27 July 2009

Happy Mondays

Well, not so much. I'm actually having a pretty unhappy Monday, but that's okay. It looks like I may be working a film shoot on Wednesday, which is the most exciting thing I will have done in about three months.

I missed training this morning, due to an unexplained inability to get out of bed at 5:20am. I am for real kids, the body was not co-operating. So it went that I didn't rise until 8am, and hit the gym at 11 for a two-hour session that I spent a large part of being unnecessarily angry. Luckily I cleared most of that out of my system for an hour-long run at the end. I am just not a person that can channel angry energy into training. I've been known to turn around after just ten minutes on my bike because I'm mad about something. It's not really very productive, but to be fair I had six excellent training days last week, so I'm letting myself have today as a shitter.

The FINA Aquatic World Championships are now well and truly underway, with the swimming events starting yesterday. And what a start! Federica Pellegrini (of whom I am not a fan) became the first woman ever to break 4 minutes for 400m freestyle long course - she posted a 3:59.15 in last night's final. I've spoken about this before, and about how Janet Evans held the record of 4:03.85 for my entire swimming career (she actually set that time in 1988, so it's almost fair to say she held it for my entire life). I used to think that time was unspeakably fast. To think that Pellegrini swam each 100m of her race in under 60 seconds is remarkable. The bitch can swim. I wish that's all she did.

In another almost unbelievable milestone, the German swimmer Paul Biedermann (anyone heard of him until today? Because I hadn't) took 0.01s off Ian Thorpe's 400m freestyle record. If your memory allows you to, cast your mind back nine years to the Olympic Games in Sydney and remember just how dominant the young Thorpe was over 400m. In that final, he swam something like 3:43, and the world was amazed. In Manchester, two years later at the Commonwealth Games, he recorded 3:40.08 and since then no other swimmer has really gotten close. In his heyday, Thorpe was described by the media as the perfect swimmer. Dave Salo (US coach from Irvine Novaquatics) said he was the evolutionary result of years of swimming theory and practice, and he was hailed - not unlike Phelps is now - as unbeatable. The fact that his 400m time stood untouched for seven years, even in the wake of super-technological swimsuits, is testament to Thorpe's incredible talent. Now, you just wonder how long that time is going to stand. Interestingly, the silver medal last night was won by Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli. This guy won the 1500m last year in Beijing, after having been stood down for the two previous years due to doping. So not really that cool.

Anyway, these World Championships are off to a fast start, and I can't wait for the rest of the events!

Peace, love, and polyurethane swimsuits.

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