Monday, September 20, 2010

Spring has sprung.

September 1st 2010 brought forth Spring in Australia. And with the warmer weather and longer days, came all the animals and insects. I am not an insect person at all, in fact if you ask my kids they would tell you that my biggest fear is the Christmas beetle, and then not far behind that are bee's. Well, today was the day that I was to have a first hand encounter that I will never forget as long as I live.

My coach, Jodie told me for this week that she wanted me to run 2km x2 and 3km x1. And so with the beautifully warm weather I thought I would do the 2km one today, the 3km on Wednesday and my 2km as part of my Tri on Saturday.

Well, it seems the bee's had the same sort of idea about getting out and about. On my 1km trip out all was good, not a single sound apart from the scurrying of possible snakes in the shrubs. This didn't bother me at all, it was what lay ahead that was going to have me running for my life - literally.

On the way back I was just so caught up with listening to my laboured breathing that I didn't realise that I had run straight into the midst of a swarm of bee's, either migrating out of their hive or going back to it. Who cares which direction they were heading in, the fact was I was now running to get out of it. They were hitting me absolutely everywhere - my cheek, legs, arms, glasses and I in turn hit them as I flailed my arms like a lunatic trying to get through it all.

It seemed like I was amongst it all for atleast a minute but I am sure it was only for about 15 secs. I even tried to flag down a passing motorist but do you think he would stop? Not on your life. Not sure if I would have either - I mean the thought of a 6 foot lady running around like a crazed lunatic doesn't really foster thought's of wanting to be helpful.

So as I got home I checked on my watch and you would have thought that being chased by a swarm of angry bee's would make me run like Hussein Bolt. I still managed to run 6:07min/km pace. Sheesh, what's it going to take?????

Not sure if I will be heading in that direction for a while.

I cannot change.

I have been trying ever so hard - like a diligent student, to listen to everything my swim squad teachers say. And I always try - like a diligent student, to implement the changes to my stroke. I am a firm believer that there is always room for improvement. But it seems the more I try the worse my stroke gets. My head just cannot cater for so much information during the swim. I like the whole concept of nice high elbows (out of the water) as it gives me a nice clean catch but everything inbetween just seems to make me lose form. I guess after 30 yrs of swimming the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", must ring true for the most part.

I think they could see my dilemma and have since just told me to swim. To forget about what it is I heard and just swim, because essentially however I swim I still move water, which is good, and I can hold about a 1min 30sec/100m. When I was trying to do as they were instructing my head was in constant dialogue with my arms
  • nice high elbow on exit
  • place hand directly in front of shoulder, don't cross over
  • clean entry
  • don't dip shoulder to get good catch
  • but then forget what the rest of my body was doing
And then in an instant my mind would have to refocus on the other arm. Physically it was challenging but mentally it was exhausting as I just couldn't enjoy swimming. So I was glad when he told me to just have fun and swim. Here was Saturday's session:
  • 400m Fr/s Warm up
  • 400m - 25m front entry scull, 25m Fr/s, 25m middle entry scull, 25m Fr/s
  • 100m recovery Fr/s hands were cramping from the scull
  • 8 x 50m Fr/s counting stroke for 50m
  • 300m - 50m Finger trailing, 50m Fr/s
  • 4 x 200m Fr/s on a 1:40 per 100m then 50m active recovery breastroke between 200m
  • 8 x 25m open water swim sprints
  • 100m nice easy Fr/s sighting every 4 strokes
I absolutely love and detest the open water swim starts. Love it because it's fast, furious and fun and hate it because I really can't see where I am going and I am grabbing at body parts in a blind panic (sorry boys). I guess that's half the fun but it's not something I am used to, so the more we practice these the better I will get at getting tougher and using my sighting techniques to see over the whitewash.

Yesterday was supposed to be the day where I would head into the city to see my friends do their Half and Full Marathon but after checking the website, the road closures were just too vast to even attempt getting in there in the morning. So we gave it a miss but I have since found out that they did really well. Congrats to you all, you are all totally inspirational.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage