Friday, July 3, 2009

Where to start?

Well...I guess I'll go back to where my last post in May ended and take it from there...

When I started in the sea at the end of May it was still cold-10deg C. Which didn't help my shoulder at all, the cold was causing everything to tense up and making it worse. I was getting very annoyed that I couldn't get back into the training the way I wanted to, and at the same time I knew that I just had to be patient and let it heal. And then I was unbelievably lucky...we had a weekend of absolutely beautiful weather that brought the temperature up to 14deg C.

I was in Cavan that weekend for the Lough Sheelin swim. I had signed up to do the 15km swim but from the way my shoulder had been acting up the few days previously I figured I'd see if I could get to 5km and then decide what to do from there. We travelled up to Cavan on the Saturday and headed to Martin Cullen's house-the race organiser and our very kind host for the weekend. He had prepared a huge dinner spread so we ate until we were bursting and then chatted for a while before getting to bed. Sunday morning was an early one but it did start with the yummiest porridge ever made for us by Martin! A great start to the day. We headed for the lake and got ready to start. It was a beautiful day, not a ripple on the lake. I was sharing a kayaker with Imelda, and decided that I'd head to the 5km mark and see how I felt then. So off we went. The water temperature was gorgeous-15deg C, and it was lovely and clear-normally I'm not a big fan of freshwater swimming because it can be quite murky, but this wasn't really. It was a perfect day for a swim, and for the first time in a long while, my shoulder didn't hurt :) I was feeling great! We got to the 5km mark and I decided that I'd go to the 7.5km and stop there at the half-way point. I was feeling good enough to turn around and start coming back (the course was 7.5km to the other end of the lake and 7.5km back) but the most I had managed the week before was 5km and I was sore after that so I didn't want to risk pushing it too far. And I didn't regret my decision after-I got out feeling really good for having completed more than I had planned and I wasn't sore. When I got back to the start I sunbathed for a while, did the 1km swim to stretch out, and basically enjoyed the afternoon. It had been so long since I just enjoyed swimming-it had become such a chore and something that I had to do rather than something that I wanted to do. And I had gotten to the point where I thought that the injury was never going to go away, that I was going to spend the summer fighting it. But the swim showed that it could go away, and it would in time. It was just a really important day for my recovery I think-both physically and mentally. And I can't wait to go back next year and do the full 15k!

Now it's time to go and get myself ready for my long swims this weekend...more to come on Monday...I figure that if I keep posting in bite-sized pieces I might eventually catch up! :)

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