Sunday, 28 October 2007
Other things this week,, had a nice email from Freda Streeter regarding my plans for next year and training in Dover Harbour. Also had some positive feedback from AQUA SPHERE which I will expand upon in the next post... oh, and a local stainless steel fabricator (Caletrim Fabrications Ltd) has set to work on a prototype feeding pole for me, again further details to follow.
The Channel Swimming Association Annual dinner is taking place next weekend at Dover Town Hall Saturday 3rd November, we will be attending together with Loraine Verghese, Nicole Gallon and the. We are leaving immediately after the school run on Friday morning with the intention of swimming on arrival, 'round about 4pm either in The Harbour or maybe off Shakespeare Beach, and hopefully similar on Saturday morning.
I am sure we will have a lot to report on our return, as I am excited about getting back to Dover for what is sure to great weekend of discussion, planning, training and yes maybe a little socialising!
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
No sooner had we ditched the bags, we motored off to Windermere only a stones throw away, the weather was fresh, not raining and the water was 13 degrees. We had decided to swim as soon as possible before dark to let Loraine check out the conditions on this her visit to the Lake District, we swam from the North End of Windermere in a kind triangular route.. out to Seamew Crag, the water was almost flat though it was cloudy with the amount of recent rain, however the weeds and underwater plant life sometimes reaching the surface were something completely new to Loraine, she was quite spooked at first but soon got over the initial shock....Honest!
We swam the same route back and were greeted by Kelly with the warm towels and hot chocolate drinks. Round about 45 minutes just short of 3km.
We more or less headed straight back to the Hotel, got changed once we had warmed through and spent the night talking about Loraine's Swim and My future Channel swim whilst re hydrating on the usual Irish beverage...Back to the hotel for more gossip and more socialising before hitting the pillow.
Saturday we awoke to the sound of heavy rain on the windows, a peep outside showed it to be typical Lakes weather, it was misty, rainy and cold. After breakfast we drove to a couple of nearby lakes (Rydal and Grassmere) but decided we would stick with 'Big W'. Kelly then hired a sit on Kayak and became our safety boat, which as it happened was just as well, the lake was as rough as the sea, with waves and big swells, let alone the wash created by the passing steamers. As Kelly battled the elements on the kayak we swam from the east side of the lake across to the crag again and returned via the same route, well..we tried to go the same route... but we were pushed well of course by the conditions. At the outset I had planned to swim for at least a couple of hours, but Loraine was sure that the mental gains and acclimatisation would be greater if we split the swim in two parts. Thus warming up after swim number 1. Once we more or less stopped shivering we headed back to the waters edge from the comfort of the Lakeside cafe, to do mental battle and force ourselves back into the water. By now the conditions were worse still, it was tough going and was definitely like being at sea but for the salt water in the mouth, we fought against the wind and currents again out to the crag and followed Kelly back to shore. Between us we had the temperature at 12.5 to 13 degrees. The prospect of returning for the second swim was not nice but once submerged the worst was over. I was glad we had done the swims this way and felt that I had won a psychological battle. Though I doubt either of would have returned without our safety kayaker.
To summarise we had four swims over a 48 hour period, in around 12 to 13 degrees in various conditions, had a great time with our guest, and seemed to laugh non stop for the whole duration. A very worthwhile trip indeed...Loraine was great company for us. To the point that on the journey home I asked Loraine if she would consider being my support swimmer next year. She was delighted to accept. We had big hugs at the station and headed or separate ways.
Above: that is infact Loraines head not a lettuce or a football next to me at the end of our final swim.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
I mentioned at the end of the last post that I had been getting some grief from the left ear, well on Friday (05.10.07) I visited my GP and received some drops, but as usual it didn’t help due to the swelling and the canal being more or less closed, so today I popped to the ENT at hospital where again I had them suctioned and guess what …they told me the only cure was not to swim. Some help that is. I do have some moulded swim plugs that cost me a small fortune, but I have also learnt that the hospital will provide me with a set free of charge !! Well that’s got to be a result.
I can still swim, though it is kind of fortunate that I had planned a easy recovery week before a tough weekend in the Lake District. I have another appointment next week when hopefully I will get the all clear. I know swimmers ears can be very problematic so I just wanted to sort early this time and continue to take as much prevention measures as possible.
Friday, 5 October 2007
Another nice action shot by KGB.As you can see from the training diary below I didn't quite manage the 20km last week but that's not a worry at all, I was more content that we had made a trip to the beach for an outdoor swim. This week has been all go as usual, today is my first day off work after a full seven day rota of shifts (days, nights and afternoons). Training is ticking along nicely and will easy get the 20k in this week.
Bi-lateral practice at sea
We went to Seaton again yesterday (Thursday 4th October) for another dip at 13.5 degrees, oh how refreshing! we were kind of limited time wise what with work etc so only had time for a 45 minute swim, it was much calmer than it has been for a long long time, the swim was at a good speed and there were no safety issues due to the good conditions. It seems that sometimes on the morning of a sea/lake swim that I get quite anxious, this is always much worse than the act itself, yes, getting into the water can still take my breath away but after that initial entry I seem fine and wonder what all the nerves were about. I also find myself desperate to go again the next day once its all over. That said I know by next week it will be the same story all over again. I think the secret is just more of the same and come next May we can be there much more frequently.
When I think about how many hours I spent riding last spring and early summer it should be easy enough to get to the sea at least three times a week, whilst still working on drills and sets etc at the pool.
The only negative is that my right ear has been playing up a little this week, I had an infection in the left ear the week before Austria and it has been fine since having obtained some moulded plugs, I am going to get it checked shortly so fingers crossed its nothing to worry about.
Before I forget Happy Birthday to Loraine for today (Friday 5th October) from the both us. See you next week in Ambleside for what is sure to be a chilly experience!
The pictures are from yesterdays trip to Seaton as usual courtesy of KGB. Thanks Kell x.