Over the last week or so, things have started to pick up again and I'm feeling much more focused about training. After my food failures from a couple of weeks ago, I'm now trying much harder to eat before and after I train, especially around the morning sessions. This is going well and I'm recovering better as a result.
But what the hell happened to the weather? Since the OW season started, it's been cold, wet and grey, and the temps in the lakes have been drifting slowly downwards - even Bosworth, which is usually quite warm because it's so shallow. I chickened out again last Saturday and started off in my wetsuit, then took it off for the last hour - but to be honest, I'm not sure that I could have stuck it out for the whole two hours without one, so it seemed worth it to get the laps in. I'm going to stop taking it with me from now on to remove the option, and just knuckle down.
I've also started running again - over a year after I was forced to stop after my knee injury. So far so good, although me plodding along is not a very pretty sight. I'm toying with the idea of doing the Big Cow aquathlon at the beginning of June, by way of incentive. Not sure, though, whether I shouldn't just keep my rather graceless and slow running under wraps for now.
Aside from starting to inch my swimming distances back up, and venturing back into my running shoes, this week has been "body work" week. I started off with a sports massage with the wonderful Gisela Payne at Warwick Univ - this is never an entirely pleasant experience, but it really helps unknot everything. I've obviously been a bit lax with my stretches, as my shoulders are starting to pull forwards; if I needed an incentive to be more disciplined about this, having to endure her digging in there to unknot everything will probably do it. I always feel so much better afterwards though (in spite of the nice yellow bruises, perfectly symmetrical, across my chest).
And then yesterday, I had my first hypnotherapy session with Adrian Peck - a sports hypnotist / psychologist based in Loughborough. It seems like a long way to go (about 40 miles), but I really wanted a sports person, and his was just about the only website that I could find that didn't have clouds, waves, or people standing with their arms outstretched on hilltops on their webpages - all of which I found very irritating and a bit flaky (this is probably comletely unreasonable, but you've got to have some kind of criteria to choose by). Anyway, off I went, completely terrified but ready to try anything (and it's great research material too....) - the goal is to address negative thinking, find ways of coping with the cold (or post-session, the fact that it's not as warm as I would like), and to hopefully do something about the seasickness (or at least my habitual expectation of it at the slightest movement). Half of the session we spent working on NLP techniques to try and deal with some of my negative thinking, and then we did the hypnosis - me lying on a sofa, lights dimmed, some very floaty music on. It's the oddest thing - I had a very strong sense of relaxation and a comfortable heaviness, but was completely aware of everything he said (which is how hypnosis is supposed to be). I don't think I was very deeply under - he said I probably wouldn't for the first time. He also mentioned that I have quite an "analytical" mind which will make it harder at first (which I think is a friendly euphemism for my control issues). But even so, I am quite hopeful about it in terms of being able to mobilise useful visualisations etc.