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14 May 2009

Training Week Two

So week two has arrived, after last week's slightly mis-judged hangover and a good few days of training I am more determined than ever to keep it going. This is all very well and good in theory but in reality it's a different story (hence the Thursday evening post).

So things started pretty well with a fuzzy head on Monday morning as I 'bashed out' twelve lots of 100m. You'll be pleased to hear that my counting has come on heaps this week and not only was I able to keep track of the lengths but I even managed to count strokes during every other set as instructed! To keep this number constant was my aim and without trying too hard if I'm honest I seem to have cracked a fairly steady pace ie. 22 or 23 strokes. Some ballistic Ironman hero is probably reading this and shuddering at the thought of so many strokes per length - FYI it is only a 25m pool.

As I haven't been swimming regularly for too long pool etiquette for me is still a little unclear so I tend to be as unobtrusive as possible, stick to the outside of the lane and get out of the way when necessary. I must admit though it seems to me that lane swimmers take themselves very seriously and take on an almost church like manner of austerity. Half way through our homage to the fast lane however the morning congregation were riotously disturbed by a loud and uncouth visitor. Swaggering towards the side came a large man in his early fifties complete with decent sized belly, grey hair and a pair of classic 1972 speedos. He swung his arms ferociously about his head, squatted up and down on the spot a few times and then with absolutely no warning whatsoever launched himself into the lane sending gallons of water into a tidal wave and narrowly missing an incoming swimmer. Now about 5 foot from the wall and with swimmers rapidly approaching he dunked his head and then reared up in a Pamela Anderson esque Baywatch slow motion style, flicking his head from side to side. Belly flopping from a standing position he hammered down the lane paying no regard to anyone or anything and causing quite a stir with all of the parishioners. I was glad this happened during my 30 sec rest between reps as there's no instruction in the plan to prepare you for such events. Added to that I was laughing so hard I nearly wet myself.

After such an eventful swim my run the next day was positively routine, a gorgeous evening and a good new extended route home from work but nothing really to write home about. Having previously worried about the cycling leg (no pun intended) I went for it the next morning and excitingly was required to try my first cycle/run combination. I think they call it brick training, or is it block? I'm not really sure, but I certainly felt every single step of it, in a weird and unnerving but also quite satisfying way, worrying that at any minute my legs would just give out and leave my teeth embedded in the running machine's guard rail. I really felt this one and it took quite a while to start feeling human again. Luckily work got in the way and lunch was on me before I knew it.

Then horror of horrors, that night we heard a huge smash and pikey kids had surrounded our driveway and were stealing our bikes from the side way having smashed their way through the gate. Luckily Jessica was tucked away in a cupboard indoors bathing in a light synthetic oil based glaze but our commuter bikes, along with several others from the other flats in the building are there. We could see them doing it and phoned the police only to be told that they were in the middle of a shift change so couldn't get to us right away. It's horrible and they are ballsy and just don't care and before we know it they have left with two bikes, fortunately only one is ours and not worth much, but it's a horrible feeling and very very frustrating. Maybe we should have gone down to confront them but after 3 days training on the trot I didn't exactly feel like superman and it would be too much of a risk with so many of them.

We got to bed late after dealing with the police and as I had community work the next day (not community service I might add) was unable to drag myself to the pool even earlier than normal. Instead I took my frustration and lack of swim out on patch of wasteland and half a tonne of top soil, all in the aid of giving something back to the local community and by the end of the morning we had created a beautiful new flower bed that I think the great Tit himself would be proud of. Digging, raking and the shovelling of soil it turns out is a pretty fantastic full body workout and I think to be honest should be part of every aspiring triathlete's plan. It'd need a better name though, perhaps something along the lines of a 'directional resistance and core stability' session. I think it has legs.

So now comes the bad part, tomorrow I am off to a wedding up north and not only will I miss cycling on Saturday but also a session in my weakest sport on Sunday, although I'm not as good at drinking as I once was, so maybe that will count? There's literally nothing I can do, apart from take my trainers and go running before the wedding, I'll let you know how it goes....

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