So, the industrial action has meant the unrunning of the unlecture. Which leaves a slight hole to fill in terms of content for this blog.
“But no!” I can almost hear Adrian yelling. This is less about the contents of the lectures and the tutorials, and more about the self production of content and sharing of knowledge. So what do I have to say that I didn’t last week?
I now know that my breaststroke is in fact much worse than I ever had imagined. It’s to the point that it’s a joke at the swimming club how bad it actually is, but I had always thought, if push came to shove, that I could pull out a decent time, even if it wasn’t particularly pretty. I know now that not to be true.
I had three swimming competitions over the weekend. One on Friday night, the final night of a five week relay tournament that finished with us dead last or second last. I’m not too sure, but I don’t really care either way. I did some reasonable times there; 25.54 for 50m free (off a flying start) and 28.99 for 50m fly (without a flying start). As far as I can remember, I’ve never gone as fast as that in the fly, which is strange considering how little I’ve been training lately.
The second competition was on Saturday afternoon, where I swam 100m free, 100m IM, and 50m free, fly and back. The free was quicker than I’ve gone in a year with a 26.14 (no flying start slows things down). But the 100m IM was the most alarming event. All IM events are divided equally between the strokes, so 100m IM is 25m of each stroke and 400m IM is 100m of each stroke. In the IM this Saturday, my split at the 50m mark (fly and back) was 30.58, where I was in second position in the race. As you may know, breaststroke is the third leg, usually the slowest leg compared to the rest, but still done faster than your average doggy paddler. My 25m breast took 23.21 seconds, by which time I was dead last by about 10m. At that point I gave up slightly, coming home in a 16.47 for the free leg.
I wasn’t quite sure how to react to this time, considering how dismally slow it was, except to laugh at it and vow never to do a breaststroke or IM race ever again. Which so far I’ve kept…
The last competition of the weekend was on Sunday night, another tournament, but this one a mix of relays and individual races. This year the club requested to be put down to B grade, so we won all of our event’s fairly comfortably. I raced the individual open 100m free, and just out touched a guy from Eltham swim club, which restored some of the faith I had lost in my swimming from the previous day.
As far as I can tell from my slow decline in swimming ability, is that you never really lose your ability to sprint. Anything to do with your lactic acid energy system (100m, 200m, 400m events) will suffer significantly if you don’t train. But the 50m events don’t slow down all that much, they just hurt a lot more.
I also met some of the guys on the RMIT Australian University Games cycling team for the first time. I’m managing the team this year, which has proven to be occasionally more difficult than I had anticipated, but I hadn’t actually met any of the people who had signed up before Sunday morning. The team has four guys (myself included) and a girl, which is significantly better than last year, when there was just the two of us. The two Dylan’s and myself met in Port Melbourne at 8am for a ride with a bunch that one of the Dylan’s usually rides with. Frustratingly enough, due to the wind, they had decided against Beach Road as a route, and instead, we would ride the Yarra Boulevard, which is slightly more protected by trees. This was frustrating as I had ridden 40mins to Port Melbourne to meet them, and the Yarra Boulevard was 5mins from my doorstep, which meant riding another 40mins back to the Boulevard.
The ride itself was good, and both Dylan’s are seem like really nice guys. Dylan Eeles does triathlons as his main sport, just as I do, which provided good topic for conversation. The other Dylan, Dylan Benson, I didn’t get much of a chance to speak to, but he proved himself as probably the strongest rider of the three of us. I wouldn’t want to call it too early, as I haven’t yet ridden with the fourth male member of the team, Richard, but I suspect that we will be riding for Benson in the road race and the criterium at AUG’s.
I was meant to meet Eeles for a ride with a group this morning (a similarly painful experience, as the meeting place was the corner of the Nepean Highway and North Road at 6am, which is another 40min ride from my house. It was an early start to the day, thus the reason that I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop drinking my third cup for the day), but he was slightly late, and missed the group rolling out. If you miss the group, you miss the group. There is no way of catching them once they get started. So there I was, in a bunch of riders that I had never laid eyes on, trying desperately not to get dropped. I managed to stay with the group for 40 mins, before taking a long turn on the front into a headwind, and I went lactic and consequently got dropped. For those 40mins, I checked afterwards, my heartrate averaged 165bpm, which is pretty high considering that no one else around me seemed to be struggling as much as me. But it’s good to train with people who are stronger than you, as they inevitably push you to become better. It would be nice to stay with them for the whole ride next time though.
So, those are the things that I’ve done and learned since last week (aside from writing that essay which was the last thing I posted).