Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lousy weeks

The last few weeks have been a real challenge for me exercise-wise. We have had people over at our place that we had to take care of, then we have been moving around a lot, in some places where exercising is not the easiest of things, and now my ill-fitting shoes are giving me shin splints. So I have missed my morning exercise 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Which brings it to 4 days with no exercise in eight weeks. Knowing that most days for the last month I have been running in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. And that I can now swim 770m of free style in one go (further than the actual race !), when I could hardly swim freestyle altogether a few weeks ago. I am quite happy with it. 

The last 2 weeks in Thailand have been the hotest I have seen in that country. Running at 8am is already too late because the temperature is already over 30 degrees... Trying to run at night is impossible bacause it starts cooling down around... 2am. I still managed to go running everyday, even in Koh Tao that is so damn hilly... Then we went to Bangkok where running was not so much fun (because there is a lot of traffic around the area where we stay), so after one day of running I went swimming instead. Then we flew to Egypt and arrived yesterday morning in Cairo. We landed at 6am after a sleepless night on the plane, so we took a nap instead of going running, which was great... We were very excited at the idea of running the next day though because here in the morning it is about 20 degrees, it is soo nice ! But in the end we were a bit disappointed because in the area where we stay, there is not a single park or green area. It is all about crazy traffic, black smokes and loud horns... We did manage to run a short 20 minutes along the Nile river but we had to give up because my shins were really sore. I can’t wait to get to France to be able to walk to a running shoes shop and talk to a sellsman who will know what he is talking about. I bought my last pair of sneakers in Bangkok in a big sport store, but I couldn’t get any advice from these guys other than “this one is discount” or “this one is blue”. So I just bought a pair that I thought were fitting. As soon as I started running with them, my soles started to hurt. And now my shins. But anyway, we found a little park not so far from where we stay so we’ll go for a short run, and then we also found a nice hotel with a swimming pool with view on the pyramids... So we’ll go for a quick swim before soaking in some more culture... The Man came up with the crazy idea to run around the pyramids. I don’t think so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A beautiful swim

Already the 6th week and I have missed only one day. I now wake up and without even thinking about it, I just get up and go for a run. I don’t toss and turn thinking I’d be better in bed, I don’t make excuses, I don’t even question it. I just get up and go. And if I have to get up early, then I just set up my alarm earlier and go anyway. It has became a habit, a reflex. The next few weeks won’t be easy though with all the traveling we’ll be doing, but I really want to stick to it. I now run 18 minutes everyday and should be running 30 minutes within a couple of weeks. I used to run the flat circuit around my house but for the last few days, I have changed my route and now go behind my house, in the hills through the rubber plantations. A lot more challenging but that’s what makes it so rewarding.

Also, for the last 10 days, we have been practicing the swim. At the beginning of the season, we signed up for the gym at one of the Resort in town, which includes access to the swimming pools of the resort. The main one is 70 meters long (the Man measured it...), and now that it is the end of the season, it is pretty much empty. Many time we were actually the only people there. So it is huge (no turning around every 25 meters), it is empty, and it is outside. I can think of some worse conditions to train... Which is great because I am not the best swimmer in the world. The Man can swim forever without ever getting tired, He says for him it is like walking, he could just go on and on and on... Unfortunately, I do not have that gift, and for me, swimming can be a struggle. I manage the breast stroke without too much trouble, but apparently, if you want to swim a race or a triathlon, you should swim the freestyle. So for the last 10 days, I have been practicing that swim that I couldn’t swim a couple of weeks ago. I still have troubles keeping the rythm, I have to focus to coordinate legs and arms, I sometimes forget to breathe, and I am extremely slow. But yesterday I swam 8 laps. The first time I tried, I had to stop after half a lap because I was too out of breath. Encouraging.

When we are on the boat, we go swimming in open water (a good practice because the swim of the actual race will be in open water). It can be tricky because of the waves and currents, but it can also be unbelievably rewarding... Last week, we had the incredible chance to make one of our practice session with the company of a baby manta ray. They are the most beautiful creatures, so graceful... They seem to swim effortlessly and yet they are so fast ! It was just amazing and that training session flew by. We swam with it for about 45 minutes and it was just magic. Now everytime I swim, I remember that particular day and it keeps me going. Amazing day.