Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Easy, Relaxed Swimming: 4,150 meters
The guest house I stayed at in Chialeshui in early February. The roads are great for biking and running and the house had wireless so I could access the Internet on my laptop. This place is two hours' drive from our home in Kaohsiung, but closer to six hours' drive if you happen to live in Taipei.
Today, I did not really have a plan about how I was going to swim (no fax arrived from my coach!), but I got up and got ready and biked to the pool, entering the water at about 6:25 am, so that time was a little bit on my side today. Fortunately, in the middle lane of the pool, which has a sign in Chinese meaning the "fast lane", there was only one person and he was swimming freestyle. Since the sides of the pool where I usually go looked a bit crowded I opted for the middle lane. The other swimmer kept a steady pace and I was able to pass him about every 200m or so. After a few hundred meters another swimmer joined us, but he also swam freestyle, and when they got behind each other, I basically overtook the two in one go. That enabled me to increase the revs a bit. As my meters added up, people came and went, but generally speaking no one hindered my progress and having other people who could at least swim fairly well reminded me of masters swimming in Kona. Finally, I got up to 3,000m before I decided I just wanted to kick easy for a couple of hundred meters or so. After that I had the lane to myself and I swam 400m freestyle in exactly 7 minutes, feeling pretty relaxed the whole way, and only trying to work really hard on the last 50m. So that was an improvement. Finally, I finished with 400m using hand paddles and a moderate 100m and a cool down 50m. So it was a really good workout and one I did not expect.
After the swim I spent about 30 minutes riding my MTB easy (with a lot of spinning) around the paths that go back and forth around the sides of the Golden Lion Lake that I pass every day on my way to the pool. I was home at 9:00 am, and after my usual big bowl of muesli, I was able to get started on my work by 9:45am.
Tomorrow I will go to the pool, and see what happens when I get there. Anyway, I certainly felt good today. The swimming makes me feel relaxed, and at least I am improving.
I was born and grew up in the south-east of England, and as a child was a keen golfer. During my first year at university as an economics student, I became very drawn to Asian students and their respective countries. This led to further studies in the economics of developing countries and later the study of the Chinese language in Taiwan. In 1985 I married Hsiu-chin, and while we made Taiwan our home, we also lived for several years in Hawaii. It was there that I took up triathlon, completed the Hawaii Ironman in 2004 and took part in many smaller races. While I have gained much experience as a translator of Chinese, over the years I have developed a passion for other East Asian languages and cultures, including, but not limited to, Thai and Japanese, as well as other Chinese dialects. We currently reside in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where I continue with language learning and triathlon training.