Why do I keep entering crazy events?

15 Jun

I’ve had such a busy weekend that I’ve not had enough time to even take photos!

I asked Coach Ant whether I could swap my planned sessions for this weekend, as I’ve not been able to catch up with many friends recently. He agreed, so I was able to do my ‘long’ run on Saturday morning. I call it ‘long’ as it’s significantly shorter than I’m used to. I was meant to do 60-70 minutes at 6:12-7:08/km, which feels incredibly slow, but I’m sure it must be doing me some good. I got up a bit late, so had to drive to parkrun, and didn’t really fit in as much running as I had planned to beforehand as I was so busy chatting to people who I hadn’t seen for a while. I was hoping to run with Kim, but she had volunteered to be a tail runner. I then saw Teri and Kate, so I had a bit of a catch up with them. I assumed that they would be whizzing off, but they agreed to run at my pace. We started out quite well, but I ended up averaging 6:06/km for parkrun, which was faster than I was meant to do, so I guess I’ll get a slapped wrist from Coach. I then went off for a lazy jog after the run, but I haven’t really got my pacing figured out and ended up going really slowly and having to keep reminding myself that I needed to move faster than elderly people walking!

Today’s training was a 3 hour bike ride ‘however feels comfortable’. I agreed to meet with Roelie at 5pm, and also received a message from Pete asking whether he could come along. He’s a lovely guy and I haven’t seen him much recently (he’s a butcher who had a horrible accident with a mincing machine, meaning that he’s not been allowed to train for a couple of months!), so it was nice to have him along. We managed to cycle just over 61km in 3:04, so the route that Roelie had planned was perfect. I’m also regaining some of my confidence when it comes to hills – my best pace today was 48.1km/h, which would have been unheard of a couple of weeks ago, although I think it will take me a long time to get back to my best ever pace of over 70km/h.

I’ve also started to think about what’s coming up next weekend. I’ve entered Big Cove Swim, which is on Sunday morning. It’s a 1.5 mile sea swim. I’m terrified. I have swum in the sea before, but I’m not very experienced. I swam in Portugal, in a very safe cove and did a harbour swim in Cornwall, but that’s my only experience of sea swimming. I’ve also realised that 2000m is the furthest I’ve swum (1.24 miles), so I’ve perhaps been a bit foolish in entering an event that is further than I’ve ever swum before in conditions that I’m not used to. Does anyone have any tips for me?!

What did you do this weekend? How flexible is your training schedule? Do you analyse your stats after training? Do you have any tips for sea swimming?

7 Responses to “Why do I keep entering crazy events?”

  1. cherylpalen 16/06/2014 at 12:43 am #

    The only thing I would suggest for ocean training is swimming “heads up” to sight….I can’t remember how many times and for how long I had to do this to (1.) get used to putting my forehead in the cold water and (2.)having to site because of waves and chop. It’s a completely different (and hard) stroke-lifeguard stroke-and changes your whole body in the water thing…
    Good for you for going to the next step! You will feel so alive after you complete this! Good luck!

    • tamsynsmith 16/06/2014 at 8:47 am #

      Thanks, Cheryl. My sighting isn’t too bad in a lake, but I’ve never really had to deal with waves… I’m hoping everyone else’s sighting will be brilliant as I’ll be at the back of the pack and trying to draft others. I’ve not done much open water swimming so far this year because of my shoulder injury, so I’ve not had my neoprene hat out, but I’m thinking that I’ll need it. Right now, the sea temperature is 14°C / 57°F, which is the same as the air temperature… and a little bit chilly for my liking!

  2. Martha B 16/06/2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Your weekend sounds so fun and full of fitness! Excellent run and ride.
    I can’t even start to wrap my brain around open water swimming, to me that is an intense feat. I look forward to reading all about it!

    • tamsynsmith 18/06/2014 at 8:21 am #

      Thank you. I’m happy swimming in a lake, but am still nervous about what I’ve got to do this weekend. I’m even more terrified as I’ve found out that it’s a tiny event with only 12-25 entrants. I’m likely to be the last one out of the water!

      • Martha B 18/06/2014 at 5:10 pm #

        You maybe surprised. I have ran tiny races like that before, and it’s a huge adrenaline rush fighting to not be in last place 🙂

  3. rosemarybyde 16/06/2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Sea swimming tips: don’t panic, don’t swallow too much water! I love sea swimming as waves can be so much fun. If you relax and go with it you’ll keep making progress. You might need to adjust your breathing pattern. For example, if you are swimming across the waves (rather than straight into them) you’re less likely to get a mouthful of water if you breathe only towards the beach. You might find you need to sight more as well, as sometimes you pop your head up and all you see is a wave! Even ones that look small on the beach can have that effect when your eyes are at water level 🙂 If you’ve done plenty of open water swimming even in the past and in lakes, you’ll be used to the cold!

    • tamsynsmith 18/06/2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thank you. Luckily, I’m quite happy breathing to either side and I’ve been practising breathing every 4 strokes (unlike my usual every 5), in the hope that this will help me to cope with waves. I’m hoping that the cold will spur me on to swim faster, so that I warm up and finish faster!

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