Friday, 19 August 2011

We are a go!

We are a go for 3pm today. See you all in Paris!

Thursday, 18 August 2011


The weather is not looking great for swimming Sun/Mon so we are currently delayed 12hrs. New start time 3pm tomorrow (Friday) at the Arch! Will be able to confirm 9am tomorrow.....

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Cometh the hour.....

I have a provisional start date of 2.30am Friday morning. Wonderfully sociable. :)

Time marches on...

During the last couple of months we have been blessed with two new arrivals into our world, Kobe Brown and Isaac Hughes. Both boys are totally gorgeous and we visited their fairly sleepy parents this weekend to see how they were getting on. I was talking to my friend Zoe about how I imagine waiting for this challenge to be like being pregnant. You are so excited but also you get this inevitability factor (note I avoided the phrase 'impending sense of doom'!) that at some point the time will come, this amazing event WILL come around and you can't stop it! You know it is going to be painful and emotional but that the reward will ultimately be both worth it and a total joy. Whilst my poor friend was a bit perturbed that I was comparing her pregnancy to my endurance challenge I think she forgave me my panic-addled brain and kindly said she understood where I was coming from!

It reminds me of the Sanskrit saying that I use about a thousand times during each and every endurance challenge I get into, गच्छेदेतदपि - 'This too shall pass'

Monday, 15 August 2011

The waiting game.....

is what I'm playing. Thankfully having been here before with the two Channel relays I am not too concerned. Plus, because of Adam's constraints at work I know we can't go before Thursday anyway so at least I can plan my time until then to get everything sorted in not too mad a rush. It's a bit of a shame I guess because Friday looks a great day to swim but hey. I am frantically observing wind maps like there's no tomorrow (www.xcweather.co.uk) - anything blue is good, green is doable and above green is going to be a particularly unfun day in the water. Thankfully from Sunday onwards also looks good and at the moment I am imagining starting running Friday morning in time to swim off the Sunday high tide. However, I only have a basic understanding of the conditions and understand there is more to it than a map being blue! So basically I sit and wait and when the call comes I trust the pilot and off I go!

It has been particularly hard to taper for this event, not least as you don't have a fixed start date but also because once the key sessions are out of the way it is pretty hard to stay motivated. As I said with the 90min swim a few weeks back, you try and justify why you are doing it (keep the body ticking over, maintain feel for the water, monitor water temperature etc) but really your head is saying, "I can swim for 10hrs, we know that, why am I messing around in the sea for 90mins." I splashed around for just under an hour at Anderby yesterday - it was nice to get in and out at the same time as everyone else! Though even that plan was slightly foiled by the controversial time-keeping but some who shall remain nameless! As always, everyone was brilliantly positive and supportive and I felt good in the water so I decided to take a moment to say goodbye to Anderby training and then head in for strawberry milkshakes and bacon sarnies!

No more sessions planned for this week, I shall probably take the bikes out for 10mins just to check them over, have a swim tomorrow and maybe do some body balance classes just to stretch out. Final massage is also booked in for tomorrow and then it really is a case of just resting, hydrating and not panicking!

Obviously I'll post here immediately I know anything but, once the challenge is underway, updates can be found on the forum section of the Enduroman website (www.enduroman.com), manned ably by my wonderful Aunty Sally!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Five minutes of fame.....

They say we are all supposed to get five minutes of fame during our lifetime and mine definitely came on Friday! The RAF Recruiting media team who are supporting the challenge in a big way, had set up a press call with regional news teams and I spent a fascinating morning cycling up and down the pan in front of a load of King Airs and trying not to think about my best side or the fact I was encased in unflattering lycra! BFBS, BBC Look North and ITV Regional News were in attendance and it was a great opportunity to explain the challenge, talk about the charities and thank my sponsors and the RAF for the great amount of support they have given me. The day previously the Lincolnshire Echo had also released a piece on the challenge which can be found here. It is great that people have been interested in the story and hopefully it will encourage people to support the charities which is the main point! The tv coverage will run on the iPlayer etc probably until Friday so if you want the take the chance to go and spot me in action, now's the time!

The RAF have also decided to stand up a media team to follow the entire challenge which hopefully means more coverage will become available. I just need to be really savvy about linking it to the Just Giving pages whenever we put something out so a lot of people have been interested in donating but haven't found the links. For anyone following this my two charities are Help for Heroes (www.justgiving.com/rachaelcadman) and ShelterBox (www.justgiving.com/rachaelcadmanshelterbox) and both would be extremely grateful for your support! During the challenge itself I shall be updating via the forum on the Enduroman website and the RAF Careers Facebook page (www.facebook.com/rafcareers) should hold all of the media clips etc that the mobile team send back.

Not long to go now!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What is fitness....?

So, comedically, I almost failed my fitness test! Now, obviously I had a plan to only do the absolute minimum required to pass because of my concerns of causing any injury at this late stage. I still felt a bit rubbish dropping out at a mere 6.9 on the bleep test but I knew it was sensible. Next came press-ups which I knew I had to do 9 to do, not a problem. However, there had apparently been some kind of policy change which seems to have been adopted from the College - not sure if it is Air Force wide. We now have to do tricep press-ups. Infinitely harder and definitely require prior training. What's more there was no gashing it off! The PTI actually drew chalk marks lining up out shoulders with our middle fingers (so the arms are pressed right into the sides) and made us stay there. As there was only 3 of us, we did it individually so had nowhere to hide! It was insanely hard, but I pushed through (distinctly conscious of the pressure on my shoulders) and managed 9 very poor excuses for tricep press-ups. Thankfully it seemed enough to appease and I passed but it was a close call!! If that is going to become policy I have a lot of specific training to do. Which begs the questions - what is fitness? I am probably as fit as I have ever been and yet I nearly failed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bemoaning the MSFT, it's probably as accurate an assessment of general fitness as anything but it is an interesting thought!

Aside from that, work is extremely stressful, every little thing that could annoy me or go wrong is. It is the niff naff I wish I didn't have to deal with. For example, my travel claim to the Interservices last week was called for audit. Cue more form filling and a hunt for supporting documentation such as proof of having business insurance for the car. And the laptop I have borrowed to take to Cosford tomorrow for the very important briefing didn't work - it was locked out due to me given the wrong password. Thank goodness I checked otherwise it could've been egg-on-face day on Thursday! Anyway, hopefully come the press call on Friday, work should be calmer and I have now booked some extra days off in advance of the challenge to help me manage the stress better. Poor Adam, he's living with such a crazy loon at the moment!!