Friday, May 23, 2008

The day before the big one...

It's been a busy, busy week! Not on the swimming front though :( There's a reason for that...but first, last weekend...

I swam on Saturday, a group of about 7 of us headed around the island. It was nice, not as clear as the weekend before, but I'm not sure that that's a bad thing...it was nice not to be getting spooked every few minutes! The temperature felt about the same, maybe a little warmer, so maybe 12 or 12.5 degrees C (with the usual warm and cold patches!). I swam with Sally, who did an EC relay a couple of years ago. Her big warning for me was that I'm going to have no social life for the next year!! But I'm used to being busy anyway, all the extra training just seems to make me organise my life better so that I have time to do the other things I want to do. I realise that next summer's going to be pretty busy with all the training and I'm hopefully going to be finishing up my PhD then too...but I'll just deal with it all when it comes to it I guess!

Then...on Saturday night I did something really silly. I was getting up from a chair and as I was standing up I sneezed. And pulled something in my back. So silly but so painful too! So I spent most of Sunday lying down and I've been trying to rest it since then, I only swam a few lengths on Tuesday evening to stretch it out. It's been getting better, I'm finding that sitting for a long time really hurts though, which makes both working and driving difficult. But once it's getting better it's all good.

So in the last couple of days I've been talking to Mark who's coming over for the Champion of Champions here at Sandycove this Saturday. And we arranged to meet up today for a chat and for him to have a look at the island and maybe a swim. So I met himself and his partner Kelly in Kinsale and we went for coffee and had a chat. It's always a lot of fun for me to chat to people who either have swam the Channel or aspire to...it's a great way to learn more about what I need to do over the next 15 months. Mark has his pilot boat booked for August 8th-15th so he's training hard and it was great to hear about all that he's been doing!

We headed for Sandycove after coffee...tide was at its lowest which was very strange for me to see, it showed me where the name came from anyway...normally there's just the slip and some gravel and rocks at the water's edge...today there was plenty of sand in view! Mark had decided that he wanted to do a lap to check out the island so we got ready and headed in. It was very strange to have to walk through the shallow water to get in rather than just being able to dive into deeper water from the slip...I definitely prefer getting it over with quickly! I've heard that you can actually walk out to the island at low tide...I never believed it before but now I do, we walked out for ages today before there was enough water to really swim in! We swam for a bit out towards the first corner but then we came to those rocks that are normally submerged and found that swimming between them and the island was close to impossible, it was very shallow. So we ended up walking on the island around the rocks and then getting back in, it was all very strange for me! We headed out to the first corner and when we turned it we found that it was pretty rough out there. I guess up until now I've been spoilt by the nice weather and calm conditions...the whole wind and waves thing took a little getting used to! But we managed ok. Mark is much faster than me so I was following him most of the time...except for the couple of times he headed out into the Atlantic Ocean away from the island...I wasn't sure if it was intentional to swim a little extra and let me catch up or just the fact that he was breathing to the right and losing track of where he was but regardless I was staying nice and close to the island! As we rounded the third corner and started heading for the slip we found a few very shallow areas, it was weird to be standing up in places where I normally would be struggling to see the ground! Overall it was a nice swim, I was happy to see the way the island at low tide too, a very different experience. As regards temperature...it felt pretty comfortable, I forgot to check my watch but Mark's was reading at 60 degrees F (15.5 degrees C) so after taking a couple of degrees off for body temperature it was probably around 14 degrees C, pretty nice. There was also some nice sun on our backs when it chose to come out of the clouds, so all in all a very pleasant swim! No photos unfortunately but I'm sure that Mark might post a couple!

So now we've just got tomorrow to look forward to...my plan is to swim two laps in the morning and then just hang around and help for the day...it's going to be a very tough one for people. Next year I'll be aiming to complete it but for now that's a bit out of my reach!

1 comment:

Mark said...

HEY THANKS LISA, GET YOUR FINGER OUT AND PUBLISH THE NEXT POST......PLEASE.....MARK