Saturday, 20 August 2016

Mass Start Swim Box End

So...this happened today...

A 3.8k swim at Box End lake where I have swum many times before.  This was a fairly last minute decision to enter after enjoying myself last weekend at Rutland.  It's a good venue if not spectacular and 3.8k is 3 laps.  Conditions were very bumpy on the return half of each loop so the overall time was pretty slow (1:04:32) but it's good to have a bit of a challenge.  During the first lap I had several other girls pretty close to me, but as the race carried on, I was able to put more and more space between myself and them.  My arms were still a little sore after PT on Wednesday (I don't know what the muscles are in one's elbow creases but they hurt!) and started to feel very heavy on the third lap but I felt that I finished strongly.  I feel like my technique is a little bit off though.  My Mum came to watch and hold my towel which was nice as Mr JKS is away cycling today.

So, next week is my big race of the season, the Fuschlsee Crossing in Austria.  I'm not expecting to come out very high up as the race is part of the Austrian cup so there will be lots of very fast swimmers there (the fastest times were about 52 minutes for women last year - for 4.2k!) but I'm hoping for beautiful scenery and a nice day :)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Personal Training

This isn't a post that I could have imagined writing!  I now have a personal trainer and am paid up for 20 sessions until Christmas!

As I've written recently, I have had problems with a wonky knee which probably stem back to a weak glute on the right hand side.  Rest and massage haven't fixed it so it is time for some more drastic measures - building up the glute and other asssociated muscles (adductors etc) - in the hope that I'll be able to get back to running longer distances again.  (It's a bit soul destroying after all the running earlier in the year - I am desperate to do a half marathon again).   I've also finally recieved a payout for my broken wrist of February 2014 and the "treat" portion of it is being used on the PT (ha!).  I asked around and got a recommendation for a girl at a local university gym which happens to be 5 minutes drive from work.  I went along for an initial session and we got on pretty well and I felt like she could help me to get the results that I need.  She has an endurance running background so although she doesn't know a thing about swimming, she is able to support me in my running goals.  So, to take advantage of a bulk discount I ended up booking 20 sessions for the incredibly reasonable price of £450.

Sessions have involved squats and lunges and using a bar and hand weights and all sorts of things I've never really done before.  The pilates style core moves are at least familiar, but most of it is new and fresh which so far makes it very interesting and enjoyable.  It's certainly hard work and my legs are wobbling by the end of it and the DOMS afterwards is really quite spectacular.  Ouch.

[I should note that my side goal is to get me some defined biceps and I am super excited about that #vain].

Swim Rutland 4K

Today saw me swimming in England's largest reservoir in the country's smallest county for a swim.  Rutland water!  It's about two hours away from JKS HQ so we went most of the way up last night via dinner with Mum JKS and then stayed in the Corby Premier Inn (such comfy bed, so hard to leave it at 5.30am!).

It's a shame that it wasn't more sunny as it all looked a bit grey but it was a lovely venue with lots of water! There was a 2k race and a 4k.  The 4k was an out and back and the 2k was just the back, which involved swimmers getting a boat to the other side.  Registration was quick and easy and instead of a t-shirt we were given a kit bag to put kit in during the swim.  There was a small delay in setting off as it had taken a long time for everyone to get on site but soon we were all in the water.  And there were a lot of people!  There must have been about 250-300 people.

Everyone set out very hard as is always the way and this is the bit of a race that I always hate, busting a gut to try to keep up.  After a bit it always settles down into a rhythym and for me I can start to try to pick people off a bit (as I don't have the top end speed).  It wasn't a straight across swim, we swam out to a headland and then across to the church following some buoys.  I was a little concerned as the 2K from the other side was due to set off 30 minutes after the 4k which was just before I was expecting to reach the other side.  As we approached, I could see all of the 2k swimmers in the water waiting.  But luckily, it must have been slightly delayed as we got around the corner before they set off.  Slight technical hitch for me as I tried to do a corkscrew turn around the buoy, getting tangled up in the compulsory towfloat.  As we approached the last quarter of the swim, it got very choppy indeed which was both fun and annoying at the same time.

Out of the water and I had no idea what time I had done as I hadn't bothered to look at my watch or start the timer.  I was hoping to be under 1h10 (I could probably comfortably swim 1h6 or 7 in the pool but OW conditions can often slow down) and Mr JKS says that  it was ~63 minutes on the watch.  The woman at the finish said that I was 5th lady back which is good given the size of the field (I checked the start list and 156 women had entered).  So all in all very pleasing.  I've decided to swim next weekend at Box End (3.8k) to practice the pace again ahead of the Fuschlsee Crossing the following weekend.