Tuesday was running and swimming night, and as I stepped into the water I knew I was not going to be swimming at all that evening.
This water was not ideal for swimming, mainly because the water I was standing in was the flooded corridor of the business centre we work from occasionally. Some delightful individual had emptied their hot tub directly through the decking backing on to the offices, and a tidal wave of hot tub water/scum poured through the upper corridor fire escape and into the offices below. The clean up operation included the knocking back of a few cans of ice cold Coors light, at least it did for the guys not planning a back up run as soon as they got home! It was short, it was tough, but at least the day was not wasted.
The swim was made up on the next night with the usual 720m lap of the lake, with a couple of hundred meters added on the end to try to build stamina. As we bobbed in the water after completing our loop, we got talking to another swimmer, who asked how many loops we had done, erm one mate, and I’m happy to be alive! He then went on to tell us he’d done six loops, well over 4000 meters. I spent the next few minutes explaining how I’m always knackered after 100 meters in the hope he would give me a pearl of wisdom to miraculously solve my swimming dilemma. His advice, the same (sound) advice every other swimmer gives me, just keep at it.
The next session was of a different variety, a rare night out with the lads, resulting in a pounding head the next day and an unsympathetic training partner dragging me out for a swim/run session. I sat on the bank staring out at the water, grabbing any extra minute I could before having to wrestle my wetsuit on. I put on a brave “I’m enjoying this, honest” face on for the walkers as they stopped to watch what the two rubber clad loonies were doing and headed after my mate. I’m sure he could sense weakness as he upped the pace and it took everything to keep with him. A snap decision was made……he’s getting it on the run.
wetsuits off, trainers on, we packed our gear up into our rucksacks and off we went. Two laps of the lake and then off in the opposite direction of the car to do a long loop down the decent to the car park at the bottom of the path. A comment along the lines of “rather you than me” by the afore mentioned walkers as we passed them for the final time and off we went. I was picking up the pace a bit now and as we got to the path marker to turn down the hill, the panting and groaning was getting louder and louder, but he never slowed up! We descended down the hill to some of the most amazing views, including the food serving pub getting closer and closer. Swim done, run done, hangover done!
An early start Sunday for the ride, as six of us headed out on a 36 miler. I’d been waiting for this all week after missing last weeks, but now it was here I had full on jelly legs, typical. We set of out on the regular route at what felt like a good pace and were at the halfway point in no time. A brew and a bite to eat while an old boy admired one of the lads full carbon Planet X and we were off again.
The pace notched up on the return leg and I struggled to keep up with the fast lads, using the downhills to catch up the huge gaps they opened on the climbs, and by the time I reached the top of the final climb to home I was finished. I felt disappointed that I must have been so much slower then usual, until I opened strava and saw id hit 43 PB’s (I’m not normally a strava obsessive but I needed the mental boost). Pushing to keep up with more experienced riders had driven me to be faster even when I felt like I had nothing in the tank.
I’m now becoming confident the run and bike legs will be absolutely fine, I will make sure I train enough so it’s not in question. But with 8 weeks to go the swimming needs to gel soon, or it’s going to be the longest 750 meter swim time in history.
All I can do is just keep at it….