3x3000m at Marlow

Phew! 16 degrees and I did the following times for my 3x3km: 47.30,47.56, 50.20(bit cold and tired by the last 1500m!)
Very happy with my stamina and speed. Was in absolute bits afterwards and was quite ill when I got home- always a sign of good training session!! Went to bed straight away but managed to get up at about 10.30pm when Mark got in armed with chips, and wolfed them down!
Looking good for Eton 10km swim at the end of May.

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2 hours at Marlow

A lovely way to spend a Monday evening. Although I poodled around at the lake last week, this was my first proper swim.
Did about 7km in 2 hours. Shoulder niggled a bit so I didn’t do the optimistic 2.5hrs I had planned. Bed and then up at 5.15am to get back to Liquid Leisure. Silly? Yes, but fun.

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Photos of 2Swim4Life

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Lessons learnt-Being cold

The cold. The water was not the problem, in actual fact the warmest point was when I was swimming!I got cold because (a) I didnt have enough warm stuff (b)I was tired mentally and physically (c) it was the middle of the night and my body was trying to tell me that I should be curled up in my duvet!

I do not think that if I put on weight I would be any warmer-I saw some people who had no body fat on them who were not cold and then I saw people with a fair amount of body fat on them who were freezing!I never got warm during the whole swim but I also didn’t get hypothermic so although I was cold, my core remained at a constant temperature and did not drop as the swim progressed. It wasn’t comfortable, in fact it was awful but nearly everyone was cold and if they could do it so could I!It was a case of suck it up and get on with it.

It’s very funny that the swimming was a nice break from the being cold. Swimming is easy. Shivering and trying to warm up 24 times is not.

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Lessons learnt-Food

Sweet sweet sweet ergh!I had too many treats and not enough tasteless food for my moments of feeling sick. Sure the sausage rolls,pink wafers, cheddars and croissants were great but when I was feeling rough I could not force these rich foods down. Instead I had some Weight Watchers biscuits(OK so probably not the calories I needed but it was better than nothing). I managed to nibble at these and wash them down with glugs of water. So I didn’t end up craving what I thought I would and if I did this again I would pack some cream crackers or something dry just to settle my tummy.

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Lessons learnt-Kit

24 hours, 24 miles

In an ideal world I would have changed into a dry costume after each mile(after my shower, moisturising,stretching routine that also went out the window from mile 1). In actual fact I was so cold getting out of the water I just towel-dried quickly and stuck on a beanie, hoodie, jacket,joggers and trainers. I had my ski jacket but would recommend a serious mountain jacket(big dollar but very worth it). Less but more effective clothes are the key.

I was adamant I wasn’t going to put a wetsuit on (it’s cheating). After 12 hours I was very happy to have the option of putting first my speedsuit on and then a few more hours later my wetsuit on top.

Kit list I actually used;

Towels x3

Hoodie x2

Big Jacket

Trainers

Flip flops

Beanie x3 (girly hair made hats wet quickly)

Big Gloves

Warm Socks

Joggers x2

I can’t stress the importance of having hands and feet dry and warm-it is just miserable if either are cold.

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Summary of 24 mile/24 hour challenge

Wow, what a challenge.

From 9.30 am on Saturday 30th April when we started, until 9.30 Sunday 1st May when we finished was a 24 hour test of mental ability.

The weather was lovely and so the first 7-8 miles went relatively quickly as we were able to sit out in the sun relaxing between swims and constantly grazing on sausage rolls, coffee and pink wafers!As the sun started going down, it started getting hard. Mark had decided to call it a day after 10 hours so fortunately it meant he could be my helper.

The air temperature dropped and as a consequence it was very hard to get warm in between swims. We would all line up along the side of the pool, shivering, with 5 mins to go until our swim and then get the jackets,joggers etc off quickly when the  call for 1 minute to go came. Getting out of the pool after the swim(which was actually the easy bit!) we had to get dressed, get wrapped up and try to continue eating and drinking. I was going very strong and leading the lane a lot of the time, we were doing each 1600m somewhere in between 24-25 minutes.

Mile 14 started testing me mentally. It was 10.30pm, cold, I had done 14 miles but had 10 more to go. I felt sick and was unable to eat which only made me feel more sick. I was miserable and had put on a speedsuit to try and keep me warm as I was shivering lots(partly due to the air temp and partly due to being drained, physically and mentally). I had been told by one of the girls in the communal(heated) marquee that all I had to do was get through 1am,2am and 3am and then it was nearly dawn. So I set this as my goal. Miles 14,15 and 16 were incredibly tough and I hated every one of them. I felt demotivated, cold and ill.

Soon I realised that it was nearly 3am and could see light at the end of the tunnel. I had started eating small amounts and was feeling a lot more positive about the whole thing. I had a power nap arranged for after my 4.30am swim, so from 5ish until 5.20am. When I curled up in the tent at 5am it was dark, when I was woken at 5.20 for my next swim the sky had lightened. This lifted the mood and from that moment on I knew I was going to get through it. The last 4 miles were excruciating, everyone was tired, it was a new day and we had all proven we had the mental ability to get through the night but yet we had to finish these last 4 hours.

I plodded through taking it length by length. The final mile saw our lane of 3(out of 7 starters)swim in convoy. We each took a turn to lead 400m and for the final length we swam 3 abreast up the lane all finishing at the same time. I don’t know whether it was sheer exhaustion or just the unspeakable respect we all held for each other but it was quite an emotional moment and I think we were all so relieved it was over!

The swim has left me with sore wrists and shoulders and I’m struggling with the sleep deprivation. The mixture of sun and chlorine has irritated my skin. I think this is the hardest thing I have ever done and other than giving me an excellent training weekend it has made me mentally tougher and ready for the next challenge.

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