And then, just when I was starting to lose faith, along came one of those glorious swims where everything just feels right. I did a 6km set at Henrys on Sunday afternoon, and for over an hour of this, I even had the pool to myself. And I felt great from start to finish - like I could swim forever. And when I got out, I was deliciously tired in that way that only swimming can produce. I felt so much better, and am positively excited about getting back in the pool tonight (although this probably also has a lot to do with term having ended!). I still don't know what the answer is to balancing work and training, but this boost came along just when I needed it.
The other change I made on Sunday was to reintroduce post-swim protein shakes. Even though I've been training on and off, I've not been using energy drinks or shakes....mostly because after the hard training of the summer, it didn't feel like I was doing enough to need them. I've been experiencing really restless legs in my insomniac nights, and hadn't even considered that this could be something to do with the exercising / recovery. But yesterday, I used energy drink rather than water, and had a protein shake afterwards, and then didn't have so much as a twitch all night. I can't say for sure that that's the reason, but I certainly felt better for it anyway, so I'm going to reinstate that part of my routine from now on.
So a positive, morale-boosting day in the pool at the end of a tough term...and a good reminder that there is nothing quite like that feeling of a good day in the water.