5hr 22mins

(Strange photo that )

I’m pleased to have completed  the BLDSA Champion of Champions swim in Dover harbour today .

9 miles (5, 3 and 1 mile races) in overall time of 5 hrs 22 mins. Not the fastest time, I came 17th, but then my main objective was simply to complete the course.

After months of going slow to accomodate various injuries and not being not in the best form, I found it a difficult swim. I’m told however that even the hardiest and most accomplished of swimmers find it difficult.

My hip flexors were really tight and painful, so I didn’t really use my kick and for the first time ever I had a sharp pain in my elbows.

The water was 15 degrees and it was raining and overcast, so not much comfort from the sun .

It might have been easier as one long continuous swim rather than three swims with breaks in between as this made the whole event some 8 hours in total . The problem though  is with feeds.

During my channel swim my coach will manage and give me feeds . In this event however,  i had to carry my nutrition with me. I had loads of energy gels stuffed  down the back of my trunks. There’s is only so much space for gels in there , so this wouldn’t work on a long continuous swim.

It was a useful training exercise however. It gave me an idea what kind of condition I am in and the areas  I need to focus on to improve my performance for the channel.

Nutrition, flexibility and shoulder stability need attention.

I have two weeks to prepare for my next swim in Torbay. That will be a continuous 8 miles swim in the sea. I will be accompanied by a kayaker who will carry my feeds for me.

I am about to go to sleep. I’m feeling quite sore. Tomorrow I imagine it will feel even worse.

Fortunately seeing Mel Denyer for a massage on Monday. More pain

Then, release

(hopefully)

Here is a video clip of the 1 mile race made by one of the kayakers . I’m  not too keen on the soundtrack he has added but the video gives some indication of what it was like

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Boredom 

The thing is you have to stay interested if you’re going to do this kind of swimming. It’s not a walk in the park or a picnic by a lake. But I am bored . I am bored of thinking about swimming all of the time . Plus I lack discipline .

If you look at the documentation of swimmers finishing their channel swim it’s rarely marked by jumps for joy. Mostly it’s marked by sighs of relief.

I can’t wait to get this done so I can move on. 

Tomorrow morning I’m swimming in the Champion of Champions in Dover harbour . 3 races totalling 9 miles.

I’ve done longer swims but still, I’m a bit nervous about this one because I  don’t feel in the best shape. I’m also underweight. 

When I did my six hour swim in Folkestone in 2012 I weighed about 18 stone. I few weeks ago I was 15 stone. I’m now 16 stone. I just hope i have the energy reserves to keep going. 

It’s forecast to rain throughout the day,  so I expect a bit of chop. That should keep the boredom for setting in. 

Calm seas can be very enjoyable but when the waves start bashing you about you really must swim for your life.  

And this is it. Or, there it is

And here I am just holding on

Champion of Champions swim

I’ve just accepted a place in the BLDSA Champion of Champions swim in Dover Harbour on 18th June. 

It had sold out within hours of being open for entries, but I managed to get on the standby list and  a place has become free, so now I’m in! :)

The CofC consists 3 races in close succession. 5mile, 3mile and 1 mile

It’s going to be tough! 

Looking forward to it!