Sunday, 7 December 2014

Time Passes

The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. ~ Mary Schmich October was a bit of a random month, training-wise - a few hiccups of ill-health, a grand dose of "can't be arsed", some frustration, some generalised family chaos, and some useful gains, mostly in karate. November, despite bouts of illness, was much better.





Swimming Completed my Aspire Challenge, a bit slower than I wanted to, but I finished it in style with three short laps of Salford Quays (1200m), in skins, at 10oC. And had a nice dose of some mixture of hypothermia and hypoglycemia to show for it; thank you to my Bears for taking care of me (read: stuffing me full of sugar and coffee til I stopped giggling and shaking).

USWIM Masters is back at Manchester Aquatics, with an extra session at Shadsworth, just down the road from me. Currently I'm performing reasonably well there (and having a lot of fun, actually - it's great not to miss my swimming friends through the winter!). My stroke feels cleaner and stronger despite not a lot of practice in October - thank you to Rach for the drill suggestions at the end of summer season, it does seem to have helped. I get off-days but overall things are consistent.

Victorian Polar was amazing fun - I made four costumes in the end and we looked AWESOME. Swam 200m in costume at 8oC and had a jolly nice, if painful, time in the water followed by all of the calories in the world ever.


Happy to demonstrate what hits like a girl really means.
This has been very challenging lately and that's where the majority of my energy has been going - I've been training three times a week plus working at home trying to nail down the three katas I needed to show at my next grading (heian shodan, heian nidan and heian sandan), and all the combinations required to go from yellow belt (7th kyu) to green belt (6th kyu). Technically I was wearing an orange belt but that's from the old grading system, it just wasn't worth changing it for a couple of months. I've learned how to bring side kicks into my sparring more and that seems to have improved things significantly. I'm quite good at those, but I know I need to work on my overall control and blocking. Learning three new kata in one go is not the normal way of things and I've spent a lot of time being cross with myself over kata and kihon (basics). I do think I've neglected kumite in my head at least and aside from 6th kyu kata, I want to focus on sparring in the new year so I can go to tournament.

We had the extraordinarily exciting opportunity to train with Shinji Nagaki Sensei - a world champion and 5th dan black belt! Eldest and I had a wonderful time taking an absolute master class in the basics (Youngest is a bit too young for this sort of thing right now, sadly, but at just 4y 4mo she is working her little butt off and she'll probably join us for seminars next year) and I felt a whole lot better about heian nidan in particular afterwards.

All three of us graded on 29th Nov.  Eldest and I are now green/6th kyu and Youngest impressed everyone with her concentration (over two hours of focus is a big ask when you're four!) and of course brought her orange belt/9th kyu home. I found it particularly hard - full of a cold, something feeling badly wrong and painful in my hip and being convinced I'd failed halfway through did not help, but like the Bears, the Tigers are brilliant support and I got past the pain. Definitely earned this one. Physio visit impending.


the reason i pick this is because this quote is true. the miles just don't go away;they just wait for us to run them.
Yeah...didn't do any of that stuff. To be honest I just didn't feel like it, then I didn't want to break anything before grading, and now my legs just feel rotten - everything's tight everywhere and I need to figure out what the cause is. Hence physio. I'm getting an awful lot of cramp whilst pool swimming and it was a real problem at grading - at one point I was stretched out in the box splits and two toes on my left foot were pointing at the ceiling all by themselves. I don't know if it's the cold or what but it needs dealing with. And when it's dealt with? Well. I have my target race picked out. It's not going away any time soon and it'll be there next year if it takes me that long to sort this out.


Yoga: I have an entire post about that coming up later. I can tell you're excited.