Tuesday, 16 June 2009


It's been a busy week, so not so much swimming - this is not such a bad thing as it gave me chance to recover properly from the 6-hour swim on Sunday. Lots of marking (just one more week and then I'm done - hallelujah), and then on Friday, I went up to Blackpool to meet a very good friend of mine, Judy. She lives in New York now, with her husband and three children, but sadly, her dad died, and I went up for the burial. It was a sad day and horrible circumstances to get together, but so nice to see her and to catch up a bit. She was trying to persuade me to spent part of my research leave next year in NY - I have to admit, it's pretty tempting.

On Saturday, I drove up to North Yorkshire to stay with Julie (who came down for the swim last week), ready for the BLDSA Wykeham Lake 5km race. The weather was stunning, and the water was lovely. I had decided to really go for it to see what I could do - a chance to try and challenge my habit of bottling out and not sustaining effort. I was aiming for 1.25, and was completely on track for the first three laps, but I really slowed in the 4th km and was really struggling with myself...."it's not worth it, I can't do it, I'm going to just slow down and finish at a steady pootle"...but I managed to give myself a good talking to, refocused and pressed on. I dropped about a minute, but then picked up again for the final lap, coming in a 1.26.13 (4th among the women, 15th overall) - which I was pretty pleased with. I spoke to Robin (coach) today and he said that it may be that because our Weds / Friday training sessions are about 3-4km, I'm maybe not psychologically prepared to push beyond that at higher intensity. So I'm going to do a few Tuesday sessions starting a bit earlier so I'm doing the higher intensity stuff when I'm tired. So, a good learning experience, and a decent performance (for me). Julie had an excellent swim too -another step closer to the Channel.

I'm developing a very marked hat stripe on my forehead; one of my students said I looked like I'd slapped on fake tan in a hurry!

Down to Dover for the Champion of Champions this weekend - my first UK sea swim!

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