Thursday, 28 June 2007

week ending 2 July

My last week of training before the worlds! I'm quite excited about getting there and just doing it. I've completely lost focus as we're sightseeing now. Possibly need to relax a bit more and not try to visit every sight here in Vienna (but it's sooo cool). Also, feeling a bit jet lagged, which isn't so great. Looking forward to getting back in the water...

  • Tuesday - I forgot. :(
  • Wednesday - did a couple of dry (horrible) negatives: 1 min & 1:30, then 5:20.

Vienna - 1st 2 days

Vienna is just gorgeous. Everything is old. The people are friendly and they speak English. The food is great. It's not too ridiculously expensive. There aren't too many cars and it's incredibly easy to get around.

I've been dragging poor Braedon all over the place to see all sorts of old and new architecture (he doesn't mind too much). We've seen lots of Otto Wagner, Coop Himmelblau & Hans Hollien buildings (should get lots of CPD points for this!), my first medieval cathedral and palace, some art by the old masters, some old cafes, local markets...
Today we left Austria for about an hour when we took a tour of the UN - Vienna International Centre.

We've got 2 more days here before heading down to Maribor. Have to remember to keep holding my breath...

I'll sort out some photos soon.


It was a very long flight from Auckland to Shanghai - 12:30 hrs. We managaed to sleep a bit - enough to not be too bothered looking around Shanghai all day after arriving at 8am. We managaed to avoid our first scam, luckily. A random taxi driver trying to charge us three times the standard as unsuspecting, tired tourists. The taxi driver we did get was a speed freak though, and we spent the next 45 mins winding in and out of lanes to avoid the surrounding vehicles.

Shanghai was prety amazing. They really know how to build skyscrapers in bulk. There were heaps of apartment buildings in clumps where there were about 20 building all the same to about 30 stories - individually the designs were pretty cool though. This photo is the view from our hotel window:
We wandered around a bit and had lunch (noodles in broth with Shanghai greens) in this random alley across from an old Chinese woman (who thought we were very odd) at the back of a bazzaar where they were trying to sell us copies of gucci/prada, etc bags, wallets, sunglasses, watches..... Everyone was trying to sell us this stuff just because we're foreign. It was all hidden away in little rooms off the street so the police couldn't find it (surprisingly). We wandered along the bund too. It's all super new skyscrapers across the river and old (Euro) along the bund - pretty odd since it's China.
Emma's friend Mariko came and showed us around in the afternoon. It was really great as we'd had a lot of trouble finding things earlier (possibly due to the lack of a decent map). She took us to the Shanghai Contemporary Urban Design Exhibition Centre. They had the hugest city model youäve ever seen - must have been about 25m wide showing all the buildings in the city. The centre outlined the history of the city and it's settlers, covered what is there now and showed their plans for the next 10 or 15 years. It's going through some serious growth, but there are a lot of new exciting projects going on.

Mariko then took us out through the People's Square and up to a nice coffee house: Kathleen's. We then went out for dinner to an authentic Chinese restaurant. Mariko ordered lots of food: shredded potato soaked then fried with capsicum, tofu and pork, shanghai dumplings, soup... We were the only white people there. We ate so much and left so much and the whole meal including 3 beers was only just over NZ$30 total.

Then we went under the river to the Jinmao tower - 340m/88 stories. We went to the top in the speedy elevator and had a look out through the cloud over Shanghai. It was pretty spectactular.

The TV tower, the colours keep changing at night:
The next morning we only had time for a quick wander around before having to take another hair-raising taxi ride back to the airport.

Friday, 22 June 2007

week ending 25 June

Well, I'm really looking forward to sunshine. I'm early this week as we head off tomorrow. Don't know how much more I'll add to this section of the blog for a while...
Training is going OK.

  • Tuesday - statics, short CO2, Braedon and I debated as to whether I did 6 or 7 x 1:40s. I reckon I did 7. It felt like heaps...
  • Wednesday - dry statics, 3:30s, then 4 mins, then 5 mins.
  • Thursday - 105m with a huge tummy ache. Wasn't too bad.
  • Friday - did yoga
  • Saturday - squeezed in a quick DNF session before we left: 118m pb! :)
  • Monday - remembered to hold my breath before the weird Chinese breakfast, did 4 & 4:30.

It's pretty much dry statics from here on in... fun.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

week ending 18 June

One week until we leave and the WC will be all over in three! I've been taking it easy after my struggles at the competition a week ago. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Tuesday - one long dynamic i nthe evening, about 95m
  • Wednesday - no training, but did lung function tests. More on that later when the official results come through. My lung weren't as big as I'd anticipated... I also learnt that whatever I'm doing to pack isn't working so I'm giving up (it'll give me another 20s or so breath hold). I actually got more in not packing (though there are possible factors involved that would create discrepancies, I'm not getting more from "packing", so it's really not beneficial).
  • Thursday - 4 x 75-80m swims
  • Friday - rest!
  • Saturday - very comfortable long dynamic 114m (PB no fins!) followed by 3 x 80m - felt really good. I'm really enjoying Porirua 25m pool - it feels really fast and is a good depth so you don't feel squeezed at the ends. 25m is sooo much nicer to do no-fins in than 33.3m like Freyberg where we normally train.
  • Sunday - long dynamic 106m (there were a few distractions at the pool which didn't help) followed by 2 or 3 75m swims.
  • Monday - long CO2 tables dry - 3:30s. It was a bit of a struggle (first one was worst - my heart was racing and I was pretty uncomfortable). I should have taken a photo of where I was. I was on a business tip to Taupo and had some time to kill, so sat in the car (fairly uncomfortable) in the sun, looking out to the lake, on a crisp winter's day (otherwise I would have laid on the grass - bit chilly). It was very beautiful - most of the trees still have their autumn leaves and the lake was completely flat (could have gone for a dive if I'd had my super thick wet-suit with me). I actually got hot in the car despite the windows being down a little. That CO2 build up again - doesn't keep my feet warm though - I think they've been cold for the past 2.5 weeks since winter officially commenced perfectly on time. The flight home was awesome (apart from the fact that I think it was our plane that gavin didn't check the landing gear for before it's belly landing in Blenheim, and we were in this mini plan that didn't have an Air NZ tail, and I was wedged in the back between two Japanese guys, who both fell asleep - at least they weren't fat). There was a fantastic red sunset above the clouds, the clouds were a big level blanket right across NZ and you could just see the snow covered mountains in the central plateau popping through the top of them, and then Mount Taranki off in the distance, also peaking through the clouds. Very stunning, when I could see it past the cuddly tired Japanese guy (it was very tight - our shoulders wouldn't all fit across the back of the seat at once).

We depart for Europe on Saturday (not long now!), so I'm going to be stuck doing dry statics for over a week until we get to Maribor! Not really looking forward to that. Awefully excited about the holiday though - never been to Europe. Bit stressed out still wrt work, planning, training, etc. I'm looking forward to being able to sleep in and relax (I'm sure my heart rate will fall away with some r&r). Does anyone know of freedivers any in Vienna?

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Week ending 11 June

Well, well, well. An interesting week. I have no idea what I did as it was so long ago - maybe it'll come back if you can keep reading through my waffle. Again I was tired and no more break throughs for me - perhaps the opposite. Finished up altitude training (15th session) on Thursday morning. It was so nice to "sleep-in" on Friday. I had Friday off before the competition - probably needed more - that's a seperate blog entry... Anyway, it's all a build up for three weeks from now. Had a good (hard out) swim on Wednesday, and did 10x1:20s dry statics in the evening. Tuesday I did some shocking dynamics, I think I did about 95m max followed by about 5 swims between 75-80m each - feeling a bit wobbly after most of them. Monday I missed yoga but can't remember why - oh yeah, public holiday, I had a rest day after a big weekend of too much training.

I'm pulling back on the fitness stuff now and will have a few rest days before pushing anything again. Will see what the weekend brings, but the diary pages are almost full, so it's not looking good for catching up on sleep and relaxing...

I'm being called off to bed by Braedon (and Minnow) now and feel I should probably listen.

Wellington Winter Champs

  • Freediving Pool Competition, Naenae Pool, 9-10 June

  • This year the comp went smoothly - organisation wise for me anyway. We had eight competitors, three of whom had not competed before. Judges (Fran & Tracy) and our medic (Karl) flew down from Auckland for the event and did a fine job. We managed to get the 50m pool for the Saturday morning dynamics events, and the 25m for the no fins. A number of personal bests were swum, as the guys enjoyed not having to turns so much. Thanks to everyone who helped out - the level of delegation worked much better for me this year!

  • The comp for me didn't go so well. It was my worst one ever. :( I miscalculated a few things and ended up falling over after standing up at the end of my DYN event at 102m (done without fins in the 50m pool), and again after my static performance at 5:07s. The first meant that I was unable to compete in "my event", the dynamics without fins. I've spent a lot of time analysing every aspect and I feel there were a number of factors that can pretty much be summarised as: physical & mental fatigue and a poor warm up for both events.

  • Thanks to those who came to support me: mum (sorry it was such a poor introduction to freediving for you) and Miriam who came out to the pool when I didn't even get to compete.
  • This photo pretty much sums up my weekend, then there's a link to a video of my DYN (done without fins):

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Week ending 4 June

  • Getting a bit late with this entry - not sure how much I can remember. I haven't made any huges improvements over the last week, unlike the fortnight prior. I'm still on track though (I think). I'm still pretty tired from training so much, organising the holiday and working pretty hard. I need an extra 6 hours a day: 3 for sleeping, one for training, two for working and maybe another for a rest period... It's one month exactly until the commencement of the world champs, two and a half weeks until we leave. I keep thinking that I only have the two and a half weeks left for training - won't really get another decent dynamics session until the WC training days, when I'm supposed to be taking it easy! I'll be doing dry statics in Shanghai and Vienna though (and perhaps on the plane if there's not much going on - I wonder if that would increase the chances of blood clotting!). Looking forward to catching up on some sleep and actually getting a decent rest prior to competing. Hope Maribor isn't too much of an interesting place... Next weekend will be a good trial - we have the Wellington Winter Champs.

  • Tuesday: Altitude training: 8% O2, min SPO2 73% (I think), 7/3mins, 2 break outs. Statics: short CO2, 12 x 1:30s (one breath between) - it was easier overall than the 9.5 repetitions I did 12 days before. I focussed on relaxing completely and took my time getting into the pool, and it always feels better earlier in the week!
  • Wednesday: Altitude training: 8% O2, min SPO2 73%, 7/3mins, 2 break outs. Lunch time swim: I was a bit tired so just took it easy: 20 lengths warm up, 10 x breaststroke, 10 x backstroke, couple of medleys and a warm down.
  • Thursday: Altitude training: 8% O2, min SPO2 72%, 7/3mins, 3 break outs. Dynamics: but can't remember - can't have been too startling!
  • Friday: Altitude training: 7% O2, min SPO2 72%, 8/2mins, 15 break outs - it made a bit of a difference dropping down to 7%! Got an early night - got 11 hours sleep. :)
  • Saturday: Dry statics: long CO2, 3:30s - was OK, then tried a longer one, but it wasn't my day - gave up at 4 mins, not feeling like I'd get past 5. Altitude training: 7% O2, min SPO2 72%, 8/2mins, 14 break outs.
  • Sunday: Gavin was up so we had a couple of sessions (although I think I probably was due for a rest day!) Statics: short CO2, did about 5 x 1:40s - wasn't really there, but had had a couple of stressful sessions the day before. Practiced statics entries for the comp. Dynamics: no warm up, 88m then 82m, then just some 50m swims and coached the others a bit.
  • Monday: I decided to have a full rest day. :) Caught up on a bit more sleep.

film event

I'm uncertain as to whether or not Pirates of the Caribbean lived up to everyone's expectations - perhaps that no-brainer is what we expected! It was however, rather entertaining, and I was pleased to see the freediving demonstration when the boat rolled upside down - must have been a good 45s breath hold after running around - fairly impressive... Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone who came along for their support - it was hugely appreciated. It was great to have a quick catch up with people I haven't seen for ages and I must apologise if I didn't manage to get to talk to you. We raised about $1000 total.