A day at the beach

madcowI’m trying to fill you in on the last three months of the Binge Swimmer’s life as I am acutely aware there’s been a Binge Blog Vacuum. Being a lazy cow the easiest way is to just use  my old copy from the Swimming Times column, hence the odd reference to my (long suffering) editor and “last month” and column.  Is this a case of “life imitating art?” Anyway here’s the 3rd and final instalment in Binge’s catch up. Including a side trip to Blenheim, Aberdeen and South Shields.

IMG_2004A mere 38 days to the start of the World Masters Championships and June witnessed a bit of a dip on the training front as I flogged my way through a rather meagre 40,300 metres.

Most of that total was in a rather desperate splurge during the final week. The beginning of June was seriously affected by a trip to Blenheim Palace to provide support for husband who had signed up to be a weekend warrior at the Blenheim triathlon.

For anyone who knows him, “Warrior” is not a noun you would readily ascribe to my other half, but for the uninitiated, in this context it means starting your first triathlon at an in feasibly early hour, and then once you’ve finished that you just drag on the wetsuit, jump in the lake and repeat the whole process again and again and then come back the following day and do it again. Yes I agree totally bonkers, but it did mark the launch of Binge’s fledgling TV career!

IMG_1979Waiting in the transition area at the start, a television crew showed up, and shoving a camera in Bob’s face and a microphone up his nose Graham Bell (former skier) began to interview him.

I was mildly impressed by the elegant, eloquent and composed responses Bob gave and then ever so slightly horrified when the camera and Graham Bell rounded on to me saying “and you have your wife here, are you the support team?” “eh no” I mumbled “I’m going shopping”. You can guess who made the final cut can’t you? (much to Bob’s disgust)

2014-03-29-174125So another example of World Championship swim training being interfered with by triathletes, but I have maintained the gym sessions (oh and don’t my quads, glutes and hamstrings just know it) and I’ve also fitted in a couple of competitions. Most notably the great trek north for the British Masters Championships.

Now the last time I looked at a map Aberdeen was located some 230 miles due North of me, but in typical Binge fashion I set off by travelling via Carlisle which involved a 70 miles detour west and isn’t quite the most obvious route to get from Tyneside to Aberdeen.

largeOn reflection it was probably just as quick as I joined forces with Judo and Sumo, and allowed Emmerson Fitipaldi-Pearson to take over the driving, which is probably the closest you can get to travelling at light speed on British roads.

We had chosen to stay in an apartment and it took our combined IQ over 45 minutes to work out how to open the lockbox to release the keys, to let ourselves into the flat and then, where we had to place the key fob on the entryway to trigger the electric garage door.

IMG_2010After a fraught 50 minutes we were in, and desperately in need of some refreshment, my impulsive decison to grab three bottles of red as I walked out of the office proved to be inspired.

The swimming wasn’t particularly impressive (in fact if I’m honest it was pretty pants) and included an excruciating 400 medley. Long course! What on earth was I thinking! but the weather was glorious and the company was great.

Sorry I just love this GIF

From the grandeur of the British Masters Championships, to the rather more modest Northumberland and Durham County Masters, With hindsight I realise that I had spent the entire day labouring under a severe bout of mad cow disease.

My alarm went off and I lay in bed pondering how long it would take me to drive to South Shields and still make part of the warm up. I figured that if I could arrive 20 minutes late and still have a reasonable splash before my 800. I hauled myself out of bed and set off, arriving precisely at 8:20 to discover the place deserted and the electronics team just setting up,

IMG_2125I’d only turned up an hour early aargh! Still I was able to spend an idyllic half an hour sitting in the sunshine and catching some breakfast (coffee and a chocolate muffin) at the world renowned Minchella’s on the beach.

The second disaster of the day came as I turned my rucksack inside out in search of my goggles, which I was sure I had picked off the dining room table before I left the house. In desperation I was forced to purchase a pair of Speedo “leisurewear goggles” from the pool reception which were a rather fetching blue colour, stayed on when I dived in and represented great value for money at a fiver.

IMG_1573My woes continued as I scanned the heat sheets to find out what I’d entered. At my age there was no chance I could remember this and whilst I know keeping a copy of your entry form would be a really sensible solution to this problem, hey where’s the fun in that.

To my horror I discovered my name in the 1st heat of the 100 fly with an entry time of 1:27. The chances of my achieving that lay somewhere between fat and nil after the rather painful 1:48 split at the start of that 400 medley in Aberdeen. A discussion with the recorders and crisis averted as I was switched into the 100 IM.

A return to Minchellas with the usual Binge posse for our customary post event latte and as I reach into my rucksack for my wallet there’s that pair of goggles from the dining room table this morning! Now where had they been when I wanted them?

July 2nd N & D Masters South Shields

  • 1000 warm up
  • 800 11:12.41
  • 200 swim down
  • 50 breast  40.48
  • 200 free  2:40.50      1:17.68  1:22.82
  • 250 swim down
  • 100 IM        1:26.91
  • 100 Breast 1:31.64  43.48
  • 100 Free     1:13.42    36.02   37.40



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