Archive for the ‘swimming’ Category

June 2016

So my last blog post was a short introduction to how I intended to beat my younger self at this year’s triathlon

I suppose, to be honest, it wasn’t so much how as just that I had that idea. There was no plan as such. Just an intention to swim hard, bike hard and run hard and then generally hope that I’m fitter and harder than I was four years ago!

This is a short post. You know how I’m no good at long race reports. (I can actually hear your collective ‘phew!’)

The first thing to note is that I did fit into both my tri-suit and my wetsuit. Four years on from their last outing this was no mean feat… unless by ‘mean’ you actually just mean ‘average’ in which case, that’s exactly what it was. But I was s bit worried about that do it was indeed a good start.

SWIM (750m open water – 15:23)

The timing of the swim start had been changed due to a course change upon the discovery of some blue-green algae in the lake. They needn’t have bothered as I am colour-blind anyway and besides, the water was so murky you couldn’t tell what anything was.

I swam the swim ok, but my snug wetsuit seemed to make lifting my arms out of the water really hard. I would also get stupidly dizzy and need a few strokes of breaststroke just to stop the world spinning. I alternated between this and front crawl until the exit gantry, where I then proceeded to try and remove my rubber onesie while trying not to fall over! Proper dizzy!

I later found out my son, watching, was saying, “What is he doing?” Upon viewing my antics.

BIKE… (20k – 36:53)

“…Eventually!” – my son.

This felt straight-forward… with a few corners thrown in. Four laps of not crashing. 20km.

I was never going to be super fast on the bike but I overtook a few people and was overtaken by a few different people… though I consoled myself with the fact that most of these were not in fact ‘cycling’ so much as ‘piloting futuristic looking spacecraft’. I’m sure I would have overtaken myself if I was piloting futuristic looking spacecraft too!

I did one of those clever, off the pedal – straight into running with the bike -dismount thingies, but I think I was going a little faster than I thought because my legs had to work like billy-o to prevent immediate face-planting embarrassment.

RUN  (5k – 22:51)

This must weirdly have had it’s benefits though as I settled into a steady running pace that I thought I could sustain for the next 5k and a glance at my Garmin told me this was 7:45/mile . Pleasantly surprised with that so I stuck with it.

I slowly picked off a few runners and didn’t get caught by anyone (that I remember) which felt good (obviously anyone faster than me at running was also faster than me at swimming and/or cycling).

I still had enough energy for a strong finish in just over 1 hour 18 minutes – just over five minutes faster than my time in 2012 🙂

If I continue at this rate of improvement I shall be winning this event by the time I am 55 years old! 

Many thanks to the family for cheering on the chubby bloke in a leotard, and to the marshals – who incidentally were lovely to me (the friendly, law-abiding triathlete novice) but who had to deal with a few trumped-up numpties, I heard.

It is now June… Which in the past has meant JUNEATHON which has meant daily blogging. I can’t see that happening…but maybe a few more regular ones this month.


I have written ‘rules’ or ‘guidance’ for completing a Janathon before…

10 tips to help you survive Janathon (or something like that)
This was genuinely one off my better posts so if if you haven’t seen it before and especially if you are new to blogging, it’s worth a quick peek.

One of my own (and until now – unwritten) rules of blogging during Janathon is that if you’re going to write a naff post, then quickly follow it up with a better one and maybe nobody will notice. That is my plan, anyway.

Today (Jan 15th 2015), I was off school with my poorly girl so I could only fit my run in, late.
After much faffing, I eventually left the house with goggles and trunks tucked into my running belt and headed for the local pool.
There was a chance I wouldn’t make it in time to make a swim worthwhile but 15 minutes (3km) later I was there and managed a 30 minute swim (it’s been a while – it was hard work!) before a soggy 3k run home again (I hadn’t bothered with a towel – didn’t see the point).

So, there it is. No blogging inspiration for today but actually feeling well motivated on the running front at the moment.

Liking that.

Janathon (day 15) – involving sick, running, swimming, and running again, but no blog inspiration – Done.

My body is finely tuned.

It is.

Like a violin can be finely tuned…

… but as with a violin, if I try to create a masterpiece with it, it creates rubbish.

That is what my finely tuned body is doing now 😦

*Snot. Cough. Cold. Splutter.*

For some reason I still offered to take the kids swimming today. We had fun. I didn’t do much swimming, mind. Especially after my son pointed out my bleeding nose (that is to say ‘my nose with blood pouring out of it’ rather than him just being rude and drawing attention to the size of my hooter i.e. “look at your bleedin’ nose!” which incidentally, is normally proportioned).
I’d forgotten about my nosebleeds yesterday. They will continue for a week now 😦

I choose to be positive!

You see, instead of just feeling sorry formyself, alternatively I could take the view that my body knows that I am unable/unwilling to properly train at this time (for a marathon in April), and it is preparing me the best way it knows:

Difficulty breathing
Aching muscles
Inappropriate bleeding
Wondering if it will ever end
Looking dreadful in photos

…Just like a marathon.

Janathon day 3 – involving forced marathon training by way of a cold, swimming, and blood – Done.

Holidays can be so good.

I’ve had a holiday from running for a while. My left ankle has been telling me I’m getting old, my plantar fasciitis has returned with a vengeance, I’ve been feeling more mentally and physically exhausted generally just a bit ‘bleuggh’.

This last week, though I have spent in Devon with my lovely family. Staying in the family home I lived in when I was little, eating lovely food with my Mum and Dad looking after me like when I was little (e.g. home cooked apple crumble and a HUGE pavlova) , going to the beaches I used to go to when I was little, and drinking beer like I used to when I was… well… a bit bigger.

We spent the day swimming in sea on Wednesday, which was wonderful.

We had even optimistically brought the bikes (mine and the boy’s) on the recently purchased bike roof carrier thing, and we had a little ride out on Thursday.

Friday was my lovely wife’s birthday (I don’t have two… I didn’t use the word ‘lovely’ as a differential term… Just the one wife AND she is lovely – just to be clear) so we went for a BIG family geocaching walk which basically involved me dropping them off near Powderham, me driving to Kenton and leaving the car there then running to catch up with them along the coastal path to Starcross. An extra loop to get a few more caches, then continuing ask along the estuary ‘coast’ to Dawlish before starting back up northwards but realising if we wanted to have a Birthday BBQ I had to get a wriggle on run ahead to get the car. That was a mission! Lots of fields and big, BIG hills.
Take glance at the map for a general overview …


and this one for a bit of a close up including my cross-country route back to the car…


…and this one for the geocaches we passed along the way (smiley face = found… we haven’t logged them all yet)

Despite this huge walk/run (the children aged 8 & 3 did brilliantly, by the way) I got up early enough to parkrun on Saturday.

It was Parke parkrun in Bovey Tracey. Here is my course report:

In case you didn’t know…It has a hill. A big one. Early on. Which has the unexpected bonus that once you’ve managed, eventually, to breathe normally again, you’re pretty much at the end of the run. Cool. The end.

I have just seen my triathlon pictures from Sunday.

I was really looking forward to them being uploaded so I could…
…oh my goodness! What’s that?! I was trying to suck it in too as I ran past! Oh well.

I do not (yet) look like a triathlete. A ‘tryatleast’, maybe. I’ll take that for now.

I’m rubbish at writing race reports… but if I don’t practise I don’t get better do I? So here goes…

I swam 400m in 7m 45s ish.
I ran to transition.
I transisted for 1m 22s
I moved my legs around repeatedly to propel my heavy frame (I could actually mean my bike, you see…that was a bit ambiguous to add an element of mystery to my writing, eh) for 20km (this took me 41min).
I transistificated off of the bikey thing, put it on the racky thing and actually put on socks and lace-up shoes because, let’s face it – 20 seconds is NOT going to kill me. (This whole process took 1m 30s once I had got out of the transistification area).
I wobbled ran for 5k in 27m 55s – over 5 mins slower than my PB, completely disproving my previously held belief that swimming and cycling hard were merely a good warm up for a 5k PB effort.

There. I think there’s a couple of things to work on as far as race reports go, but it will do for now.

This all took place on Sunday of course but I didn’t write it up then because I was too busy drinking beer afterwards So I posted up a re-worded version of Vanilla Ice’s rap classic – ‘ICE ICE BABY’ which I had started writing in May. Because I had started it in May, WordPress thinks that’s when I published it for some reason. So in case you missed it, do go and check it out. If you are young/old enough to remember the original, you won’t be disappointed.

Today (Monday) I actually played tennis (again) but you don’t want to hear about my comeback from being 2-5 down to eventually emerge victorious after a 9-7 epic set do you? No. I won’t tell you about that then.

Bleuuggh!! I’ve just made myself a recovery drink…well…a banana milkshake, using one of those hand-held whizzer thingies that, if you want, can also whisk stuff really quickly (with a different attachment) and is really good for making soups with stuff still in the saucepan and is much less messy than decanting everything into a large blender…anyway…one of them. Except I haven’t used it for ages and I think I remember, a while back, someone other than me washed it up and left it to soak and it got all rusty internally and now that rust has been released into the milky bananaryness and I think I have just drank a banana and rust milkshake  –  possibly good for iron intake… not good for taste intake. 

 A photo of a banana. In case you didn’t know what one looked like. (From


For today’s exercise, I was genuinely considering counting the effort it took me to squeeze into my tri-suit for Sunday’s sprint distance race.  If I do wear it (and I might not) I will have to get up half an hour earlier than intended to make sure I have sufficient time to shoehorn myself into it. As it turned out, I decided jump on the bike and go and check on one of our geocaches a couple of miles away (I’ll perhaps write a related post on this little hobby another time) and I figured I’d shove my goggles and swim shorts in my pocket in case I still had time to call in to the pool for the last 30 mins on the way home. I did. Another mile swam, followed by a cycle home and then immediately popped back out again under direction from the boss and was headed up the hill to the shops for milk and bread (and bananas and cashew nuts as it turned out).

I had intended to tag on a run to all this too, just to muddy up my far-too-shiny trail shoes that I bought from Decathlon earlier today (when I popped in to just to get some new brake pads for the bike). I’m not really a brand snob, or loyal to any particular shoe (of course I could be if I found THE one – so I can understand it if you are) so I’ll go with what feels good and appears good value.

I think they are green…they might be yellow…I’m a bit rubbish with colours.  I’ve yet to test them out fully but they feel dead comfy and were a very reasonable (reduced) price of £34.99 (originally £69.99) and are the Kalenji Kapteren XT3.

 Yeah… that looks green to me.


The last time I write something nice about a Decathlon product, I was asked by one of their marketing peeps to ‘share the rest of the Kalenji range with my readership’.  I said I didn’t do reviews for free. Which I suppose isn’t strictly true because if I like something, I will, but I’m not just going to promote a load of stuff without having tried it myself. THAT MEANS YOU CAN SEND ME SOME STUFF TO TRY IF YOU LIKE, MARKETING PEOPLE*

*(Too desperate sounding? Possibly. Oh well. Don’t ask, don’t get. Do ask, don’t get… but not lost anything either…apart from maybe a tiny bit of dignity, perhaps)

I probably ought to also mention that I wrote to Decathlon and informed them* that they were alienating English speakers by referring to many of their cycling products using the word ‘LEASURE’. Yes. I know. I should have checked again today, but I’d forgotten about it until now.  *(That blog post can be found here)

More tennis match playing is supposed to occur tomorrow (Friday), weather permitting.

If it’s tipping it down then at least I can put these new shoes to the test instead.

So far… this exercising every day in June thing is proving to be fairly straightforward! But I just know I’m going to regret having written that, aren’t I?

…Alternative title – ‘Shall I do the washing-up or go to the pool?’

Well, that’s an easy choice if ever there was one.

I’m doing a triathlon on Sunday, my first in about a year, so I needed to make sure that I can still swim.

I only had half an hour in which to swim, but as the triathlon is a sprint one, it’s only a 400m swim so I could at least test myself at that distance a few times.
Pleasantly surprised that I still managed 400 in less than 8 minutes and in my half hour swim, covered over a mile.
*Yawn* Sorry! – Stats!
Oh, plus I possibly did a bit more as I had to dodge all the folks doing reps of ‘standing in the shallow end, chatting’ with their occasional 1 minute recovery/rest periods.

So anyway, I can still swim. The question is,
“Do I try to squeeze into my ample frame into my ageing tri-suit for Sunday’s race? Or do I get myself a new pair of long swim shorts that I could also run in?”

The question is not, “Shall I fix the brakes on my bike before Sunday?” I think that’s a given, really.

More stats for June:

Tennis = 8 hours
Swimming = 35 mins / 1 mile
Running = none yet
Chocolate = none yet
Sweets = none yet
Weight loss = none yet!

What counts?

Posted: January 24, 2014 in cycling, Janathon, not running, running, swimming

My head is swimming

…but apparently that doesn’t count as exercise.

My nose is running

…but that doesn’t count either.

I’m really not feeling too great today and I’ve spent most of it on the sofa playing some pretty intense games of snakes and ladders with my smallest child. I doubt that even going up those ladders repeatedly counts as exercise.

Pretty much every day in January, somebody exercising and blogging for the Janathon challenge will ask if this or that counts as exercise. Even when I was accused of slacking, I was reminded that, as it is a verb, it is therefore a ‘doing word’ and thus was something I had done.
Clutching at staws I think, but it was still appreciated.

As a result of doing very little today, I’ve just been waiting to feel better.
Some huge waits.…they don’t count.

I’ve considered some Power crunches

20140124-201424.jpg …but they don’t count.

I’ve already enquired about diddly squats….they don’t count.

Recycling bad jokes?… That doesn’t count.

Getting some pull ups in?…

20140124-211657.jpg …doesn’t count.


20140124-211724.jpg…definitely don’t count.


20140124-211816.jpg…probably should count, but I don’t think it does.

On your back with a bar bell…

20140124-211854.jpg…doesn’t count.

I have managed now to sit up at the table to write this… but that probably doesn’t count.

I KNOW!! …

Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha, Anni-Frid were in the %$&£ing @$%#&est band ever!!

That counts! It was an ABBA CUSS

Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. I am here, all weak.


As penance, I have just done a token Janathon plank and I also did actually manage a short walk outside before the school run, to go and check on a geocache and plant another (more on this another time maybe).


Posted: January 22, 2014 in Janathon, swimming
Tags: , , ,

I stand accused of being a slacker…

…and from none other than the Janathon boss too!

I have a few points to make on this.

It is currently 14:52 on Wednesday 22nd of January and I would like to draw the attention of the honourable Jogblog to the first of the highlighted items on the picture below…

…and since I went swimming at 21:00 yesterday evening for an hour, I do believe that the ‘rule’ to blog about it within 24hours gives me a further 6-7 hours, should so require it, to blog about said swimming.

I bring your attention to the second of the highlighted points on the ‘rules’…

Support, indeed!

The comment above from Carla is supportive (thank you, Carla) and various others that day (thank you all), but not Jogblogs. No.

There’s no “Hi, hope you’re ok. I just noticed that you’d not blogged yesterday’s exercise yet. I do hope you are alright. Keep up the good work. Nearly there now. I really enjoy your blog and my day isn’t complete until I’ve been updated on how many press-ups you’ve done. I know you still have time to do it, but I’m excitedly impatient.”


None of that.

It’s just, “Where’s day 21, Slacker?”

Well thank you for the ‘support’.
And this coming from the woman who invented the ‘bar press-up’ as a legitimate exercise!

Well here is day 21…

I swam. It was boring. My shoulder hurt afterwards. AND I regularly had to dodge a couple of women who were doing the equivalent of going to the gym and just sitting chatting on the machines for an hour then doing 2 shoulder presses and deciding they should reward themselves with a pizza afterwards.


And today (the 22nd) I ran around in the mud and cycled up big hills. But I may not blog about that properly for another 24 hours, if I so choose.

*sticky-tongue-out-smiley-face-thingy directed towards Jogblog*

Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*, Splash, splash, splash, *breathe right*, splash, splash, splash, *breathe left*,

I swam today.