Sunday, 22 May 2011

Survival of the hardiest

Guess what? This post is not about the latest triathlon.

Fortunately - or not, depending on your level of sado-masochistic tendencies - I had a Saturday off training.
Yee hah! No early bike ride round Richmond Park, not bridges run, no open water swim. Not even so much as a stretch and flex.

Nup. Because on Friday night I was partaking in this. If you think I am being too harsh, I'll have you know that even the School Manager 'liked' my link to the blog post on Facebook, so I must have hit a note that was common with some of the other parents.

Anyway. The School Camping Night. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. All you need is a tent and a sleeping bag, right? Right? The one OH and I used for many 'away' rowing regattas should be fine, yes?

Okay, one two-man tent up and ready

That is, until I saw the neighbours.

Three bedrooms, en-suite, kitchenette and wine cellar

Four bedrooms, two en-suite, granny flat annexe and double garage

Right. Things did not get better when the seventh person looked at my midget tent and asked me where I was sleeping. My reply, "With the kids," was met with gales of laughter. Repeatedly.
And this was before the wine ran out.
When it finally came to bedtime, I started to question my own wisdom. Or lack of it.

Budge up kids, you are taking up valuable space

Even BB trumped me here, managing to bag two tents for the night: one for her and hubby, one for their twins. Not bad, considering it was her first time camping ever (and she forgot to source sleeping bags).

So, final result, as per early morning tweet.

To make me feel better, I did this to BB's very expensive bike (which was still in my garage following last weekend's triathlon) when I got home and sent her a photo.

I love eBay
Amazingly she is still talking to me. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Joining in again - the Gallery week 59

It has been ages since I took part in Her Maj's Gallery session, in fact I just checked and the last time was in November last year. Slight lapse and a little thing called work that got in the way, you know how it is.

Anyway, it was the theme that got me in the end. This week it is: moustachioed.

How much sillier could it be? Hmmm... I wonder...

Yes, I really am in the office during working hours


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Even more random conversations with my training partner(s)

Collecting the kids from after school club.
LCM (looking very pleased with herself) - "I've just been for a bridges run!"
BB - "How far?"
LCM - "Usual, 5km..."
BB - "I did a training session today with Pro Athlete."
LCM - "Oh? Really? What did you do?"
BB (taking deep breath) - "One lap of Richmond Park_"
LCM - "That's it?"
BB (continuing and rolling eyes) - "_ to warm up, which was equivalent to our 'fast' pace, then 'brick' sessions which consisted of half lap sprints up the hill, back down, with four runs of 2.5km in between each one."
LCM (totally deflated) - "I think I might need to 'up' my training schedule..."

At early morning open water swim venue.
BB (pulling on wetsuit effortlessly) - "I need to buy some socks."
LCM (having another wrestling match with the PVC) - "Socks? To wear with your wetsuit?"
BB (tutting) - "Noooooo. Neoprene socks."
Walks off and returns with purchased socks and puts them on.
LCM - "Hmmm. Yep. Nice. Not quite a fashion statement, but..."
BB - "They will keep my feet warm."
LCM - "Not when they're wet."

By text.
LCM - Just picked up brand spanking new wetsuit plus loads of other goodies thrown in. Am more excited about this than the race on Sunday.
BB - :-) Want to see all!
LCM - Very tempted to put it on in the office and see if anyone notices.
BB - Go for it!
LCM - Missing my vintage swim cap for full effect.
BB - Hee hee, you might not need wetsuit after all...

The next day BB sees this.
With my new best friend - Jim
BB - You did not!
LCM - Oh yes, I did!

Open water swimming with WW, spotting a female in some distress with two others by the first buoy.
WW - "Do you think she is okay?"
LCM - "No idea. Maybe they are practising a rescue routine?"
WW - "Maybe she is in trouble?"
LCM (contemplating the 800m course ahead) - "Should we help?"
WW - "I'd be no use. I'd probably end up being rescued as well."
LCM - "Good point. Shall we swim?"
WW - "I still might need rescuing..."

On the phone.
BB - "Where are you on July 30th?"
LCM - "On a plane returning to the UK."
BB (sounding disappointed) - "Oh."
LCM - "Okay, okay. What triathlon are you looking at now?"
BB - "London triathlon?"
LCM (groans) - "No, definitely not here."
BB (all perky) - "How about the Hyde Park triathlon on August 6th? I have put my name on the waiting list!"
LCM - "Isn't that where you have to swim in the Serpentine?"
BB - "Yep."
LCM - "Absolutely no bloody way! I am not swimming through goose shit."
BB - "Oh, com'on! Your neighbour did it last year, he enjoyed it!"
LCM - "He also said a snorkel would have been a good idea."
BB (sound of sulking down the phone line)
LCM (sighing) - "I'll ask WW when I see her. She might be game to join you."

Later that week.
LCM - "BB wants to know if you will do the Hyde Park triathlon with her?"
WW - "Isn't that the one where you swim in the Serpentine?"
LCM - "Yup. What I said too."
WW (glares at LCM)
LCM - "Okay, I'll tell her that's a 'no' then."

p.s. And just in case you think I am making these up, I have offered BB a 'right of reply', but she is too busy training to take up this challenge. So far. When she has whipped my arse (again) at the next race, I am sure she will find the time.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Revenge of the killer wetsuit

It was all arranged with the very best of intentions.

I even had a dry run to practice. Literally.

Marooned on her raised flowerbed, LCM seeks to swim
her way back to the bath tub

In light of upcoming events, including the 'taster' session in a couple of weeks' time, it seemed only wise to get in some proper open water swimming practice. I mean, you don't want to show yourself up on the day, do you, and have the rescue launch coming out along with all the race marshals and paramedics and priests reading the last rites to haul you out of Dorney Lake whilst friends and family look on aghast preoccupied distracted by the lycra-clad athletes?

No, I thought not.

So I squeeeeeeeezed into Geordie Girlfriend's wetsuit once more. Think this is easy? Think again. BB had said the day before that she needed to lose weight fast to get back in to hers, and then proceeded to eat an entire bowl of baby roasted potatoes. The fact that she managed to pull her wetsuit on in about two minutes flat the morning of the open water swim tells me that she is either lying (unless she swapped it for a bigger size when I wasn't looking) or had coated herself in Vaseline.

I did spot this lippy stuff ominously close to where she was getting suited up,

so I guess possibly a case of the latter. Either way, impressive stuff. Whilst she was ready to rock'n'roll, I was still at a standstill with one leg half in, a tangle of black rubber round my ankles and rapidly losing the will to fight with the PVC. Visions of spray-on wetsuits were crossing my mind.

The Wine Writer had managed to get lost en route to the venue, but after half a dozen panicked phone calls eventually found us. We thought the huge red flags at the side of the road that has nothing else of note nearby (aside from the slightly obvious lake on your right) might have helped. ("Where? Where? I can't see them...", "Red flags, big ones, flapping...")

We are considering getting her a pair of glasses. She might have already been wearing her swimming goggles due to her tardy arrival, hence the distorted vision. However we were so glad to see her, I failed to notice.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes, the open water swim.

It went something like this (I have compiled a photo montage for you, so you can judge for yourselves):

WW - What's that?
BB - A swim cap.
WW - Really? Where do you put it?
I see we are not the only nutters in the water at this hour
LCM - Yay! Let's go girls!
BB & WW - This is all her idea

And then the post-event roll call.

WW - I survived
BB - I survived
LCM - I survived but my face is frozen and I am having an

exceptionally bad hair day already

Of course, one trusty blogger friend was most concerned:

Actually, I lie. The wetsuit won. It's back to Geordie Girlfriend now for my rubber ex-mate. Strangulation mid lap in a lake where you cannot touch the bottom is not really that much fun. Especially when you have to compete with the likes of BB (already racing with the pros round the 750m course) and WW (storming ahead despite only learning front crawl two months ago).
Geez, friends, eh? Who needs them? Of course they thought the whole wetsuit saga hysterical. Tsk.

Fortunately the venue had other beauties to hand for those who needed to swap PVC. I thought of trading in my training partners as well but then remembered BB had the keys to the car.

I have my eye on something else now. Very sleek. I might even have to change my avatar.

Loverly jubberly and strangulation-free

And so to the obvious question: are we doing it again?

You betcha.


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