1 Hour of Discomfort – That’s Okay Though

Posted on: 02 Sep 2019

Tuesday 27th August – 1 Hour of Discomfort – That’s Okay Though

Sea swimming just didn’t happen last Sunday, this is reasons I won’t go into the trip the Black Sea Coast got cancelled at the last moment. Quite frustrated with that, but you just have to go with the flow.

On a different note, another previous problem that raised its head has been solved thankfully. A verruca that appeared on my big left toe a while ago as now been exterminated. It took a while for the planned DIY surgery to take place but successfully. I just couldn’t face going through the masses of over the counter treatment so I decided to solve the problem by using a razor blade, a pin and tweezers. Initially, I shaved the area with the razor until blood was seen then covered it with a plaster. I went through well over 10 plasters during the next couple of days. They don’t’ last long with the heat and working in sandals on the land. Every other day more shaving was made. Yes, it was slightly painful but the first part of the plan.

After four days, it was out with a pin digging into the verruca area loosening the tender skin, then with tweezers picking out of the debris left, including the verruca which was now fragmented. Hey presto, problem solved! In less than a week the verruca has vanished albeit a week of bearable pain with the DIY butchering. I just didn’t have the patience to wait for conventional treatment which can take months to work. I will have to be more careful treading in the school swimming pool complex with my plastic sandals worn at all time, bar the pool water.  

Back to swimming matters, with no swim in Sunday, it would be quite a temptation to now go swimming at the first opportunity, namely Monday. This was something that crept into my head, but all said and done, Tuesday was opted for what with the history of issues with Monday swims.

With daily routines on working on the core muscles, it wasn’t too much of a discern missing one session. In fact, the routines which are based around planking is something I will continue after the swimming subsides. Since I started this I have had no niggling pains in my legs or back. So it must be doing something positive with the workouts based in those areas.

At present, the planking routine has developed well with each session now lasting 16 minutes. The session is done directly I have returned home from a swimming session or late afternoon if no swim. It is done six days a week with a rest on Sunday. The sequence starts with 5 minutes basic plank hold then 1 minute turning on my right side, 1 minutes plank and 1 minute on my left side. With no pause, it is another 1-minute plank going into a 2-minute session raising my left leg then right leg for ten-second periods. Finally, another 5-minute basic plank hold to finish off. 16 minutes non-stop.

At the end of each session, there is a constant stream of sweat dripping on the floor from the effort and almost another swimming session as I collapse into that gathered pool of sweat! It is very uncomfortable and getting through that session involves some psychology tactics going through the pain barrier, mainly trying to focus on something else. The rewards of these sessions are immediately obvious both physically and mentally.

Back to the swim and it was a 17:45 start precisely when I entered the pool. There were only two other swimmers and I felt so good knowing that turning up Tuesday was the right decision.

All warm-up routines have been done and into the water making sure my goggles didn’t leak before I started to avoid having to stop and adjust later. The intention was to do around 10 lengths of breaststroke knowing now that I need to warm up and get into a second wind before starting the front crawl. Well, that’s what I thought. After four lengths of breaststroke, I got impatient and went into freestyle from that point.

One hour later, it was quite a proud man leaving the pool knowing that I could probably do at least a mile with ease with the stroke now! I must have covered nearly 2 kilometres in this session without a break.

Throughout the swim, I have to say that it wasn’t comfortable and a massive range of phases were experienced in this session. Always relieved to get my breath every two strokes on the left, always wanting to stop, and always thinking I only have to do this for a few more weeks. However, there was one point near the end where I did feel comfortable and put more effort into the strokes as I had loads of energy spare within me. This surprised me greatly as I actually did a slower freestyle to recover…. That was an amazing sensation knowing that I have now that facility.

There is something that does trickle into my head with pool swimming. That is, every 17 metres there is a break to turn and even though I try to keep the breathing rhythm at the same tempo, there is that inevitable stop and start up again. I don’t push off when starting up again as I feel that is cheating. I’m sure it won’t make much difference with a two-mile length to complete, but it is in the back of my mind. Also, no traffic which would also take up more energy and great more stress. What the hell, I can probably give as good as I get when it comes to jostling, but preferable out of the water!

With just over three weeks to the event, my only worries are wanting to go to the toilet and I’m wearing a wetsuit. I don’t think I could bring myself to wet my pants although quite common from what I read. As for number twos, well I guess you would have to leave the water for that. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Just thinking of the worst-case scenario.

In the past, I have had issues with being trapped and wanting the toilet, i.e. trains, in cars at traffic jams, lifts (in case they breakdown) and generally places where there are no public toilets. It is a fear of going to new places without prior knowledge of toilet locations. These issues followed me into marathon running and long cycling events where I had been caught out many times and just got away with it on most occasions. The wetsuit to me gives a return to the fear of being caught out although I do now follow a strict dietary regime to avoid such instances. However, sometimes a change of location upsets the precautions and I will be 3000 kilometres away from home at the London event. Packing some Imodium of something similar will be high up on the list of my very limited baggage.

Toilet talk aside, Thursday beckons for the next swimming session with nothing until the following Tuesday. No sea swimming planned until after the event. Also, nowhere to try out freshwater swimming in my wetsuit. I’ve only worn it once in the water and that was saltwater. Seemingly it will now only be worn next at the event without a trial prior to this. Well, I just have to try it on dry a few times if the weather cools down a bit here. Nothing less than 30C for as long as I can remember here in recent times and no abating with the forecast according to weather experts.

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