Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sick again :(

So up to a couple of weeks ago my training seemed to be going pretty well, I was getting some distance in in the pool and starting to get used to the cold of the sea....and then I got a head cold. And I can't manage to get rid of it :( It started out as a sore throat and progressed to a full head cold. And the sore throat just won't go away-a few days I've thought it was gone only to wake up to it being there again the following morning.

So last week was a disaster as regards swimming, I got into the pool on Tuesday night to find myself as sick as ever Wednesday morning. So I took it easy for another few days and got back into it again this week just gone. I'm finding that my fitness has gone way down in that short amount of time, workouts that should be easy are killing me! And my throat is still sore most days, but it seems to be that way regardless of whether I swim or I'm going to keep swimming and just hope it gets better!

So the plan is to get back down to Sandycove this weekend, it's a long weekend here so there are swims all three days, so for now I'm going to try to make all three but we'll see how it goes. The weather is supposed to be horrible all weekend (typical for an Irish long weekend!) but I'm going to try to make myself go anyway-the weather might be horrible the day I swim the Channel!

I'll update after the weekend and hopefully report on how the three swims went!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What I've been up to....

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted so here's a bit of an update....

Douglas pool opened at the end of last week, so I can get back to training with my club again, which is nice. I was there Tuesday and Thursday last week and the plan is to head there tonight. It's nice to swim there because I can see how much my other training is paying off in comparison to the people only training there the two nights a week! I'm going to move up to a faster lane tonight and see how that goes-unfortunately my breaststroke and butterfly are only ok and I almost drown doing a length of backcrawl so I may end up moving back because of that!

Last Thursday was the most swimming I've done in a day so far, I swam Thursday morning and evening, with a total of over 5,000metres (over 3 miles) swimming that day. I was a bit sore that evening but it felt good. I'm trying to get my metres up a bit during the week at the moment since I'm probably going to be going to Sandycove a lot at the weekends from now on.

And speaking of Sandycove....

First of all, Ned uploaded a great panorama photo of the island during the week that I'm including here. It makes things much easier to explain when I've got a picture to help me! Basically the slip is where the photo is being taken from. People swim out to the right, around the back of the island and back in towards the slip passing the red house on the left. This swim is somewhere between 1,700 and 1,900 metres (depending on how close to the island you swim!)...that's a little over a mile.

Panorama of Sandycove Island

I've been down there four times now, twice since my last post. The first of these two times the water was at about 9 degrees according to my watch. I stayed in the water for 6 minutes (I'm starting to time myself now so that I know that I'm staying in longer each time!) and those 6 minutes felt like forever!! I swam out towards the red house to the buoys, I turned back when I reached the second of the two buoys that are next to each other in the picture. On my way back I realised that I'd probably gone too far, my arms and legs were getting very numb and I thought I'd never get to the slip. And of course as soon as I started thinking that I started to panic so that only made things worse!! I got in fine though and warmed up pretty quickly so it was just all in my really made me realise the importance of having others around when I'm swimming though just in case!

I went down again then last Saturday morning, there was a big gang of people going in before me, most in wetsuits though! I walked down the slip and put my toes in and they were numb in was a very cold week here last week so the water temperature was down to 7.5degrees (someone told me that after...thankfully I didn't know that when I was getting in!). So it took a while to make myself get in and when I did I had the usual feeling of not being able to breathe for about 20 strokes...I'm not sure if that ever goes away in water that's probably just my body's way of trying to get me back out of there as soon as possible!! I swam out to the right this time in the direction that I'd go if I was going to swim around the island. I had decided to swim for 8 minutes, adding on 2 minutes from the swim before, so at about 4 minutes I turned back, I was almost at the corner of the island at that stage. Getting in was a bit harder, I kept swimming crooked so after 20 strokes or so I'd look up and find I wasn't swimming towards the slip anymore at all!! Definitely something that I need to work on!!! So it took a little longer to get back, I was in for about 8.5 minutes, I really enjoyed that swim though, no panic this time! I found that the palms of my hands got really numb, I guess from pulling through the water, it felt really weird though!

I'm going to try to get down there again over the next few days, tomorrow is looking busy but maybe Thursday, and maybe swim out the same way as on Saturday but then across the inside of the island towards the buoys and back into the slip from there. That's the swim that most people do before doing a lap so I figure if I do that a couple of times over the weekend I might finally be ready for a lap the following week!