Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sunny Day...

...Sweeping the clouds away 
On my way to where the water's sweet 
Can you tell me how to get 
How to get to Salford Quays... 

(with many apologies to Sesame Street) 


Above is the view from the ladies' changing tent at Salford this morning. This is post-swim - when I arrived there was a great big Canada Goose patrolling the waterline just outside, honking like mad! There was even a pair of ducks, and I'm sure I saw some fish way down deep. Quite a bit of leaf-litter, and some ordinary litter too, unfortunately, but not enough to be annoying and spoil the swim.

12.1oC in the water today, but a lovely 14oC on the land with no wind, and sun, sun, sun everywhere. It makes such a huge difference to your mindset. I suppose that's what makes open water dangerous, sometimes - I imagine it'd be easy to be fooled into thinking it was warmer than it is and get yourself into trouble if you weren't used to it. There were certainly a few novices who had no idea what 12oC really feels like, and having a bit of a surprise as they got further in (which just made me giggle after an hour of being used to it!).

I managed 2km today and it was lovely to be able to swim around the bridge on the 500m course - I miss the 750m course quite a bit. Overall I'm pleased with that given my state of health and fitness. I still have the chesty cough and had managed to twist my back up with it as well. The physio used some ultrasound on Thursday and the appointment helped a lot, I certainly feel very little pain when I'm in the water. Walking out is another issue, though. So I'm still barred from running, feeling deeply unfit and consequently fretting quite a lot about Windermere, since it took me over an hour to plod through that 2km. It suggests I'm on for maybe 1hr 30 if nothing changes in three weeks, which is disappointing. Fingers crossed the cough at least will have gone by then. A couple of extra degrees warmth and a sunny day would also help a great deal.

Til then, I guess I'll just be worrying...

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Three Little Ducks Went Swimming Today...

I had the great pleasure of introducing a couple of chaps from Fitocracy to the joys of open water today! They did really well and it was lovely to meet new people as well as catch up with some of my lane mates from winter training (and I am pleased with my cold adaption and calmness of breath, despite having picked up the kids' cough. My lungs feel nasty). In all honesty it was a pretty horrible day weather-wise - I think this is the second-coldest I've felt since the polar training last November. I'm grateful all over again that I was able to start my open water career in much warmer waters.

Today it was 12oC with a stiff breeze and a mildly annoying amount of chop (mostly from the safety boat, which seemed to be zooming about a lot for no good reason!). The first lap was necessarily slower since I was guiding someone around, but I managed another two before my feet and fingers just said "no more". Oddly, I don't seem to shiver like a lot of swimmers - maybe I get out before it gets to that point, or maybe this layer of bioprene is good for something after all. I shall enjoy my traditional Eurovision beer-and-curry without guilt tonight!

Pretty chilly today, 12oC 18/5/13

I am a bit disappointed, really, as I was hoping to get four laps done today and just keep building up before Windermere...1200m is Not Good Enough. Looks like I'm going to have to hit the pool more than I'd prefer, I suppose.

OM NOM NOM: the bacon buttie is becoming a standard post-swim fixture.
11.8oC on 11/5/13, but felt much warmer than today because there was less wind.

I did three laps last week as well but it seemed easier without the wind, and I left off my gloves and boots for both sessions. Same sort of times, though (about 11mins for the 400m circuit). I haven't been to the pool for a couple of weeks at all as I've been seeing a physio at Bolton Sports & Spinal Injury Clinic on the same day I'd normally swim, and I've felt pretty tired and mauled about after those sessions. I am improving rapidly, though. It turns out my right hip is not where it should be and is somehow rubbing against the sacro-iliac joint, giving me some really quite unpleasant back pain as well as the hip issues. Happily my range of motion has increased significantly over the two weeks after some massage, manipulation and sticking religiously to the exercises I was given. I'm still banned from running and lifting but I'm crossing my fingers that I can get out to run after the next appointment, even if it's only a little bit. I miss it and my fitness is frankly crap at the moment. I'm hoping to get over to Boundary Park at some point but it's a bit complicated in terms of juggling everyone else's training and committments.

Eldest daughter is on week 4 of karate and appears to be thoroughly enjoying herself. We've said she can have her gi if she's still having fun and wants to continue after a six-week taster. Watch this space :D

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Rough Winds Do Shake The Darling Buds Of May

I tried! I got up much earlier than usual and was at Salford for 8.30am this morning, hitting the water before nine (and was within the first 50 to go in!), but dear me, it was cold. Actually it was 11oC, so 2.5oC warmer than last time, but there was a really cold wind blasting down the docks and it was completely overcast for most of the time too. I can stand colder water when the sun is shining; the wind and cloud seem to sap me more than the chill. I managed two laps of the short course (800m in total), which is ok, not great, but I tried out a few things and I have a better idea of how to get over the cold-induced faceache now. So it was certainly more of an experimenting day than a work out. 14 and 12 mins respectively; I'd really like to aim for under 10mins when things warm up a bit. I found the drag from my gloves very tiring, too, but it was a case of "suit up or don't swim", and "don't swim" is unacceptable with Windermere just six weeks away.

I must admit I'm still a bit achy from the 5k last Sunday. I went and did a quick km on Tuesday just to keep everything loose, and I look forward to that again next week even though I get terrible lane rage at times. On the other hand - or leg, rather - my hip is still in trouble and I was stiff with cold when I got out today. The physio I'd intended to see suddenly cancelled all appointments for a fortnight, so I've booked in with the Sports & Spinal Injury Clinic at Bolton University instead. I'm very anxious to get this sorted out now; it's been at least two weeks of pain with every step and as the evenings get lighter I'm missing the chance to have a run. The lack of running is definitely showing in my overall fitness.