We had the most glorious winter break in Tenerife over Christmas - bright sunshine, a relaxed pace and a gratifying absence of all things Christmassy. We celebrated with our traditional Christmas dinner of beans on toast and came back restored, well-sunned and refreshed. Just what we needed at the end of a really challenging term.
All charged up by our lovely holiday, I just got back from the pool, where I did my end of year long swim. This year, I decided to focus on the theme of "2010-2011", and did 20 x 200m, 10 x 100m, 20 x 200m, 11 x 100m (total: 10.1km) - all broken down into smaller segments, with lots of kick, pull and sprints to liven it up along the way. I was joined during the swim by various friends from the triathlon club, with special mention going to Penny, who arrived just when I was starting to flag and helped me to pick the pace back up. It was a really nice swim, but I have to confess that I really felt my lack of training recently. My times were dropping off towards the end, and I feel pretty tired and a bit sore now (but in a good way). Good motivation to get back down to training in earnest when the pool opens again next week.
It's been quite a year. I've been swimming in Jersey, Cork, Malta, the Lake District and, of course, Dover, as well as my regular local lakes, and have trained harder than I ever thought I could. I have swum from Jersey to France....and I swam the English Channel. Even several months later, it still makes me smile to say that out loud. I've also won funding for my "becoming a Channel swimmer" research project, and have already signed up for my next big swim - the Catalina Channel. A good year, I reckon, with hopefully another exciting swimming year to come.
Very best wishes for 2011 to everyone who visits the blog, and to my swimming friends around the world.