It's been a tough year as my Facebook friends will be aware. I will however spare you the negative aspects from my personal/work life and focus on the ups and downs in the water.
As normal the year started with a gentle easing back into pool sessions with some work on technique, all sessions were recorded on movescount.com, utilising the Suunto Ambit3.
Although it was a year without a 'HUGE' swim, there were certainly several challenges ahead, some of which I had tackled previously.
2S4L Guilford Lido
I last entered this event in 2011 (post here) so, in theory, I knew exactly what it would take. It was always referred to as being 'brutally relentless'. For 2015 I had again opted for the solo effort of 1 mile on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. For one reason and another I was unsuccessful, completing only 10 miles. There was some positives to be had, in particular the support received from a few of the usual suspects. I was pretty much fed up after this event.
This is the event geographically closest to home. An almost annual occurrence as one of the first in the BLDSA calendar. 5 triangular 1000m laps in water around 15 degrees and success was in the bag, the time was exactly as expected. I then took the opportunity to swim the 1km event, as I thought it would be ideal prep for the next weekend. 2 swims totalling 6km = 2 successes. (post here)
BLDSA Champion of Champions
Notoriously tough event, the full compliment being: 5miles, 3 miles, 1 mile in Dover Harbour. The last visit for this event in 2011 was a mixed up day weather wise to the extent that the 3 mile swim was cancelled.
2015 (post here) was no different. It was a very hard day at the office, after some frightening mental blips on the start of the 5 miler (10 laps) I eventually achieved success, the conditions deteriorated for the 3 miler but again after what seemed like an eternity success was gained. Everybody likes the 1 miler as the end is in sight.
Overall 3 swims totalling 9 miles in salt water about 14.5 degrees. Happy.
A month earlier than normal, I planned to swim Windermere on this occasion starting at Ambleside in the North. I might as well be honest..the objective was to swim to Fell Foot the back to Bowness, meaning a 15 mile swim. However as it turned out, I altered the plan before the 10 mile point and opted for just a one way. (post here) Technically speaking, unsuccessful though I was still content with 6 hours at 16 degrees. On reflection I had not trained sufficiently for 15 miles.
After a slight lay off in training after Windermere, the next event was soon here. Karen Throsby had kindly offered to kayak for me on this 7 mile swim in beautiful surroundings (full post here.) I was hoping for lovely conditions similar to the 2011 event.
It was in fact bloody awful! By and far the most difficult swimming event of the year. 3 hours 48 minutes in frigid water.
It was a success but I wasn't happy!
That was the last of my events, we did however go to support some others with 3 excellent One Way Windermere swims for:
Ian Adshead, Zoe Sadler and Ady Brown followed by a 10km for Amanda Bell. We also assisted at the BLDSA 2 Way Windermere.
Happy or Not Happy, Success or Not, the one consistency year on year are the individuals, in particular those of what I like to call the BLDSA family, alongside the Dover beach crew, are like no other, the care, support, advice, unselfishness, and all round altruism of these people is a joy to be part of. You know who you are.