All of the club training I've been doing over the winter has been great, but I really feel like I've lost a lot of the habits of just zoning out and swimming which I'm going to need for the qualification swim in a couple of weeks (only 10 days and I'm off to Malta - swimming, and hopefully some sunshine). So, I thought I'd do a long swim this morning to see how I'm doing on the head side of things. Instead of joining in the regular club session at 5.30am, I took over the end lane and just swam for the two hours, followed by an hour in the public swim - 9km in total. I was pleasantly surprised how I managed mentally with it, and I found myself a fairly quiet head space - although, by way of entertainment, I was keeping an eye on what the others were doing. For the final hour, I was lucky enough to be joined by my friend, Laura, who did a great job of guarding the lane we were using, fending off slower swimmers so that I could keep swimming without too much interruption. I was tired at the end of it though, which is a bit worrying - I feel like I should be more comfortable with that distance by now. But then again, I did 10km (in two separate swims) on Sunday, and I think I still had that in my arms too. I came home and ate a daddy-bear sized bowl of porridge and have had a quiet day working (with a little snooze this afternoon to help things along).
Sometimes this Channel swimming thing feels totally manageable, and at others, completely daunting.