Tag Archives: Swimming

Popular Session

Back to work after a wet Sunday indoors.

After returning from the wedding we had a lot more chores to do and the day seemed to slip away quite quickly. I found a problem with my iTunes music store as well, so had so spend a little time doing this in the late hours of the evening.

The weather had not improved much by the morning, although I had managed to find my lightweight waterproof jacket to pop in my bag, which came in handy for the 10 minute walk from Bank station first thing. I’m sure this will come in handy over the next few months as the winter approaches 🙁

Pilates on a Monday with Mila, is turning into an extremely popular session. So much so that there was barely enough room to stand on your toes and roll down (vertebrae by vertebrae) let alone to stretch sideways, or lay down for the 100’s. It was actually a good session though. Perhaps because in the restricted space, Mila had to improvise the normal routine which gave it a bit of variety from normal. Moves are afoot to add in an extra session from 2:00-3:00 as a trial for the next month at the Virgin Active in Broadgate, although I seriously doubt this is going to be convenient for the majority and it will therefore not be used.


The afternoon went quickly as I normally fill my Monday’s with project status discussions and 1-2-1s with my team and today was no different, now we are back in September and out of the holiday absentee silly season.

Physio was the next order of the day, and after my visit to Mr Elliot last week, it was time to see Stuart for a checkup and test. Everything turned out to be pretty normal, although my left hamstring seems to be stronger, proportionally, than my left quad, which he thinks is what is causing the issue in my ‘butt’ area (my sit bone) He has given me some preventative exercises for this and given me the go ahead to increase mileage again as well as his blessing for the Marathon des Sables!

Then I found that LIz was waiting outside for me, as arranged. She was off to a special talk at church on Mary’s house in Turkey, and I have changed my swimming time to 40 minutes earlier – ordinarily more convenient to actually have a bit of an evening and not get home and have supper at 10:00pm – but today it meant I was taking the children with me to ‘babysit’ from the water’s edge (with me IN the pool that is!) Although sunset is around 7:00pm at the moment, they were keen to play outside in the playground as I was swimming, and so long as I continued to hear the shrieks of delight as they chased each other (ghost games!) I surmised that all was more or less well.

A good session and we were on our way home. To an empty house 😯

St Nicolas’ where Liz had gone is very high church and they were praying at the end, hail marys, etc. although they are not Catholic (I was a bit confused about that) and had apparently locked all the doors, so she was a captive until they had finished. Eventually she managed to find her way out though, and of course we assume the doors were closed to keep people out at that time of night, rather that keep the audience in.

What a day!

Final RV Day

This was to be our final day with the RV 🙁

We had plenty to do though, but as we thought it had to be returned to the Cruise America Sales and Rental site in Salt Lake City at 1pm, we were under the impression we had plenty of time to spare to empty tanks, fill up to anticipate leaving it with 1/4 tank of gas, and the domestic arrangements for getting the laundry done so as to ensure not taking home a weekend full of chores.

We left the KOA Fillmore RV Park and stopped for gas, and that was when the nightmare ‘paying-for-gas-and-treats’ began. The cashier, charged me for someone else’s fuel and just managed to call me back as I was leaving. 3/4 hour later after involving 3 people in the gas station, 2 administrator call lines from the head office of the chain (which I won’t mention), realising I hadn’t been charged correctly for the sweets I’d bought either and then multiple attempts to credit the wrong amount back onto my card before finally debiting the right amount, we were on our way again.

The Long Journey Home

So, of course, we were now late! Not the best way to start your last full day of holiday.

Liz drove all the way for the final 150 miles from Fillmore back to the Cruise America depot and luckily we made good time and arrived a few minutes before 1pm, only to discover, ironically, that we needn’t have been back before 3pm! Such is life! 😉

We were possibly all rather tired after so much travelling or, more likely, just melancholic about the fact it was the end of such a fantastic holiday. Either way, everyone was rather subdued on that last journey as we contemplated our return to the UK and our respective routines – all good things come to an end, but if anyone has a green card going spare, there are at least three people I know of who would consider taking up the opportunities afforded by such a sought after document!

We unloaded the cases and left the last of our remaining supplies on the table for ‘incoming’ clients, although most of the perishables were immediately squirrelled away by our thick-set Mexican taxi driver – perks of the job I guess.

Nevertheless, he transported us to the hotel without difficulty and we were soon trying to negotiate all the extra luggage we had acquired, via a rather overloaded trolley, to our rooms. After unpacking the evening essentials, we then discovered that the Utah licensing laws were quite strict on the sale of alcohol and although dad and I found a restaurant for lunch, while Liz took the children to the pool, there was no beer to be had – horror!

A few more hours at the pool, catching up with diaries, blogs and notes, and swimming with the children (even the few small pools we have had at the parks we have stayed at have helped to give the little ones more confidence in the water; I suspect neither of them will need a ring when they get back to swimming lessons next term.

Eventually we finished the evening with a nice meal and settled the children down after watching a bizarre programme on the World’s Greatest Water Rides, which they seemed to enjoy.

RV Trip, Day 16: Fillmore to Salt Lake City, UT
Day Mileage: 151 miles
Total Mileage: 2400 miles



Monday, Monday

A usual Monday today, although the trains conspired to spice things up a bit.

Very cramped this morning on the commute, after a power outage further down the track and cancellation of a train, leaving Guildford platform three people deep trying to squeeze into the coach with two more stops to go!

The rest of the day was fairly mundane, with a break for Pilates at lunchtime.

Pilates on a Monday used to be the soul preserve of women escaping the office routine, until a couple of other guys and myself started two or three years ago, but interestingly the word of the core benefits must have got round as there were 7 or 8 chaps today, probably a third of the class. How times change!

STA Badges

The elder boys had their final swimming lesson of the term this evening, and got their badges for consistency towards various efforts today and during the term. Joshua got badges for his ‘medley’ transitions, which he has done particularly well at this term. Liz said a final farewell to Jean, her friend, who she met at swimming some years ago and with whom she ‘connected’, and this was to be her last term with her son, Jack.

It was my final swim of the term as well, which turned out to be a relatively easy forty minutes of lengths. Now I must remember to swim during the summer, otherwise it will be back to square one in September – assuming we are still in Guildford at that time, which is looking likely, given the continuing state of our housing chain and the British housing market in general!

Good to see that Bradley Wiggins is extending his lead in the Tour de France as well; he won the stage today, a 40km time trial, and his Sky Procycling teammate, Christopher Froome was second. Sky are now the team to beat and it is shaping up into an interesting Tour 🙂 although with only 1:53 lead over last year’s winner, Cadel Evans, it is still anyone’s race.

Procedure Dates and Habits

I had interviews to do today at work – interviewing for a short term business analyst position. The process seems to take as long as the engagement itself!

No more Aspirin

Anyway the upshot of that was that I had to be in work this morning, but had to also be home to take Liz to see her consultant for a review. With the interviews over I returned via my normal route but the peculiarity of travelling at midday meant that the normally crowded tube showed no signs of the packing and shoving I expect to experience at rush hour. In fact it was bordering on civilised 🙂

After a quick tea at home we strolled off to the Royal Surrey County Hospital where the car park was decidedly less civilised – 2:30 is obviously visiting hour.

The appointment was delayed a bit, but when we got to speak with Liz’s consultant she was full of reassurance that everything was fine with all the blood tests they had done, and on discussing the upcoming procedure to close the PFO stated that she would also, in the same situation, recommend having the closure carried out.

Liz is now off the aspirin and has been given to all clear to drive if she wants to. The consultant also explained that many victims reported feelings of tiredness and fatigue after suffering a stoke but, interestingly, they still do not understand the reasoning behind these feelings.

So for now all we have to wait for is the pre-op on the 18 May and the actual PFO closure procedure on the 24 May. It could be a long three weeks 🙁

Monday’s is swimming night; first Joshua and Morgan have their half hour, currently from 6:30-7:00 and then I have a session from 8:20. J&M had a good session – their strokes are fantastic at the moment, a real pleasure to watch them going back and forth from the edge of the pool. I’m sure my stroke is not so appealing 😉

I chose to do another run-swim-run this evening, and Liz was happy for me to go a few minutes earlier, so I managed to get in a bit of a country route up Pewly Hill to the base of St Marthas, before turning back towards the urban sprawl. I had a beautifully timed view of the sunset as I was climbing the hill which gave me shivers inside and reminded me of why I endure the hours of training through the cold winter and early mornings.

Happy days are coming 🙂

Misty Swimming

Monday’s are always a long day.

I don’t think I’ve quite caught up on sleep yet from last week’s trip. It is amazing how long it takes to recover from a lack of sleep sometimes. Liz is in a similar situation at the moment, not from sleep deprivation but because her body needs more sleep as part of her recovery, so really we are having moments where we are both walking round like zombies late in the evenings 😉 I’m sure I would be quite amusing for a fly on the wall.

Zombie Runner

I guess trying to maintain a level of exercise doesn’t really help much in the battle with exhaustion either.

Today, the boys had swimming in the evening, so I planned to get home in time to take them over to Boxgrove where we all swim at the moment; this is a bit of a struggle at the best of times though, and today the dual gods of grumpy bankers and subterranean transportation conspired against me to make a tough journey even more difficult. Nevertheless, I made it just in time, with Liz waiting in the car with the boys to jump in and drive them to their lesson.

The strange mist above the inside pool was just starting to rise when during their lesson, but I thought little of it at the time.

Lesson over and children back home, they were given their customary honey bread post-exercise snack and I started to prepare for another run to the pool.

Only the second time I have done this; it is not particularly taxing, only a couple of miles to the pool, but it is good to get the extra exercise in with the loosening effect of the cross-training in the middle. With that in mind, and the fact I was late, I put on a bit more speed, the result of which I was pleased.

The mist was really permeating the atmosphere around the pool when I got there, making it look more like a Turkish Sauna than a swimming pool, and although it was an interesting experience it also meant that it was impossible to see the time on the clock at the end of the pool!

I ran back and the weather was still almost but not quite entirely unlike rain.

Meet The Vet

The kittens had their first set of injections booked in with the vet this morning.

After a good night’s sleep, I felt a little more human, but still felt like I needed another few hours rest, which with kittens, children and chores to do, didn’t really end up happening.

Ready for lift-off!

The vets is a couple of miles away, down the Epsom Road to the east of Guildford, along a route Liz and myself have often run. The “Cape Veterinary Clinic” is run by a South African who has been over here 18 years. The session was early but swift, and the little kittens are fine. Their first injections were carried out and they have been relatively quiet and sleepy for the rest of the day. I’m sure it will be a different matter in a few weeks when they need to go back, having already experienced the associated of basket, vet, and discomfort!

When we got home the children had some of their “Lunar Candy” which they had been begging us for ever since Thursday. They each chose a different colour and then had great fun for the next 30 minutes eating them. Then the rush came and there was mayhem! I’m not sure why we keep doing the sugar thing, although in a way it is to get them used to it – this seems to be working for the elder boys, but the younger ones still have the occasional post-sugar reaction.

Mousetrap - deep concentration

The little ones had swimming starting again today which they were reluctant to go to, to start with, but as usual, once they were there, they were fine and both enjoyed themselves – it is strange how they react so badly to changes in their activities sometimes.

I had only just got back from swimming when I had to take Morgan to his party at the Spectrum in Guildford, where he had a spy activity and picnic, and I only had about 5 minutes when I got back to grab some lunch, as we had a house viewing at 2:30pm which the estate agents could not attend (as it was last minute) so Liz did the ‘showing’ while I took the remaining three children out to the local hostelry, where they played mousetrap and  monopoly for a couple of hours before we picked Morgan up and then journeyed back home to meet a resting Liz, before we all collapsed.

What a day.

Swimming and Skylanders

A much better day today.

Liz, I think, has turned a corner. She has been talking about things to her brother Tim, a GP; talking about everything that has happened, been happening and is going to happen, and I think she is much more at ease with everything, given her understanding of what her body is going through, and the understandable effect it is having on her.

Today was a beautiful day here in Guildford, and Liz had decided to take advantage of the sun and sat outside to get some rays and Vitamin-D outside earlier in the morning, while I continued to wrestle with wireless drop-outs on the airport extreme as a punctuation to the rest of the chores that needed doing before lunch.

One Length Swimming Milestone

The little ones were up for their last swimming lesson of the term and Luke even swum his first full length unaided and without a ring, so is now the proud holder of a 15m badge, which hopefully will soon be adorning his swimming towel. Savannah also did a fantastic job with her jumping in and is becoming a lot more confident in the water, which is the main thing. Zelda says her technique is good, but her confidence is holding her back at the moment, but improvements are on the horizon.

Savannah had the party of one of her school buddies to go to after lunch, and Kate, who has been so kind and helpful during the week, had offered to take her, so we decided to drop her of on our planned trip to Kingston (iPad fixing; this blog isn’t working out to be a very good advert for Apple!) The temperature in the car read 22°C when we got in and the children were dramatically asking for water as soon as they set foot inside the oven on our trip.

After negotiating the pop-up road-works on the main route into Kingston town centre, we arrived at the Apple Store and the iPad was duly exchanged with little drama. We had told the children they could buy a little something today as a treat, so found the nearest ‘GAME’ store, hoping for some bargains in the closing down sale (they’ve announce they have gone into administration over the last few days). The children have been talking for some time about ‘Skylanders’ as I have mentioned previously, but the look on their faces, especially Joshua, when we announced they could buy the starter pack, was matched only by the excitement they showed on getting home and opening the game to play on the Wii.

All in all a great day, and I’ve no doubt there will be more on the Skylanders adventures tomorrow, although we have neglected to remind them that the clocks go forward tonight, so I expect as normal this may work to our advantage, even though we lose and hour.

The crazy world of parenthood 😉

Back on the Trains

Early start this morning as I was back to work, so had to do all the chores first – children’s sandwiches, washing, breakfast, clothes, ready and then out the door to the train.

Liz was feeling marginally better today, and was nervous about me going to work and being alone. Luke was not feeling much better so we’d decided to keep him at home again (he had a relapse after all the activity of the party yesterday, which happens sometimes ;-)) but we’d arranged for people to take and pick up the children, so it was planned to be a quiet day for her.

Occupational Health

My day started in true to fashion commuting style with the announcement, two minutes AFTER the train had left Guildford, that it was going to terminate at Woking, i.e. 6 minutes into a 45 minute journey, due to emergency engineering work, blah, blah. So the packed train emptied at Woking and all the prior occupants tried to squeeze onto the next fast train to Waterloo, with a 30 minute extended crawl through the problem area at Raynes Park. Eventually, after playing with more delays on the tubes, I made it in. Nearly 2 hours door-to-door is a bad average.

Liz did have a quiet day, except for a visit from the occupational health physios, who came to ask what they could do to help her with, and offer assistance for an initial 3 month period which she recuperates. She finds this highly amusing as she feels that there are many other people out there who need the support of these people more that she does. Not quite as amusing as she finds the fact that they also offered me help as well (for what reason I’ve not yet worked out, but apparently I have a form to fill out!)

I made it home in time to take the boys to their penultimate swimming lesson of the term, which they worked hard at and enjoyed, and then it was home again to do a few more chores before nipping to swimming myself. I decided to run over to the lesson, a few km, but gave me a good warmup and cooldown afterwards as well.

A late evening salad completed a full day of activity.

Tomorrow Liz has more tests at the hospital, which I’m taking her to, and Savannah has a nature trail which I’m taking her on. Then in the afternoon I’ve got a Genius Bar appointment at the local Apple Store in Kingston, as my iPad didn’t fair too well from being dropped a week ago.

It’s all go at the moment.

Not 100%

Liz was not 100% this morning.

In fact, she was still feeling really ropey, so I elected to work from home today and help out as much as I could. Liz stayed in bed as she still had a headache and was still having the flashes in front of her eyes. So, I made sandwiches while they ate breakfast and I tried to remember all the things that the children needed for their activities today (gym clothes for the little-ones I remembered, but a shout from above about Joshua’s Clarinet was a timely prompt) – otherwise the journey out and up the hill was uneventful. All the boys were in a good mood and Savannah was happy to hold my hand all the way up to Pewley.

Pewley Down - Dramatic Sky

I was back just after 9am and after fixing a coffee for me and a tea for Liz, I was connected to work on the VPN.

I spent most of the morning chasing problems with IE8 upgrades for business users, adding to my presentation and had a conference call about a future project.

Lunchtime was a quiet affair as well, but as Liz was unsure what she felt like, I made a surprise sandwich – Cheddar, ham, spinach, rocket, Mrs Balls original chutney and mayonnaise. Yummy 🙂

I had to leave to pick the boys up just after 3pm and after meeting them, we walked up to the downs and then back across to Pewley. The boys pointed out to me the fields where they run with the school club on a Thursday and proud Dad was happy to be with them at that moment. On the way through they pointed out the dramatic clouds and sky we could see from the spine of the downs – they are starting to enjoy the environment around them 🙂 very chuffed about that!

Unfortunately we had to wait for Luke and Savannah in their Boogie Pumps after school class, and here’s where the problems started. I was watching through the glass door and Savannah was quite happily dancing away, but then at the end of her piece slipped on her way back to sit down so the teacher asked her to take her tights off – at which point she noticed me and was clearly highly embarrassed a upset. So I moved away to save her further heartache. Then on the way down the hill she got upset again and I spend the whole journey coaxing her home.

After a snack (warmed oat waffles with honey) I made tuna pasta and then took the older boys swimming again. Joshua did his ‘trousers-and-tee-shirt-off-while-treading-water’ practice and really enjoyed himself. Morgan seemed slightly less attentive this week for some reason.

It was the usual late Monday evening for them after we got back home, but they were packed off to bed with only minor drama.

I was back at the swimming pool again for my lesson 20 minutes later – I seem to have lived there over the last few days (have been there on 4 separate occasions over the last 3 days) so I am beginning to know how Zelda feels. Still, this evening’s lesson was much better that last week, so perhaps that is rubbing off as well.

More cross-training planned for tomorrow – if I make it to work; Liz reckoned she was 70% by the end of the day but still couldn’t stomach food, so that doesn’t bode too well.

Is it Backstroke, Backstroke or Backstroke?

I went swimming today as it is half term break, so my lesson wasn’t on yesterday.

As I’m still (very grumpily) consigned not to run at the moment, and it is my cross-training day anyway, I took my Garmin to a man-sized 25m pool in London (well, more man-sized than the 15m one I use for my lessons on a Monday, but not quite as macho as the full 50m Olympic sized pools which are far and few between, but which I’ll have to try one day!)

Knowledge is power? Lol!

I’m not quite sure how the Garmin 910XT is supposed to work out the swimming strokes – I played around with it a little today, trying a combination of leaving it to run at the end of a length for a few lengths, pressing the ‘lap’ button at the end and start of a lap, to extract any rest that I had at the end of a length and also just pressing the lap at the end of a length to see if the watch could work out for itself if I was resting.

The result?

Well, not perfect, but not bad either – The real info is here on Garmin Connect, but in summary…… well, it is actually a little tricky to work it out as, according to the detail I did 18 lengths of backstroke, 4 lengths of breaststroke and 10 lengths of ‘unknown’ type. In reality I started on crawl and then continued with a breaststroke, backstroke and breaststroke sequence before repeating, finishing up after 30 minutes.

My crawl at the moment is a half glide half crawl, which Zelda is constraining me to while I learn, so honestly, I’m not surprised about that, but I’m a bit disappointed that my other strokes are (clearly) not that identifiable.

Ah, well. At least I’ll have plenty more time to practice.

Reference: Pool Plaster Repair Dallas.