February 2008 seemed to arrive instantly after the New Years celebrations to the extent that I wondered what on earth had happened to the first month of the year, feeling a little seasonally affected with the depths of winter upon us, even the surface of the river and patches of the lake were frozen a couple of times. Then, in the blink of an eye, whoosh.... February is gone too, its still rather fresh, but Spring is without a doubt on its way, the daffodils are flowering really early so I guess its been a mild winter. I have been watching the sea surface temperatures which would appear to have bottomed out around 6.6 degrees. I do expect plenty more cold snaps but looking at the statistics, the averages say the temperatures will now slowly begin to climb...oh yeah, those stats can be wrong and averages are exactly that.....just averages. That said, the charts show a balmy North Sea of 7 to 8 degrees so you never know. The wind chill is still a factor but we hope to make more of a concentrated effort of restarting the acclimatisation process.
My shoulder still isn't 100% but its not a show stopper at this stage. I had an easy week, after advice from Forest Nelson decided to train, but not hard, more just to keep a feel for the water and hit the showers at the earliest sign of pain, I kept the distances and effort to a minimum, which is just as well as I felt really tired all week. 15km over the week is a drop from the figures of late, but I know from last year that its not possible nor ideal to train at a peak permanently, the recovery week should have done my body the world of good ! I have been training for thirty three weeks now since Austria, at times I get a little paranoid if I don't manage to hit my targets, though normally there is a valid reason i.e. an injury/work etc.. so its not all doom and gloom. The 'at a glance' weekly distance graph is below..
I have booked my accommodation at Hubert House for the week of the swim and look forward to the stay, Maggie Kidd also has a reservation, she is no.2 on the same tides as me. There is a good chance we will swim on the same day, her skipper is 'Queen Alison Streeter', to say they have some experience between them is an understatement.
So 23 weeks til the middle of our tides, I think all the logistical plans are arranged now, just need to finalise the crew for the boat, I will do that much closer to the time, I want to be certain to have the best people on board to push me on and not listen to my moaning.