Thursday, December 20, 2007

Booked =o)

So looking at my lack of structured training so far, I've decided that 2010 isn't the best idea, it's too far away and too hard to get motivated for. So I decided to ask Ned about my options for 2009, at least then if there was nothing available my decision would be made one way or the other. So he very kindly emailed Mike Oram (one of the best Channel pilots) for me and asked if he had slots on either his boat or his son's boat in 2009. And he responded with some dates in September 2009 :) So I'm now booked in with a 3rd place slot for the 11th-16th of September, 2009!!! So what that means is that there are two people ahead of me for that timeframe, and when both of those have swam then it's my turn. I have a pretty good chance of getting to swim with a 3rd place slot and it's a good time of year because the water will be warmer than earlier in the summer. Just fingers crossed for the weather!!

I don't think that it's actually sunk in yet that I'm after making a committment to do this. But I'm sure that it will eventually.

So I guess that my New Year's resolution is going to have to be to get into a proper swimming training least it's one that I can't afford to break!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Long break

So I haven't posted in a long time, but then again I haven't been swimming much either! I've had a chest infection for the last 4 weeks and eventually got an antibiotic last week for it. So I decided to go for a swim on Monday, I was staying in Dublin in a lovely hotel and figured that I wouldn't waste the facilites! Bad idea. I swam for about 45 minutes, maybe too long after a long break, but I felt fine. However, the cough that seemed to have been just about gone has been back since then. So I think that I need to rest a bit longer before getting back into things. Which is a pity because I was planning to get into the sea this weekend, I'm going down to Sandycove on Saturday and then for a seminar after that Ned Denison is holding for us channel aspirants on Saturday afternoon. Still, I'll head down anyway, meet some more people.

Sandycove is a little coastal area near Kinsale in West Cork for those of you who don't know. There's a group of people who swim there all year round (some wearing wetsuits!) so once I'm enough to, I can swim with them. I went down there about 2 weeks ago to see what was going on and meet some people, I couldn't swim though since I was sick. It was a windy day, the sea was rough, it was freezing cold (even for me with my layers of clothes on) and 4 people still got in to swim, 2 with wesuits, 2 without. Afterwards then (and this is the part of the plan that I like!) they went back into Kinsale and went to a leisure centre to use the hot tub for a while. Sounds like a good plan after swimming in about 11degree C (52degrees F) water for over half an hour!

Anyway, while it all seems rather crazy, I'm still looking forward to getting in to the sea! Or even back into the pool would be good at this stage!! Another week or so and I'll try again....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some more info...

Well, today I swam a mile (that's 64lengths in a 25metre pool)....not that that's particularly interesting really! I need to start getting into a training routine, I need to be swimming most days but doing some weight training too. Life is starting to get back to normal now so it will be easier to get into a proper routine.

So...for those of you who have no idea about this....the shortest distance across the Channel (from Shakespeare Beach, Dover to Cap Gris Nez near Calais) is about 21 miles. However, with tides and boats and weather and all those other things to take into account, it can end up being over a 30-mile swim! It usually takes somewhere between 12-16hours to complete, with the record being just under 7 hours. The water temperature is usually 15-18degrees Celcius (that's cold!!!!). The main reasons for people not completing the swim are bad weather and the cold.

There's also the issue of course of all of the weird and not-so-wonderful things that can be found floating in Channel's a paragraph from one of the training articles:
"Whilst you may have a completely uneventful day other swimmers may report jellyfish, some oil, tar, seaweed, plastic bags, pallets, fridges(!!!), floating timber and even pink elephants".

While I'm not not so worried about the elephants, the thoughts of jellyfish freak me out, I guess on the day you just keep on going though. Also...
"Our observers frequently report seeing shoals of fish, seals and dolphins, turtles have also been reported and there is always the remote possibility of sharks, swordfish and whales, all of which are seen from time to time in UK waters." don't bother me, and I actually think that the dolphins and turtles would be kinda cool...but sharks??? I thought that they only liked warm water...and warm it definitely isn't!! And I'd imagine that it would be pretty scary coming across a whale too...

Anyway....even with all of that I still want to do all adds to the challenge! Any other volunteers?!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What is this all about?

I'm planning to swim the English Channel in the summer of 2009. Why? I'm insane I guess...or I just like a challenge. It's always been on my list of things that I want to do, and I figure now is as good a time as any to start training for it!

I'm currently in the planning stages, I've been reading lots of websites about what's involved and now I'm starting to get in touch with people who may be able to help me with training and advice. I'm starting to put lengths in in the pool, but I also need to start getting into the sea (brrrr!) once I find people to swim with.

Anyway, I figure that this will be an easy way of keeping people updated on what I'm doing and how it's all going...