Thursday 12th September – Paradoxically, No Sweat Today
The aim is to get more time in the last few sessions. With kids back to school there should be opportunities to turn up earlier and get more minutes in. So, it was on with the wetsuit at home and don the stairs with my bike for an earlier session. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I was met with different stares. Stares from a neighbour who saw me about to mount the bike sweating out before I’d started pedaling. She thought I was wearing the wetsuit to lose weight by sweating and didn’t consider it was for swimming. I didn’t bother to explain as time was ticking away and sweat more than trickling away.
There was no wait for the receptionist today as I passed many children drying their hair on public hairdryers on the wall fo the reception area. Above the din of this, my fee was paid and straight into the changing rooms to meet two other guys who had also just arrived. It was 16:10 and I was in a free lane in the pool at 16:20. My thoughts were on the potential time I had to swim which could be up to an hour and a half.
After four lengths of breaststroke, with a bit more success of trying to keep my legs under water it was into the freestyle with the intent of longevity.
During the whole time, I was in the water, my lane was solely avoided by others. I think I know why. Because I was swimming in a wetsuit solo without companions or friends, this was a deterrent for swimmers to join my lane. Also, because I didn’t rest or stop throughout the time in the water, they must think I am on a mission. Well, they are all right and of course another little bonus of wearing a wetsuit.
As normal, the swim goes through phases and the longer the time swimming the harder it is to keep good form with the stroke. There were no issues with water in my sinuses today, the first time ever this hadn’t plagued me and I hadn’t a clue as to why?
The number of stroke cycles for each length was pretty constant varying from 8 to 9 with an occasional 9 and a half to remind me to focus on the style and technique. This invariably brought the number of stroke cycles down the next length.
For the first time, there was a problem with my swimming cap. After around 40 minutes it was slipping off and had to be pulled down again on a few occasions. Maybe because it was getting old and more flimsy, or, and here’s a thought, because of the swimming speed which forced it to slip back – as if? Only two sessions to go now before the event where a cap is provided, so no need to replace it at this stage.
Having now swum for an hour, the pool was empty bar me and the lifeguard strutting around the pool as if to say, hurry up I’ want to go home. This sense of guilt was carried for another fifteen minutes which I didn’t enjoy mentally. Besides which, I had done the hour that I’d paid for so that added to the uncomfortable guilt. Sometimes I wish I could get rid of that essentially British trait. Guilt wouldn’t even enter into a Bulgarian’s head in the same situation.
Another ploy I tried today was to try and get rid of that indigestion problem when swimming. As said before, I’m sure it is because I hadn’t eaten since breakfast which was some 10 hours ago. Just as an experiment I made a cheese sandwich and ate washed down with a glass of cold milk 2 hours before the swim started. Well, it worked, there were no issues at all with indigestion or other internal acid-based discomforts. So now I know what to do in the next training session. The event won’t need such provision as it is in the morning and breakfast would have been consumed some 2-3 hours before.
The swim at the end of the day lasted one hour fifteen minutes but could have quite easily gone on for much longer physically. I had worked out that each length takes around 30 seconds. 30 seconds for 17 metres now can be worked out over 3200 metres. At this pace, the 2-mile Serpentine event distance should take a smidgen over 90 minutes or an hour and a half. I was quite amazed that potentially it could be done at that time, albeit a tougher open water environment. But then I don’t stop and start to turn around every 30 seconds so that should balance out.
Only a few weeks ago on paper, my estimate for the 2-mile event was 3 hours doing breaststroke with sporadic freestyle. This has now halved with the new approach-. Having said that I would be very happy to complete the event in less than two hours.
Back home it was 19 minutes plank exercises, well on course for the 20 minutes target next Monday. It was, however, a great struggle for me to do this today and could have quite easily given it a miss. It was only the thought of how I would feel if I missed it out that caused the session to be completed.
At lunchtime today, my weight was 82.2 Kilograms. By the end of the training session, this had gone down too 80.2 Kilograms. That’s 2 Kilograms loss of water through sweating I think.
No sea swimming this weekend as chores await me on the farm. So the next swim is planned for next Tuesday although I am tempted to take a chance and knock one in on Monday. We’ll see.
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