Thursday, 9 February 2012

Swimming - for beginners!

By the end of this post I'm 283/2012 toward @2012milesin2012 which by my reckoning isnt poor form. Ive got there this week so far with a 5 mile freeeeeezing run at 6am Tuesday, 750m in the pool Tuesday Lunchtime, 1000m in the pool Wednesday and a 6am 6 mile run this morning. It leaves me with a 20 miler on the bike tomorrow (weather permitting - please DO NOT snow), 12 miles or so run Saturday followed by a mile swim and a 50 mile ride on Sunday (see previous weather request!)!
My lunchtime swim was my first swim (other than the odd 'I'm gonna get fit during this holiday and swim everyday brief first day of holiday before the idea wains' swims) for a very long time. I joke about my red swimming badge (10m) circa 1977 but I am sure I got up to my 800m badge at some point in my youth. I also swam in pyjamas but I'm not sure if that related to learning to swim or a drunken night out! Anyway at Coventry Excel Centre I can leave my office at 12 and be in the pool by 12.15 - swim for 30mins and be back for 1pm! A few difficulties were encountered. The first being that without my glasses I cannot see a thing. I cant see the clock in the pool which is annoying and length counting is a ball ache! Also and unfortunately, old people flock to swimming baths in the daytime it seems and float about in the way! So rather frustratingly it was probably 50/50 front crawl and breast stroke. 500m took me 16 mins of OAP dodging. At that pace the 2.4 mile swim (3862 metres) will take me just over 2 hrs (ignoring the fact its 2.4 miles and in open water at 6am)! So I know where I am and know what needs to be done. I then did a warm down 250 metres in 9 mins just because.
Wednesday started badly with me failing to get up for a ride out to test my repaired, tweaked and now supposedly hunky dory gears. Now, to be fair to the guys a 2wheelsonly they hammered the bike on the turbo in my presence and changed every gear under extreme pressure (the guy had the brake on, was hammering the pedals and changing up and down the gears). I so so hope they're fine now and it is making me wonder am I doing something wrong when I change gears? I know its just a click of a lever. Could I get that wrong? I wouldnt put it past me! Anyway, by way of idleitis payback I took my swimming trunks to my kids' swimming lesson in the evening. Their instructor had previously kindly offered to give me some tips and help me out with the swimming. I did a few lengths and he gave me some pointers, I did a few more and he added some more suggestions and so it continued. By the time I had finished 50 lengths (incorrectly pleased with myself that I had done 1250m {was gonna write swum but should it be swam? is swum a word?} because I mistakenly thought the pool was 25m and its not!!) I was knackered, concerned and wandering if I have the concentration to swim 2.4 miles front crawl. Its a bit like golf - there are a million (well about 20) different things I need to concentrate on to swim economically and well. For the length or two I got it all together it felt like I was effortlessly gliding through the water - for the other 48 it was a battle with myself. It ended on a high - and believe me this IM journey is the manifestation of a rollercoaster ride - because afterwards he said my technique was pretty good (I'd have taken that at the start) and with enough practice, effort and concentration he reckons 2.4 miles in open water should take me 1hr45mins at current level but I could get that down to 1hr20mins by July 1st. Loads to work on but as so much of this exercise mularky appears to be, swimming too is 90% in the mind! He is going to let me swim during the hour class for free each Wednesday which is a major bonus in my time and costs juggling! So the journey is now well underway with all 3 disciplines getting it!
Quality 6am 6 mile run this morning saw my best mins/mile ave for a while of 8.5 and a fastest running mile for @lbmagicmile of 8 mins dead!
I mentioned the Poppyfields Ball and its on March 31st. Thanks to @dazhalfpenny and others we have some brilliant auction items including a £1000 hospitality package at AVFC - Sunderland Apr 21st for 4 people, a Villa in Florida for 2 weeks that sleeps 8, return tickets to New York with Virgin and loads of other stuff. If anyone wants a list if they are interested in making a pre ball blind bid to go into the auction with just let me know.
And finally, I gotta mention @lisalynch who you should follow on Twitter. Nothing to do with marathons, running, swimming but in the midst of a world of shit she stands out as funny as fuck and as poignant as something really poignant (and she is so much better with words than me) whilst dodging lifes cock spanners!

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