Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Relaxed Swimming: 3,850 meters
Every picture tells a story, as it were. This little island in the lake where I did some of my work Monday is not just a little island in the middle of the lake. As the sign indicates, it has significance, and it has history. With the rapid advance of modern civilization, there is often a tendency to forget or debunk the past. However, things like this mean a lot to me as I have been interested in Taiwan for over 30 years now. Maybe people will disagree with some of what is written, but the important thing is to have the freedom to make your own judgments. Sports competitions are sports competitions, but history is history, and it is all about you and the people you identify with.
Today (Wednesday), as with yesterday, I just got up and went down the pool without any specific plan, and after getting in the water at about 6:30 am, just swam, swam and swam. I had to change lanes two or three times as the people sharing the lanes with me, caused me to have to stop at times or else slow down quite a lot which affected my rhythm. Also, I think I gave the others in my lane a hard time as one person often stopped at the wall to let me go by. I don't know if they will ban me from the pool for swimming too much. Or they may say that I am swimming too fast in the specially designated "fast lane" (still, that may be wishful thinking).
At around 3,200 meters I tried to pause for about a minute and then swam 400m moderately, though I was not very pumped up, and did it in 7m 07s. I think I need to do more speed work like 50s or 100s with rests between send offs, although that is difficult when the pool is busy. If someone sees you resting, they think you are done and jump in front of you.
After the swim I discovered a shortish but nice biking route starting near the swimming pool. Basically one has to go over a bridge across the nearby freeway, then ride around a huge trash incinerator about the size of a large hospital. Then there is at least another mile of windy and hilly narrow lanes next to graveyards, rice paddies and factories. This is another world compared to the city streets and perhaps not surprisingly you see very few people there. The road is also an alternative route to the huge lake I referred to the other day that is only another mile further on. I could even run the route, and a couple of months ago I in fact ran most of it with some hashers on a Hash run - in the dark! That was not much fun, but it is nice in the sunshine when you can look at the rice paddies. I wanted to take a picture this afternoon, but forgot to change the camera batteries. Maybe tomorrow.
At least now I am doing some biking as a way of relaxing after going swimming. It is only an MTB and not very fast, but the main thing is that I am spinning. I guess when I really get into training, the order of my training will be "run, swim, bike", as I can shower at the pool after the run, and then bike easy to enjoy the view after the swim. I am wondering. If I get to enjoy life so much here, then I may not want to leave this place. While this is probably not the case, I have to get used to living here, just in case I cannot leave this place.
Today's temperature in my study room: 31 Celsius. If it gets much hotter, I will need to switch on the new AC.
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.