Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Swimathon 2017





 I didn't enter swimathon in 2016, after the heady heights of 5 swimathons in 3 days in 2015 as part of two-way Windermere training, it seemed that anything would have been an anticlimax.

However, 2017 was a return to this annual pool event.  200 lengths of the pool and this time I would do it three times.  I'd been feeling in pretty good form since getting back from this year's trip to Tenerife and having had two 1:1s with Dan Bullock so although I wasn't hopeful for a new PB (Peebee set in #2 of 2015 was 1:20:19) I was hoping for some respectable times.

To my surprise, I finished the first swimathon in 1:20:00!  I then went back  a couple of hours later to repeat the experience, however I hadn't quite got my fuelling strategy in between right (needed to eat some actual sugar not just carbs!) and that came in at 1:23:05 which I was a little disappointed about.

On Saturday I attended my usual Saturday morning when I am around Body Balance class and then it was #3 at my local leisure centre (the other two were at the pool where I swim en route to work).  It's not a fast pool (has gutters rather than level with the floor) but they had put the wave breaker lane ropes in which they don't always.  However, there were FIVE of us in the lane so my heart sank a little.  To my surprise, I came out with another Peebee, finally getting under 1h20, to come in at 1:19:57.  I can only put this down to the constant sprinting to overtake people and using that as extra motivation.  Was pleased!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Plates spinning, multiple hats, more pies than fingers to stick them in

Sometimes it all feels a bit overwhelming. I know it's my own choice to do so many things (and to some extent it's linked to my mental health - achieve in order to gain praise, keep busy in order to deal with the difficult things, be a human doing rather than a human being) but sometimes I find it quite hard.

Right now I am training hard (swimming for swim events in the summmer, running so I can run a half marathon every month this year, gym strength training to give me a strong body for the first two and to give me a body shape that I am finally moving towards happy with, Body Balance for the stretchy stuff and because yoga doesn't run anymore at the leisure centre). I have just organised a big fundraising event involving over 120 people and raising nearly £1400 (which takes me to nearly £18k for Mind since 2009). I'm writing an article for the professional press about the research project I ran last year and wondering how else I can disseminate the findings. I'm teaching at the Recovery College once a month. I'm trying to deal with my husband's poor mental health and not getting much support for mine at home. In fact, beyond seeing my GP every 3 months for 10 minutes I'm not getting any support to make sure things don't plummet. I'm working 30 hours a week and trying to make myself indispensable so that they find money to keep me when my contract runs out. I'm studying for a PGCert in Systematic Reviews and applying for Masters (when I already have one).  I'm trying to see my friends occasionally as it feels fabulous to be (mostly) in goood mental health and able to do so.

It's self inflicted but sometimes it's a hard effort just keeping swimming and holding it all together.

Normal blogging service to be resumed...

Monday, 9 January 2017

Back to swim club and 2017 plans

I had possibly the most expensive swim ever last night when I went back to swim club after 6 months off.  In my defence, Sunday evening at 6pm is not a natural exercise time for me, and there were also so many Sundays where I had done an event in the morning.  I had an ace time though; the over 16s now join the masters and we do the same set, based around where they are in their competition cycle.  Last night it was an aerobic set that looked like this:

30 x 100m off 2 minutes.  Broken down as:

5 x (50m drill, 50m FC)
5 x (50m kick, 50m FC)
5 x (100m descending)
5 x (100m paddles and pullbuoy)
5 x (100m choice stroke descending)
5 x (100m with fins)

Fab!  Owing to a little mix up and having to cut the last one short as we ran out of time I swam 2.85k.  The coach said he was impressed with my fitness.  Imagine what my fitness would look like if I went every week!!

Onto plans for 2017.  I was originally planning to do the Manchester Marathon and nail that good for age time that I'm sure I've got in me.  However, the idea hasn't quite sat well with me.  Since the knee injury in June last year, I still don't feel back to the sort of strength where training for a marathon would be a good idea.  The knee is mostly better but now there's a hamstring niggle on the same sie.

Instead, I've decided to concentrate on building fitness and strength to do the things I have lined up to the best of my ability.  This means going to swim club, it means keeping going with PT and my own strength training, it means doing my stretches every day, it means eating better (which is something that I seem to be getting better at in terms of more vegetables and less sugar).   I'm going to do some openwater swims and maybe do a half marathon every month.

Here's what I've got booked in so far:
22/1 Farnborough Half
17/2 Thorpe Park Half
19/3 Hastings Half
7/4 and 8/4 Swimathon 5k
20/5 3.8k Mass Start Swim at Box End
9/6 Great North Swim 5k
10/6 Keswick Mountain Festival 25k trail run
11/6 Keswick Mountain Festival 3k swim in Derwentwater
??16/7 Swim Oxford Swim/Run
23/7 3.8k Mass Start Swim at Box End
29/7 Breca SwimRun 13k running, 4k swimming
13/8 Rutland Swim 8k

Plenty to keep me busy!