Today I’ve got a bad case of the “I can’t be arsed”s…
Well, I say today, it’s been several days really. My previous swim was last Thursday, almost a week ago. It was a pretty good session other than a nasty little cramp I pulled in my right leg on my last sprint length.
I knew I wasn’t going to train on Friday night as normal in the lake as I’d got work drinks to go to. Normally I’d have skipped the drinks but I’ve only been at this company for 5 weeks and it was my first real opportunity to see everyone outside the office so worth it. That was OK though as there’s another lake session on Saturday mornings. I set my alarm, woke up for it, turned the alarm off and well back to sleep.
I know I don’t generally train well in the mornings as I’m not used to it but that one was 2 fingers full of ‘nope’, can’t be arsed. Yes my leg hurt still from the cramp, yes I was tired and a smidge hungover from the night before but nothing a nice cool swim wouldn’t have sorted out.
Saturday afternoon/evening was an annual BBQ round a couple of friends in Ely, and to avoid the last train home we were staying the night. After a chilled morning and a nice breakfast we headed home on Sunday around lunchtime and I was already internally arguing with myself about going for a swim that afternoon to make up for the missed session. Half a dozen complete missions on Fallout:4 Far Harbours survival mode should tell you how that one went.
“That’s OK”, I told myself, “It was only a 25m pool session I’d missed, they’re not the important ones. I’ll do a make-up session on Monday morning in Jesus Green”.
Once more I set my alarm but this time I didn’t even let it go off. I woke up to go to the toilet at about 5am and switched it off, that confident was I that there was zero chance I was going to get out of bed so why lose the sleep.
Finally we get to today an my regularly scheduled Tuesday morning session. This one is in Jesus Green, the 100yrd open air pool in central Cambridge, and it’s one I can wear my wetsuit for.
The alarm went off, I switched it off and lay in bed for nearly 15 minutes trying to convince myself to get on with it. I then pottered about getting my stuff together, which was odd as I’d done that the night before to avoid that delay and cycled down to the pool. I was supposed to have got there for as near to 7.30 when they opened as possible so I could have a long swim. As it turned out after the initial delays, and another one caused by me not concentrating and putting half my wet-suit on backwards, I didn’t start swimming until gone 8…but at least today I started.
I managed 12 lengths by which time it was gone 8.30 and I had to leave to get to work on time.
I’m seeing today as a motivational slump, but perhaps I shouldn’t. It was difficult to force myself though all the blocks I’d been putting in my own way, but at least today I actually swam, unlike the last 3 sessions. Maybe I should see today as a positive, as bouncing/struggling back out of a slump rather than going into one.
My next scheduled swim it tomorrow afternoon. Let’s see how/if that one goes…
Well the weather for the Swim the Cam even on Saturday couldn’t really have been better…calm water and warm sunshine 🙂
Distance 4,327 yd | Time 1:17:20 | Pace 1:47 min/100 yd
Source: Full Garmin trace details here…
I was aiming for my steady pace of 30min/mile which should have meant I completed the swim in 1hr 15mins but it was pretty clear from the outset that that wasn’t going to happen. The first half mile was very weedy and several fallen trees meant the river narrowed meaning a lot of sighting was required. That trend for much sighting continued for much of the swim, partially due to the width of the river in a lot of places, but mainly because of the number of canoes, punts and other river users (including several families of Ducks and Swans) we encountered.
I was therefore quite surprised when my final time was only slightly over my target. Talking about it with a couple of other swimmers afterwards I concluded that this was probably due to the, albeit fairly slow, current that was with us on the swim. One regular swimmer estimated it to be around 0.5mph.
My arms were starting to feel it a little towards the end but actually I didn’t feel too bad. The only real issues I had were with the Swim hat we were given (they always tend to be a tad small for me so I’ve got my own slightly larger one) meaning I had to stop and adjust it 2 or 3 times during the swim, and the small issue of being able to get out of the river at the end. Everyone managed it but the exit point was too deep to stand and had no steps, simply vertical concrete sticking 30cm or so out of the water. Nothing horrendous but maybe something to improve for next year!
For me the swim achieved its purpose in that I think I should be OK for Coniston Swim, but I’ve certainly got to keep the training up between now and then…and hope that by some miracle that Coniston Water doesn’t turn out to be quite as cold as I think it will be!
In 2014 I rather stupidly entered an Olympic distance Triathlon. This was initially a way to get me off my arse and do some exercise, the theory being there was no way I’d be able to finish without doing some and it worked!
In 2015 I didn’t enter anything and the amount of exercise decreased significantly because there was no nagging scared feeling in the back of my brain telling me I needed to do this.
With that in mind this year I’ve entered the rather foolish Chill Swim Coniston, a 5.25 mile open water swim from one end of Coniston Water to the other. As part of my training for this I’ve also entered Swim the Cam, a 2.5 mile open water swim down a section of The Cam in Cambridge.
You won’t be surprised in the least when I tell you that I’m supposed to be being sponsored for both of these events, but that other than one brief Tweet a couple of months ago I’ve completely forgotten to publicise that bit! #oopsie
Swim the Cam takes place this Saturday (23/7/16) and is being run to try and raise funds for Cambridge Sustainable Food, more specifically their Sustainable Food Hub project. I’ve pledged to raise £100 for them as a condition of entry. Please take a look at the links and at what they’re trying to do and, if you’re feeling that way inclined, please sponsor me/them on this Justgiving page.
The big swim is on either the 3rd of 4th (weather dependent) of September up in the Lake District. I’m doing that one in aid of Arthritis Research UK which could be classed as a little bit selfish in a way…but it’s not like the money is going straight to me 🙂
I haven’t had to commit to any specific target for this one but obviously more is always better! If you feel like helping men and Arthritis Research UK out, please donate on this Justgiving.com page.
Thanks hugely in advance for anything that you’re prepared to give to either cause…see you in the water!
Much has been talked about over the last few years in F1 about cost problem, the difficulty of new teams gaining a foothold, improving the show and more.
F1’s answer to these problems under the direction of Bernie Ecclestone has been to give the established teams more control of the sport and to try and find some general consensus amongst them as to the direction the sport should move in. This seems to have done nothing more than cause a constant refinement of the rules, narrowing down the scope of what teams can do and ultimately ending up where we are now with a very engine dominated race series…and well dominated by Mercedes who clearly did an incredible job developing their engine ready for the beginning of the 2014 season.
A few more radical ideas seem to be coming out now, including Bernie saying in a recent interview that F1 needed to rip up the rule book and start again. That’s probably the only thing he’s said in the last couple of years that I agree with.
For a while now I’ve been thinking about where F1 should go with the rules and have started throwing down a few ideas…I’ve decided to stick them out here now to see what others think and also because, in a case of simultaneous evolution, some of them seem to be being discussed as new ideas in F1 circles and I don’t want people to think I’m just copying what I’ve read in the news!
The principals of what I’m aiming for here are as follows…
- This is a team sport, cooperation between all team members is allowed but once on track the engineering team job is done and it’s down to the drivers
- Costs are important to control to allow smaller teams to compete but there will be no cost cap…attracting sponsors and getting money in is part of the team game of this sport
- the rules should allow innovation and technical freedom…limits on car designs will only be introduced for reasons of safety
Make sense, good. So the brain dump of ‘rules’ I have so far are as follows…
- Certain items on the car are prescribed components
- they have to come from FIA authorised suppliers
- a team can supply it’s own components so long as they adhere to the rest of the rules, including being made available to other teams
- they have to be made available to all teams
- but supply may be limited to a designated max number of teams at the discretion/capacity of the supplier
- they will have a maximum cost that the supplier may charge as prescribed by the FIA
- prescribed components include
- suppliers may make safety recommendations to teams regarding their components
- teams are free to ignore these recommendations but MUST record their settings and send them to the suppliers and the FIA prior to the race
- The rest of the car, including bodywork, suspension etc must be designed and built by the constructor and its partners
- there can be no sharing of these designs between constructors
- Generally the bodywork of the cars should be a continuous shape, this is to discourage the use of ‘bolted on’ wings
- I’m thinking you might end up with something along these lines 🙂
- outside of the max width, length and height of the cars manufacturers should have as much freedom as possible for bodywork design
- limitations will be placed on the maximum amount of downforce that a car is allowed to generate
- this will be tested by the scrutineers at race events using a ‘portable’ wind tunnel
- downforce will be measured in Kg generated at a given wind tunnel speed
- cars may therefore probably make extensive use of ground effect for downforce…this is fine but there will be regulation of the ‘skirts’ to prevent dangerous failures
- cars will have some kind of screen/protection in front of the driver
- this does not necessarily mean, but could be, a fully enclosed cockpit
- Generally the bodywork of the cars should be a continuous shape, this is to discourage the use of ‘bolted on’ wings
- engines must use a street legal fuel
- for a given type of fuel a maximum amount per race will be allocated
- this may be change between seasons to balance out the technologies
- in extreem circumstances and only in the first year of a new fuel being introduced a change to this max amount may be made once mid season
- any engine size/technology/configuration may be used
- engines must be homogenate before the first race of each season
- limited changes made be made in season along the lines of the current token system
- engines will be allowed a maximum power output (bhp or equivalent) measured at the wheel over their entire working range
- this will be testable if required at race events using a mobile dynamometer
- The driver will have a limited number of sensor readings in the car, tyre temp sensors etc are not allowed
- only safety alerts are permitted in this area
- the team will be limited in what feedback they can give to the driver, again with the exception of safety advice
- eg. time gaps are OK, help with driving lines are not
- The driver will be limited in the changes he can make to the car once the race has begun
- the idea here is to encourage teams to do as much running in the practice sessions as possible
- being able to change the brake balance or diff settings in between corners isn’t allowed
- in general if you want to conserve fuel the driver will have to keep lower revs, so multiple engine modes are not permitted
- drivers will be able to activate a wet or dry mode depending on the conditions
- these 2 modes could be used in a fully dry race to mean high and low fuel modes?
- the idea here is to encourage teams to do as much running in the practice sessions as possible
- There will be a limit to the number of people able to work on a car in the pits at any one time of 10 people
- refueling is not permitted
- cars will have a maximum amount of fuel allowed per race
- this may be used however they want, no instantaneous fuel flow restrictions
- cars may boost their fuel flow at the drivers discretion
- Race tyre and engine allocations to be limited across the season
- teams to choose for themselves which tyres to use at which race
- teams can use as many or as few different compounds as they choose at each race
- worn tyres may be carried over between races
- separate allocation of tyres will be used for practice sessions so won’t impact on the race allocations
- unless there is a specific safety issue rules will not be changed mid season
- any changes for the following year that could be listed as equivalence adjusters must be published by the mid point in the season read for the following season
- in general, and any other major rule changes, will be published a full season in advance
- overtaking aids such as DRS or the F-Duct are permitted but must be designed by the individual teams
- their use will only be restricted on safety grounds
- it must be apparent to spectators when the device is in use
- for DRS this would be obvious
- for F-Duct and the like there should be some other method identifying it’s being used
- The prize fund distribution will be determined by a constructors final position in the championship
- all constructors that have fulfilled the requirements to complete a full season will be awarded money from the prize fund
- what the hell that means I’m not sure
- I guess it means a team must have appeared at all (90%?) events and have been in a position to compete (be within the 107% time)
- this should stop people turning up to take a garage with a vapourware car that they have no intention of actually being able to run
- 50% of the prize fund will be distributed evenly amongst all teams who have successfully competed in the championship
- the other 50% will be split on a sliding scale from first place downwards
- all constructors that have fulfilled the requirements to complete a full season will be awarded money from the prize fund
I'd like to see just one of those "Is [technology the author is scared of] bad for children?" articles click through to simply the word "no"
— Roger Hart (@RMH40) September 4, 2015
If you haven’t already heard I successfully completed my Triathlon on Sunday in 3 hours and 18 minutes…a little longer than my target time of 3 hours, but this course turned out to be far, FAR hillier than the Cambridge course that I’d been practising on. I came 858th out of the 1090 individual event finishers with 35 people unable to finish.
After the cancellation of the Cambridge event I found another event of the same distance on the same day at Hever Castle just south of London. The intention was to stay in a hotel the night before the event so as not to have to travel down at stupid o’clock but a friend and work colleague stepped in and offered us a bed for the night so THANKS MOLLIE!
Despite all the planning everything on the morning of the event felt a little more rushed than it should have been, but it turns out they were running a little behind schedule so after racking my bike and preparing transition I actually got down to the lake ready for the race briefing and the swim start a good 10 minutes early.
This was my first competitive open water swim and it was certainly interesting. I while I wasn’t expecting to be one of the slower swimmers this was still all new so I stayed out quite wide for the start. I got off to a good start and managed to hold my pace down and get into a steady rhythm. The water was several degrees colder than I’ve ben training in to the point where my cheeks were starting to go numb by the end of the swim, but it certainly wasn’t unpleasantly cold. Several times during the swim I found myself sandwiched between to people on converging lines but if seems that with everyone swimming in wetsuits you just tend to bounce off other people. I managed to not be in any large groups at the turns and pinch points so didn’t have anyone climbing on top of me at any point.
I felt OK by the end of the swim, exited the water with the help of the Speedo volunteers and headed over to transition (a couple of hundred meters total I’d guess?). In training I’ve not been able to get my wetsuit over the top of my Garmin watch so as planned snapped it off before taking the wetsuit down…here’s where my problems started. I was supposed to take off my hat and goggles, then the watch, put the goggles and watch in the hat then set about removing my wetsuit. Instead I just tried to hold all 3 things in one hand, juggling them over to the other as required, and of course managed to drop my watch.
Turning round somewhat confused and wondering if I should just abandon it(!) another competitor ran past and said “If you’re looking for a watch it’s back there”. I had about a dozen people say the same thing to me as I headed the wrong way down the transition corridor but found it lying on the grass about 30 meters back from where I was when I realised I’d dropped it. A bit of time lost but not too bad.
I found my bike OK, something I’d been warned to check out thoroughly beforehand, put my helmet on, attached my recovered watch to the bike, got the rest of the wetsuit off and sat down to put my shoes and socks on (yes, I still wear socks, I haven’t splashed out on seamless shoes yet). Getting up and starting to run out of transition I realised I was feeling a bit tired, but I had 2 bottles on my bike so getting the ride going and having a quick drink would sort me out…
The run out of transition before the mount point was a hundred meters or so and the ride out of the castle grounds was probably half a kilometre…I turned left went around a couple of corners and hit what had been described in the race briefing as “a cheeky little hill”. What it was was a climb of just over 2k. By the 3k point of the ride I was almost 4 minutes down on my target pace (of 18mph average speed). The relief was palpable when I hit a downhill section but was short lived as things started to go upwards again…we certainly weren’t in Cambridgeshire any more!
Traffic was an issue on the ride as it wasn’t a closed course. Major junctions were marshalled but the road we all fairly narrow country lanes so there were a lot of places where the cars were being held up by bikes, who were holding up cars and more bikes. On the plus side this gave me time for an enforced rest in places.
It also let me watch some particularly stupid cycling by some of the other competitors. On the aforementioned narrow counter lanes almost all of the cars were being very careful when trying to pick their way through the mass of exhausted cyclists. Some of the cyclists obviously decided that these cars were holding them up too much and decided they needed to undertake (really close to stone walls) to over take cars, on blind bends, while the cars were overtaking other cyclists. I was amazed that there wasn’t at least one addict reported during the day.
Anyhoo, I trundled on up and down hill after hill, doing quite well to over take a lot of people on the downhill sections and trying to keep up a decent cadence on the uphill sections. I was being careful to make sure I was getting through both my drinks (one electrolyte and one carbohydrate) when with 10k left to go on the ride I realised my legs were kinda screwed and obviously I still had the run to come. Luckily for me the ride finished with yet another uphill section giving me time to rest my legs before the run :-/
After an uneventful transition I started the run with my legs feeling about the same as they had at the end of the half distance practice event I’d done last month, that being knackered. It’s not that I was tired and out of breath, just that my leg strength had already gone. Still, I trotted on assuming that as the meters drifted under me my legs would remember the training and things would begging to feel more comfortable when I turned the first corner on the run and discovered another hill! Before the event I’d set the pacer on my Garmin watch to 6 minute kilometre pace in an effort to keep my pace slow at the start of the run. There was certainly no chance of me exceeding it at this point, still, I kept my stride nice and short and pootled along in what I’d come to know as my first gear.
After about 1.5k I started getting a twinge in my left knee, something I’d felt a couple of months previously that had stopped me from running for a couple of weeks. I recognised from that that because my pace was so slow I was clumping down straight onto my heel rather than running more forward but the problem is I need to run a bit faster to make that style work. I think I can safely say I made it up into gear 1.5 and probably no higher.
During the race briefing they’d said that the first feeding station we’d get to wasn’t actually on the Olympic course but was only for the people doing the half Iron Man distance to I went past that and on another km or so to the Olympic distance water station…where they’d run out of water. Still it’s not as if it was 23 degrees and sunny…oh dear :-/
I trundled on to about the 4.5k mark at which point I reached the steepest hill so far and with my slow run up that being at basically walking pace anyway I gave into the inevitable and walked up it. It was at this point I realised that this was now simply going to be an effort to finish and my other time goals were long gone. A nice chap asked if I was finishing or if I had another lap to go, and while briefly tempted to just head straight on through to the finished I instead turned right and headed off to lap 2, after first climbing up and down a scaffold ramp to take me over the bike track to allow me to start once more up that hill.
On the second lap probably walked up half of that first hill and my legs were feeling in real trouble now, starting to get very sore and tight. I decided I needed something artificial to keep me going so decided that I’d count up to 60…if in that time I wanted to walk I would, but only whenI’d got to 60, and than I’d only allow myself 60 seconds of walking before starting to run again. Using those intervals I probably managed to run for 5 minutes before walking each time and was plodding onwards to the water station. Unfortunately when I got there I discovered that either they’d not been topped up, or they had and had run out again so with no option and a very dry mouth I continued my intervals. Around 1k later a buggy headed against the flow of runners towards the water station. One of the runners behind me stepped in front of it to make it stop and said they needed water now!
The chap driving suggested taking one of the containers off for everyone there and let him carry on toe refresh the water station. That prompted every runner in the area, including me, to stop and take a swig out of a 10 litre container…lukewarm water has never tasted so good! I continued with my intervals until, about 10 seconds into a walking piece I realised that there was a small group of spectators on a bench cheerful shouting “Go on Twelve Fifty (my race number), give us a little jog, you can do it! Jog! Jog! Jog!”. I had to smile and I had to get moving again, upon which I got a cheer and a round of applause from them all. 1km later and just as I was about to walk again when two fire year old buys screamed at the top of their lungs at me “GO ON, YOU CAN DO IT!”. Fine, I’ll carry on running then. That typifies what the crowd, and the marshals, were like all day. Helpful, encouraging & cheerful, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was helped along to the finish by some complete strangers.
I should also at this point mention I was also helped along by Mollie, who’s house we’d stayed at the night before and her husband who came along to shout encouragement, and by my wife who at this point to bored to tears of Triathlon training talk but nonetheless kept popping up at different points along the route, in and out of transitions to keep me going.
Round the final corner and up (walking) that damn hill again and down the last 500m to the finish…mission accomplished. I got my medal, a large cup of water, and access to a table full of cakes, fruit and other drinks. I grabbed a coconut juice & some watermelon and walked, without counting now, to get my tag removed and leave the finish area to meet my wife and collect the cold(isn) beer that was in my bag.
The final word should go to everyone who’s helped me over the last few months, and particularly to everyone who sponsored me. I have aimed to hit £1000 but in reality thought I’d be lock to hit £500…and the time of publishing (and a couple of people have added in after the event know I’d actually finished) you have helped me raise £1,375 for Cancer Research UK so thank you, thank you, thank you!
Just after 3 o’clock this afternoon I received an email with the following title…
“City of Cambridge Triathlon Cancelled”
The reason given in the email as follows.
“Unfortunately in July an independent water sampling company carried out some additional tests and the river was judged to be unsuitable for competitive swimming. The river exceeded the standards for Enterococci and Escherichia coli, as well as testing positive for Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), which is potentially fatal and obviously deemed unsuitable by ITU regulations. It is likely that heavy downpours of rain prior to the test led to this result, and it does not mean that this is a permanent condition of the river’s health.”
As you can probably guess from all the training I’ve been doing this felt like a punch to the stomach, especially as you guys have all been so generous donating to Cancer Research for me.
I know from the magazine I’ve been getting that there are other a Triathlons on that weekend so my aim is to find one of them that I can get to that still has slots open and enter that instead. I’ve not done all this to be stopped by something as stupid as water quality.
What I don’t know at this point is how closely the Just Giving page is tied to the event and if the cancellation will trigger some kind of auto refund…or if it doesn’t how I manually initiate that if I can’t find an event to enter.
Worst case I’ll go out on the day, do the Swim in Jesus Green Lido then do the ride and run anyway!
I’ll update more when I know more but as for now, I’m heading home and going for a 5k run…a really pissed off 5k run. might make me faster 😉
If the “Sprint” Triathlon last weekend proved one thing it’s that I’ve got a lot of running to do in the next 25 days. The swim was pretty good although not quite as quick as I’d like. I’m putting this down to the water temperature (I heard someone say 31 degrees!) and the curved nature of the ends of the pool. That might sound odd but it makes it pretty hard to spot the distance to the wall properly and meant I almost missed a couple of turns. As expected, I also went out too fast, something I need to make sure I’m more careful about when I’ve got a whole mile ahead of me rather than just a few pool lengths.
The ride felt good even though the Ely course is quite rough. It feels quite nice to overtake someone riding a full Carbon bike complete with aero frame and disc wheels on my little Cube, although it may have meant I was going along a bit quicker than planned in some areas.
Despite having done several brick (bike to run) training sessions, my legs felt wiped out right from the start of the run. I think I walked once over the whole run but that was up one of the steep little hills that were on the course. I was happy enough with 29 minutes for the 5k run, it’s not much slower than I’ve been running the Saturday morning Park run at Milton Park, but the way my legs were feeling I’m not sure I could have gone round again for a full 10k.
So the next 3 weeks are going to be all about running. I’m doing some shorter (2 mile) runs to try and get the average speed up a bit and will be doing some longer runs at the weekends at a slower pace to get used to running with dead legs. If I’m really lucky my toenail will have started to grow back by the time the main event comes around too! If anyone asks me in the next few weeks what I’m doing exercise wise and it doesn’t include the word running your next question to me should be “Why aren’t you running?”
Finally as of this morning I’ve hit £650 of my £1000 sponsorship target for Cancer Research which I still think is nuts. A massive THANK YOU to everyone who’s sponsored me so far and if you haven’t yet I’d be extremely grateful for anything you could offer. Donations can be made on my Just Giving page, just giving.com/jodrell
On my way home from work on Friday last week I saw a car coming towards me along a road with a 20mph speed limit that to my eyes was doing closer to 40 than 20 so I gestured to them, politely to slow down. The car responded by deliberately, to my eyes, swerving towards me. I’ve had some debate with a couple of friends about wether what I did was provocation to the driver…frankly it doesn’t matter if it was, there was no call for that action as a response.
Luckily, actually deliberately to capture this kind of thing (although more often stupid and careless drivers and fellow cyclists than malicious ones), I have for the last couple of weeks been wearing a camera mounted on my cycle helmet. It’s a dinky little thing but it can capture full 1080p HD, slo-mo at 240 frames per second and can also live stream straight to Ustream 🙂
Anyhoo…before I go on take a look at the incident for yourself. http://youtu.be/SX6YFCGoN2I
After sending the youTube link to the Cambridge Police Twitter account I was asked to go to the Police station today to discuss the incident.
I took the full HD video with me on my iPad to show the officer who I had an appointment booked with. After viewing it a couple of times he asked if he could borrow my iPad to show a colleague because he wasn’t sure what the driver could be charged with!
Upon his return I was informed that unless they could prove who was driving they couldn’t press any charges at all but the car in question was owned by a Woman and he suspected from their age that the other driver named on the same insurance was her Son (I had told him it was a man driving). He told me he intended to speak to the registered owner of the vehicle and let them know what had happened, and if he was told that someone else was driving he’d speak to them as well. He also told me that the police would be informing the insurance company about the incident and would leave it to their discretion as to what happened next.
Overall, I think that’s a pretty fair result 😀
Tonight I went swimming in my new wetsuit for the first time…and for the first time in Cambridge’s rather strange outdoor 100 yard long Lido. As was always going to happen I started off too fast and was slowing up halfway down the second length (second 100yrd remember) but it wasn’t so much that I was running out of energy, more that I felt like my new wetsuit was trying to kill me!
By the end of the second length (and as in the indoor 25M pool I was doing sets of 200m) I really felt like the suit was moving around and really pulling against the front of my neck on my throat. When I brought the suit last Saturday there had been someone in the shop to help and advise me when putting it on and it had felt fine. The shop also had an endless indoor pool so I was able to try swimming in it and did do for around 5 minutes with no problems at all. And yet, with every stroke down that second length I felt like the suit was trying to strangle me.
At the end of that length I stopped the time on my watch and set about tweaking things to see if I could get the suit to fit better. As I was on my own I’d had no help putting the wetsuit on, but I’d had a quick practice at home the night before to see if I could manage it and it seemed fine…the one thing I was worried about was doing the zip up but by arching my back and pushing my shoulder blades together I seemed to manage it fine.
I swam another couple of lengths and things we’re a little better but still not great, certainly not good enough to be able to swim a mile in without stopping. After each pair of lengths I’d try another tweak here or there and by the time I’d finished I think I’d got things pretty well settled down, but it’s safe to say that tonights session was a whole bag of no fun.
Getting changed afterwards I had what David Baddiel described during his and Robert Newman‘s Wembley gig as a Naked Lunch moment. The example, if memory serves, he gave that night was a male ballet dancer. “I’m on stage, in front of loads of strangers, wearing nothing but tights, my packet’s showing…what the fuck am I doing?!? Oh, I’m a ballet dancer, that’s OK then”.
For me it was more along the lines of, my new ‘gadget’ has just tried to kill me, I’m knackered, I’m stood on a cold, wet, concrete floor, in a small wooden cabin, it’s pissing it down with rainy and I’ve still got to cycle home…and keep doing this for another 4 months. What the fuck am I doing?!?”. I then continued to get changed and put my trousers on…and realised I was wearing an old pair of trousers that by now probably have getting on for a four inch gap between my stomach and the trousers. “Oh yeah”, I thought, “I’m, losing a fuck load of weight…that’s OK then!”
To relax myself after I’d then cycled home in the rain I went for a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill, and if I’ve chosen to go for a run to relax you know things must be bad!