The Up

Had a one hour swim at London Fields Lido this morning and then met up with Tim, for lunch. We had a long discussion about pain management and different strategies to help me maintain focus during my  swim. 

He also gave me an in depth explanation the various factors that need to be taken into account in order to ensure a successful crossing, including timing my swim to make best use of the changing tide. 

As always, he was very encouraging and positive . 

Then I had an appointment with my osteo Sam Burch at Fix, who did some more work on my shoulder and arm.

Then I returned to the lido for 4 hour swim.

Now I’m home stuffing my face.

Feeling good!

More pain please!

I had a deep tissue massage with Mel Denyer on Monday.

I told her which parts of my body hurt and she got stuck in with her elbows, pressing down on the sites of pain to loosen tight muscles .

Thighs, hips, shoulders, elbows and lats. 

It was the most excruciating pain I have had to endure. 

It is a bit like having the dentist press down on cavity without using an anaesthetic.

At the end of the session she told me that it would hurt the next day. 

I said. “Never mind that, it hurts now!”

To which she laughed. 

I have a sneaking suspicion she likes her job.

But she is bloody good at it!

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

Emptiness

I really struggled to swim today, the idea of it was quite unappealing. I swam of course, but  it was not pleasant. I neither had the energy or motivation to push, so pottered about in the water for 90 mins and got out. It was painful. Not physically, but mentally.

Maybe I was just having an off day. I think however,  the demands of training, trying to maintain a positive outlook when faced with injury and then having to endure painful treatment; it has started to get to me.

It’s not just the swimming, it’s work, personal relationships; they all have a bearing on how I perform, how I feel and think.

This project, swimming, so much sacrifice. Doing what has to be done in order to achieve ones goals. It’s much easier to think or say you are going to do something that actually doing it. I’m quite sick of swimming at the moment.

I was wondering today if I made the wrong decision, whether all this swimming is just taking me away from myself.

Correction: myselves

On Saturday I’m swimming in the Champion of Champions in Dover harbour . I’m going to be wrecked in so many ways by this.

I keep meaning to paint but I really don’t have the time or energy to be creative, to think the thoughts I wanted to.

Niggles

I saw Sam Burch at Fix sports injury clinic this morning. He did some releases and massage for my shoulder. 

We discussed pain and he advised me on the kind of activities I should and shouldn’t do in order to promote my recovery. 

Fortunately  he doesn’t think it’s a serious injury. Though it is difficult not to take it seriously.

It’s mostly inflammation around my shoulder which is causing stiffness, pain and clicking. He gave me some theraband excercises to do to strengthen my rotator cuffs and suggested taking painkillers if, after exercise, I have pain. 

He also said I could swim,  but:

  •  not swim hard 
  • that if i feel pain while swimming, to modify my stroke, entering my hand closer to the body, rather than at full extension
  • not to over rotate my shoulders
  • Avoid club swimming
  • Avoid butterfly 

He also pointed out that all athletes incurr injuries during training and even compete with injuries or niggling pains. 

So, though the injury I have may not have cleared by the time of my swim, this doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do it. 

Fingers crossed 

In the afternoon I swam at Clissold Leisure centre, just to stretch and maintain mobility and test and adjust my stroke . In certain positions my shoulder was excruciatingly painful, but after a few experiments, changing hand entry and body position, I found I could swim quite well pain free.  

I swam for about 90 minutes , resting every 100m. I also did some kicking drills. 

I hope I have not aggravated my injury further. We’ll see. Tomorrow morning ..