Friday, 16 December 2016
Unfortunately the winter saw us doing all of our training back in the pool. At first when we were still swimming relactively short distances it was fine, however as I began to gradually swim further (once a week as per training schedule) I realised the importance of keeping my mind active to avoid boredom. The things I organised/thought about/changed during these times ranged from meal plans, organising birthday parties, holiday trips, career choices, wardrobe choices, working out how to get myself a ticket to the sold out Maroon 5 concert (nope, still working on it). I spent one such swim purely focussing on the bacon sandwich I would have once I got out. Whatever gets you through, right?
Over the winter I received an e-mail from Great Swim informing me that there was a 10k swim in Windermere, and there was also availability on it. I thought about it, after all I was already training for Coniston, but decided against it. The places filled up by the time I had changed my mind back, but was shocked then Mother's Day came around as my kids had entered me for it having listened to my indecision, they entered me anyway!
The spring training training couldn't come soon enough for me. Swimming up to 500 lengths in a pool one swim meant that I was fitter, but I wasn't enjoying it. It was a means to an end, so to keep the momentum going Shark and I booked an open water 4 week training course at the beginning of the season in May, however when May arrived, spring did not!
The first swim of the 2016 season was the coldest I'd swum in at 10.1 degrees Celsius. Getting in took my breath away, but despite this I managed to not swear, although turns out I was in the minority on this occasion. I wasn't the only one feeling it. They put us through our paces, which I was truly grateful for. Keeping moving meant that I was able to stay in the water for an hour. I was bone cold when I got out, and despite advice not to have a shower straight away, ignored it and had one anyway. Should have listened, and won't be doing it again!
As the weather, and the water, warmed I was able to move to swimming open water twice a week. Once for the longer swim, and another shorter and more relaxed one, saving the indoor session for my stroke improvement lesson and sets.
One thing that I had to come to grips with for the longer swim was nutrition. I read various professional points of view, as well as asking people I knew that had some experience. All very useful, however was gutted to discover that none of them mentioned Jaffa Cakes. The only thing I took from that was that if it wasn't mentioned then it wasn't a no... I've since worked out, through bitter experience, that the consumption of Jaffa Cakes lakeside should be done with the utmost of care and involve more packaging than the original stuff it comes in to avoid disappointment, possible despair and a ruined swim!