Monday, 30 August 2010
Watch this space - I'll post more news when I have it.
Friday, 27 August 2010
I'm not very good at this....,the waiting. I like to plan and prepare; I like certainty and control. And I'm not enjoying this one little bit, but am working hard to hold my nerve and not to let too much doubt creep in. After almost three weeks of only swimming 1-2 hours a day, I feel quite unfit and ill-prepared for a Channel swim, but hopefully, there's enough in there still to get me across. And in the mean time, we all wait and think calm, windless thoughts...
Monday, 23 August 2010
Unpacking my boxes this morning was pretty depressing; the weather forecast for the week is even more so...although it is starting to look like there might be a window at the weekend (but I've seen that before).
In absolute terms, Sunday is the last day of the spring tide, and after there's a fully booked neap tide with four swims on it. I'm flying to Australia on 6 Sept, so even if it was a splendid swimming week next week, I'd be lucky to get a swim in after the other four swims have gone before I have to fly. So, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that I'll squeeze in a swim before I leave, either towards the end of this spring tide, or the end of the next neap tide, but it's not likely.
So... the alternative plan is to start more intensive training again - get some longer swims under my belt to build up my endurance after a long taper and a week of sitting about not doing much, taper down while I'm in Australia, and then trying to get in a swim at the end of Sept. The air temps are much lower then, and there's not as much daylight, but if I'm lucky with the conditions, it's plausible. Another problem is that I don't tend to travel very well and get incredibly jet lagged, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. If I'm not fit to swim, then I won't and will just have another go next year. But it's worth holding out for that last chance if I can.
So from now, I'm going to pick up the training this week, building towards (depending on the weather) either getting a crossing in towards the weekend, or going down to Dover to do a couple of long training swims in the harbour. I'll do long swims again the weekend after too, before heading to Australia. It's hard to muster the enthusiasm to get back into the hard training, but hopefully I'll be able to find it from somewhere once I get going.
Thanks to everyone who has sent messages of support, and especially to Peter who came down at the weekend to save me from going bananas. And my sympathies to all those swimmers who are kicking their heels and waiting for a chance to swim....
Thursday, 19 August 2010
It's unlikely that anyone will get to swim before the weekend, but there's some hope for Sunday... but the weather is constantly changing (although not in the right direction so far), so it's hard to say. I continue to wait (im)patiently.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
I've swum in the harbour every day, just for an hour or two, and am trying to concentrate on eating well, getting lots of rest, and not going bananas.
More updates when I know anything, but the general expectation for now is that Wednesday and Thursday are out due to strong winds, but we're living in hope for the weekend...
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Looking at the positives, physically, I feel great, and had a lovely swim this morning - it was low tide, so the water was pretty "thick", but it was quite choppy, which made it a fun couple of hours.
So.... now there's nothing left to do but wait...
Thursday, 12 August 2010
I was on in discussion with Catriona Morrison - winner of Lanzarote Ironman and all-round amazing athlete. We chatted about the impact of sport on our bodies. It's a bit weird to be talking about my big shoulders and body fat on national radio, but an interesting experience - good practice for thinking / talking about the research. AND I got to spend a day in London, which was fun - including a splendid lunch of Thai food, courtesy of my friend and former LSE colleague, Claire.
And today, I'm off to Dover for what I hope will be the last weekend before my swim (the window opens on Tuesday). I've been tapering - lots of sitting about and feeding up.... at last, the part of the training I'm properly qualified for - but am starting to feel really stressed and anxious about the whole thing. Part of me really wishes that I could just keep training and never do the swim - I've loved the training so much, but am not enjoying this bit very much to be honest. I remember feeling like this about my PhD - I loved the years I spent working really hard on it, but was horrified when I realised that I actually had to finish it and be examined on it.
But I've got my dream team of a crew all lined up ready to go - Peter, Jamie and Neil - and my boxes are packed, and I'm feeling in good shape. So, fingers crossed for calm seas.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Amazing swims all round.
Monday, 2 August 2010
Now I need to really get down to finalising my crew and generally getting my head straight.
In the mean time, several friends are either out or on their way out soon - Donal Buckley, Jen Hurley, Ali Longman... plus Julie Ryan on a two-person relay (it wasn't meant to be two, but she got horribly let down at the last minute...but I'm confident that she and Dave have got what it takes). Good luck everybody - despite my vow to stop following swims, I'll be watching online!
Congrats too to Nick Adams, who broke Ali Streeter's 1989 Round Jersey record a couple of days ago - well done.