Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Twins unwell Monday so not only I was unable to grab a swim, but I ended up skiving from work and staying at home to help
. I probably ended up taking more calls and answering more emails yesterday on my day off that I would usually do at the office of course, however that’s the life; living the dream as they say!! Sharon
This morning, with just a 1 degree air, I was tempted to head to the beach as I’ve not been in the sea since Thursday and a few days out really makes it harder to get back in so I don’t want to leave it much longer. However I also needed to get some proper swimming in, so as planned I headed to Falmer and was in the outside pool by 7am. I was planning an hour, but after 40 minutes I was done; my shoulder is hurting again and probably needs some physio and I think that along with a general cold and bad throat made 40 minutes enough today. I will be at the gym after work with Ross for an hour as well, so not exactly a lazy day.
Tomorrow definitely back to the beach; brrrr that will be cold as the air temp is expected to hit zero tomorrow morning.
The big news on the Starr Trust is not something I can blog about at the moment, aprart from to say I had a monster of a plan about 2 years ago which is all truth was so outlandish that it was either a complete impossibility or at least 10 years away at the earliest. However recent developments, very random ones, has taken me one step closer to making it a reality. Only a small step, but a step nevertheless. Sometimes dreams can come true is you believe enough; who knows!!!
Friday, 27 January 2012
How exactly is one able to function with zero sleep; the body and the mind are incredible really that they allow us to continue. Last night, after banishing
to the spare room to get some sleep, I was faced with all three children. Asher from 10.30pm with a very bad ear, Mia at 11.45pm feeling hot and unwell and Jesse at midnight just to not be left out. By 3am, having taken Asher back and forth to my bed, his bed on my floor, his bed back in his room and so on, eventually Sharon came and got him and took him downstairs. Throughout this time Mia was kept awake by all the comings and goings and she in turn was keeping Jesse awake. By the time I got up exhausted at 6.50am I had had exactly zero sleep! I probably should have skipped exercise, but the guilt in me got me up and drove me to Falmer for an hour in the outside pool. In truth the hour was only about 40 minutes in the end as I did spend some time simply standing in the water and yawning. Sharon
The swim was legs only today; flippers and a float and just up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and yawn yawn yawn yawn………….
At the office now getting ready for a very interesting
Starr Trust meeting that could be the biggest single development in the Trust since we started; very exciting - just need to stop yawning as that would be frightfully rude!! Then it’s back to the office for normal work, then off to the Gym for an hour with Ross (might cancel that if the yawning continues!!)
Please children tonight give us a break!!!
Thursday, 26 January 2012
I’m not truly sure what I though about todays swim. It was one of those bitty swims (if you are a Little Britain fan I don’t mean that type of Bitty!) It was a very low tide so there was no great height until you walked out a long long way, it was windy and raining which meant that there was wave after wave, the tide was pulling to the west but not at any massive speed and the temperature was cold at about 6.2 degrees, but not as cold as it has been. So you couldn’t really swim much and just standing around was simply cold and wet. That aside, I was with Little Bob, Mike, Big Bob, Martina and Shoichi; which meant I was surrounded by some good fun people. So kind of hard to say it was a good or not good start.
As the tide will no doubt be low again tomorrow I’ll instead head to the pool and get another couple of hours in there on my leg kicking and general stamina. It will no doubt make me realise that today in fact was rather pleasureable!
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
This morning I used the outside pool at Flamer rather than the sea; really need to keep this pool swimming going even though I don’t much like it. I was in the pool by 7am, all alone I should add, and swam for 90 minutes. Over that time I was joined by maybe six people on and off, but basically I had the pool to myself – quite a treat. I still find the outside pool a bit too warm at 20 degrees, but it’s way way better than the 28 degree inside pool! I spent the first hour just on gentle lengths and then the last hour just on kicking up and down the pool. Bloomin tiring to just kick for half an hour, especially that time of the morning having had little sleep, no food and no drink; but no-one said this would be easy!!
Tomorrow back in the sea for a short cold shocking more enjoyable start to the day!
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
A beautiful sea this morning; flat as a pancake with a gentleish tide pulling to the east. Unfortunately it was bloomin cold at 5.2 degrees and it was raining that spitty cold rain that goes right into your skin.
Bob and I did the same swim as yesterday, but lasted a whole minute longer at 14 minutes; who knows we might even make 15 minutes soon!!!
Afterwards I literally had to run as I had to be in
for an early meeting. I got to the meeting thankfully on time, however took with me the chill from the morning and spent most of the meeting feeling rather colder than those I was meeting! London
This afternoon after work it’s in the gym for an hour, in the pool for half an hour and then an evening meal with the Governor of the Bank of England; seriously! I hope he picks up the tab!!!
Monday, 23 January 2012
A nice weekend, lots of fun kiddie time and Sharon‘s concerts now done (she was fab of course!).
This morning (waking up in the spare room as ever!) it was dry and still out there, albeit dark and cold. Down at the arch it was the usual magnificent seven and at last an unusually flat and calm sea. Bog Bob and I headed out to the pier, under and back and then off to the groin the other side. A total swim of 13 minutes, which in 5.2 degrees it pretty good going. Apart form the extreme pain in my face for the first few minutes it was a good strong swim and a good start to the week.
No more exercise today, but some strong gym, running, pool and sea this week for sure.
On the relay; the team have our first official meet on 7th Feb which is great as the weeks will now start to fly by.
A short swim this morning; in fact not a swim at all, just a short soaking. The wind was up once again which meant a trip to the girly beach. Just the usual seven of us (seems to be that way at the moment). Big Bob and Mike went straight in, but the time it took me to pull down my goggles and join them made a massive difference; the milliseconds was enough for the sea to produce some monsters again. It never fails to amaze me that the sea can change its mood in a millisecond; I am sure in my youth I dated a few girls who did just the same.
As it was I was left standing on the beach with the others just trying to find a way in and not succeeding; however that didn’t keep me dry as the waves somehow kept finding me. Every time I turned my back a wave came at me, it was almost like a game that the sea had invested – Rob’s the moving duck, le’s see if we can shoot him!
Having seen Bob and Mike safely exit the sea, it was a quick shower for me and then in the car and up to Middlesex for the long day of meetings. Then back to Brighton for 5.30pm and straight to the gym for an hour with Ross, then half hour in the pool, then dash home for just after 7pm so
can go out as she is rehearsing tonight. Sharon
No rest for the very wicked it seems.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Time to get the lunatic back to the asylum before the normal folk wake up.
I was at the arch at 7.05am (having not slept for more than an hour due to the lovely littleuns at home) and the wind was so fierce that the sea looked like it had been on boil all night. By 7.10am, being all alone, I decided that it was nuts to be there and turned of the lights, shut the door and headed out. That was when it all went wrong! As I shut the door I was faced with Mike and then big Bob, then Little Bob and Lindy. Before I new it four of us (not Mike) were in our swim gear and heading down to the girly beach for a pilchard; Mike was the key holder and staying far back from the madness. There we were on the girly beach faced with monster waves; actually frightening to behold when you are that close. Lying down on the shore with the waves crashing over you is crazy at the best of times, but when the waves are that big and literally push you metres up the beach and then try to drag you back into its grip then you know you are playing where only the crazies play. When the “big one” hit us we all gingerly realised our folly and headed back up the beach and then straight on the groin to finish up with a groin shower (you have to be there to understand it!). I can’t really describe the feeling and exhilaration of this, but it was brilliant; a mountain of freezing back massages starting way up high and hitting you with force. Tremendous and nuts at the same time!
I was in
early today so no beach or early pool. However midday I met a chap called Dan Bullock from SwimforTri. A really fantastic guy or had offered to give me a free swimming lesson whilst filming. I met him at his gym in London and we did an hour in the pool with him looking at my technique and filming me where necessary. Interestingly he thought that my upper body swimming was pretty good; certainly needs some tweaks, but nothing major. However my lower body, particularly my legs, were shocking to say the least. It is not a case of me just not kicking, it is a case that each time I take a breath my legs do some ridiculous splaying dance that looks like a giraffe on heat. Dan recons I am using my legs to try to stabilize myself whilst I take a breath. Interestingly all I could feel was me kicking; I had no idea it looked like that! The end result is that my legs, being the two largest muscles, are basically causing so much drag on the water that each time I breath I then have the arms and legs pulling in opposite directions. London
We continued the hour working just on that and he gave me loads of exercises to go away with to correct it. I simply have to work on that as a priority now as if I can even just get my legs to stay straight and not even kick it could speed my up by 50% and save buckets of energy. I would post his film online, but there is no way I’ll expose myself looking like that to anyone out there!!!
Now at least I know what I need to do as step 1.
Dan is a great guy and I will definitely see him again to go over this once I’ve made some progress.
It’s always a good day when one finds out ones faults.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Nothing out of the ordinary today; unless one thinks ice on the floor and a 5.3 degree sea out of the ordinary; which in my life it is clearly not! A 12 minute swim much like yesterday and then a hour in the gym with Ross and job done.
Tomorrow however is certainly going to be out of the ordinary for me; I shall report back tomorrow to explain all!!
Monday, 16 January 2012
Another cold week just gone; air temp in the morning around zero. I didn’t do any exercise Saturday, unless one counts shopping with the lady wife in town for 6 hours. However Sunday I hit the streets and did a 12 mile (just over) run, including two rather large hills, in 1 hr 49 mins. Not a tremendous time, but still a half marathon run on a cold Sunday morning is not a bad effort I suppose.
This morning, with slightly achy legs, I left the relative warm & comfort of the arch with my little crowd of 7 and headed down to the sea. The air temperature was registering blooming cold (thick ice on the windscreen kind of cold) and the sea was a low of just 5.2 degrees; another massive leap down. The tide was mid in so it meant no long walk, but boy of boy it meant a rude awakening. The sea was calm, which was something I suppose, and Big Bob and I headed straight to the pier, then under the other side, then back around and back to base. Total time about 12 minutes and in that time I lost feeling in my hands and feet, other than feeling bad of course. In fact my feet didn’t stop hurting until about 9.30am! I looked like I was doing a hop scotch on the way to the car.
Friday, 13 January 2012
And the ice man commeth. This morning the air temperature (as predicted by the weather gods) had dropped from yesterdays high of 10 degrees to a much chillier 2.5 degrees. The sea, not to be left out, dropped from yesterdays 6.7 degrees to 5.8 degrees. All in all a chilly start to the day for those daft enough to jump in the sea before work having already scrapped the ice from their windscreen.
Just seven of us to start with; LB, Lindy, Mike, Bella, Paul, Big Bob and I. The sea, being so cold, shrunk away from the shore, leaving us once again with a hike to get to deeper waters. Bob and I walked out to the silver ball until we were out of our depths and then swam to the groin and then to the pier and then back to the middle; before emerging 17 minutes later somewhat chilled. It was great though to be actually do a proper swim; very good for me to have Big Bob back again and pushing me on. A “17 minute” swim in those conditions is easily comparable to over an hour in the pool and much more challenging in every respect. After the swim we headed to the Roaster for a gorgeous cappuccino and a bit of a social; I have to say it took me a while to warm up afterwards as my hands really suffered the cold today; feeling very painful for a while and then going white (normally only the older folk suffer the white hands – sorry both Bobs for calling your older folk, but to a youngster like me……..).
Line of the day today was from the lovely Lindy. On arriving at the arch I remarked that she was sea swimming more this week that usual. She replied saying that she hasn’t been feeling 100% and as such wanted to avoid long pool swims and decided it’s better to sea swim instead; that is 3 degrees air, 5.8 degrees sea and dark skies as against a 25 degree inside swimming pool. Now for those of us in the morning it makes perfect sense to hear that; however for those “normal” people in the world that must sound rather bonkers. For me it made perfect sense. Does that make me bonkers then??
Happy Friday 13 x
Thursday, 12 January 2012
“These boots were made for walking and that's alright by me.......”
or maybe it should be .... "made for swimming !
In the words of Little Bob; shall we go for a deep sea hike today chaps? The tide was so low this morning that swimming was only possible after a very long walk out through the waves. What made it interesting was a very strong tide pulling to the east and a strong wind adding to the pressure. Just six of us this morning headed out, with Big Bob and I eventually getting chest deep allowing us to swim (ish). After a few minutes swimming we found our selves dragged back almost to the pier and then having to walk through the waves back to the middle of the beach; probably a better cardio workout than you could ever get on a running machine. The only real problem, apart from the 6.7 degrees, was that the waves were then crashing in at below waist level and smashing into ones private areas; it meant every other step felt like a ice boot being kicked into your bits. 12 minutes and many bruises later we were back walking up the beach. That is enough water for me today for certain.
Last night I met Fiona at the gym before my 1 hr pool swim. We went over my Relay team, discussing all the strengths and weaknesses therein and came to the conclusion that it’s a good strong and fun team to have. The work certainly starts very soon and I am sure that my team mates are up for the challenge ahead; and a challenge it really is. Even though I know there are challenges ahead, the more I talk about it the more excited I get.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Today saw The return of Big Bob.
Sounds like a horror film, but far from it! Very nice to see Bob back after a long break; and with Little Bob, Mike, Charlotte and Bella the sea was full of smiles. Until we went in of course! Actually whilst it was still cold, it was in fact a little up on earlier in the week (6.7 degrees instead of 6.3 degrees) and the air temperature was a stunning 9 degrees. The sea was flat and it was a low tide; bring on the long cold painful walk. With BB there it meant I actually swam and we stayed in for a whopping 12 minutes 42 seconds. When you compare that to Damien and James yesterday apparently swimming around the pier it sounds a bit nothingness; however swimming around the pier in that temperature takes a much bigger (rotund terms) and braver man that I!! At my speed and my weight I think swimming around the pier without a wetsuit would literally be suicidal. I can imagine getting to the end of the pier quite easily and then swimming around the head of the pier with tired arms and my heart beating way too fast, but then the swim back down the side to the beach being undoable and me sinking fast. I shall leave that to those bigger, braver and faster than I.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Not much to report today; at Falmer at 6.30am and in the pool for an hour and a half. I had planned 2 hours but didn’t get into my stride today; may have been because we did a hard session in the gym yesterday as well as a 30 min pool afterwards. Maybe just becasue!!
I definitely prefer the beach in terms of “social”; being at the pool that early and swimming in the outside pool is not exactly a great place/time to hold a conversation. Oddly enough I think that I am becoming less antisocial as I get older!
Monday, 9 January 2012
This morning the sea gave us a smile but not a wave. Walking down the beach with Little Bob this morning, right near the shore, there was a rather large fish head lying bodyless on the beach, somehow with a smile on its face. I’m not sure the significance of that; perhaps it was the fish simply pleased that whoever/whatever caught it couldn’t spoil it’s day? As for the sea itself, very calm without a wave in site; most unusual of late and rather welcome on a Monday morning. Temperature in the water very slightly up at 6.4 degrees, but I have to say that it felt colder to me. In fact whilst I stayed in for 10 minutes I actually just floated around as I was too tired and cold for a swim. A busy weekend again (friends stayed over and we ploughed into the bubbly and the kids played!) and then of course last night Mia, Jesse and Asher played the “get up game” !!
As for the rest of today, meetings galore until 4pm, then in the gym with Ross for an hour and in the pool afterwards for an hour; may be Monday but can’t keep a good man down!!
Friday, 6 January 2012
Oh my goodness my legs!!
Last night I met with Jamie at the arch and we went for a little run. I say “little” with as much sarcasm as my fingers can type. Not only can the boy run distance but he can do it at speed as well; for my part I did all I could to keep up. We ended up at Shoreham harbour wall before running back! Not sure of exact distance but most definitely well into double figures and fast. Having not run for about three months I am this morning walking like John Wayne after he’s crossed the deserts on his trusted steed without stopping for three long nights! Perhaps a 2 hour pool swim earlier that morning has added to my aches as well. Afterwards we grabbed a very much needed cold beer and had a long chat; a great guy is Jamie and very much an inspiration when it comes to someone who has the ability to just keep going.
This morning, struggling out of bed at 6.40am I was still back at the arch for 7.10am and was pleased to see a decent number there (4 lovely ladies 4 of us chaps) and a relatively calm sea at very long last. Apart from some big swells right at the shore it was safe and easy to get in and get out. For the first time this week we could actually swim in the sea; but boy was it cold. When I went to go in I was faced with quite a large wave so there was no time to gingerly acclimatise, it was a dive straight in to it or be swept away. This resulted in a “arrggg” shock to the system and most definitely woke me up! I did a fairly quick swim; beach to donut groin and back, but it was good to be back in and for a short time it took away the pain from my beaten up legs.
After work I’ve got an hour in the gym with Ross, so I’ll have to make sure we do no leg work at all and that we use at least half the session on stretching only, otherwise tomorrow I doubt I’ll even be able to walk! Afterwards I may head into the pool for a “slow” 30 minute set of lengths just to warm down. On the plus side it’s been an extremely good week of exercise and has go me both back into the pool and into my running shoes. I am sure though that I’m much too old for all this!!
Thursday, 5 January 2012
Sadly hurricane weather continues to batter the coast so rather than waste my time heading to a sea that doesn’t want visitors I headed to Falmer for the pool. Whilst I miss the morning meet with my friends at the arch, I need to get as much pool time in as possible now and as I’ve now started it is best to keep going. I’ll still hit the beach, but will limit it to times when it is possible to get it; sadly no pilcharding for a while (is that a word??).
I was at Falmer and in the pool at 7am (Damien from BSC just leaving the pool at that time – clearly avoiding the sea like moi). I was most pleased to find the Outside pool open and only one person in it. Grabbing my own favourite lane by the far side I did an hour or constant lengths, followed by 30 minutes of speed lengths – 2 lengths then 30 second rest and repeat. At the start of the speed lengths I was doing about 24 seconds per double length and by the end I was doing 19 seconds per double length. It was good that despite getting tired I was speeding up. As the outdoor pool is only 20 metres it equates to around 10 seconds per length, which is 1 second per metre. I have no idea though if this is quick or slow or quick quick slow or otherwise. When Big Bob is back I’ll have to find out what he does (probably twice that speed!).
After work today I’m heading to the arch to meet up with Jamie Goodhead my channel swimming friend – he did the channel in 19 hours last year getting pulled out about 200 metres from landing! He’s trying again next year the crazy fool. We are going to go for a long run (probably 10miles or something) then off for a drink so I can hear all about his swim.
Tomorrow I’ll hopefully get to the beach in the morning (if hurricane
Brighton allows), then it’s an hour on abs and shoulders with Ross at 5pm followed by yet another hour in the pool. If I don’t end up super fit and super fast by the end of the year I will ask for my money and time back!!
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Return of the Magnificent 7 (Pilchards that is) ; a stunning cast to behold:
* Lead Pilchard played by the arches own leading man Little Bob Pilchard
* Second Pilchard played by the 7 foot crazy dentist James
* Third Pilchard played by our own Brunel, engineer Pilchard Mike
* Lady Pilchards played by the gorgeous Bella, the health crazy Martina and the ever smiling Charlotte Pilchard
* Final Pilchard played by the new pilchard on the block, Robbie 5 Starrs Pilchard
A fine cast on a not so fine day!!
Another crazy day at sea saw just 7 of us braving it down to the shore. No way would we even consider our beach, however the girly beach looked swimmable from the top. Unfortunately the view from the top road is no reflection on the view from the shore. There is something rather scary about standing right on top of a swirling sea and watching the waves build up just offshore and then come crashing in succession down at you; especially when they are turning right on the shelf and curling under. We stood there watching for a good 10 minutes trying to decide whether or not to give it a go, but every time we thought the sea had settled we were confronted by at least three monster waves one after the other. Therefore it was down to our leading man, Little Bob, to show us the way!! One after the other we found ourselves as pilchards, lying in a row being washed over by a freezing cold sea. The sensible mature James stood and watched in amazement whilst we lied down in the wash and questioned the sense in it; of course a minute later he was lying down with us and understanding that there is no sense in it and that is the whole point!
As for tomorrow being another pilchard day or a production of other sorts only the big Lady in the sky will know.
Yesterday afternoon was back to the pool for me; something I have put off since last august when my swim was postponed. But I couldn’t put it off any longer and in I went. I wanted to use the outside pool but the lashing winds and rain meant that the life guards refused to go outside and the club therefore shut the pool. Utter nonsense as I don’t need a lifeguard in a pool that is only 5 feet deep!! I shall bring this up with the management!! So I was stuck in the inside pool instead; far too hot and chemically for me, but no choice in the matter. The other problem I now have (sorry to be so full of problems here) is that I am now far too fast for the slow lane but not really quick enough for the fast lane; I need my own inbetweeny lane! So I was in the fast lane for 2 hours and conscious the whole time of who was around me and trying not to slow them down. I guess it does make you swim faster which is only a good thing. I did an hour of just lengths and then an hour of speed interval lengths (stopping each 50 metres to rest and then starting again). Afterwards, feeling a little waterlogged, I dried off and went straight into the gym for an hour with Ross on abs, shoulders and legs. A tough 3 hours of training, but was a great feeling afterwards.
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
What a start to the New Year! Heavy rain, ridiculous (almost) hurricane winds and very gloomy; sounds more like a day in the houses of Parliament rather than the weather.
I did (rather stupidly) head down to the arch this morning at 7am. I was hoping it would be a very low tide so that we could go in and have a workout against the elements. But it wasn’t to be; it was a medium tide and as such way too much water to make it safe. LB and Mike were already there and whilst a groin shower is often the order of the day, the wind was so fierce that just walking out to the groin would have been dangerous. So it was straight to the office instead and a decent 7.20am start to the day. I’ve a feeling the next couple of days may be the same.
After work today I’ve got training with Ross, 4pm, for an hour. Then it’s back to the pool and some proper training. I’m planning a 2 hr pool swim today; will be my first pool swim since June last year so may be a challenge to do 2 hrs, but I will try. I need to spend the next 8 months really working on my swimming ready for our August relay channel swim and it has to start now; no excuses. It’ll be more of a mental challenge for me at the moment, but once I get back into the routine I’m sure it’ll quickly become normal once again.