Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
A More Normal Swim Workout (4,350m)
The northeast portion of Cheng Ching Lake. Biking takes place along the road to the right of this picture. One can also run along the road, or else run along the trails on the other side of the lake provided one gets through the park entrance before 6:00am. Our home is less than two miles to the left of the Chinese tower perched on the horizon as the crow files. I can also reach the place where I took this photo within about 15 minutes by bike from our home. One reads of people who get addicted to triathlon or just training of some sort, and while it is not very clear what this actually means, yesterday I certainly came close to it as by lunchtime I had done nothing but train, eat breakfast, and write my blog. Should I not be doing something more important with my life? Yesterday ended up with my having to finish a job for a client and so I did not get to bed until 11:30pm, which is relatively late if you plan on getting up around 5:30am. Anyway, I was in the water at the pool at 6:22am, and swimming conditions were relatively good most of the time. Maybe I look a little intimidating and so perhaps fewer people join my lane. I don't know. While I tend to swim faster than most here, I don't splash as much as several others, preferring to apply force under the water and not before my hands enter it. So the first 1,000m was fairly steady and reasonably paced, and then the next 700m or so was slower. After that, a relatively consistent freestyler entered my lane and I had to work pretty hard just to make only very slight gains on him. When I got to 2,500m, he was more a less done, or was at least resting every couple of lengths or so. Today I had planned to do more speed work and so I did two 250m leaving on 5 mins at a moderate pace (4m 30s, 4m 20s), then a little very easy swimming and then some 50s, slow then fast, slow then fast, etc. (fastest 44s). Then more easy swimming, then 2 x 150m moderate (about 2m 32s each), and some easy swimming until I reached 4,000 meters. Then into the jacuzzi for about one minute (until the water jets were switched off as they always are at 7:50am, then back to very slow motion swimming, and then the 100m race. Today 4 of us raced, and while I felt a bit stronger and better prepared today, I was still no match for my friend. He went about 1:26, then me 1:29 or 1:30 and our friend who was still several strokes behind and timed himself at 1:33. So improvements are coming to me slowly, inch by inch as it were. "HY, here I come, boy!" I did minimal biking this morning, although it was another great morning for it, with sunshine, hot weather and a breeze. Just as every kid in Taiwan needs to study rather than do exercise or have fun, I also need to get on with my work. Fortunately, I still have work I can do.
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.