I successfully completed my solo swim across the English Channel on 19th July, in a time of 14hours and 31 minutes. Starting at Samphire Hoe in Dover at 10.20am on 18th July and finishing on Wissant beach, France.

It was a very physical and mentally demanding swim and a truly extraordinary experience . I was blessed with the most amazing conditions.

Many thanks to all on board my escort boat, the Viking Princess;  pilots Reg and Ray Brickell, artist John Hartley and of course, my coach Tim Denyer.

Special thanks  to my family,  friends and sponsors; the swimmers and coaches at Red Top Swim; Mel Denyer and Camilla Oates at Bodytonic, Sam Burch at Fix, the BLDSA and CSA.  Thank you all. I couldn’t have done it without you!

I will be writing more and adding video and photographic documentation of  the swim in the next few weeks , once I have recovered.

 

 

 

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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!

Kick

I had an appointment with osteopath, Sam Burch at Fix today, for his assessment and treatment of my hip and adductor pain.

He seems to think it’s not serious and that there is no need for me to stop swimming to accommodate it. I just need to minimise my kick. 

Beforehand, as always I was having doubts about my fitness. 

It was  great to have such useful and positive feedback .

Looking forward to Torbay swim now :)

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 ..