Monday, 30 April 2012
Back to the start of yet another week. A grim weekend for rain and wind, but this morning a bright sky brought hope!
Getting to the beach by 6.40ish (after another restless night) it was dismaying to see such massive waves. There were about 9 of us this morning, but none of us would risk going in on our beach; and that includes the very strong swimmers. No matter how strong you are as a sea swimmer, you will never be as strong as the sea; silly to say as so obvious, but sometimes the obvious is put aside in favour of the brave. We headed over to the girly beach which was better, but not necessarily safe. Four of us when in; Dr Mark, Shoichi, Simon and Me. Getting in was easy enough as you are facing the waves and can choose your moment easily enough, however getting out is the challenge and the heart stopper. Dr Mark was first out and nice and safe, whilst Simon and Shocihi were still out by the silver ball swimming around. I’d had enough by then, especially as my bloomin goggles kept steaming up which really makes it difficult. I swam in with head down and legs kicking until I was as close to the shore as I could safely get without the weaves crashing me. This is when the heart really steps up a beat! It is a case of swimming with one eye firmly behind you so as not to get caught out; by the time I was almost there the waves had picked up again and were crashing just in a big dip. You need to avoid the dip at that time as that is the suck and pull down area and very dangerous. I thankfully timed it well and was on the beach milliseconds before a monster wave curled in; it grabbed the back of my legs as escaped, but that was all. Safely back on land and the heart returns to normal and the endorphins kick in to give you that high; the one adrenalin junkies start to crave, the one that you need to somehow keep in check!!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Friday, 27 April 2012
A great sea this morning. I didn’t read the temperature, but would guess at just over 8 degrees. No rain which was great, but a strong wind which meant decent waves. Big Bob and I were in the sea before 7am (so we would have time for a Red Roaster coffee afterwards!) and we headed straight out; or as straight as the sea would allow. The waves were frequent and big, but manageable (if you are a competent sea swimmer – certainly not a sea for a pool swimmer). A couple of times both of us had the extra heart beat moment when the waves got big and you wondered if you would have been sensible staying closer to shore and also Bob got rolled over once, however it was basically a lot of fun. Way to much seaweed however; sometimes it felt like hundreds of hands tying ropes around your ankles and pulling you down, but a couple of shakes of the legs and it soon fell away.
Sadly on the next beach along we could see a number of police vans and police officers; including one officer guarding a white sheet half way up the beach which clearly was covering a dead body. From where we were out to see just beyond the groin it was a clear view of what was happening. The sad thing is of course it wasn’t “just a body”, it was a person; someone’s friend, lover, brother, sister, parent; who knows. I don’t now if it was a drowning, which is so easy to happen if one is inexperienced in our sea or if one is under the influence. Whatever the story it is very sad.
Thursday, 26 April 2012
This morning was pool morning with Bog Bob. I met him at Falmer and we did 120 lengths in an hour, with 40% being speed swimming and 60% normal stroke. It really is bloomin good exercise and fantastic swim training for me; I leave there really knowing I’ve worked out! Straight afterwards I headed over to Kim (my physio) and she punished my bad legs with an hour of solid thumb pressure – owwwwch.
That is certainly exercise and pain done for the day!
Tomorrow, whatever the weather, I shall be at the beach and enjoying it!
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Blimey now that is rain! The wind this morning was literally howling and the rain was coming down in sheets; sheets of very cold lumps of water. Sometimes the rain can be almost soft and slightly warm; not today!!
I was up at about 6am having had an almost peaceful night (only a couple of short visits from the kids for a change and they did go back to their rooms), I even was allowed to sleep in my own bed all night; miracle of miracles. Having looked out the window and being barely able to see past the rain I contemplated not going to the beach today. I thought about the pool instead, which would have been more sensible, but just didn’t fancy a chlorine breakfast today; some days you just don’t. So instead I headed to the beach wondering if I would be the only fool there; but of course this is Brighton Swimming Club and I am never a fool on my own. This morning I was one of five; LB, Mike, Martina and Flick. We headed down the beach at a jog and by the time we hit the water we were soaked through and shivering. The sea, being around 8 degrees today, was a warm welcome from the driving cold rain; now that clearly is madness. Whilst my four foolhardy friends stayed in the shallows of the shore I headed out a bit further. The waves were constant and strong, but the low tide kept it safe; no way we would have gone in otherwise. After swimming about 10 minutes straight out I looked up and realised I had been dragged all the way to the west out of our beach and almost to the middle of the next beach along! The tide and drag were probably the strongest I’ve known in the 2 years I’ve been doing this. I tried to swim back to my beach but no chance of that so I headed in to waist deep and tried to walk back. The drag was so strong that even walking back was completely impossible. So I headed straight to shore then walked along the beach and climbed over the groin back to my side. Certainly one could say crazy, or foolish or just ask why; I’ll tell you – not only was it fantastic physical exercise both in terms of swimming through a powerful sea and walking against the strongest treadmill you could ever find; but also it really does set you up for the day. Whilst everyone else is complaining about the “bad weather” and getting soaked on the way to work; I can take cold comfort in the fact that by 8am I have already done a days exercise and am ready for the onslaught of life with a little more of a spring in my step.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
What a crazy day; it’s 6pm and I’m just squeezing in a couple of minutes to write this up before I dash off to get to my next meeting (late again!!).
No sleep last night as usual; Mia and Jesse in our bed with Mia coughing all night and Jesse bashing me in the head with his elbow. I left our room about 3am and basically sat in Mia’s bed reading a book until Asher called for me at 6am – so a normal night for me then!
At the arch by 6.45am and the sea was very flat and calm (yesterday and tomorrow apparently rocking in the sea with big waves!). I had planned a lazy easy swim as I was dead tired, however Big Bob had other plans. So exactly 25 minutes later, in a cold 7.8 degree sea, we were back on shore having swum around the pier; a slowish swim, but better than it should have been with no sleep or food behind me (in fact at 6pm now I have still only had a single cup of tea today and nothing else to drink and nothing to eat – appalling behaviour). Oh yes I also crammed in an hour with Ross in the gym today on back, shoulders and arms – this was a lunch hour I managed to sneak into my day; gym instead of eat, not a good lunch!
Got to dash now as my next meeting is 20 minutes away and was due to start at 6pm – oops!
Monday, 23 April 2012
As expected no training on Friday or Saturday, but Sunday I went for an 8 mile run; took about 1hr 10 mins. Annoyingly my right leg hut from the start of the run, all the way through until I got back home. I guess I need some physio on it to get it better before I get back to some longer runs.
This morning I had planned to be at the beach as usual but Mia was unwell again last night and I didn’t want her to be shlapped on the school run. So
took Asher and I stayed at home with the Twins until she got back. So instead of the sea today I’ll head to work
and then after work will get to the pool for an hour; truth is that at this
time the pool swimming is equally important as the sea swimming so I probably
should be spitting my week evenly anyway (even though I would prefer not to!). Sharon
Last night I went to
at 7pm to see the
premier of an amazing project called Step by Step. It’s a collaboration between an Israeli
School and an Arab School and they have 40 teenagers who have got together to
write a musical about the madness in the middle east and how it affects them
and what life “should” be like rather than how it is. It showed that the kids simply do not want the fighting and
that they recognise that they are just kids with the same lives, the same
hopes, the same inspirations and the same needs. All they have to do is convince the older
population to listen to them; not an easy task of course after hundreds of
years of fighting; but it has to start and the best way is one kid at a
time. An amazing group of individuals
and very inspirational to anyone who wants to see peace anywhere in the world. I felt very honoured to be asked to go along
and see it as one of their VIP’s and I’m hoping that the Starr Trust,
especially our CHOCS programme can work with these amazing people over the
coming year. Watch this space! UK
Thursday, 19 April 2012
The weather this morning, whilst cold, was not as shocking as expected. Yesterday when Bob and I were in the pool, the members of BSC who braved the beach had to settle for pilcharding or groin showers only as it was too rough for anyone to get in. This morning, whilst not being a very low tide, was low enough to enable you to feel able to get in. The waves were fairly big and the tide was coming in, which meant it was pulling really hard to the east. Big Bob and I went in at the donut groin and headed straight at the groin towards the thistle. The tide however was strong enough to mean that about 15 minutes later we were only just crossing over the beach to the other side; very much swimming on the spot and being bashed by big waves every few minutes. I don’t think either of us actually enjoyed it that much today; it just seemed a messy sea. The temperature was down once again; just 7.5 degrees. It’s amazing to think that just a few weeks ago we swam around the pier day after day; in fact I was going around on my own with no fear. I simply wouldn’t have done it this morning; too rough and too cold. Apparently May this year is going to be the coldest May in over 100 years – what’ that about!
After work today I’ll at the gym for an hour on shoulders and biceps; all strength stuff for my swimming. Tomorrow I’m in
from 9am on meetings all day s no beach for me. If I can get up early enough I’ll see if I can grab half an hour in the pool before heading off to London . Then it’ll be the weekend again and I guess time to put my running shoes back on and see if I can get an hours run in (hopefully my legs won’t complain) and I’ll also see if I have the energy for a pool swim; not committing to it yet as still not completely re-energised after the weekend. London
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Yesterday after work I had an hour in the gym with Ross; he also ran the marathon (5.33 hrs) and he was walking like he’d ridden a horse for a month; funny. He did amazingly well considering he’s a non runner and didn’t train to any great degree. I have to say that using the muscles again after 2 weeks away from the gym and having just done the marathon was harder than usual, although it did energise me, which I definitely needed. At night time when it came to book reading to the Twins, I just couldn’t stay awake and was making it up. So I downed a Red Bull to pep me up, but the bloomin thing didn’t kick in until about 9pm and then I was sitting there all buzzed up!
This morning, knowing the sea wouldn’t be swimmable due to the weather, I headed to Falmer at 6.30a to meet Big Bob for one of our swimathons! We did about 1½ miles in the hour (outside pool of curse – wind and rain on us); a mix of distance and speed. I am now most certainly done with exercise for the day.
I’m pleased though that after a marathon on Sunday I was still able to swim n the sea Monday, then sea swim and gym Tuesday and then big pool swim today. I might not be superman, but I’m pleased to see people half my age crashing out after Sunday whilst I can keep going.
Tomorrow apparently the weather is going to be shocking again, however it will be a low tide tomorrow which makes it safe. So should be a hard sea swim in a rough sea; that will certainly work the shoulders again and wake me up at 7am I’m sure.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Up close it's way scarier than it looks here!
Last night was like a countdown to no sleep; 5,4,3,2,1 and in the sea!
5 = Mia comes into the room at 1.00am and settles in between us. Both of us too tired to take her back, so we each move over and give her the middle.
4 = Jesse comes into the room at 1.30am just as I drop off to sleep and jumps right on top of me to slot in between Mia and me, pushing me right to the edge, forcing Mia along a bit and making Sharon move to the bottom of the bed. Now I’m awake again, but still too tired to take him or Mia back. Taking comfort from the fact that they are letting me at least have the edge of the bed.
3 = Asher calls me at 2.05am just as I almost drop of to sleep. Totally unusual for him but he wet the bed. Bring him into our room and into the bathroom to clean him up. Far to late to climb into his bunk bed to change the sheets, so instead put him in new pj’s and he jumps straight into my little bit of bed on the edge and goes straight to sleep.
climbs back to the bottom of the bed, the twins still fast asleep and there I am standing in the room at 2.30am. Sharon
2 = 4.00am and still lying awake in Mia’s bed on a childs
mattress trying to get to sleep, but the wind, rain and aching legs from being on kids bed keeping me awake; just hoping to somehow drop off for the last couple of hours.
1 = At the arch by 6.45am, no point lying at home anymore!
5, 4, 3 ,2, 1 the perfect evening!!
The sea this morning was nuts! Shoichi got in at the girly beach before we got to the shore and was almost dumped a couple of times trying to get out; luckily (and I think it was more luck than judgement) he got out safely. LB, Lindy,
David and Charlotte headed to the groin for a groin shower, whilst Big Bob, Martina and I headed to the girly beach to try out luck.
I tried a few times to get in, whilst Bob and Martina went straight for the pilchard (lying on the beach being washed over by the waves). But the waves were so big and so inconsistent it made it impossibly dangerous. They were crashing in from every angle you could imagine and were so powerful; on top of that the wind was hitting you full on and the rain was freezing down on you!
Tomorrow I am heading straight to the pool; just no point heading to the beach like this when I need to be training for the big swim.
Monday, 16 April 2012
And the marathon is done – Crossed the finish line at 13:44, total time 4.37.57 and position 5433. I was expecting (hoping) for 4.30, so am happy with that. In truth the idea of time vanished completely when I got to the 20 mile market; at that point I couldn’t care less how long it took, I just wanted to finish it. Lindy finished in 3:19:00, what a remarkable lady. And LB in under 4 hrs despite being in a lot of pain; a superman for sure.
I had good start and was steady up to the half way point (13 miles) and was at 1hr 57 minutes, but by the time I reach mile 18 my legs were starting to burn and by mile 20 my thighs were in serious cramp. It was interesting though that I saw a lot of people throwing up and plenty at the side of the road being helped by physios and ambulance, yet at no time did I feel tired or in trouble. My only problem was my thighs at mile 20. I think if perhaps I had taken the training more seriously I could have avoided that and also would easily have bettered the time, but for me whilst training for the channel, running 3 businesses and having 3 babies and no sleep it would have been impossible to have done any more training than I did. All that aside I am really pleased to have completed it and in the time I wanted and I can now throw all my efforts into my swimming; the channel is calling!
This morning I was back at the arch by 6.50am and was in the sea with Big Bob, Lindy, LB, Mike and
David by 7ish. The air temp was a chilling 1 degree (had to scrape ice from my windscreen) and the sea was back down to 7.7 degrees. It was painful getting in after a week off, but when I settled in it was good on the aching legs. I was going to just float around a bit, but Big Bob (who also returned today from 2 weeks away) wanted a swim, so we headed along the coast to the end of the Thistle Hotel and back again. Not a massive swim, but much more than I planned. The sea was extremely flat and calm and despite the cold the sky was deep blue and the sun was out. Sadly I think that we are expecting rain and wind for the rest of the week; hopefully not! I now need to really focus my training in the sea and the gym on my swimming technique and strength.
One thing I am very pleased about is to have Superwoman Lindy on my team; we will definitely need super strength!!
Friday, 13 April 2012
That was the longest blog outage since I started my swim blog; I almost missed writing it! No much to tell apart from the fact that I’ve done no swimming, no gym and only two runs since last Thursday. My body is screaming at me for resting and my skin is confused as to where all the salt water has gone. On the plus side my cold is a lot better; not cleared completely, but so much better. This is really important as Sunday is the marathon and I need to be as healthy as possible for it.
I did a 2½ hour run last Sunday on the treadmill at home as I needed a decent run but had to stay of the road to rest my knee and avoid the cold air in my throat. That much time running on the spot could be somewhat boring, however I had Denzel Washington on the Tv to keep me company and the time almost flew by. The beauty of the treadmill is that not only does it help you keep you pace and pull you along but the impact is so light that after 2½ hours I still had no leg pains at all. My last run was yesterday after work and I did go outside as I wanted to test my knee on the street. I just did a very short 5 mile run in 35 minutes; so quite a speed, but just a short distance. Again no leg problem which was a good sign. That’s definitely it now until the marathon in two days time.
I am looking forward to the run, although of course I am also very nervous as I’ve neve run in crowds before and certainly never run that distance. However I’m looking forward to the finish line and being able to cross this one of my list and then give full concentration to my channel swim as that is only a few months off now.
Monday will be back in the sea; which after 10 days off will be very difficult in terms of getting to the beach so early and plunging into a cold bath; but hopefully the body and mind will respond positively to it!
Thursday, 5 April 2012
This morning I skipped the sea and went straight to my physioterrorist Kim. Been ages since I’ve seen Kim and as ever she was great; painful; but great. She worked an hour on my leg and then wrapped it in a special runners band and gave me a spare for the marathon. She suggested, in fact insisted would be better, that I don’t swim, run or gym until the marathon next weekend. She said if I feel restless then a 5 mile run mid week is fine, but that is all. It will be the first time I’ve taken a whole week of from exercise for 2 years now and I’m not sure I can cope with that, however I do need to get my cold and head better and also rest my knee and perhaps she is right (what do I mean perhaps; of course she is!).
This may therefore be the last blog for a week.
Happy Easter and chocolat bunny love to all.
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Woke up once again with rasping cough and very blocked nose – it really needs to go now!
At the arch, Billy no mates once again (it was early at 6.25am). Amazingly the small heater was warm, so I checked the diary and found Shoichi’s name in there! That means he would have swum around 5.45am ish or something like that – maybe I’m not the most crazy after all!
Sea was flat with a very slight wave and the temperature had dropped to 7.6 degrees – only 4 degrees in the air. They actually have snow up north so we should be pleased with a sunny sky and some lower temperatures!! I swam around the pier, feeling very sluggish indeed, but somehow getting around in just 22 minutes – I guess the tide pulled me around quicker than I thought.
Energy levels really low at the moment and need to get them back up fast; marathon in under two weeks and need to be back to form!
Rest of day I guess just work work work work work.
Tonight I guess more Zzzzzzzzzzz.
No sea today as it was an early
start; 7.15am in the City – yuck! London
Got back to
Brighton at 2.45pm, very exhausted, and headed straight to Falmer for an hour with Ross in the gym then an hour in the pool. Neither were my best performance, but even I can’t blame me for that. At least I did them both!
Evening was fun;
out at rehearsal and once kids were asleep (8pm) I planned on dinner and three jobs I wanted to get done. What actually happened was Zzzzzzzzz until the door opened at 10.30pm and Sharon was back. Oh well! Sharon
Monday, 2 April 2012
April already, where did that go!
Yesterday, feeling 50% better, I hit the treadmill rather than pounding on the streets. With just 2 weeks to go before the
Marathon now is the time to start pulling back on the training and to make sure I don’t aggravate the knee any further. Treadmill running is so much gentler and even though I did 2½ hrs on it I hardly had any pain at all. I might stick to the treadmill now under the big run; that way I’m still holding my fitness but not causing any damage.
This morning, with the sun shining already by 6am I headed to the arch for 6.45am and was in the water by 6.50am. With Big Bob away for a couple of weeks I am now “Billy No Mates” when it comes to swimming (“Billy lots of mates” in the arch I’m pleased to say!). With the sea so flat and the sky so blue I headed out and around the pier with no fear and no crazy racing heartbeat. It’s still cold, in fact slightly down on last week (8 degrees by my watch), but still warm enough to wiz around the pier. Total time 24 minutes and enjoyed the whole swim; even feeling bunged up and throaty didn’t matter, it was just a beautiful morning to be swimming solo around the pier.