Wednesday, 26 January 2011

End of January

I have been swimming twice per week throughout the month of January and have just completed my longest distance since I started swimming again in October; 56 lengths, which is 1.4k and this was in 40 minutes, doing mostly breaststroke. It felt good actually, I was really 'feeling' the water and feeling strong and stream-lined. I have been working on my breaststroke and really reaching into it and stream-lining myself during the underwater pull.

I have also entered Swimathon, after a nudge from an on-line friend. It is a national event, taking place in April, where you pledge to swim either 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k for charity. I have entered the 2.5k which is 100 lengths, and I am feeling a little nervous about the distance at the moment, although there IS 10 weeks until it takes place. No wetsuits required for this so if I can do this, I can definitely do the lesser distance needed to complete the Great North Swim (even if taking into account currents, going off-course and wetsuit buoyancy!)

So, I have a goal for the Spring!

It has meant NOT entering the Ride It cycling event taking place in Leeds because the dates clash, but I think this is the right decision.... 30 miles on a bike by mid-April seems very daunting because I simply am no putting in the miles on my bike yet. Plenty of time for bike riding in the warmer months, though I managed 10 miles on my MTB last Sunday.

Miles on bike so far in 2011: 16 miles
Swimming lengths (25m): 250 lengths.
Zumba (hours spent dancing): 5 hours.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Great North Swim (and the Aquatics Centre. Oh and Zumba too....)

What an exciting week!

Oh Tuesday I went to a new exercise class called Zumba, which in case you hadn't heard, given it's 'latest craze' status.. is a dance/aerobics class inspired by Latin dance moves with a modern/street dance twist. Or something. Anyway, it was full of energy, great fun and a really good workout. I enjoyed it so much I have been twice this week, and I intend to keep going frequently until the weather/daylight hours allow me to cycle more....

On Wednesday, I decided to try a new venue for swimming (and miss my Pilates class.. I am started to feel irritated by the instructor!) so I went to the John Charles Centre for Sport, AKA the Aquatics Centre in the city centre. I was absolutely over-awed by it. In fact I was rather put off from my goal of 40 lengths, because I was so fascinated by everything else going on.

The pool is Olympic size and then has a separate diving area and shallow pool. The pool can be separated off by a moving wall and a false floor, to make it shorter, shallower et al, so different people and clubs can use the pool at the same time. The Leeds Swimming Club were training that night and that in itself was exciting for me, being a former junior club swimmer... brought back happy memories! At the other end there was a diving club doing some spectacular diving. The section I was in was divided into lanes for swimmers to swim 25m lengths, and in fact this was pretty interesting as you were swimming the width of the pool which happened to be 25m across which gives you an idea of the scale of the place. It was also full of club swimmers, coaches, and the occasional gob-smacked person (ie me!) and the atmosphere was absolutely fabulous - nothing like the local leisure centre pool! I plan to make regular trips there from now on, it truly was an inspiring place, full of inspirational swimmers.

And then... I got an email to say the registration process has opened for the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere! I ummed and aaaahed all day about whether I will be ready as it is earlier than I thought and will take place on the 18th June. There is the option to swim half a mile, rather than the mile, but I was brave and entered the 1 mile wave at 11am on Sunday 18th June. Eeek! Feeling a bit scared now in fact. Been planning to do this since last October, and now it will become a reality. Dylan has also entered today so at least he will be there jumping in with me and support me (then no doubt leave me behind!). So I WILL BE SWIMMING IN THE GREAT NORTH SWIM THIS YEAR!!!

On the bike front, I am considering entering a 'Ride It!' event as organised by Evans Cycles, which is similar to the Lake District ride I did last year. There is one held locally, in Leeds in the middle of April and there is again the option of a 30 mile distance. Hoping to make a decision on this in the next few weeks.....

And Dylan's Build a Tri-Bike project is coming along nicely, I will update with some pictures soon.

Miles on bike so far in 2011: 6
Swimming lengths (25m): 106

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Hello my old friend....

1st January 2011. I have reunited myself with my MTB after a two month absence. I shunned the new shiny road bike for my old friend, as it was wet and muddy outside. And it felt NICE!

I only did 6 miles, but after a big but short term weight gain, and no exercise for a while, I was pleased with my fitness level. My legs struggled with the up hills, but my lungs felt fit and healthy and I think my cardiovascular fitness levels are actually OK and haven't diminished too much. So just a matter of getting strong again.

My toes were very very cold though. It was about 6 degrees out, so not freezing, yet my toes really felt it. I also didn't feel the benefit of the water in my bottle as that felt really cold.. not used to chilled water, didn't like it much!

So now I think the plan is to go out on my MTB until I feel a little stronger, and then switch to the road bike once the weather is warmer and I am ready to tackle avoiding the potholes (and hell there is a lot of them after the snow!) and getting used to the different riding position.

While I was out today I vaguely thought about giving myself a '100 mile' goal. For example, ride 100 miles by end February, end March? Think I need to think about it a little harder before I commit! Back at work on Tuesday so I have very little time to go out in daylight hours... need to be realistic.

I am starting 'Twelve Diets for Twelve Months' on Monday (made up by yours truly!)... where I will follow a particular diet discipline for the month, in an aim to focus on what I eat, hopefully helping me get fitter and stronger. This month, I will be kickstarting the New Year by calorie counting, so anything goes but no more than 1200-1400 calories per day.

I will blog more about this as I unravel the idea a bit more in my head.....

Miles on bike so far in 2011: 6
Swimming lengths (25m): 0