Wednesday, 4 November 2009

3 miles, 2 stags and a lake

Another lunchtime run today. I was out for 30 minutes, which I guess is about 3 or 3.5 miles. It's building up slowly after my start-of-autumn blues.

There were two big stags with full pointy antlers in the middle of the path. When I was in Scotland I was really pleased to see red deer from about half a mile away through binoculars. Today I had to run round them in the path and was less pleased to see them.

This disparity is because they are not wild and are kept in Tatton Park just like the sheep are. This makes me think they're less good to see, which is a bit weird. Surely they should either be nice to see or not. It's funny how perceptions can play with our sense of aesthetics to such an extent.

I've just noticed, I'd added the lake in the title. This was a poor attempt to make a 4 weddings and a funeral style title. There was actually no reason to include it other than I also ran past the lake.

Note to self: Run with camera. Stags would be great for blog photos.

P.S. Mrs Noel has just suggested I plan future runs (and blog entries about them) around other film titles. I'll have a go...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Yet more swimming revelations

After my 'pretend to be superman' revelation a few months ago, I've been doing very little swimming. This has mainly been due to running a lot, but I haven't got that excuse any more. So... back to the pool for me.

I went once last week and was mainly rubbish, then I went yesterday. One thing I notice when swimming is that I get very bad trapped wind for a few hours after swimming. At first I thought this was probably a reaction to using muscles I wasn't used to. However, after a bit of trawling through swimming forums for similar complaints, I'm convinced it's because I'm overbreathing. Instead of just taking in enough air on every third stroke, I am gulping down to much air too quickly. It can't all go into my lungs, so the excess goes into my stomach. Hence trapped wind.

Yesterday I remembered something my total immersion swimming instructor said: "If you breath out enough, you won't need to worry about breathing in, it will just happen." So I tried this, and it worked. Instead of going huh [breathe out] arrrrhh [breath in] every time I stick my face out of the water. I now just go [huh] and forget about breathing in. Obviously, I must be breathing in enough, since I don't go blue and sink to the bottom and die. I also get less tired, which is great.

Having said that, you must be reading this and imagining me like some sort of half-decent swimmer. Just to put it into perspective, there was a lady in the lane next to me doing bad front crawl (even I could tell this). Her arms were dragging the water while they were coming over, and her stroke length was quite short. Despite this, she kept going and looked like she was doing a lot of lengths over the lunchtime period. On one of my lengths (in a set of 8) we were swimming next to each other and it became clear she was faster than I was.

I think I need a few more revelations, and a lot more hard work before I can pretend to be a proper swimmer. I'm idly thinking about an olympic distance triathlon next year, so that can be my training goal. Luckily, I can only get better.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Driving rain - but fun

"...and now the weather. It'll be very wet and windy, especially in the morning around Wincle". Forewarned in forearmed, so I put on all my warm running kit (including my new Aldi leggings, which are great) and set off with the dog.

Max, the dog, is getting old, so is pretty stiff most of the time, and doesn't normally want to come running with me. However, when he gets too stiff, we give him some magic dog drugs, and he turns into a young dog again. He's just been dosed up so should have been raring to go. But he's not stupid and he could see it was horrible weather. He was doing his best to hide from me.

I eventually got him out of the house and ran to Danebridge via Hangingstone. It was great to be out running as long as I kept going. I think it was about 6 miles and about 1000 feet. The long bath when I got home felt like heaven, and to quote that Blur song [add cockney accent] "then I'm happy for the rest of the day".