Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Easy and Comfortable 4,500 meters!
The Indoor Swimming Pool Complex where I am currently able to swim six days a week. The red numbers on the screen on the left (you can click on the picture to enlarge it) are various air pollution measures that the government publicizes as part of its "good corporate citizen" policy. They are all within acceptable limits. The main polluters in this city appear to be the motor scooters, smokers and the people who regularly burn fake money.
Well, I am glad I can actually say I enjoyed swimming 4,500 meters today. I got off to an earlier start (by 6:15 am in the water) and the first 1,000 felt very smooth and comfortable. I did not pause much until I reached 2,000m. Then I got on deck thinking I would change lanes, but decided to stay where I was for the time being. Eventually, at 4,000m I had a lane to myself. So after resting nearly a minute, I swam 200m in 3m26s, only really trying to push on the last 50m. Then I kicked 100. After about another minute or two, three of us raced over 100m. I tied for second, in about 1m 33s. My weakness in the past has been that I cannot go very fast. So this is something I need to work on if I an going to maintain a faster pace over a long distance. I did a 100m cool down to finish and then I had to get out of the pool as it was 8:00 am and they were closing. This afternoon I will accompany our younger son to Taichung (2.5 hours away by bus/coach) as he has an important exam tomorrow morning, and one he has worked very hard for these last two months. I really hope it goes well for him. He certainly has put in the effort, and it is not like just hoping he will be lucky. It is amazing how things tend to play a very important part of our lives. It may be a university course, or just training for some race, or this exam for my son, or my goal to try to get my time down to six minutes. In some ways for me, my training just stops there. I still have to make a living, and I am too old to consider making one as a triathlete. At the top of today's blog entry is a picture of the swimming pool where I go, from the outside. The pool is 25m long and there is a separate jacuzzi and also sauna and steam rooms. So it is this building that appears to be running my life (at least my early mornings) at present, as I log in the distances and dream of maybe achieving something significant in the future.
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.