Saturday, 17 December 2016
As the distance swimming lengthened the amount of Jaffa Cakes and Jelly Babies I put in my supermarket trolley increased. Poolside they were discretely, along with gel packs, put in a plastic tub next to my water bottle, and by the lake were unceremoniously shoved in one of my shoes for safe keeping! Coffee and cake became the staple post swim food of choice, regardless of what any expert said. Any new venues were vetted and given a mark out of 10 for cake choices and for taste. If it was a low score for any subsequent swims there Shark would bake something for us and bring it. This had to be discretely done in order to have 2 slices because as soon as any fellow swimmers cottoned on to us we (Shark) were obliged to share.
Training was going well, and yet it wasn't until the delivery of my swim cap and race details from Great Swim that the reality of what in idiot I am set in. I decided that I should swim a longer distance (as near to a 10k as I could manage) prior to the swim in order to make sure that I was 'eating' enough during the swim. They had told me that they would provide water (hope they didn't provide it especially for me 'cause I usually swallow a few gallons of lake water per swim, and it really isn't necessary for me) and Jelly Babies from a pontoon. This meant that I would have to do the swim without my beloved Jaffa Cakes (very sad emoji should go here), although I shouldn't have worried, Shark gave me the gift of a new bucket (for my wetsuit), some Radox, some medicated muscle rub, ibuprofen and a packet of Jaffa Cakes for my swim, all of which I took with me.
My trial swim was a triumph. It really boosted my confidence and at that point I knew I would be fine. At the shorter lake swims now I was swimming with my son, I say swimming with, what I mean is that we set off at the same time, and he was out and partially dressed by the time I had finished! In the meantime H2Open Magazine (now known as Outdoor Swimmer) allowed me to write an article about my swim, which enabled the charity to have some much needed publicity.