Surfmuppet gets to training this morning.
Loading everything into the car by 515am to get to the pool by 6am, he places his morning brew on the centre console between the front seats while hitting the button to start the engine of the great white. Moving suddenly, elbow catches cup and it’s hot tea all over the leather seats, the spare change well in front of the console now a swimming pool of English breakfast, white no sugar.
A few minutes of fuck this and fuck that, a clean white towel stripped off the starlit washing line and soon it’s a hot, brown towel after mopping up the deluge while the car zooms along dark suburban roads, direction Sydney.
Watch strap snaps (ok, with a little help) after getting caught in the action of humping the swimming gear backpack up onto the left shoulder after parking in Woolloomooloo. Soleus brand, purchased at a booth on the Manly promenade after missing the wave at last year’s Cole Classic and sneaking into another (Cole Classic 2km ).
Watch ends up in the shadowy waters of Woolloomooloo Bay under the austere gaze of warship L100, still tied up at dock, the dawn later revealing a mysterious large grey marquee style tent in the middle of the deck, aft of the big squat bridge superstructure.
Big John, Lord of the Channel, is in the dressing room when the muppet finally makes it to the ABC, ready to grace lane 1 with his presence. Always great to see the big fella back at training. It must be hard to get back into training after completing a big swim like that and then taking extended time away from training to get on with life in the real world. Big John loves a chat but the clock is ticking and mistress Charm anxiously awaits her flock of minions poolside.
Welcome back to the land of the lane crawlers.
Despite the spilled tea, broken and drowned watch, the surfmuppet has a truly enjoyable 4.15km set of sets. Wednesday is an anaerobic threshold day, lots of heart warming sets designed to get the blood flowing and the lungs pumping. Starts off at number 6 in the lane, then number 4, number 2 and finally number 1, head honcho, in the last set of 8 x 50m. Mind you there’s three other squad lane of superior speed, fitness and talent to the right of lane 1, but what the hell, never going there so will take all the morsels of vain glory going in the minnow lane.
Muppet mantra these days is relax and work on the stroke – long stretch, glide, catch, pull etc, relaxed arm out of water recovery, clean entry, slight catch up with the arms, build a sense of forward momentum with the centre of gravity higher up the meat sack, feel of swimming slightly downhill.
Anyway, it works, catch up with all the other bastards in the lane and still lots in the tank at the end.
So relaxed at times the muppet looks for diversion – like counting the number of aerials on top of the bridge of L100 across the narrow bay. Loses count at somewhere between 8 and 12.
Dawn sky continues to brighten behind the sea of aerials, with narrow bands of red and ochre cloud, until her golden majesty finally climbs over the edge of the eastern horizon at about 7-ish.
Afterwards in the ABC cafe, tea with Charm, sharing the table with Rachel, Big John, Blackdog and a fastie from lane 2 who had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast – nice chap, can’t recall his name.
Followed by a stroll in the warm Autumn sunshine back through the domain to where the great white awaits in silent vigil by the kerbside.