Friday 29th November 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Tool – ‘Ænima’ (on the way to the pool and back)

50m warm-up (freestyle)

40x25m 18:22 (freestyle) (PB/PR)

25m warm-down (freestyle)

I got home from work feeling pretty tired and stressed out about myriad things racing around in my mind. My left calf was feeling particularly troublesome after yesterday’s run so I thought I’d head to the pool to take my mind off things instead of going out for a run.

On arrival at the pool I saw that Lanes 1 and 2 were occupied by slower, older swimmers doing varying strokes whilst Lanes 3 and 4 (usually the fast lanes) were occupied by an unofficial triathlon team swim session. I watched those guys for a while doing their intermediate paced 50m intervals and I was impressed with their organisation! I thought a while about jumping in and joining but in the end looked over to Lanes 5 and 6 which are usually occupied by splishers, splashers and walkers – they were empty so I took the opportunity to immediately put down a fast 50m warm-up in Lane 6 thus claiming it as mine own for the rest of my session! It turns out I didn’t really need to do this because for the next 20 to 25 minutes not one person decided to swim in Lanes 5 or 6 which was a pleasant surprise and, I believe, helped me to achieve a 26 second personal best out of the blue. With nobody getting in my way and a triathlon training session taking place two lanes over my pace was solid and uninterrupted and at times my competitiveness led me to chasing the triathlon guys in the middle lanes.

By the time I kicked off on lap 39 I could feel my calf muscles were tingling a little from the previous 38 kick off and I wondered how long it might before I was visited by some cramps. Thankfully not on the kick off at lap 40! My stress and tiredness disappeared the moment I check my watch after touching in and pressing stop, I was very surprised with what I saw but obviously very happy. I walked up my lane for about ten metres and then back again about three or four times and then massaged both of my calf muscles underwater before setting off on my usual 100m warm-down. Unfortunately, as I kicked off to begin lap 2 of my warm down both of my calf muscles cramped up and I pretty much sank! I limped, hopped and semi-swam back down the pool and began to massage them again – after five minutes or so the worst of it had passed and I climbed out of the pool heading towards the sauna.

I spent a peaceful 35 minutes in the sauna with not a soul to be seen – it seemed everybody wanted to be in the steam room today! I drank a litre of water, carefully massaged my legs and then headed to aforementioned steam room for ten minutes. It was very busy in there but I found a spot and then realised the triathlon team from the pool were hanging out and chatting about training and racing so I joined in. It was good to be surrounded by like minded people who were really positive about my marathon and ultra ambitions over the next few weeks – it was good to receive a bit of an unexpected pep talk and brightened my view of my undertaking considerably! Yes, I’m tired and uncomfortable a lot of the time at the moment but it will all be worth it in the end – I’ve set out to achieve something and I’m almost there – it would be ridiculous to throw in the towel and give in to tiredness and negativity at this point. After all, it’s not long until taper time!

Peace Out x

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