Not sure whether I enjoyed the swimathon or not – I am definitely a morning swimmer. Don’t mind swimming all day, early starts not a problem; but staying calm, knowing what and when to eat…..I could feel myself tensing up which is not the best preparation.
Although, this event WAS the perfect insight. I very much doubt I would be starting off in the evening, but a fixed date hanging over training, adrenelin build up and psychology playing out were all really good insights into what I will be facing. Next event, wandering up and down Milverton street fair in my wetsuit, asking people to donate money and shove ice cubes down my back. Fun…
I also prefer morning swims as there’s more time for the come down. I guess because of the stress involved (excitement and anticipation as much as anything) I could not get to sleep despite finishing at 6.50pm. I was buzzing. I know I get a kind of high after long swims, but dealing with Dyl for 4 hours after a 7 hour swim does enough to bring me back to earth! I saw the back of midnight before I dozed off. Not fab. Felt fine physically though. Obviously well fuelled. Tried a recovery drink. Felt like a chocolate milkshake. Not really what I wanted. So I had a curry. Korma, nothing to rock the boat too much! All that stomach tightening in the water, and the last thing you want to do is fire it up…
I also didn’t hit the flow -the zone was hit and miss. Usually I flail around in the water, fighting my mind which is throwing everything and the kitchen sink my way; from self doubt to …well, typically, it’s self doubt whether my voice or other peoples for about an hour. I can cope with this because the 2nd hour seems completely effortless. I suddenly go calm and my stroke evens out, my mind stills and everything finds its rhythm. It’s what I do it for, the space within. The effortless concentration of mind and body connecting and combining to work together – and being aware of it. Pure bliss.
Didn’t really happen which was a surprise. I got glimmers, moments of it which was nice. It’s odd, since I’ve done my long swims in public lane time, train with 4 to a lane and yet I was affected by the three others doing 10k. I was mildly faster than them, so got a slingshot of adrenelin boost and sink in waves as I came up behind them about once every 10 lengths, felt my stroke lengthen as I came up behind, swam in their slip stream, then felt I had to pound it out once ahead of them. I don’t know how much of that was purely emotional, but I do recollect feeling almost bad overtaking them. It isn’t a good feeling have someone pass you, or worse, break your pattern, tapping your toes to let you know to wait at the turn. I usually try to avoid doing it, but I guess it’s good practice to be forced to recognise my own swim and keep to that. I know they didn’t mind.
They thought it would take them over 4 hours to swim so they started nearly 40mins ahead of me, but all of us finished in under 3h45m. I am pleased with my 3h12m. it means I am still very much on track for pace.
Am aware I need more water time though…………..