March – A Mixed Month

I think we all have these Months, good days, bad days, frustrating days, exciting days.. March was my month for all that.

1*)It started well enough, I competed at the Irish Long Course Masters Gala In UL in the 1500+800+400 FC plus relays. I have moved into a new masters age group this year, so being a competitive person, I had my eye on the Irish records within my new age group, they could be mine if I hit my best times, so feeling fit and somewhat rested I was off to tackle a target of 20min/36s for the 1500 late on Friday night.  I felt good during my swim, red cheeks from working hard, but not burning up with pain, my splits said it all when I finished….. I repeated 40/41sec per 50 from 300-1500m…. consistent as ever, It got me a time of 20.34 Irish Record I know, but 20sec slower than last year, here starts the highs and lows, excited for the record, annoyed at the time!

Carols Splits - 1500 LC

Carols Splits – 1500 LC

Late back to the Hotel, and an early start on Day 2 for the 400FC in event 1, and guess what, I split 40/41s the whole way again, adding 7sec to my best time – annoyed again, but on the plus side, I was feeling no effects from the 1500 the night before, the body was responding well, just not fast enough for me. And so to the 800 at Lunchtime, and yes things didn’t change I was back at my 40/41s per 50 splits again, STUCK – GRRR, but got the Irish Record in my age group so can’t grumble too much, and still my body was totally fine, I was feeling fit, I very nearly asked to go in the next heat of the 800 to try to get a better time!. Competitive, I know!

University Arena Limerick

University Arena Limerick

My day was brilliantly topped off though, with a cracking Irish Record in our women’s 4×50 Medley Relay, for once we had us all in good form on the day, Lynne was untouchable on the Backstroke, Maeve kept her cool on the Breaststroke, Rose was not letting the clean water go leading the way on the Fly, and then it was down to me on the Freestyle leg to SPRINT!….. (all that was going through my head was please don’t split a 41 Carol, that would be embarrassing for a sprint!). BOOM touched the wall, we smashed the current record well and truly, woo hoo GO Dolphin! And with a 31.1sec split I was hyper, look I can sprint… for 50m! With a bite to eat and the very necessary SiS Rego Recovery drink in hand, I had a chat with Coach who was happy with my fitness but agreed I lacked change of gears on the distance events, something to work on over the next 2 months. I just had to be reminded that with the mileage work that I have done over the past few months in preparation for the New York swim, the speed was going to suffer a bit, I accept that, just need to tell the competitive me to stop worrying!. An OK weekend really 🙂 .

Dolphin - Irish Masters Relay Record

Dolphin – Irish Masters Relay Record

2*) Back in the pool the following week for one of our planned long sessions, we had to cut it short due to chlorine/ventilation imbalance, fits of coughing stopped us all after about 3hours, bah humbug! Frustrated again 😦  

3*) Mid March and the Leisure Centre were holding a charity night for Marymount Hospice. 4 hours of exercise available, you could go from Spinning to Circuits to pool or whatever way you wanted to mix it up, being a swimmer, I opted for the pool (spinning – are you mad!).. The plan was 10k as 100x100m on 1.40. Having come straight from work to the pool, I had to rely on sports nutrition to get me through this, and it did. So nice that I now know I can do a challenge like a 10k, straight from work on a relatively empty system (I did have a dinner at lunchtime!), I used my usual mix of 2 bottles of SiS Go Hydro, a bottle of Go Energy and my trusty Go Gels. 3 hours later and we were finished and I felt fine, since when did 10k pool sessions become normal?. I Left the pool feeling quiet chuffed with myself really! A good day 🙂

4*) Paddys Weekend brought some nice relief to the month, a dip in Sandycove. It’s been a few weeks since I’d been in the sea, and I didn’t want to leave it go any longer, but the damm air temps of 2/3deg and water temps of 7/8deg are not very inviting to sea swimmers.. But when you see Sandycove on a day like the pic below, how can you not swim. A great Day 🙂

Sandycove Island - St Patricks Weekend

Sandycove Island – St Patricks Weekend

5*) To end the month I headed to Tralee in Kerry to compete at the Kingdom Masters Short course Gala. I like this meet, nice pool, nice people, I always do well here. I had a target in mind for my 400FC, based on how I had done in Limerick a few weeks ago, close to that and I’d be happy, what I hadn’t factored in was the head cold that smothered me that weekend, breathing was a bit of a problem, my turns and push offs were short, I could hear my wheezing echoing around the pool, I could taste my Go Gel while coughing underwater, I really wasn’t in good shape and it hurt, all over, heavy arms, legs that didn’t want to kick, 16 lengths seemed so long for once, I finished it, not a dreadfully bad time, just not my best time! (still competitive, even on a sick day!). I opted not to do any more events, I became coach to the Dolphin Squad that were there, at least I could use a stopwatch, that’s just pushing buttons! After a fine feed from the people of Kerry, I went home to throw myself on the couch, didn’t care about my swim really, the pounding headache was distracting me from that. A bad day 😦

6*) And So Easter brought the month to a close.. CHOCOLATE, with all this training, I was definatly not feeling guilty about eating my Easter eggs – Yummy. The cough was still lingering, but as long as I swam at a steady pace I was doing ok (not like the fits I got when trying to sprint!). Coach had set me a task to swim 30k in 3 days over Easter, do it in my own time, whenever was convenient to me. 10k on Good Friday, deserved half an egg as a treat, 10k on Saturday, lazy coffee with Lynne afterwards and ate the bars from the egg, lovely. We only made 8k on Sunday, so I came back to the pool on Monday for a 6k to make up for Sunday, and then proceeded to finish the Egg, 34k in 4 days, and a lovely Easter Egg devoured, what else can you ask for. March finished all right really 🙂 

Easter Egg (#1of2!)

Easter Egg (#1of2!)

Onwards now for April, New York is only 8 weeks away, and the Channel Relay is 12, hopefully with a little bit of sunshine things are looking up 🙂

Defeat should never be a source of disappointment, but rather a fresh stimulus.

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