As I intend to compete in a French Masters competition in February, I thought it might be of interest to follow my progress, or lack of it, as I approach the date. I will be writing this in a conversational, relaxed style, and I ask that you don't draw any conclusions about the quality of my literary works on Amazon, from this loose ramble.
OK. Here goes. I have been trying to find a competition not too far from my Bordeaux area of France in which to compete, as a US Masters registered swimmer - NOT SO FAST ! France doesn't really want to open up anything to foreigners, so I am finding the search difficult. Oh yes, the National Championships are OPEN, but they are usually in Paris or some other distant and expensive to attend location … So ...
So I've decided it's less expensive and easier (in fact OBLIGATORY), just to associate with a French club. I won't be swimming with the club at workouts and I won't be taking ANY of their coaching, but I will, to all intents and purposes, be a member of the “team”. Really, I do my own self-coaching and training and so this will be my blog of how it goes.
I've been out of the pool for about 3 years, I thought, but looking at my old e-mail to find out who to contact I see 2009 as being my last effort ?? Time flies.
I will be swimming at the 20km distant pool, 3 times a week, Monday, Thursday and Saturday (when they don't close it for kids competitions or such) and, of course, I have to allow for the 200 or so “fete” days i.e. holidays for the 'workers'. But let me not be negative, I hope and intend to get into the FINA World Top Ten 2014, and with probably only two opportunities, I gotta get it right, and so we commence.
My right elbow has been giving me a bunch of trouble and was close to being un-bendable (it won't flex at all) just last week. Result of a cast put on by an over-zealous doctor decades ago, after an equestrian competition accident.
So I did swim on Saturday the 18th, after having decided on competing and I do have a lot of core work to do, and that means I will HAVE to do some legs-only - god, what a pain - but I will have to, because that is where you are going to get your core strength from.
I guess it's a bit like a boxer, you've heard the commentator say “oh, his legs have gone” and by that they imply the mobility and bounce is out of the athlete, well it's kinda like that.
You have to have the core good enough if not strong, if you want to ride to the end. There is nothing more debilitating than that sinking feeling as the legs tie up and drain all the power from your stroke.
So Monday tomorrow, and I will be doing 500 metres legs and then whatever 25 metre sprint singles I can manoeuvre between the bobbers and floaters littering my path down the pool.
Gonna post more specific distances and efforts as we go day by day, but for now ....
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day
~ Author of fiction