Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bumble turns....

Following the success of last week it's been seven days of kicking back (on the training front) and patting myself firmly on the back for a season well done. Enjoying a mid-morning coffee with my good friend Tess (thanks for today's motivational email by the way) earlier this week, she almost fell off her chair at my large latte and even larger slice of apple crumble... so I'm not sure what she'd have made of tonight's pepperoni passion / Hawaiian (as close to Kona as 2008 will take me) combination from Domino's, chased down by a nice tub of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey (topped up from H's family bag of Maltesers)... I don't blow-out very often but when I do I really do! Still, that's a battle for another day... for the moment I'm back to doing what I do best, and as from tomorrow morning the training gloves will be firmly on, with three weeks till the Great North Run.

Also on the training front, this time swimming, I've finally done something I should have done ages ago and committed to learning how to tumble turn. At the beginning of the year H and I had a few lessons in this from our mate (and Barcelona Olympic swimmer) Ian Wilson, Helen's determination and persistence however saw her pick it up at about the same time I got bored with ramming my head into the bottom of the pool every 25 metres and ever since she's looked like pro-Joe to my average-Joe. My problem being, that my tumble turns were so bad, the amount of energy required to change direction every length left me gasping for breath and therefore unable to carry out any kind of meaningful swim set. However, in the absence of any kind of triathlon in the next six months I really don't need to be swimming that hard until at least November and have therefore given myself two months to get my turns in order before resuming full swim training. In order to stay motivated I've decided to 're-set' my swim pb's and tomorrow morning will be 'lowering the bar' over 50, 100, 200 and 400 metres... my current best times being 0:36, 1:19, 2:45 and 5:40 respectively. I might leave it a while before I attempt the mile though, as the thought of 64 consecutive tumble turns is currently not something I would feeling confident of achieving without inflicting serious pain on either myself or however else might be sharing the lane ;)

Also on the swimming front, H and I were fortunate enough to be present at this weekend's inaugural Great North Swim, a one mile open water event in Lake Windermere. Hels had been asked to photograph the event by Nova (the organisers of all the 'Great' series of events) and in need of an able assistant had brought me along for the ride. We had a brilliant time and really enjoyed working together with, at one point, H taking pictures from the sky in the Channel 4 helicopter and me following alongside the elite race in the tv company's speedboat (one of our pics and race report HERE)!! Over two thousand people took part in the race with a total of ten age-group and two elite waves spanning the day. Motivation was there in spades with five of the six Olympic open-water medalists contesting the prizes and the odd Olympic triathlete thrown in for good measure. We were also fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time with Maarten Van Der Weijden over the course of the weekend... at the age of 20 he was diagnosed with Leukaemia yet seven years later he won gold in the Beijing Olympics 10k open water swim. You couldn't meet a more down to earth and humble individual than this six foot seven Olympian, who spent whole weekend tirelessly signing autographs and giving spectators every second of his time in order to pose for photo's and offer advice on braving the icy waters. I'd also really like to mention Team GB open-water swimmers Dave Davies, Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten who, like the Dutchman, were amazing ambassadors for not only their sport but also their country. You'd struggle to meet a more inspirational group than these great athletes... if only our national media could see past their football focused blinkers!

Today's picture... my gorgeous wife-to-be alongside my amazing friend and best-man-to-be, a constant reminder of what truly matters in life ;)

I'll leave you to ponder this great quote from my current read...

"... but at least two to three hours of every day were consumed with tedious, repetitive filling in of forms that could equally have been done by a dog with a pen tied to its tail..."
-Michael Hutchinson 'The Hour'

T x

p.s. a MASSIVE well done to Debra, Andy and (I think) Rich R for becoming triathletes this morning ;)

1 comment:

Debra said...

yes, Andy myself and Rich Ribeiro all finished, within a minute of each other and all saying we'd do another, albeit it took Andy over 1/2 hour before he reached this point before he'd commit as he exhausted, but then he was the quickest of us on the bike....bit more winter training for me here I think!!

Thanks as ever for the inspiration, but having inspired us both in recent years first to do a marathon and then a triathlon am getting kind of frightened what we might do next!!