20 Mar – SWIMATHON 2016 10AM 2.5KM PART 3/3

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for – with a twist!

DISTANCE: 2,500m (two point five kilometres! KILOMETRES! distances that cars do!)

TIME: 1hr33.22 (acc. Coach Chlorine’s stopwatch, 1.34 according to a later swimathon time).

BUT!!! Coach Chlorine had been recording my split times throughout! On adding them all up, we find that the total comes to 2,600m! Yes folks! I did an extra 100m! Which brings my actual time to just under 1hr30.

After all this, I am overjoyed! My swimathon training plan (from the file name alone…) appears to be aiming for a time of 1hr30-2hrs. HOWEVER, I have consistently been slower than Jolyon Fincks times in EVERY SINGLE SESSION, with no hope of being faster without attaching a motor somewhere or getting a backie off Keri-Anne Payne. On that basis I expected I would probably be there for 2hrs, if not longer. To get one hour is amazing!

And now I have my splits time, I see that I probably averaged out 3.45 per 100m all in all. In fact, if my MATHS is correct, I averaged out 3.35!

Those split times, for your perusal!

I kind of can’t wait to do it again next year and get a better time. The ‘intermediate’ training plan suggests my splits should be 2m30! Haw haw! I still think that’s pretty unrealistic, but I’ve still got lots to work on, and I would definitely like to speed up!

IN CONCLUSION. I am delighted, and VERY thankful to Coach Chlorine for the stats, and all my cheerleaders and sponsors for their support! I am really happy, and with a big grin I can say:


(swimathon post [1]/[2]/[3])


20 Mar – SWIMATHON 2016 10AM 2.5KM PART 3/3

20 Mar – Swimathon 2016 10am 2.5km PART 2/3

… swimathon reporting back – continues!

swimathon me swimming

START! We finally head to our assigned lane and stand around shivering for a short while. An inaudible announcement is made, and the first swimmer sets off. We set off in colour order. About 30 seconds after the first swimmer sets off, the second gets in the water about to set off. But instead of 30 seconds, the klaxon for them to go off goes in about three seconds! I am next, and I am standing there with water bottle not opened, flip-flops on, goggles not ready – ARGH! I shove down the goggles as quickly as possible, flop off flip-flops and flop MYSELF into the water, as the klaxon goes off for the NEXT swimmer. No time to wait! I push off in a panic, goggles start to fill with water – sheesh, I’m thinking! SHEESH!

SWIM SWIM SWIM: I think I fix the goggles at the end of the first 50m or the first 100. The first good 500-700m (by my guess) were a bit painful. At points I felt quite unenergetic and legs a little sore. I also did a fair bit of switching to breast stroke – which I haven’t really done in my sessions now for months. However, I eased into being a bit more comfortable later.

What I didn’t realise was that each lane had people doing all sorts of different distances and relays – so I didn’t realise for a while that the people who seemed a lot fresher were so cos they only just got back – haha!

SLOW LANE REPRESENTS: I was definitely one of the slowest in my lane – perhaps not the slowest, but I did get overtaken quite a lot. Some overtakings were a bit better than others, as my feet and legs got a bit groped and splashed, but hey – although I did get a BIT grumpy at some of them, it wasn’t too bad overall. It did however distract me each time, and I lost my stroke/concentration and switched to BR for a bit.

I had been refusing to ask the volunteers for a check on my distance for a good while, and didn’t ask until my lane was a fair bit emptier. At that point, the volunteer had changed to the smiley lady who had given me the good swim cap news earlier! Hooray! When I finally think I have done enough not to ask and get a dscouraging results, the lady tells me 18 lengths to go. Somewhat brain-addled, I count on my fingers and figure out that’s 9 laps to go – 900m!!

KNOCK ‘EM OUT: 900m, I think? I get a nice happy boost at this news, and start thinking, “great! Knock them out! Bosh” Just keep going!”. I picture an odometer racketing down with each stroke as I carry on plodding along (completely inspired by my current playing of excellent game Earthbound!), and off I go! They continue getting knocked down one by one, and I manage to keep on swimming without taking much of a break at the end of each lap.

CRAMP?! amazing work on the cramp front. One moment of cramp in my right calf, which never usually cramps, but which disappeared once I switched from BR back to crawl, and then – HILARIOUSLY, in my last 15-20m! I swear that this MUST have been psychological! I stopped mid-stroke, did a few strokes of BR and then thought – no way, NO WAY, this is psychological and I will NOT limp to the end! I kicked off again, and made it to the end – and DONE! DONE! DONE!!


Results, distance, and post-swim shennangins coming up soon in post three.


(swimathon post [1]/[2]/[3])

20 Mar – Swimathon 2016 10am 2.5km PART 2/3

20 Mar – SWIMATHON 2016, 10am, 2.5km PT 1/3

I did it!!

swimathon me swimming

That’s me!

This was so exciting, I don’t even know where to begin my reporting back. What I had for breakfast? How grateful I am to my team of cheerleaders, who heroically turned up early to cheer me on? Special thanks to Coach Chlorine who went above and beyond, even beyond horrible illness to record my split times? How the swim felt? Should I begin or end with the surprise TWIST?

Overall, I am really happy and pleased with myself. The months of practice paid off, and I made it! My concerns about the distance being too long faded, I didn’t get particularly bored and I am kind of already looking forward to next years. I have splits and times to BEAT!

BREAKFAST: up at 7am. Wholemeal bagel w/ olive spread,  and a hard boiled egg (boiled previous night). Packet of crisps and a cup of tea and then a banana on my way out of the house at 8.25. I don’t usually eat much breakfast at all, so I felt like I never wanted to ea anything ever again!

ON MY WAY: I met Coach Chlorine on the train to the Aquatics Centre, who HEROICALLY turned up despite being full of cold. I was really happy and grateful! Arrived at the Aquatics Centre and met more cheerleaders who had had such a hassle getting there. Got in the queue, met another cheerleader (WOW!) and picked up my Swimathon hat and was told my assigned lane.

LET ME IN THE POOL! My wonderful cheerleaders went to the seats and settled down, and I headed off to the changing village and got changed as per any old swim. I try to put the swimathon hat on – ouch! It’s tiny!! I feel the pressure on my head already, and ask a swimathon team member if I can wear Old Faithful TYR Cap instead. Thank goodness she grins “no problem” at me, and then turns to the next girl, who is ALSO having problems getting her green cap over her head.

I then head to register, and get a series of disapproving volunteers going “that’s not your swimathon cap”, and I continue to explain that the hat wouldn’t fit over my head/hair. This is a bit of a white lie, as I COULD cram it on but I knew it would HURT after a short while of time, and I had no idea how long 2.5km would take me! Thank goodness, I informed the volunteer in charge of my lane (who looked pretty grumpy at me) who made a note.

Then, alas, the summons to head to the diving pool for the cringey charity warm-up. I have had to do these for running events, but felt a particular pillock doing the same thing in the raised diving pool. I skipped a few exercises and stretched out my foot as much as I could, whilst feeling the Biggest. Pillock. Ever.

FINALLY! They let us line up by the Competition Pool. But I think this post is already quite long, so I will continue this in part 2.


(swimathon post [1]/[2]/[3])


20 Mar – SWIMATHON 2016, 10am, 2.5km PT 1/3

my swim kit

I have packed my bag all ready for swimathon. But what is IN my bag? What have I been lugging around since I started this fascinating blog? You have been demanding it*, so here it is!

swim kit

  • Towel: Lifeventure Trek GIANT Microfibre towel. I am such a fan of these – they go into a tiny pack (even when you are terrible at folding, as aptly demonstrated), and they dry ridiculously quickly. Great for any travel, not just swimming. Towel Tech 4TW!
  • Swim cap: TYR swim cap for long hair. (I hope they allow me to wear it – the swimathon caps have been reported as being on the small side, as I witnessed myself on Friday!)
  • Flip-flops: from somewhere. Goodness knows. Flip-flops are so hard to walk in! I must find an alternative. Slippers?
  • Pull buoy I LOVE YOU. Pull buoy isn’t actually coming, but is spiritually part of my team.
  • Leave in conditioner: Boots Sun Swim and Gym. Helps to detangle a little when combing, but doesn’t leave hair feeling particularly conditioned or soft afterwards, but better than nothing.
  • Deodorant: Mitchum fragrance-less. Smelly deodorants in changing rooms = ANTI-SOCIAL.
  • Shower gel: L’Occitante Cherry Blossom – a free sample I was given. CHERRY BLOSSOM!! I am the MATSUOKA Rin! The scent of the cherry blossom is COMPLETELY knocked out by the chlorine though, sorry Rin!
  • Goggles: Speedo Aquapure women’s goggles. These have been the best swimming purchase ever made. Previous goggles had to be on so tight in order not to leak that swimming came with agonising headaches after 20mins. These are a delight ❤
  • Towel turban thing. I am only posting this to SHAME me into getting a new one as this is years old and GROSS. Like this, I guess? I don’t think I have ever even seen them in a shop.
  • Mini hairbrush. It’s a small hairbrush.
  • Just out of sight – 70 hair bobbles. I bought in bulk. The risk of getting to the pool and not having a hair bobble is too much.
  • GOLF BALL! This isn’t coming with me, but like the pull buoy it will be with me in spirit. For rolling under foot. Wish I got one months ago.
  • And finally… the swimming costume aka “the Slaz”. Like this one, I think, but from ebay.

Last but not least: here is the WONDER WIDGET, aka the Speedo Shine. I have to admit this is a somewhat guilty splurge purchase, but what the heck! Treat yo’self.

wonder widget

Annoyingly, whilst the Misfit app is fine for syncing, I gather there is a Speedo app that MAY be good? But it’s iOS only! For fvcks sake!! What apps are iOS only these days. Apps for cockfarmers, that’s what. Yes, you heard me Speedo! Sort it out! And also please never stop making those goggles I linked to above they are the best OK OK pax pax.

*No you haven’t.
my swim kit

17 mar – LAST SWIM


TIME: 32mins

Did that distance/time impress you? Well no, me neither, but this is the first time I bring you my time “powered by Speedo”! Yes, this is reported directly from my Wonder Widget! Of course, it doesn’t factor in a bit of ‘chatting time’ (as I was swimming w/ fellow swim crew member and obtained some vital Swimathon swim-cap info) so without chat time I suspect a few minutes would have been knocked off.

I was actually intending to do 750m – and in fact, thought I did! But Speedo says no, so now I am a tad worried I have been under-counting during my entire ‘training’. But if so, it shouldn’t be significant enough to make any difference. And what can I do at this stage anyway?

This swim was fine, no cramp reported! I had a couple of laps where I actually felt quite good – i.e strokes felt even and comfortable, and I may even have thought I was ‘swimming tall’, as all the youtube triathletes say. But on the other hand, there were a few moments where I felt I flailed and rolled about a bit. However, switching the side I breathe on, or doing the ‘superPERSON’ float for a bit seems to get me back on a more even keel. Apart from the odd stop to talk to my friend, I didn’t hang around at the end of the pool too much either. All cautious good signs, I think!

I clambered out of the pool thinking “job done”, and proceeded to wander around to find a post-swim curry.

As it turns out, I hadn’t stopped Wonder Widget from recording swimming, so it then proceeded to tell me I had swum (presumably in a straight line) for 23 minutes, when in fact it turns out that’s how long we spent trying to find a curry house w/o a 1hr10min queue (hi Dishoom, you are fine but not THAT FINE). Still not quite got the hang of it, but hopefully it will be able to reflect 2.5km on Sunday – tomorrow!

Argh! Argh! Yikes! Argh! Wish me luck!



17 mar – LAST SWIM

15 mar – moderate activity


TIME: 35 mins (ETA – this might actually be off. Time is according to the wonder widget, BUT according to my memory of getting into the pool at 20 past and exiting at 20 to – can probably give or take 5 mins that side, I wonder if wonder widget was counting e.g my walk to and from the pool, shower, faff with lockers etc?).

Aw man! I was all excited for my first post after a week’s rest due to ladies issues, because I have a new wonder widget* that is meant to count my laps and times!

Alas, the ahem “sleek modern design” meant that I didn’t remember how to track properly, and didn’t set up the lap tracking. Accordingly, it thinks I have done 35mins of ‘moderate activity’ and burnt 43 calories; and then my 22 min walk back to the office was “swimming” and burnt 348 calories! Oh well!


Today’s swim was alright – the pool was really busy for some reason. Busiest I’ve seen it in a while, and spent a few laps in a swim-jam. I’m pleased that I didn’t really stop to rest during the swim for more than a few seconds at each end so it was quite continuous.

During the last lap some guy swam into me – to be fair, I’d had to stop abruptly as I thought *I* had seen someone in front of me too, (but it was an enthusiastic breast-stroker in the medium lane), then swam into me AGAIN trying to over take me, THEN kicked in MY way because we were basically going at the same speed – grah! Be glad it was my last lap, fellow….

ONE MORE SWIM before swimathon… I hope to bring you better stats for that session. Triple tap! Triple tap! And then… argh! Event. Argh. I shall do a pre-swim #feelings post as well. So hold on to your kickboards…

*I’ll do a proper post about it soon, not being coy, just busy…

15 mar – moderate activity

bad news for cramping swimmers :(

I asked swimathon for clarification as to whether I could get out of the pool if cramp struck, and the answer is… NO!

Unfortunately, the rules state that individuals are only able to enter and exit the pool once and this applies to the actual swimming pool. However if there is a medical reason on event day, it will be possible for you to exit the pool and then get back in and continue your challenge.”

Even though the cramp has reduced me to tears (notably this happened when I tried to ‘swim it off’ at the Aquatics Centre) I still doubt it counts a a ‘medical reason’.

I shall try to google ways to get rid of cramp whilst staying in the water. Initial results had indicated “there aren’t any”. ARGH! Even when I get leg/foot cramp in the night, I have to get up and stand on it for it to go away. I suspect it will be even worse in the pool. Even if it’s not agonising and I can somehow cling on to a side somewhere, it will likely take a while to recover and I will be in the way…

OH SHI-. I stand a very real chance of failing, don’t I?

On the other hand – my pack of GOLF BALLS arrived yesterday and I gave them a good roll with my feet, so maybe that will help…

bad news for cramping swimmers :(