Monday, 23 April 2018

A lot has happened, but not that much really.

Gosh, where was I?

I've been so up and down I don't know my arse from my elbow.

Front crawl (freestyle, US Fact Fans) is coming on a little. I can do a length, at least. My kick is a fucking disaster though, so that's where work will be focussed. Arms and breathing all good now, just the kick; legs sink unless I kick at a sprint rate, and the kick is so shitty that if I do it at the correct rate my legs just basically stop me. But with flippers on, I am a fucking rocket.

So that's coming on.

Most I have done on the bike is 17.5 miles, which was not tough but it was pretty slow (13.3 mph average, 121 HR). It puts me at current rate to finish the bike leg in about 4 hours 20ish. Not fast at all, hopefully I can work on that a little (a lot). The bike leg should really be my strongest as it's not weight bearing and leg strength is a big plus.

Hardly run at all since Vegas, though anything up to 30 minutes is nice and easy. But fuck me I am so slow now. I wasn't quick before but now, holy fucking shit. It's like running in treacle. While breathing treacle. And having eaten nothing but treacle for the previous four years.

Haven't bought a wetsuit yet; not done any open-water swimming. Breaststroke still very strong, though. Shoulders are like rocks, legs the same.

And a half Ironman is nine weeks and six days away.


Best get some quality training in. Whatever I do, I know that the day will be different. It will be unlike any brick session (that I haven't yet done any of either), unlike anything else. It will be what it is, and I will have to make it from one end to the other.

Have to start training with carbohydrate drinks shortly, upping the miles, sorting my shit out.

I have genuinely started to take things seriously though. I got some of that arse cream for the bike; I also had a bike fitting, which was really interesting. Tonight, hopefully swim and run, not in that order. I will try and do 3-4 miles of 'running', and hopefully about an hour in the pool if it's not too busy. Kind of like a brick session, but not really as there will ultimately be about 10-15 minutes between the two.

Oh, one major positive from the weekend - for my 'long' ride, I got up at 5:30am. Not done that for a long, long time, and it suits me far better than training late and then eating afterward and maybe getting to bed at midnight. Problem for me is the pool is far too busy in the morning, so it's evenings only for me; but runs and bikes will be moving to mornings, and soon.

I think this is all possible. Let you know in about a week.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Fucking training is a fucking disaster.

Life is too, really.

But let's focus on training, because that's what this blog is at least theoretically about.

I spent last week in Las Vegas for work; I've always hated the place, but I hate it even more now that I am sober. Before, I could at least sit and read and get drunk, but now it's just reading. I love reading, but I would rather do it at home.

I contacted someone from a tri group in the area asking about 24-hr lap pools in the city, and I got what seemed to me a curt reply, in a kind of DUHHHHH way; "Have you tried 24-hr Fitness?' Well, no, because I've never heard of them. They're not present in the UK at all as far as I can tell, and not a brand I am familiar with because WHY FUCKING WOULD I BE??

I look them up. Using the hotel's zip code, I discern there is one pretty close by. Except, contrary to its name, it is not open 24 hours a day. It's not even open seven days a fucking week. The next closest I find has a lap pool and is open 24/7; so I go in, have a cursory look round, am discussing what my needs are with a really nice lady. She says, let's go and look at the pool shall we?

We look at the lap pool. I had not realised until this point that lap pool meant a pool that could fit in your lap. It was perhaps 12 metres, when the minimum I would describe as a lap pool would be 25.

So I try the next location. It has a proper lap pool. Thank fuck. And it's open 24/7.


So anyway, my Sunday went as follows: got up, ran outside, did 5.5 miles which was way more than I thought I would manage. I went by feel, and it felt ok. But that air... Jaysus.

Did some work.

Went for a swim, about 10:15pm. Pool to myself, though many were using the steam room and sauna and dipping in the pool in between the two. Swam a mile, for the first time. It was pretty easy, though not quick. I did my usual of not pushing off the side or touching the bottom at the end of a lap, which slows me down a lot but also, I feel, increases my endurance and overall strength.

Got back to the hotel and ate lots of vegetables.

Next day, I managed half an hour on an elliptical, which was actually pretty tough. But from there, I had a lot of muscle soreness, and also the run outside seems to have hamstrung me. It was very windy in Vegas, and one of the rules of being in the desert is, if it's windy, don't fucking go outside. The amount of shit that gets thrown up into the air is incredible, and I think I ate most of it. I was barking like a dog – and still am, over a week later. The rest of the week saw no exercise, largely thanks to my schedule and partly thanks to being woken up a few times, which left me feeling a lot worse than I might otherwise have. But the main reason for not making it back to the pool? It cost me $60 in Uber fares to get there and back, and that's just fucking silly. I have since found out about a couple of places closer to my hotel, but I was sincerely hoping for more help from the local I contacted initially. We're in the same group on Facebook, and it's quite the group, with lots of positivity and advice. Except, it seems, from that person. Oh well, lesson learned.

It was shitty trip, but I must admit, a great one in terms of work.

Now I am hugely jet lagged but hopefully getting back into the swing of things tonight at the pool. And tomorrow morning with a run. And a bike fitting tomorrow afternoon.

Got to get shit in gear - race is just three months away and just gritting my teeth ain't gonna get me through it, despite being a lot fitter and stronger than I thought I was. Haven't even looked at tri suit, wetsuit or nutrition yet...