Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hallowe'en and the conquer of 1/6th of the A2A - Part 2!

After the second set of 80lengths I stopped for half a fig roll as a treat and then proceeded to start on the 40s - the first of which was pull. This forty lengths I thought about all my amazing sponsors and the support they have given me over the last year and the support they are continuing to give as the A2A grows ever closer. I also thought about the charities I am choosing to sponsor, notably HULA which is the closest to my heart as I volunteer there and see first hand the difference people's charitable donations make - SPONSOR HULA!! (www.justgiving.com/rachaelcadmanHULA). The next 40lengths I though about my family notably my Mum who has supported all my endurance events including crewing through the night at the Double - I remember how absolutely dead tired she was when I finished. I also thought of my Aunty Sally who is having to start a new chapter in her life after losing my Uncle last month. I may have mentioned that I though a lot about my Uncle whilst I did the Channel relay and asked him to look out for me and I did feel his presence out there on the wind. The second to last 40lengths I thought about my fiance, Adam and how much I love him and how lucky I am to have him in my life. I giggled along in my head as I remembered speaking to him last week and saying I was having real problems keeping my mouth shut when I swim - I sort of enjoy funneling water through my teeth(!) - I've always done it but it is not going to work in the sea where the salt will ravage the inside of my mouth and throat! He sighed despairingly and said, "See you're a real life whale, floating along sifting for plankton" - Charming!! That's love for you right there!! And the last 40lengths were foe me - thinking about the A2A and how I am going to cope with it mentally and how positive I am about how today has gone as I felt really strong throughout the swim and surprisingly not at all bored during it as I had feared. I did the last 1,000m at pace to try and mimic how I would feel if I was told I needed to 'sprint' during the Channel swim as can sometimes happen if the pilot is trying to 'break' the swimmer through a strong tide. And I still stayed strong, managed to pick up the pace a finished a really happy bunny! The eagle-eyed amongst you will note that I swam 8,000m tonight instead of my alloted 7,750m. The OCD in me did struggle with that as I wanted to do the target no more no less but I reasoned that I often swim a few lengths at the end of a session anyway (again the OCD in me making sure I have done the whole amount in case I miscounted a length or two somewhere) so really doing 8,000m tonight was ok. I wanted to round it up to 8,000m (5miles) as give or take with the Isle of Wight that is my longest swim to date and I am really chuffed by how easy it felt. My feel for the water is much improved and though I still worry about my low stroke rate I can feel how strong I am getting in the water. Reflections on the whole swim challenge will come in the next post but it has been a great experience.

Lastly, the best thing happened as I did my traditional few extra lengths at the end 'just in case'. The pool at my gym has glass walls and just as I was moseying along enjoying the last few lengths of cool down, the local park opposite began its fireworks display! Now I am a massive fireworks fan and 'ooh and ahhh' with the best of them so it was like a wonderful celebration of the completion of the challenge. I floated along on my back just watching the explosions of colour and feeling pretty content with the world!!

Roll on November!

Hallowe'en and the conquer of 1/6th of the A2A!

So today as I have said, I wanted to try and complete 1/6th of the A2A by running 14.5miles this morning and following it up with the last of the swim challenge, 7,750m, this evening. Fair eough there's no cycling but we can't have everything! The clocks going back allowed a leisurely wake-up and by 8am I was munching on porridge with raisins and syrup. By 9.20 I was in the gym and ready to start my run. The plan was to do 9min run/1min walk for the first two hours and then switch to 5min run/1min walk for the remainder. The first hour was probably the hardest but the second hour went well. Switching to 5:1 ratio at that point was a good idea as I could start feeling myself fatigue. The longest run I've done since the Double is 11miles so this is a step up. Still just over 2.5hours later I was done. First part of the day, check! Back home to refuel and have a short 75mins nap.

Part 2 of the challenge was the final session of my month of swims - 7,750ms. By 4.20 I was back in the pool and with provisions (1xH30 Pro, 1 x Orange Squash, 1 x Fig Roll) stacked neatly by the side I was off. I felt really really good during the swim - strong and smooth with a good feel for the water. I remember I felt the same in my evening swim post-run last Sunday which is encouraging for the A2A and means I am recovering well. I decided to do 2 x 80 length and then 4 x 40length alternating pull and full stroke. The first 80 passed quickly and with a quick swig of juice I was onto the second. People often ask me what I think about during long swims and it can be any manner of things but today I decided I would have a set figure of support or inspiration to think of during each section. The first 80lengths were dedicated to my friend Mimi Anderson (www.marvellousmimi.com) who is the most inspirational ultra-runner I know and who has just broken the WR for the furthest distance completed by a woman on a treadmill in seven days. Mimi only took up running in her forties and her journey is quite incredible - just check out her blog for the massive list of her achievements. We first met in 2006 when we both competed in the Libyan Challenge. I think Mimi was first woman home, I think I was second to last! It was my first foray into ultra events and her advice, support and humour made the whole experience a pleasure! Anyway, just before I went out I needed some motivation so went and looked on her blog for the video posted last weekend of her in the last two minutes of her run (completed may I add on a broken foot) and that was all I needed to get me heading straight for the pool. So she was a great help today and got me through those first 2,000m. The second 80lengths was dedicated to the two wonderful (and competing!) forums I use - tritalk and runnersworld. I have met a number of people from both sites 'in real life' and they are nothing but supportive of my crazy ventures - always leaving messages of support and following what I'm up to. A runnersworld forumite 'Symes' first planted the seed of the daily swim by completing the same thing but running based - 1km x day of the month. I think he got the raw end of the deal but I'm sure most runners would disagree!

Day 31!

So it's the morning of the last day of this crazy swim challenge and I am just loading up on porridge in advance of what is going to be a tough old day. I want to replicate 1/6 of the A2A run and swim today so in an hour or so I am off to run 14.5miles on the treadmill and then this evening sees 7,750m of swimming and the end of the infamous swim challenge. After which I am going to have a nice glass of wine to celebrate. Having not drunk all month it'll probably floor me! Still I've lost nearly a stone since Adam again at the end of September which I am chuffed with! I'll let you know how it goes.......!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Powered by figs....!

So the swims continue! Over the last few days it has been very weird swimming in the pool on camp as a lifesaving course is also being held there. On Thursday I was swimming along minding my own business when I noticed a prone plastic figure submerged on the bottom of the pool. Obviously it was apparent that is wasn't real but it was a bit disconcerting (especially given my weirdness about things under the water) to have to swim back and forth over this little drowned figure!

I was going to save a post on lessons learnt from the swim challenge month until after the conclusion of the big swim on Sunday and I will come back to the topic then but I realised today that endurance events are slowly but surely teaching me to be more 'present'. I am constantly planning, organising and scheduling future events that I hardly take the time to be happy in the moment and appreciate my life NOW! I find this is very pronounced when I am doing long sessions especially in the pool. During long runs it usually hurts too much for me to have much time contemplating but during these longs swims I have found myself always trying to rush through the training to get to the next thing on my list. I'm not scared of really long training sessions, in fact I really enjoy the challenge of 'going long' but I view the time spent training for such events in a peculiar manner. It's not resentful of the time spent as such but like I said I am always focusing so much on what's next, what other things I need to accomplish in the day, that I am not really concentrating and thinking about the training I am doing then and wishing that 5kms took only 10mins to do not 90!

Some people would see doing a 3hr swim say as a real challenge, I don't view it like that at all - the training doesn't both me, it is the time spent doing it that does. And I don't even mean I resent the time spent because I could be using it to do better things like clean the house, spend time with my fiance, catch up with a friend, I mean I 'resent' (not quite the right word) it because it is stopping me from getting on with the next thing on my list. Weird eh?! Anyway, doing these events is help me to develop my patience and to appreciate what I am doing in the here and now instead of always rushing off to the next thing in my day!

Two more big days of swimming to go. Figs got me through the days today, strange though they are. I got some dried figs in the supermarket the other week because I love dried fruit but if I get apricots I can literally eat a whole bag of them in one go which has literally hundreds of calories and a lot of sugar. I don't quite like figs as much and they are pretty filling so I am satisfied after about three which is a normal snack size. Anyway, had a few before my lunchtime swim of 4,250m and then had a fig roll (the endurance biscuit of champions for cyclists out on a long ride) before my evening 3,000m. No unpleasant side effects as of yet! ;)

Two days to go........!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

No Mojo Day!

So I figure it is important for prosperity to also record the days when the funk just takes over! Whenever I have been following other people's blogs and they appear to have endless capacity for training, mental toughness and more energy than a duracell bunny, I always breathe a sigh of relief when they admit to having a day when mojo seems to have taken the day off! Yesterday was one such day. It was always going to be tough to keep my running up whilst swimming to such an extent and bar this week I have managed to run three times a week which is at least ticking things over. So yesterday I was supposed to do 5miles at lunch. As I normally swim at lunch to make up the distance this meant I'd have to swim in the morning instead, run at lunch and then complete the distance by swimming in the evening.

Lunchtime came and I just couldn't make myself hit the gym! I was probably tired from getting up a bit early to swim in the morning and the rainy weather certainly wasn't helping. So I got in the car, drove to Tesco Express and bought an Options Belgian Hot Chocolate, Squirty Cream and a magazine! Spent lunchtime trying to stop myself squirting all the cream directly into my mouth and reading Marie Claire!

It was great at the time but to be honest didn't make me feel any better about myself nor reinvigorate me for my evening training session so I think the take home message is that I should have probably forced myself to the gym which would have at least stopped me feeling sluggish all afternoon. In the evening I had to hit the travel agents to book our holiday (14days in Cuba next month - I am SO excited) which put enough of a spring in my step to get me to the pool to finish off the set. That and feeling weighed down by copious amounts of squirty cream which definitely required burning off!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Life of a Pro Swimmer....

Well, maybe not quite but certainly nearly and definitely more than that of a pro triathlete this week. To finish the swim challenge I shall be swimming nearly 50kms this week. Definitely more than a pro triathlete would and nearly that of a pro swimmer. And they don't have work and an imminently returning fiance to cope with!

Day 23 and 24 went well. I enjoyed the swims both times and felt particularly strong yesterday evening. I swam the full distance of 5,750m on Saturday to start building endurance and then did a split swim on Sunday. I did 1800m post a 12mile run to feel how it felt to swim directly after running (albeit a lot shorter than the A2A will be!) and followed it up with 4,200m in the evening where I had a great feel for the water. Surprisingly I didn't feel tired swimming after running despite almost running out of energy during the run itself and my legs weren't tired. Weirdly my arms were though! I don't know if that is just cumulative fatigue from the other three weeks or whether they get tired by running?! If they get tired by running I will need to try and minimise that during the A2A as I need them fresh for the swim - maybe I am hunching my shoulders or carrying tension in them - not sure! Once I got swimming they did loosen off and they did feel good in the evening swim.

Day 25 looms - it'll be split swims all this week and three run and 1 core-stability session to add in. Come the weekend I shall do at least one of the swims all the way through and possibily both the saturday and sunday swims - depends how running goes as I also have a 14mile run pencilled in for sunday so i'll need to juggle a bit. Plus Ad is home on the Tuesday so I'll also have washing, cleaning etc to do!! Good training this weekend though. The run and swim on sunday were approximately 1/7th each of the A2A distances. Now I just got to do 7 times those amounts plus 180miles on the bike and I'm there! :)

Have a great week. Please add comments to let me know what you are all up to!

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Joy of H30 Pro

One of the things I found at the Herbalife Autumn Summit was that people really wanted to know about the products I was using to support my training. My most prolifically-used product is definitely the H30 Pro. I have just started using it again post the Double as until now most sessions have been less than 75mins. For session less than 75-90mins I try and use water only so as to minimise calories and also to encourage the body to use fat as fuel rather than topping up with easy-access carbs. However, on Tuesday I just couldn't face the swim session (4,750m - about 90mins) and felt tired and low on energy. So I decided to break open the H30 Pro again and I truly felt such a difference. I had a good swig before I even started the session and almost immediately my body responded by feeling more alert and energised. Maybe it was a placebo effect because I know how much I like using this product and how well it supports my sessions but whatever it was it helped!!

The Swim Challenge....

So, as you will be aware, I have reached Day 22 of the Swim Challenge (10lengths x the day of the month). Swimming has been going well and I have luckily been spared too many aches or pains. My shoulders have been stiff on occasion but they usually loosen off once I have begun swimming though my neck has been getting quite tight.

Tuesday was the first day where I didn't really fancy swimming and with 4,750m to do in a single session it was always going to be tough. Still, once I actually was swimming and certainly post-swim I felt much better for doing it. Wednesday saw a 2km early morning swim - eek - as I had planned to run the annual Henlow 10 at lunchtime. This is a great 10miler that I have run for the last two years but I left entering this year until the last minute as I wasn't sure what shape I would be in. I think that probably caused a bit of doubt in my mind come the day as I didn't have any pressure to do it so that plus a bit of a sore throat meant I wimped out. I decided not to run by telling myself it was sensible so as not to have jeopardised the completion of my October swim challenge but I probably could have done it if I was a bit mentally tougher! I did however go down as a volunteer and helped out with the results collation so at least I was contributing in some way. Wednesday evening saw the final required 3kms. Thursday I swam 3,250m at lunch meaning I only had a 2km swim for the evening and for this I was joined by my friend Becki. It was so lovely to have a change of set and someone to do the training with and the lengths passed easily. A relax in the steam room post-swim for a good gossip and a lovely homemade burger at the gym was our reward.

Today is Day 22 and I have just finished 3,500m this lunchtime so I have 2kms to do tonight which I will do as a cool down after the run I have scheduled. I'll probably do an hour of run/walk - building consistency with my running is the most important thing at the moment. The weekend will be tough with a straight 5,750ms on Saturday and then a 12mile run followed by a straight 6km swim on Sunday. Ouch! I know in the future this will become a small-fry training session but it seems a reasonable amount at the moment. In fact it is about a 1/7th of the A2A!!

The Power of Positivity!

On Saturday I attended the Herbalife Autumn Summit to talk to the distributors about the Arch 2 Arc and how Herbalife has been supporting me in the journey. Gavin had advised me to be prepared that everyone would be really encouraging and supportive and want to know all about the challenge - I thought he was just being kind! Well, the event blew me away! I first met with Martyn Farmer from the President's Team (as far as I can gather as they were very modest about it, being a member of this means you're doing pretty well!) who would be interviewing me on stage and we talked about the challenge and thought about the areas we wanted to focus on most during the interview. Martyn was extremely enthusiastic about the challenge and helped me to identify the key messages I most wanted to speak about, he was also unbelievable knowledgable about all the Herbalife products, when was best to use them and the science behind them. In fact this was a common theme of everyone I spoke to. Everyone used the products, everyone understood the products and everyone believed in them. Many said the Herbalife products and the role they played as a distributor had changed their life.

Around 2.30pm it was time for us to present. Martyn said he would go on stage first and do a lead in and then invite me up to join him. When he went up on stage, I couldn't believe it. People were clapping, cheering, taking photos and asking for autographs - the positive energy was amazing! What was more amazing was I got the same reception - I was staggered by how supportive and enthusiastic everyone genuinely seemed about the challenge and what I was attempting. Martyn and I talked for about 20minutes about the Arch 2 Arc and how Herbalife has supported me both financially and through product use. Martyn related it all back to the tools they use at Herbalife using words such as 'upfront decision' which basically means that once you commit to something and put that commitment into the public arena it's as good as done. The rest as he said, "is just details"!

In the evening I had the pleasure of attending the Summit party where I was hosted by Martyn and his wife and fellow President's team member, Karen. And this for me is where I was truly blown away. Without exception everyone was welcoming and extremely excited about the challenge I was undertaking. Many said it was 'an inspiration' which is always extremely humbling to hear and I posed for photographs with many different people. I felt like a true Herbalife celebrity and I cannot emphasise again how I lucky I feel to have them as main sponsors to the Arch 2 Arc. Now with another 400-odd people cheering me on, I feel even more motivated to train hard and do everything I can in my power to succeed in the challenge I have set myself.

Thank yous must go to Martyn and Karen who hosted me superbly and introduced me to many wonderful and interesting people - everyone had a story to tell! Also to the rest of the President's team - Jane, David, Penny and Jeff for supporting me and letting me join them for dinner! Also, thank you to Gavin who invited me and Mila, Branka and Alex who organised me prior to the event and made sure I got to the right place at the right time with the right presentation materials!

But mostly thank yous must go to all the fascinating distributors who were so welcoming and supportive and extremely passionate about what they do and the role of Herbalife in their lives. I had written a long list of many people I had the pleasure of meeting so I could thank them on this blog but typically I have lost it so my greatest apologies to any one I miss out.....

To Lindsey and the whole Dean Family - it was wonderful to meet you and I cannot thank you enough for your support and for getting me through the first overwhelming ten minutes of the party!

To Izabella, the most enthusiastic woman in the world and my new Facebook friend - your energy and belief in what you do is truly infectious!

To Carl - my Ironman buddy!

To Shannon, an aspiring IM athlete - just make your 'upfront decision' and go for it - anyone can do it if they really want to. If you need any help at all just get in touch!

To Sue and Raymond who are allegedly giving up 'the best Chinese in Glasgow' to join the Herbalife family.

To the many wonderful people who said I had inspired them to take on their own challenges from a 5k run to a 10mile walk to the ONER (much respect for that one - it's a toughie!!).

To the Scotland team who are flying the Herbalife flag north of the border - if you ever need me at the Glasgow Wellness Centre, I'll be there!

To Dawn who is still looking unbelieveable at 77 - if that's what Herbalife can do for you then count me in!

And finally to Renata who made my day for showing me her car where my Herbalife athlete profile is proudly displayed in the back window!

And to David, Claire, Carli, Kevin, Karen, Trish, Sarah and all the others - thank you so much for your support, it means an awful lot!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Swim Rage Part 2

I promise I will stop moaning about swim rage after this post but this is dedicated to a woman I met at breakfast this morning after the Herbalife event (which I will talk about in the next post) who totally gets what I'm talking about!! After the event I drove back down to Milton Keynes and headed to the gym to get Day 17's swim in before the arrival of the windscreen people (GRRRR!!!!). Everything was going swimmingly so to speak and I was into my third km when I was joined by another man. He was a faster swimmer than me so when I stopped to let him passed, I asked whether he'd like to swim side by side in the lane so I wouldn't hold him up. He said that actually he'd prefer not to as it 'confused him'. Seriously??! How can that be confusing? Anyway, he obviously spotted my look of incredulity and explained it might also be annoying if someone else were to join us in the lane and in fact he was just about to 'invite his daughter to join us' and started called to a girl across the pool. Bemused, I left him cajoliing her to join us in the fast lane and carried on with my set. Well, no wonder she needed persuading as she was probably no more than ten and set about swimming as her dad had instructed but doing a slow breaststroke. I couldn't quite fathom why her Dad had asked her to join us when she would obviously struggle but, not wanting her to have a bad swimming experience, tried to be as courteous as possible. She was obviously not accustomed to 'swim etiquette' being so young but I just tried to be patient and let her swim at her own speed, waiting at the end of each length for her to get far enough ahead so I wouldn't catch her. Not so for her charming father though who continued to swim a rather ostentatious frontcrawl throughout. And when he inevitably caught up with his poor daughter, instead of waiting and encouraging her, he sprinted splashily past her, often bumping into me coming the other way. What a twit!!

So about from Mr Competitive Dad, the daily swim challenge continues to go well and I am really enjoying it. I fully expect it to get hard over the next 14 days but at the moment I am relishing the routine and having fun with it. I'm going to try and get a run in this evening (windscreen men dependent) which will round off a great weekend!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Swim Etiquette......

I panicked before the Double as I notoriously dislike swimming with other people in a lane (SELFISH obviously!) and I thought I would get very frustrated with having to keep stopping and starting to meet other people's speeds (whether faster or slower) esp as that was the only part of the race I wanted to get a good time in. However, everyone was very courteous and, mindful of the fact it was going to be a long day, even I was fairly relaxed about it.

I am however, a stickler for swim etiquette!! Argh, this can make my blood boil. I am currently reading a blog by Scott Ragsdale (chairman of a company called Naseba and a 2010 Channel Swimmer) which is really helping me climb my mountain of the 10 length swim challenge. I am going to talk about Scott's blog in another post as it has certainly piqued my interest but he does talk a lot about trying not to react negatively to situations and I am trying to follow his example. However, yesterday I failed big time!

I was swimming along doing 200m Pull sets alone by myself in the fast lane. Two women got in at the far end of the pool and blocked my approach to the wall so I couldn't tumble turn. Not wanting to kick and/or splash them I went to do a push and glide turn instead. As I approached to turn however, one of the women stopped me BY TAPPING ME ON THE HEAD HARD TWICE. I was FUMING!!!!!! She stated that I had been swimming in the middle of the lane and asked if I could please pick a side to swim and indicated down the swim lane saying, "It's ok when you're by yourself but not whilst others are in the pool." I explained that until 10 seconds ago I HAD been swimming by myself and of course would've moved once they had got in and set off again swimming in the direction she had indicated. I completed another 50m of my set and reached the other end again where they were still standing. Again, they were blocking most of the lane so not wanting to aggravate by tumble turning between them I again set up for a push and glide. The same woman again TAPPED ME TWICE HARD ON THE HEAD (so angry!!!) and told me I was swimming in the wrong direction. Now, she was quite correct on that point but I had only being trying to swim in the direction she had indicated so as not to cause her any more stress. Muttering under my breath I changed direction and swam off. Anyway, conflicts like that happen in the pool all the time and it wasn't that that I minded so much. The big problem for me was that she thought TAPPING ME HARD ON THE HEAD was a suitable way to stop me. You don't normally rap people on the head to get their attention so why do it in a swimming pool?!

For the record, if you want to overtake someone in a pool, tap twice on the soles of their feet as they are approaching the end of their length. If you want someone to stop, wave your hand at them underneath the water as they are approaching the wall. DON'T TAP THEM ON THE HEAD!!

Ps. I shan't even start complaining about the fact that these women then thought that a good swim set was swimming 50ms and then stopping to chat blocking the wall for others........

Rant over.................. ;)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

People are strange....

Genuine conversation in my gym changing rooms today. Woman 1: "So i've decided I'm not going to do sit-ups anymore, I want a flat stomach." Woman 2: "I thought sit ups were supposed to help you get a flat stomach?" Woman 1: "No, I was talking to Amy and she said that doing sit-ups make your stomach stick out." Woman 2: "How does that work?" Woman 1: "Apparently if you do sit ups, it works the stomach muscles under the layer of fat on your tummy and makes your stomach stick out, so I think they're probably a bad idea." Woman 2: "Gosh yes, I don't want sit ups to make me fatter, I'll stop doing them too."

Are you kidding me........??! As they say, a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Good Times!

My training mojo is SLOWLY on its way back! Hurray! About time too! I did a five mile run at lunch which I felt I good have extended for another couple of miles which is great so I am going to push on with an 8 miler tomorrow.

The swim challenge is proving to be a great motivator. A lot of people advised me not to do it as I would get stale, might get injured etc but I knew that I would need something to keep me going and it is working well. I appreciate I am only 7 days down and it is going to get TOUGH over the next week or so but I have tried to get people from the RunnersWorld forum to help me along by swimming a session with me or posting a session for me to do. This really helps me along the way.

I have often wondered when I hear elite swimmers talking about 'fast' pools how that can really be true but I can tell there is such a huge difference between the pool at Henlow and the pool at DL. When I swam in the Henlow pool a few days ago when I still had my cold and my inner ear problems were affecting my balance it was honestly a weird, surreal experience. Everything was bathed in a weird light from my orange goggles and it was so bouncy underwater I felt like I was a bottle bobbing on an ocean - it was a bit trippy and disconcerting. I have discovered this week that ears truly are important for the old balance thing and I suppose that may explain why I have been a bit clumsier this week also? Anyway, the DL pool is a joy to swim in and feel fast and tonight when I did my 70 lengths I felt really strong. That was a bit surprising considering it was a double training day which I though might kill me after my virtual inactivity of the last 6 weeks but no! It turns out training is good for you!!

Plus I have been so boosted by two compliments I have received in the last two days. Firstly a colleague from work was swimming along in the lane next to me and confessed he had tried over his last few lengths to keep up with me and concluded I was 'shifting along a bit' (maybe not so slow and steady after all!) And then tonight at the pool after my session, the lifeguard actually came up to me and said he wished he could swim like me! I was so proud! :) He said, those other guys were swimming around the same speed as you but you made it look so easy, you have such a great slide! So there you go, even though I am not sure my super low stroke rate is going to win me any points in the Channel, it is at least easy on the eye!! Anyway, I don't know if the daily swim is making me more efficient or a better swimmer but those quotes really boosted me and will help me over the next tough weeks. The point today I think, it that compliments are ALWAYS well-received. If you want to compliment someone but are afraid they might think it a bit cheesy, I say go ahead! You never quite know what you might be encouraging!!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Time Flies.....

So much has gone on in the last two weeks that I want to talk about so I will try and cover it all in the next few posts. As you probably gathered I had a fantastic time during my swim to the Isle of Wight but generally the time since the Double has been extremely tough. I have always wanted to try and identify the highs and lows of training for an event such as this but don't want to put too much out there on a public forum. Suffice to say that I have certainly had post-event blues which I have been told are extremely normal. The problem is that I still haven't really had my post-season month off yet because despite doing very little training I have still been caught up mentally in the Channel relay and the Isle of Wight swim. It has also been a difficult time personally as three days before the relay, I lost my Uncle suddenly to cancer which had only been diagnosed shortly before. All this combined with a tough time at work and Adam still being away has made me extremely lethargic and not really up for anything, let only training. I think the mental aspect of training for an event such as this is really interesting and I'd love there to be some psychological studies done on the personality types of women, in particular, who attempt these sort of events. I really believe people are searching for something or running from something or have some sort of addictive personality when they do these kind of things. I'm not saying this is a negative thing as, well managed, this is obviously helping people to achieve fabulous things but I do know a number of women who are top endurance specialists who are using their events to escape depression or eating disorders. I wonder what my poison is?!

Anyway, Adam was home last week which really really helped me get things a bit back into perspective and cheered me up a bit. I am SLOWLY starting to feel like training again and have set up a challenge for myself so I can get a great swim block in through October while he's still away. The challenge is to swim 10lengths x the day of the month so 10L on the first day, 20 on the second all the way to 310 lengths on the 31st. It will be extremely tough especially during the latter half of the month but I am hoping it will get me back into the routine of training and build me a great block of swim endurance too!

The first three days are under my belt but typically I have been hit by a horrid cold the last few days - I hope I can shake it before the number of lengths increases significantly!

I need to have a think about what I'd like to achieve in intermediate goals by the end of the year. I am thinking a 10km swim and a marathon but we'll see how it goes! Not even thinking of biking until it gets warm again - it's hard enough fitting in two sports - how on earth did I manage with three! (oh yes, I didn't really do any swimming - well that's certainly en route to change!!)

Day 4 - 40 lengths here I come! :)