Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Friday, May 9, 2008
Saturday: Long Swim (5,700 meters)
One of the traditional buildings one sees biking around Cheng Ching Lake. The red color, which is popular for this style of building, enables the building to stand out when surrounded by trees and a lot of greenery. This wasn't expected. On Saturdays I usually get to the pool at 9:00 am, since it is also open then besides during the early morning and there are quite a lot less people at the second session. Coming later I can also stay until 11:30 am, and so it does not feel so rushed as in the early mornings. I started off with 4x500m on 10 minute (or slightly more) send offs, where I mostly focused on technique and smoothness, paying particular attention to the catch and final push with my right arm, where I need to develop a more fluid and consistent stroke. Then I did 4x250m, with nothing particularly fast. At around this time there were about three other people in the lane and so I had to adjust my speed at times. Then I went back to easy, slower swimming, but from 4,000m on I tend to do 100m at a time with rests in between and with flip-turns at least half of the time. I reached 5,000m after I had been in the water just over 1 hr 50 mins. Then I went to the jacuzzi where I massaged my shoulders and triceps for nearly 10 minutes. That felt so good. After that I put on my hand paddles, and did 500m of slow and controlled freestyle. trying to achieve balance between my left and right arms. I finished with 200m of easy to moderate freestyle. The lifeguards were getting ready to close the pool, and so I called it a day. Given that I have done quite a lot of swimming this week and had earlier in the week been a little sore in my right shoulder, I focused on smoothness and efficiency. After all, if I were to run, I would not deliberately bang my feet hard on the road, but gently. I am not a youngster anymore (although I often feel like one when swimming). In the middle of next week, I will need to travel in Taiwan a bit (our son has an exam in Taichung and I need to go up to Taipei after that), and so I will miss a couple of swims at least. So I will just make the most of it when I can. The weather here in Kaohsiung is pretty hot. 88F (31C) in my upstairs office even at 6 am. We need AC at night. The swimming pool, being indoor, may be sheltered from the sun's rays, but the air is humid and hot, and so after a hard swim one feels like one is in a sauna. This Sunday on Mother's Day, there is the Peaman Mother's Day biathlon. I will be missing it for the first time since 2001. A great race and great fun and one I would certainly train for if I could do it.
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.