Week in Review – dragging myself to the pool

Swimming is my best time for thinking up blog posts. There’s not much else to concentrate on other than the monotonous repetition of elbow high, catch, rotate, breathe, keep staring at the bottom of the pool, how many lengths is that now? Obviously I completely forget everything I was thinking about writing as soon as I’m out of the pool……..

Work gave me a task on Friday which meant I didn’t have to go into the office but instead had to do a lot of driving around London. As a result I had more time to myself in the morning than usual. Here are my thought processes over the last few days:

Friday 7am – alarm goes off, time to swim. I don’t want to, I’m tired, I’m not sure how much time I have this morning, I really don’t want to get out of bed. I’ll do it later in the morning.

Friday 11am – I really have to swim now if I’m going to have time to do it, but what am I going to do in the pool? My legs are tired so anything involving kicking won’t work. Hmmmm I need to hang the washing out. And read this magazine… About Tri training. Oh. Now it’s too late to swim. Damn, I really wanted to go swimming!

Saturday 8am – time to get up for park run. My mouth feels a bit dry from that white wine last night. I’m a little bit tired. Oh well, out of bed….. It’s really grey and windy. I just don’t want to run. I don’t need to. This is meant to be fun. No one can make me do it. I’m going back to bed to read about training instead.

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All of Saturday afternoon – I really should go for a swim. I’ll go in a minute. The latest I can possibly leave the house if I’m going to have time is 5.30pm. Oh it’s pouring with rain. I don’t want to get soaked on my way to…. Swim….. Now I’m just being pathetic. I should go. But it’s raining so hard. It’s 5.40pm… Is there time? GO SWIMMING ALICE.

So I went swimming. For half an hour. My aim had been to time myself for a non-stop 1500m – a test at the beginning of the offseason that I could then repeat later on. Annoyingly I didn’t leave myself enough time for that so the test turned into how far I could swim in 30 minutes. 1350m it turned out – just 150m shy of the 1500m.

I think it’s quite a good swim session to do when you don’t have time, when either you’re really busy, or really lazy (like me). It’s hard mentally. I spent most of the session making excuses up as to why I should stop earlier. But while my mind was thinking of those excuses, my arms and legs were powering me through the water and occasionally I managed to bring my thoughts back to my technique. More work to be done……

The week itself involved a not-too-embarrassing amount of exercise (almost 5 and a half hours) & a whole load of socialising.

Monday was a hill session on the gym bike, Tuesday was post-work strength training, Wednesday morning some more strength training, a short run to work on Thursday, the above swim on Saturday and a 18 mile cycle on Sunday.

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The cycle was with a family friend who’s a very good cyclist. He cycled beside me the whole way at about my top speed, chatting the whole way without ever sounding out of breath as I gasped out my answers trying desperately to sound nonchalant!

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James went off to Chicago on Wednesday for a philosophy conference but luckily I ended up without a moment to get lonely. Lambeth fireworks on Wednesday night at Brockwell Park were wonderful, a huge bonfire, cups of hot cider & brilliant fireworks.

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IMG_5115Then I went out for dinner on Thursday with my dad and his wife to Baku, an Azerbaijani restaurant in Chelsea. The food was delicious, especially Shah Plov – a dish of meat and rice in a pastry-type case.

Drinks & chocolate cake at a friend’s house on Friday night, and then on Saturday we went to the Joint in Brixton for huge pulled pork burgers (review in this post), then onto Shrub & Shutter for cocktails (full review here). A word of warning – don’t pick the cocktail involving chicken stock & chicken skin! It was good for my cold as it was quite spicy but not particularly tasty……..

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And then I spent Sunday afternoon playing with a toddler and chatting to her parents. A lovely way to round off a weekend!

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