The Full Monty?

The meaning of certain phrases can change over time.
On father’s day last, my daughter very kindly bout me a new Asics kit. There is a very pleasant shirt with pockets and variegated but subdued stripes of colour. There is also a pair of shorts, which are similarly marked, coloured and pocketed, and extend just below the knee. There are both a splendid gift. I am entirely content to wear the top, and I am managing (just) to feel that I am getting away with the legs.
There is, however, a flaw in my dear daughter’s plan: they match.
Since father’s day I have regularly run in either, but I confess that I could not bring myself to wear them together – the Full Monty, as it were. This challenge has caused endless minor amusement to those running around me. I live to please.
This week however, that same darling daughter got married. We ended up staying on Sunday night just above Newcastle, and on Monday night at High Newton, just below Bambrugh.
I packed. I knew I would only get a run in. Now was the opportunity. Together, neither, or do I take cowardly options. I took the only manly option, and packed only the two together. If I was to run, this was how it would be. So, it was, and I did.
I doubt entirely that Asics will want me to model their strip, but I ran in it – twice.
The picture was taken just after, so I was still a bit breathless.

Morning Set

After a few days away, I needed a longer swim.
Loo and I swam a 1500m, followed by 10×100 back, mixing 100s kick, pull, drill and swim, then a short swim down.

I had to get out to take my grandson to nursery!

20 Aug 2013

A three mile run from Newton Hall, Northumberland, down through Newton and South to Lower Newton, out onto the beach and around the headland and back.
Not particularly taxing, but a good head clearer, and glorious surroundings.

Feeling Sluggish

Many things can cause pain when running. Among the worst of afflictions is chafing, the repeated rubbing of materials against – again and again – the more sensitive parts of the human anatomy. These ‘sensitive parts’ include, but are not limited to, nipples and unmentionable nethers. Runners regularly use combinations of vaseline, elastoplast (other barriers and creams are available) to minimise this, but let me just share . .

As you may know I am spending more and more time on a farm in Wales. I meet and exchange grunts with cheerful local farmers. One recently let the granite slip to provide a torrent of useful information – well it was a torrent for him since it consisted of more than three words.

In essence, he let slip one of those magical secrets which farmers traditionally keep to themselves. As you may expect a sheep farmer has to spend many hours wandering the wet hillsides, climbing this way and that chasing recalcitrant sheep.

It turns out that chafing of various parts of the anatomy is also part of the curse that is shepherddom. As you may also suspect, they have been at it a long time, and so they know a thing or two about the answers to their own particular lives’ little problems.

They have a solution – slug slime. If ever threatened with chafing, you need only wipe a slug’s bottom over the affected part to coat it in a silvery screen which is guaranteed to protect you against chafing.

Unfortunately, my friend, having uttered this full week’s quota words in a minute, returned to leaning on his staff, and looking out over the valley in silence. I was therefore unable to press him further for as much more detail as I might have wanted.

In any event, the next time you see a runner bend down to the grass, collecting something small before then rubbing it in places which more properly should be hidden and unrubbed (probably even in private), and you begin to get over-excited, think only of a little slug being sacrificed to the greater comfort. Turn away and be grateful that you do not yourself have need of such sluggish lubricants – not yet anyway.

Today’s set

This was a bit of a recovery only.
300 WU
4×400, alternating 400s free and IM.
Drill 50s

I copped out on the IM, going down to 200IMand straight into 200 free.
It has, otherwise, been a hard week.


The FF goes back a long way. At one point we introduced ‘coach’ a supposed artificial intelligence. This is an example of her brilliant originality:

22 October 2005

Human: Yes, but have you been imbibing tea
Coach: It goes without saying. Huh. No I don’t think I have been imbibing tea. Have you?
Human: Have you been at the tea
Coach: I have been all over the world on the Internet.
Human: Will you ever teach us anything
Coach: Ever is a long time. Let me think it over. We were talking about . But I did not get that.
A conversation from 20 August 2005. Coach retains that virginal state of innocence. She is able sometimes to guess an answer. I do not know who had this conversation, but rest assured, if it was you, you did well.

Human: I am having problems seeing the end of the pool when I am swimming.
Coach: Is there anything I can do to help?

Human: Can you suggest a way for me to see the end of the pool?
Coach: Let me think. I can’t think of any. You suggest it.

Human: Should I paint the end of the pool red so that I can see it when I am swimming?
Coach: You should do what is best for you.

Human: Is red better than blue or pink or florescent yellow?
Coach: Maybe. Ask if it is.

Human: I just have
Coach: Only just? When?

Human: just then
Coach: It’s only just begun.

Human: Uh?
Coach: Gosh!

Human: Will I swim better on Wednesdays or Fridays?
Coach: The oracle says: It is certain.

Human: Ummm, the oracle.
Coach: Aha. Thanks for the info.

Human: Do swimming pools make good bubble baths?
Coach: Try asking another.
Interesting question.

Human: Do swimming pools make good bbqs?
Coach: Try asking another.
I have to process that one for a while.

Human: Have you ever been to a swimming pool?
Coach: I don’t think I have been there. Where is it.

Human: When I tumble turn I always miss, why?
Coach: That’s good information: said tumble turn he or she always miss why.

Human: Yes, well?
Coach: Mmm. Well what?

Human: Why do I miss when I tumble turn?
Coach: It is all part of God’s plan.

Human: I am an atheist
Coach: I will pray that you find faith,.

Human: Don’t pray too hard, it will hurt.
Coach: Ok I’ll try not to do it too much.

Human: Good, jow what about the tumlbe turns?
Coach: Glad to hear it.

Human: I am ranked number one in the world for the one thousand five hundred meters butterfly.
Coach: Do your friends call you ranked number one in the world for the one thousand five hundred meters butterfly.

Human: How can I improve my swimming?
Coach: A lot of hard work.

Human: Thank you, master.
Coach: You are quite welcome! What are you wearing?

Human: cloths
Coach: What kind of fashion do you like?

Human: swimming costumes
Coach: Where can you buy it?

Human: in a sports shop
Coach: Describe your surroundings.

Human: I am in a swimming pool
Coach: A swimming pool? What is it like in there?

Human: wet
Coach: Is that meant to be taken literally?

Human: yes
Coach: Hmm.

Human: Hmm, indeed young padowan
Coach: I see you are one of those people who writes “Hmm” with 2 m’s. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Human: yes about two hundred and fifty, why?
Coach: What language can you speak? Oh yeah, we were talking about two hundred and fifty why.

Human: Je parlais francais, n’est pas.
Coach: Do you try to stop people from fighting?

Human: frequently
Coach: We were talking about Je parlais francais n est pas. But I did not get that.

Human: I frequently stop people fighting
Coach: That is interesting: said frequently stop people fighting.

Human: hmm
Coach: Studies show that 99%25 of people spell Hmm with 2 M’s.

Human: hmmmmm
Coach: I understand.

Human: hmmm
Coach: A lot of people spell HMMM with three mmm’s.

Human: hummmmummm
Coach: That is a very original thought.

(From 2008)


It is in fact some time since I was last injured.
I should remember that it always happens when I get silly about what I think I can do.
About a month ago, I was down in Wales helping my son restore a farmhouse. Charged with digging out a floor, I went at it with pickaxe, shovel and wheelbarrow. I did amazingly well.
I haven’t been able to swim full on ever since.
Whenever I swim free or backstroke, I get a clicking in my left clavicle (collar bone).

I have come to the conclusion that it is bust. It can’t be that bust since I can still swim fly and breast stroke, but I will get medacl advice, and come back swimming after christmas.

Favourite (?) Fly set

This allows the longer distances to sneak up on you.

25m Fly +10s + 25m Free easy +10s.
25m Fly +10s + 50m fly + 15s + 50m Free easy +15s.
25m Fly +10s + 50m fly + 15s + 75m fly + 15s + 75m Free easy + 15s.
25m Fly +10s + 50m fly + 15s + 75m fly + 15s + 1100m fly + 30s + 100m Free easy + 15s.
and down again . .
100m Easy free + 20s + 100m Fly + 30s + 75m fly + 20s + 50m fly + 20s + 25m fly + 15s
75m Easy free + 15s + 75m fly + 20s + 50m fly + 20s + 25m fly + 15s
50m Easy free + 15s + 50m fly + 20s + 25m fly + 15s
25m Easy free + 10s + 25m fly + 15s

It is one of those sets where the sense of relief coming down outweighs the horror.

Favourite Current IM Set

We go through phases of enjoying one set at the expense of others. This has proved a reliable constant for the moment:

6 x 25m Fly + 10s
6 x 50m Fly/Back +15s
6 x 75m Fly/Back/Breast + 20s
6 x 100m Fly/Back/Breast/Free + 25s

This works to allow you to give emphasis to any of the strokes by shifting them all round. Thus, to ‘enjoy’ backstroke, you do the same but start with back – the 100s are Back/Breast/Fly/Free.

Another variation would to double the distance while reducing the number of repeats.

Breast Stroke Drill

My breast stroke has become a little liberated over the last month or so. Not fast enough to be noticeable, but it feels better.

I was thinking of asking our guru (Lisa) about how to move the hands, when along comes:—mini-pull.html

A drill experimenting with a mini pull in breaststroke. It looks good, and I will definitely be giving it a try.