Welcome, formerly known as 'Salford Swim Swim'. This is a Manchester blog about running and swimming and random stuff. Oh and mental health, it is good to be mentally healthy. Which we of course are not.......so if you're not too then check this out.........Moodswings

Thursday, 28 April 2011

happy thursday!

happy thursday, it's like friday today cause there is no work tomorrow - get in! so this isn't a water related track but it relates nicely to what kath and I experienced last night in Salford Quays (our second crack at open water swimming).

the water was apparently 15.5 degrees celsius, it didn't feel warmer than last week. there were some really lovely, friendly chaps there last night. one man swam the Great Salford Swim last year and told us what to expect, it was a little frightening but hey we know now. the ladyshapes don't seem to be as nice, they look us up and down like we don't belong there. but hey - we don't.

the eighties weren't too kind to the stones, the only one who comes across cool in this video is keith. i love his leopard print top. awesomeness.
i am going to have my haircut tonight, i want it took look like this......
it won't of course, it will probably look like this from all the stupid swimming....

Have a fantastic bank holiday, well done royal people for getting us an extra day off even though i find you to be pretty pointless and very expensive.

Big love - Sam x

photo's - sourced from google images and 'faithfull forever'

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The photo's Kath didn't want you to see...

That's right, it's payback time! Ahhhh don't you just love office nights out!

Kath and Bryan singing along to David Bowie. Well respected Disability Advisers? you decide.

Christmas 2010

Kath's jazz hands always come out after a drink.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Jamie Oliver's Pasta Ragu....Sam's version

We have had 2000 views, tremendous!

Thanks everyone.
Here's some food to celebrate! Guess how many ingredients I haven't got.......loads. So I am adapting this to suit my pantry. I am far too busy training to shop for fennel seeds and fresh basil.

Seriously Jamie, we don't all have 'sell out' contracts with sainsburys and infinite funds.
I didn't mean it Jamie, I like you really despite your incessant mockney accent and ever pregnant miserable puss wife. Incidentally he designed this dish for her cheggers cravings, so family Oliver must eat this a lot cause i think she has been pregnant for about 10 years now.

so here's my version
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 a massive white onion
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 400g tin of tomatoes
  • splash of gross white wine that i cannot bring myself to drink without gagging
  • a sprinkle of dried basil
  • a sprinkle of dried oregano
  • 5 richmond sausages - skin removed
  • loads of garlic
  • fusilli pasta -loads
  • 1 glass of nice red wine to drink whilst cooking said dish, pre-swim, post work. a birthday present - so keep your knickers on.
whilst listening to the kinks on the radio and dancing like a fool. my dad nursed the kinks back to health after a nasty car crash in Warrington, true story. my favourite dad story, usually his others involve golf or getting drunk and reciting the Maori haaka. bless.

The real Jamie Oliver recipe is here -knock yourself out.

So I don't have a blender. YES JAMIE, I don't have one of your affiliated blender or any other blender.

So I grated the carrots, finely chopped the onion and chilli and threw in the pan with the skinless sausages.
Threw the herbs in, splash of wine and some pre YES 'PRE' JAMIE minced garlic. browned a little and then added the tinned toms and simmered for about 20 mins.

I got drunk from that one glass of red wine cause I drank it on an empty stomach.

Whilst the 'ragu' was cooking I boiled up some pasta.
Then shaabang - this is what happened............ fit as a butchers dog! note, don't drink on an empty stomach and cook and dance, as it results in burn wrists.

and then I swam 70 lengths at Chorlton baths to try and burn off the 7 billion mini eggs i eat today, nice one Kay, happy birthday you feeder x

Monday, 25 April 2011

The pic that Sam removed, despite this being for charity and everything.

That Sam has edited one of my posts, and taken out the picture that showed her in her true colours, with devil's horns. I didn't have to photoshop it or anything, unlike her with the one of me.

Here it is again, so no one misses it. Some people have no integrity.

Kath's new training and diet regime

Right, so after a pretty disastrous start to outdoor swimming, I’m trying to work on my swimming technique, or at least try to develop one. I found my local pool does sessions with swimming teachers in attendance to give you advice on your swimming. Well, to be honest, I’ve known this for ages, but it goes against absolutely every instinct I have in the world to go and ask for help. My ex-partner, friends, relatives and boss will all confirm this, possibly at some length, with varying degrees of exasperation/bitterness.  

Amazing how the prospect of drowning in Salford can change the habits of a lifetime.

There just seem to be one or two things I have trouble with:  

Breathing. This would seem to be pretty key to pretty much everything, and I am therefore quite surprised I haven’t noticed this before. I’ve found that once you start concentrating on breathing it is quite difficult to do, so I spent my first couple of sessions at the pool in a state of panic, which I’ve found doesn’t help AT ALL. Today was better, but I’m still swallowing a considerable amount of the pool, and I’d like to work really quite hard on not doing this before I get back into the Quays.

Swimming. Apparently I just need to do an S shape as I move my arms, and make the stroke longer, and make both arms apply the same amount of force, and go in a straight line. No problem at all to someone with my degree of coordination then.  People actually couldn’t tell when I was drunk (other than the increase in complete twaddle I talked), as I am equally clumsy sober.

Dealing with the cold. I am a complete sun-worshipper, and, given that I live in the North West, spend 363 days of the year wrapped in layer after layer of cardigans. I’m actually looking forward to being old enough to tuck a tartan travel rug round my knees permanently, and I’m thinking of applying to get my electric blanket turned into a god so other people could worship it too. When I’m cold, which is always, my body is very tense, and it is difficult to move with any degree of ease.

Body strength.  A friend I hadn’t seen in too long has pointed out that not only have I lost a lot of fat over the last few months, but also a lot of muscle, despite swimming/gymming four times a week. Apparently not only can I not breathe or move, I'm also not competent at eating. I have therefore been saint-like today and eaten the following:

Two slices of toast with lots of nutritious and delicious seeds in, with butter (I need the calories) and Marmite, which is definitely good for something or other.

(Hats off to me for finding a cute cat in a pic of Marmite, seeing as Sam strongarmed so many in her post yesterday.)

A Gu chocolate moussey thingy. This was a fuel-boost before swimming, and very sensible indeed. It was also the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten, with the possible exception of the chocolate cheesecake and cream I had last night.

A griddled chicken breast (low fat) in a granary roll (good for you) with coleslaw (vegetables) and rocket (green).

A chocolate Hobnob flapjack, which is 41% oats, which are probably a slow-release carbohydrate. It also specifically mentions on the packet that they are baked, which is much healthier than frying chocolate flapjacks.

So pizza (without the crusts) will be fine for tea then.

a dreaded sunny day, so I meet you at the cemetry gates...

Keats and Yeats are on your side, while Wilde is on mine.

i got out for that run yesterday, it was blistering. my nike+ logged it as 6.66k. i don't like that, feels like a bad sign.

i went to my favourite ever place to run - southern cemetery. it is proper beautiful. it doesn't matter what the weather is like it is always stunning and peaceful and lovely.

no, i am not morbid. it really is beautiful, there are some amazing monuments and lovely tributes.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

bank holiday friday

Happy easter! I'm not religious but I like to celebrate bank holidays with BBQ's!
I have been a massive heffer, troffing on burgers and other meat derivatives. I am more than disgusted with myself. The photo below shows my chunk, its pretty unflattering and I am posting it in order to shame myself into losing some weight before the big day.

so i need to get my lard out on a run today. i didnt make the saturday swim well cause i got a little confused and slept in. i had done 4 days in a row so i decided sat was my day off. the mister made me go for a 5k run with him friday morning and it was baking.

Man, I am pale. it's gross. can you believe that i actually have fake tan on my legs in this photo! there are actual anaemic people who look browner.

I am not inspiring myself to go out right now, the sun has just come out as well. i have had 2 cups of coffee which usually makes me foam at the mouth and tap my foot but even that isnt moving me. the cats the same, he won't wake up either the lazy boy - see........

Right, I am going upstairs right now and I am going to put my trainers on. once their on things tend to happen. i will not get sucked in by this columbo movie, i will not!

One last thing, Happy Birthday Our Kay
Love you like a kipper x x x x xx

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Kath finally starts swimming outside (and not doing too well at it)....

The first outdoor swim was yesterday. It did not go well.

The place was full of relentlessly cheerful people. What is it about sport that attracts these types? They actually seemed to think that jumping into extremely cold water and swimming was a good idea, rather than something that needed to be got through before going to the pub. And yes, I do still think like that, even though the drink afterwards is non alcoholic. My attitude to all this is to get through it on sheer bloodymindedness. It may not be the right attitude, but it’s the only way I’ll do it.

So Sam and I were giggling nervously, actually to the point of hysteria, while everyone else did their ‘Good to be back!!!!!’ (Back?!), ‘Oh, you’re just doing the swim are you? I’m doing the 10k run first. Must be mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ (Yes, you’re right, you’re completely certifiable),  ‘Lovely day for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t WAIT to get in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’  routine. And I know I’ve used too many exclamation marks there, but these people talk like that, all the time. And suddenly I was back to shivering at one end of the lacrosse field, hoping the ball came nowhere near me.

After a quick and graceful change into my wetsuit, followed by a swift rubbing with baby oil and lube (yep, that kind of lube. It was not a trip round ASDA that I’d particularly like to repeat) round the neck, we went down to meet with the coach.  ‘First time? Marvellous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ he bellowed. Actually, you probably heard him, but I’ll carry on for our hearing impaired readership. ‘Oh look over there. Our Channel swimmers have just arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They’re doing it properly – no wetsuits for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ He then went into some spiel about breathing and sighting and lots of other stuff that meant absolutely no sense at all to me. While I can swim, and swim a long way, I actually have no particular technique for doing so. At this point I realised I probably should have. 

“You’ll be FINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll keep an eye on you, just go round the hundred metre course a couple of times so I can check you’re competent.”  This means he thinks we’ll drown. “All you need in open water swimming is CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Unfortunately, to me , he might as well have said “All you need to do is flap your wings” just as I jumped out of a plane.

I jumped in. The wetsuit started to fill with icy water.  12.6 degrees, my, erm, eye. I duly set off, trying to remember to breathe, and to look (but not too often) and develop a whole new swimming technique, whilst very aware that he was checking I was competent and judging me not to be. I was lucky to do 50 metres without drowning. My arms have never felt heavier. The wetsuit was apparently supposed to make me more buoyant, but it felt like it was a dead weight.

I swam back to the pontoon, out of breath. “You alright?” he asked. “I’m finding it really hard. The wetsuit feels really heavy” I whinged. “Don’t blame the wetsuit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to do more pool training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Perhaps that sort of comment spurs other people on.  I’m probably in a minority of one who takes it as a personal criticism, and then feels completely inadequate.

I set off again, but still couldn’t remember how to swim. I got out after another laboured hundred metres.

The drink in the pub was still good afterwards, though. They had alcohol-free Holsten Pils , which is the nicest alcohol-free lager I’ve found so far. And Sam did really well, and was very sweet and encouraging. Which is a nuisance, because it means I’ll have to be nicer about her on the blog now. That probably means I can’t mention that my “10 things I like about Sam” post is way ahead of her “Monday Monday” post in the ratings, so I won’t.

I’ll beat her next time, though. I just have to learn how to swim first.

first open water swim

Oh my, nothing could prepare Kath and I for our first dip in the Quays. It was flipping freezing, like Jack Frost is sucker punching your lungs.

Kath is a nut, she just jumped in. I had to slowly lower my extremities in one bit at a time.

So here are a few photos for you to enjoy.

See those floating things, we had to swim round them, brrr.

The highlight for me was when I swam round to the other side of the Quay, a load of teen types were sat at the side. I had me a little rest cause well wetsuits make you float quite well. As I popped my head out of the water I heard someone say "hiya".

I turned around and they were waving, how nice I thought. Then they shook a orange bag at me and shouted in their fine Manc accents - "Do you want a Doh' ritoh?".

I declined their kind offer on the basis that 'Doh' ritoh's' (as they called them) didn't float overly well and not to mention the fact that their structure (or should I say crispness) would be irreparably altered for the worst.

They tipped their top hats at me and waved me on while I desperately gasped my way back to the pontoon. I was half expecting them to throw bricks at me so I was pleasantly surprised when they offered me sustenance.

I love Salford, the natives are reet friendly.

RE: Open water swimming, it is bloody hard and Kath and I are proper bricking it.

Happy Bank Holiday Y'all!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

10 Things I like About Sam

Heeee - i have broken into kath's post and swapped the photo of me for a better one. there are plenty of bad photos of me on this blog so I am readdressing the balance. shhhh dont tell her!

1) She brought some leftover homemade Guinness cake into work once and what there was of it was really nice.

2) She selflessly does loads of Internet shopping to make me feel better about my own Internet shopping habit.

3) She made me feel absolutely brilliant about being 40 by having an extremely noisy nervous breakdown about being 30 the following day for the preceding three years. This in no way gave me a complex about my own change of decade.

4) She bears me no resentment that our boss and all her friends prefer me to her, which is why they’ve been reading my blogs so much more.

Bother. I was looking for a pic of my boss and me, then realised Sam has all these, and blackmails me with them regularly.

5) She’s been really supportive of me through all my various trials and tribulations over the last few months. Cheers Sam x.

God, did I say 10? I meant 5.

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