Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Year New Targets

New Years Eve filled with parties, alcohol, fireworks and festivities isn’t always my favourite time of the year. I often find myself reflecting on memories from years ago, childhood thoughts of ‘first footing’ at my parents house and the joy those days brought. On the flip side is the dread of what the coming year may bring. Trying to dispel the fears of the emotional battles that lay ahead we move into 2011 with another set of goals.

2010 more or less rebooted my swimming , with a specific set of stepping stones leading to the target of the One way Windermere swim. I generally find it a lot easier to be motivated when I have something to aim towards, last year was very methodical and thankfully allowed me to progress without to much trouble be it mentally or physically, I had some lower back problems earlier in the year but this soon subsided as my condition slowly improved.

If anything, training of late has been ahead of schedule in comparison to last year, timings in the pool are down on twelve months ago but stamina appears to be improved, basically I am not as quick but I can go for longer! A better situation to be in I suppose…slow and steady wins the race so says the tortoise!
Last week brought my first little challenge since the summer when I decided on a steady two hour pool swim (I hadn’t swam for longer than 90 minutes since August) I was pleased to get 7000m under my belt which is a great benchmark for the big plan. That said, like most of the UK I have been suffering with varying degrees of ‘manflu’ since before Christmas which has resulted in a chest infection coupled with an intercostal muscle injury. A trip to the GP for confirmation and a weeks supply of anti biotics and instructions to take it easy was not what I wanted to hear yesterday. I dare say the weather hasn't helped with everything including the River Tees being frozen.
The lay off from training has allowed me time to get stuck into my recent birthday present from Charlie….Lewis Pugh’s book ’Achieving The Impossible’
I actually have several new swim books to keep me motivated. I am all too aware of the phrase “a little frustration builds the desire” and this certainly is the case whilst injured. Speaking of motivational gifts from Charlie, I also received the DVD film Touching The Void which I recommend without hesitation. If you enjoyed my other favourite ‘Two Swimmers’ you not be disappointed in this powerful documentary film.

So..in a frustrated state, unable to train, that brings me to this years ambitions…similar to last year I have a main goal with some testing challenges enroute..

Here goes:

The April/May weekend of the Royal wedding brings the Swim4Life…a twenty four hour event, swimming 1 mile on the hour every hour for twenty four hours at Guildford Lido. Whilst this isn’t in freezing cold water it will definitely be a tough day with little sleep/rest between each mile.

Having rejoined the BLDSA the next insane stage is the Champion of Champions event at Dover Harbour mid June, this involves three swims of 5 miles, 3 miles then 1 mile in what usually averages around 13 degree water. This will without doubt be a very very tough day.

This leads me to my principal 2011 Challenge… some time in August I will attempt to swim Lake Windermere both ways non stop 21 miles of freshwater, I have already asked another swimmer to join me on this challenge, I am delighted he has accepted but he will remain anonymous until he is happy to be identified (oh and when he has told his Mrs!)

The 2Way swim is a massive event for me, it will take over 13 hours, but throughout the swim I will have the words of The King, Kevin Murphy himself ringing in my ears.."if you have plenty of sea swimming experience and can do a two-way Windermere I'd bet on you completing the Channel"
The King of The Channel


AquaMarina said...

good luck and all the very best for reaching your goals!

bettsy180258 said...

I too have read Lewis Pugh 'Achieving the Impossible' and would recommend it as a source of inspiration and motivation to anyone seeking to accomplish their ultimate challenge. In fact, I often find myself drifting off too paras from his book when Im doing my pool 16k's. And I am following Paul Bates team channel challenge this year and supported their charity by purchasing 'Two Swimmers'. Great videa with a very very sad ending. Bit worrying, tho. since I am the coach !!! Very sad and I see he is up to £7,000 in fund raising now. fantastic.