Sunday, 3 November 2013

Just me again ;-)

First real post for over a year…  not exactly sure where to begin.  I remain a Channel ‘Wannabee’ or Aspirant to use correct terminology and YES the goal is alive and kicking. Last summer was a depressing if educating time, which resulted in a break from swimming and most of the associated financial implications.
 
October I finally re-joined the gym and begin to make efforts into regaining some technique and fitness.  My restart was a bit of a shock /eye opener, I was surprised just how difficult it was to complete just a couple of laps, form is slowly returning albeit the timings are way off, as would be expected after such a lengthy break.
The one positive to come from such a lay off is habit breaking.  I believe I have been able to develop some ‘new pathways’ for bi lateral breathing, previously this always felt alien, however the preliminary feeling is one of normality, almost all of my swimming is now relaxed breathing to both sides. This will hopefully prevent some neck issues when the longer swims inevitably arrive providing I can remain symmetrical in technique.

Sessions remain short (approx. 60 minutes) for now, but I am getting there slowly.

I cannot finish this first post back without saying congratulations to Thomas Noblett who is at long last a Channel Swimmer and to wish Amanda Bell good luck not only with her new job at Charlies school but also for her 2014 EC Solo.

I’m back…

The Amazing Wendy Trehiou

Friday, 1 November 2013

Hello stranger ...

In excess of 12 months out of the water and I'm finally back getting wet, been a struggle but at last I appear to be slowly getting somewhere in terms of  technique and fitness , also had some issues with the site domain so this is a bit of a test post. Back soon

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Roller Coaster

Little update....

As a result of a great forecast / prediction on Friday 17th August, I discussed the possibilities of swimming slightly early possibly on Tuesday being that the weather was looking so good.

After a chat with Neil we decided to head to Dover on Sunday afternoon.

I collected Amanda Bell and Dee Llewellyn and together we travelled south arriving in Dover at Kevin and Jane Murphy's flat around 6pm. The plan was to spend the next 24-36 hours resting before taking the opportunity to swim. As luck or bad luck would have have it, the wind speed and general conditions declined resulting in what Neil described as marginal conditions. I trust him and was more than happy to accept this decision. The last thing I wanted was to start my attempt under the wrong circumstances.

That brings us to the present situation. Dee has been keeping a close eye on the usual websites of windguru and xc weather etc for the sign of  a good window (with our limited knowledge) and I have been in daily contact with the only person who really knows that being Neil.

As it stands now..Wednesday was out of the question but Thursday night / Friday look more favourable...though as you all know the British weather can be very fickle..

This morning we drove around to Samphire Hoe one of the likely start locations, where the enormity of the task ahead hit me like a train...I was filled with doubt, nerves and fears. I am assured this is completely normal at this stage. I have had some very touching emails and messages of support some of which have brought me close to tears...those people know who they, I am very very grateful for your kinds words.

We will speak again this evening and hopefully have some good news.

If and when the swim goes ahead the spot tracker loaned to me by Kate and Steve Robarts will be available in real time here www.bit.ly/markierob  

As promised there will be more frequent updates on twitter at @mncrobswim

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

prior planning and preparation

With little over one week until the beginning of my tide, I am starting to become somewhat anxious.
My crew is in place and most details are in the process of being finely tuned. I will hopefully arrive in Dover and have 24-48hours rest and mental preparation prior to the call from the pilot.

On the big day I will be accompanied by Neil Streeter (Skipper/Pilot of 'Suva') his crew mate, the official CS&PF observer (unknown as yet) and my own hand picked crew of Dee L, Sarah T, Amanda B and Joe Hunter.

All crew members will have a specific task on the day one of which will be updating my twitter @mncrobswim however you will obviously have to be a follower. You can also follow progress using the AiS tracker system using this link.

More news once we are settled in Dover...keep your fingers crossed please!


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

4 years ago today.....

No need to say anything really
Just didn't want this anniversary to pass unnoticed
This is the original post here

Saturday, 21 July 2012

That's a first (and an Elephant)

On Friday 13th July, Rob and I made the arduous journey to Dover for what was planned to be our big training weekend. The aim being to complete the standard back to back or split Channel swim in the harbour, consisting of a 7 hour swim Saturday and 6 hours Sunday.

340 miles after leaving home we arrived at the Premier Inn on the sea front and checked in, ahead of a visit to Chapters Chinese buffet for what proved to be an MBS (maximum belly stretch) afterwards I played the two swimmers DVD to Rob and watched his face as the tragic events unfolded.

More food for supper then off to what should have been a good nights sleep, I say 'should have been' as it turns out that Rob snores like an elephant ....I was not happy and spent most of the night trying to wake him from the deep slumber only for him to produce even louder noises as the night wore on...I was basically waiting for daylight and time to get up.

I got out of bed feeling like I had had zero sleep and forced down some breakfast before heading to the beach...it was fantastic to see some old faces some of whom I hadn't seen since 2008, before too long I joined the queue to see Freda and was greeted with a massive hug. She winked and almost asked ..."7 today?"
I replied "yep no problem" and off I went to grease up.

On the stroke off 9am we entered the water, Rob and I swam more or less together, after only 45 minutes I had a bit of a blip and had a quick chat with Rob, we got a move on and swam til the first feed at 2 hours, the water was about 15c and the weather was getting worse as time went on. The rain soon started to fall eventually followed by and electrical storm. The four hour feed was maxim and a piece of milky way. This immediately made me feel sick, resulting in me staying out of the choppier waters in an effort to settle my belly, half an hour later and all was well. I swam in at 5 hours to see Barry waving his arms and blowing a blowing a whistle. He shouted 'Everyone out..its too dangerous'
 I didn't argue!! I have never known this ever happen...a first for certain

Rob wasn't too happy as he desperately wanted the seven hours. I reassured him that this was still a big step up from 6 hours at the lake.

Saturday evening after an initial meal at the premier inn (at 4pm) we visited an Italian restaurant (with Zoe Sadler who is due to swim The English Channel anytime from Monday 23rd !!) for MBS number two, a starter, two main meals and ice cream later and we were off to bed. Another night listening to the elephant and becoming more and more agitated!

Sunday morning we awoke to much better conditions, the harbour was near flat and the sun was even peeping out, the swim was fairly uneventful with no mental blips, 6 hours was comfortable and we danced up the beach on completion.

The battle with the motorway followed almost without delay, 7 hours later I was home tucking into an Indian, slightly wired from the maxim but feeling very satisfied with a great weekends training.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Evolution not Revolution

For one reason and another I have been rather slack with the site of late, partly because there was little or nothing to say. However now that the English Channel season has started I am finding myself on the laptop (rather than the iphone) more and more frequently checking trackers and general swim updates. I therefore thought I would give a bit of an update.

The weekend in Ireland came and went and more less left me feeling a bit down, the water temperatures were not quite what I had hoped for and there was no way I was going to be able to have a long swim in 11-12 degree water. My longest swim over there was 2 hours and 15 minutes on the TBBC day (total brain and body confusion) when we generally got messed around with directions, feeds and criticism. (all part of the game)

Returning home, training has continued in the step by step fashion I have become accustomed to and can cope with. I know from past errors and experience that I need to build up slowly towards the longer swims letting my body evolve in the process. It is crazy for me to try and match the almost elite swimmers around the world who are hitting some unbelievable distances and times in very cold water. An example of which is the incredible Lisa Cummins who recently swam ten hours around Sandycove in that same 11-12 degree water!!

The last ten days have been great training at home, together with Rob, I have moved incrementally up the timescale from 4 to 5 to 6 hours..its good to get some miles in the shoulders in readiness for our Dover Trip where we hope to complete two swims of 7 and 6 hours. That will be our next big test as our tides rapidly approach.

I will keep the site more up to date as we are now inside the last 50 days

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rant over

After my last rant regarding the temperature the whole of the UK underwent what can only be described as a heatwave, however this unfortunately coincided with the onset of a chest infection which developed around 20 May...I thought it was just a head cold though yesterday my GP confirmed the bad news and prescribed a course of antibiotics...This has left me flapping somewhat being that the tide for this years big swim is now less than 90 days away..still...better to be ill now than in August (I think)

Other news.... I have decided to dedicate the swim to my late mum who we lost in 2008 after being ravaged by Dementia with Lewy Bodies, as a result of which I have added a justgiving widget on the left, if you click the link you can see the full details, and, if you feel that way inclined can even donate by text/sms. No pressure as I know we are all feeling the pinch of the credit crunch.

Hoping to be fit for the long bank holiday weekend as I am desperate to get up to three hours

Monday, 7 May 2012

Global Warming NOT

I have retained by training records going back to 2007, they include such things as time in water, conditions, how I felt, who I was with and WATER TEMPERATURE.

It is a fact that this year we are way behind for this time ...as an example, this weekend 2011 after a long cold winter the water at the Lake was 58f...this weekend it was 50f. The North Sea today 2011 was 51f today it was 48f.

I am getting sick and tired off waiting for the weather to improve and the water temperature to increase to allow  mortals like me more time in the water...and to top it all I am told that this is forecast to be the coldest May in 100 years..

I just don't get it

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Trapped... in The Tees

Since my last post training has been or rather was, progressing really well. Joe, Amanda and I have continued to train almost exclusively outside and quickly built up to the hour at 50f/10c at Ellerton Lake. We had been making more use of the River Tees due to the proximity and the fact that it is still cold and free!

Following some tightness in the upper back (a regular problem) I went for a sports massage with a therapist used by Joe. Usually after such a session I feel great and virtually pain free. However the only thing to report after this uncomfortable visit was nerve entrapment and extreme discomfort, to the extent that I was unable to sleep, drive or swim.

After some forced rest and alternative treatment I eventually returned to training. This last week we have had 5 swims in the River Tees, the temperatures have ranged from 47f/8.3c to 50f/10c. Sunday 22 April Amanda and I decided to swim to the 'pipe bridge' from our start location at Preston Park a distance just short of a mile, we made it to the bridge in around 27 minutes and were happy with the step up to an estimated 55 minutes at this lower than normal temperature. We turned at the bridge and then the problem became apparent, we had failed to notice the flow as a result of which we had a tough time getting back to the start. After 70 minutes and well over due, we crawled out of the water in a bit of a state. We had certainly pushed the boundaries. Amanda drove us directly to the gym where we had a great recovery in the steam room and sauna. Our teeth chattering whilst everyone else was sweating. We had some strange looks that for sure.

We now make a point of checking the strength of the river flow and direction and plan accordingly...better late than never. All but one session since has found the river almost still. That said, yesterday was one of the days where the river had more characteristics of an endless pool. Limited for time we swam for half an hour and hardly covered much more than 150metres.

Charlie walked the river bank and took the picture below


To summarise this weeks outside swims:
21 April River Wharfe Wetherby 35 minutes at 49f
22 April River Tees 70 minutes at 47f
24 April River Tees 57 minutes at 50f
25 April River Tees 55 minutes at 49f
27 April River Tees 25 minutes at 47f

The plan is to hit the two hour mark as soon as possible. Location to be confirmed.