing 4 GB gold medals for Nicola Latty, Judy Wilson, Pat Jackson and David Cummings not to mention Di Ford's third title of the week in the 200 breast, or Helen Gorman's silver and European Record

Just a bit sad that I'm off home tomorrow.

600 warm up
200 breast 3:30
500 open water

Friday 8 August 2014

Road Trip Day 8 Thursday 7th August - Guardians of the Gloucester Video

It was relay day today at the World Championships so I wasn't swimming; but having been awoken by a PPI automated call at 7:45 I thought I would trundle down to the pool to support Crystal and her Cronies.

I was trusted by them to take the official video of what Colin Stephenson had assured me all the previous evening was "a gold medal winning team". I had to admire his confidence though as they were seeded 4th.

As their heat approached, team mate Brian and I were banished to the bleachers to record their valiant struggle. We were quite happily chatting away when Brian realised that Crystal was in the water! I managed to operate the video camera when she was half way down her 50, oops, but I did capture the rest of the heat which included a stunning performance from them all to finish second.

The level of support to my current roomy did not extend to going to watch her presentation as I chose instead to go and see Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D at an Imax... brilliant way to while away an hour or so.

I did drop into the warm up pool for a leisurely 600 metres though, so not a total waste!

Only the 200 breaststroke left for tomorrow and I can't say I'm looking forward to it, even though my potential British record entry time of  2:23 has been changed to a more manageable 3:33.

Road Trip Day 7 Wednesday 6th August - Ou eh le papier and Gobbie Dobbie's Doggy Bloggy

Now if the most photographed thing at the Parc Jean Drapeau is the Fat Rat, Ground Hog, Goafer thingy that featured here then the second most photographed thing must be Gobby.

I briefly mentioned his presence yesterday without realising his importance in the whole World Masters infrastructure.

But I will mock no longer because he is a service dog and he helps out his mistress (who has interesting taste in crocs) and who we would probably call a St John's Ambulance person... allegedly he can dial 911 on a cell phone and bring her nappy pins!

What I really want to know is does he know the lock code or can the sensor read his paw print?

In the meantime back to the nitty gritty of swimming it was 50 breaststroke day, and the splash and dash was in the temporary pool. Before wandering across there I nipped into the ladies at the main pool, and as I was walking into the stall the lady vacating it came out shaking her head and muttering about "none papiere"

Oh oh, fortunately World Masters Survival skills came into play here, as in rule1 always keep an emergency supply of bog roll tucked into your kit bag, you never know when you'll need it.

Anyway a 700 warm up gave me a pretty ropey 41.11 for 7th place, it might've been a lot better if I'd decided to go when the gun went rather than let everyone else go first and then (ever so politely) follow them in.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Road Trip Day 6 August 5th - Proof you can't stuff a pint in a half pint pot!

Day 6 is the 200 free day. For me this is a bit of a non event really, it's the least worst evil of the other events I could swim which include a 400 IM (non merci) and a 50 fly (non merci absolutement). But I need to keep the momentum going so the 200 free sort of serves that purpose.

By this time I'm pretty much into a routine with all my swims being in the afternoon including a lunchtime wander into a local supermarket for sandwiches. 
Which wonderfully illustrates what's great about these meets. 

You know you're wandering around a new city and you keep bumping in to your mates. So entering the supermarket on Sunday I was immediately confronted by Dave Akers and posed for a selfie at the fish counter (as you do)... (is it a selfie if someone else takes it?)

Anyway back to my 200 and the valiant attempt to have this post bear some relation to its title.  Down to the pool for a warm up, then disaster struck. There I was struggling into my racing suit, and having just successfully negotiated the rather unyielding fabric over my more generous contours (i.e the worst bit over,) when the material gave way and my fingers tore through the suit. Bu**er and Botheration! It wasn't the fact the suit was a right off but all that the wasted effort in putting the bl**dy thing on.

Nothing else for it but back to baggy suit (well a more baggy racing suit!), (Judy Hattle do you have any more castoffs for me?) and into marshalling (suitably late) one of the more eccentric features of this meet is the timekeeper who,is accompanied by a dog. Honest not a big Labrador but a little poodley type thing. You just would never get that at home would you?

But in swim terms 700 warm up and a 2:45 something or other.

Road Trip Day 5 The Swimming Pool at the end of the Universe

Day 2 featured the 100 metres breaststroke at the Temporary Pool. This is situated on the next island and involved a warm up at the main complex and then a wander across the St Lawrence river to the F1 Race track where the temporary pool stood. It's probably a little over a kilometre between the two venues.

Now don't get me wrong the pool is great but the facilities are a little primitive to say the least and consist of a couple of portacabins as makeshift changing rooms and initially 5 portaloos. Now I'm not sure about you but (at the risk of giving too much information) I don't find it particularly inspiring to have to use facilities which effectively contain the biggest pile of poo you've ever seen. (I mentioned yesterday about the flight fright or sh**e syndrome).

The trick to these events is to try and locate the best facilities, i.e the cleanest, quietest loos with an infinite amount of loo roll. A stop at a bike, kayak and segway hire store on Saturday and I lucked out as I discovered a set of air conditioned pristine loos with running water!

So I was feeling quite smug as I changed and waited for my race, marshalling was the usual pain in the derriere although my accidental entry time (2:23) for the 200 breast was rumbled in conversation with a couple of swimmers. The actual swim was exquisitely painful and all I could think about was how much the 200 is going to hurt on Friday!

1:33.55 but yet again faster than Swansea and a 7th place

Road Trip Day 4 It all starts here, Sandbagger Binge (Sunday 3rd August)

The World Championships generally start with the 800 free which is quite a gentle introduction to the meet, (if you are an official or spectator that is.)

However if you are a swimmer it is 16 lengths of gut wrenching agony and more pain then you can ever imagine, particularly if you decide to use your legs.

Before you get into the water you have to run the gauntlet of the warm up pool, intersperced with an infinite number of loo stops as the flight, fight or shi*e refexes kick in, and then when you think you can"t go anymore you have to struggle into your racing suit.

As if this wasn't sufficient cruel and unusual punishment then you have to make your way through marshalling.

For the uninitiated this is where you play a sort of musical chairs, as your heat gradually moves up through rows of chairs until you are released onto the pool side.

Sadly though this isn't a case where the music stops and you are out if you haven't secured a chair, because the next row has exactly the right number of chairs and you just move up and sit on your designated seat.

Now in my early days at this, I adopted all sorts of tactics to avoid the non musical chairs as I hated marshalling, and I would try my best to simply pop up on the pool side as late as possible. Now having gone through this process about a zillion times I'm pretty relaxed about it.

It does give you the opportunity to chat to your fellow competitors and weigh them up, and it can get pretty tense I can't imagine what it's like in the call room at the Olympics. Anyway eventually it's your turn and you're under starters orders.

I dived in determined to stick to my breathing pattern, every 6 for the first 50 and then settle down to every 4. A Canadian next to me went off  like train and that was it race plan out of the window as I set off to hunt her down.

This took all of 100 metres and then I gradually built up a nice lead to win my heat by quite a margin, I'd carefully calculated my entry time by doubling my Eindhoven time and then adding a bit. So a pretty good start as my time was about 17 seconds faster than Swansea and I moved from about 25th to 16th in the rankings.

Warm Up 1000
800 free 11:51.42
Swim Down 800

Monday 4 August 2014

Road Trip Day 3 - Out of the frying pan......The Quest for a Swim Continues

So day 3 and in search of a pool for some training we (Binge, Crystal and the Cronies) head off for the Claude Robbalot (A Canadian Robin Hood?) pool for training.

By the time we got off the Metro and started the walk to the pool ably guided by sherpa Helen KP (who had very cleverly made the trek here yesterday) we found ourselves leading a long snaking crocodile of swimmers from all over the world.

It was a case of out of the frying pan into the fire because the three lanes set aside for training were woefully inadequate and I chose to swim in the unlaned outside part. In fact it looked a lot worse than it actually was and once you managed to select a spot and jump in it was fine. Although navigating around some older Japanese breaststrokers was a bit of a challenge.

I swam about 60 lengths and after checking the time was disappointed to discover I had been in the water for over 30 minutes urgh horribly slow!.

I then began to pay attention to my stroke count and realised that the pool length must've been 30 metres and not 25! I felt better after that but there was no stopping as it was on to the British Masters Drinks reception, a great opportunity to catch up with the other swimmers out here.

As you can see this motley crew were in great spirits and many thanks to Sharon for her organisational talents and the patriotic but rather phallic balloons!

Back on the Metro for the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Park, again in company of thousands of swimmers. The start time was down as 7:30pm but it was 8:00pm before the event got underway, (probably foreshadowing what's to come).

The ceremony kicked off with an energetic Canadian? Irish? eastern European Band and a pretty large conga was soon going around the crowd. Who were enjoying the opportunity to show off their team colours.

A good proportion of British in an excellent demonstration of our national traits of reserve and sarcasm preferred to stand at the back and send up the acts.

Deciding that life was too short, to listen to a succession of Canadian and FINA officials drone on; or to watch a Canadian impersonator;

(well do you know any famous Canadian people) (ok well apart from Michael J Fox, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Ben Johnson alright I give up)

But more importantly the queues for the portaloos and at the beer wagon were too long we gave up and headed back into town

Swimming starts tomorrow and I need to regroup and try and focus on the 800 Free (seemed like a good idea on the entry form).  I reckon I covered around 1800 metres again pretty comfortably. Astonishingly I survived the day and wasn't abducted by aliens. Maybe I look too weird!

Road Trip Day 2 - The Quest for a Swim

As mentioned yesterday the Synchro and Water Polo championships were taking up all the available pool space at the Parc Jean Drapeau making a training swim an unlikely prospect. 

Binge, Crystal and her Cronies decided that they would do a little sight seeing tour, and try their luck at training at 7 pm. Cunningly Binge didn't mention her ulterior motive to locate a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop. 

Mission accomplished: whilst Crystal and her Cronies were buying smoothies and fruit, Binge found herself drawn to a triple scoop cup of frozen deliciousness, (spot the real swimmer in this lot) 

Anyway onto the pool this evening where you took your life in your hands as the world and his wife had the same idea. It was warm up carnage. 

It seemed to me to be pretty obvious that if you invite close on 6000 swimmers for a competition from the far flung corners of the world they are going to arrive fairly early to cope with the effects of jet lag, and yes somewhat predictably they are going to want to swim.

In a rather unusual move the organisers had thoughtfully arranged for a rock festival to take place a matter of 50 metres away from the pools. 

Whilst this provided a level of background entertainment, and made travelling to the venue on the Metro an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with Montreal's youth, 
it caused havoc with the pools electronics and as a result the Water Polo and Synchro competitions were suspended for  about 45 minutes because of an electronics failure when the big stage started up. 

Perhaps less predictably all of the remaining polo matches then went to extra time and penalties (with surprisingly no English teams involved). This caused a delay in opening the warm up pool, and with 5779 swimmers  (give or take a few) hanging around desperate for a dip the brave few squeezed into half an unlaned 50 metre pool.

Taking my life into my hands I ventured into the water. This was extreme white knuckle swimming and thank you to the twat in my lane ( and that's a very loose term) who thought he would swim butterfly turning the white knuckle experience into a black and blue knuckle one. 

After about 300 meters the rest of the pool opened up and the pool staff arranged for the lane ropes to be put in and things calmed down. A civilised flop of around 600 metres simply to get wet and stretch out.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Road Trip Day 1 (a very long day 1) . Starving and Shattered at 41,000 feet but validated by Facebook.

My pre meet preparation was as ideal as ever, consisting of the obligatory late night in the office sticking the proverbial fingers in dykes (12:15am escape);

Half way home realising I'd left my laptop charger, bu**er; turning round and being forced to run the gamut of the office burglar alarm....again. 

Arriving home around 12:30am where I made myself exceedingly popular with Bob and Teenage Triathlete, by crashing around the house packing or rather chucking half a dozen t shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 warm up suits, 2 racing suits 2 pairs of goggles and as many clean pairs of knickers as I could find not to mention enough electronic gadgets to start up a PC World franchise, in a bag. 3 hours 25 mins in bed then up and off to the airport. 

06:25am flight from Newcastle to Paris (well how else would,you get to Montreal? and it's French isn't it?)  

By 12 noon (5pm UK time) I found myself starving and shattered at 41,000 feet  What I hadn't factored into the equation was rain.....we landed amidst a thunderstorm and oh my goodness il fait pleut.

Catching the shuttle to the Fairmont Hotel to collect my accreditation, proved to be very painless although the ensuing two hours was anything but; the rain threw a spanner into the works and forced a change of plan. I had intended to walk down the road to my hotel, but the rain kind of kiboshed that idea, so I was directed to the metro via one of those unfathomable underground cities that Canadians seem so fond of. 

The Elusive Montreal Metro
Naturally I got totally lost and somehow completely missed the Metro station, surfacing in the pouring rain, god knows where, I scuttled into a nearby Starbucks to regroup and work out where I was. 

20 minutes and a grande latte later, I reckoned I was orientated and anyway by now the sun was shining. So dragging suitcase behind me I set out for my lodgings... unbeknown to me in completely the right direction!  About 1000 metres up the road I suffered a crisis of confidence and decided that I was going in completely the wrong direction so I retraced my steps and eventually found myself back at the Fairmount. 

Now I'm not sure why my default setting in these circumstances doesn't just scream taxi at me! but it didn't, so back to plan A; a straight walk along the road where I arrived at the rather dated and dismal although reassuringly cheap Travelodge!

Unfortunately my troubles were not over.  Despite producing confirmation of booking (thoughtfully provided by Jayne "crystal" Ball) the hotel had no record of me and the clerk wasn't impressed by my explanation and failure to be able to immediately telephone Crystal who was travelling up from Toronto, so no check in. 

I'm not sure how desperate I must've looked having covered probably 3 miles of Montreal sidewalk dragging a rather hastily packed suitcase! but it did add an air of relentlessness and persuasiveness to my argument. 

The guy eventually caved in and gave me the room key when I provided about a zillion Facebook conversations I was able to pull up on my  phone (which by now was running as low on energy as I was and his patience was tested a bit by the 81 email notifications which kept interrupting the Facebook search.) The clincher to the argument might've been "trust me I'm a lawyer!"

Anyway, Dropped bags, showered, changed and headed out to the pool hoping for a swim... sadly not to be. The Synchro and Water Polo competitions were in full flow. So wandered around the merchandising tent which I reckon will be simply impossible to get moved in later on in the week and spoiled myself with a new rucksack. 

Checked out the competition pools and the walk between them (very long) but more on this later.

Returned to the Hovel where Crystal and Cronies turned up, out for dinner (I'd last eaten anything substantial about 12 hours beforehand) just about falling asleep in my Lasagne. Perked up by ice cream for pud!

Crashed out by 10, woken at 10:20pm by Duty Solicitor Service "good morning Miss Dobbie we have an own client case at Durham!" I guess he'll have to wait a bit for me to get there!