En Route To France. Part 7 …………….4 weeks to go
Wednesday…. Sitting on Hythe beach with my swim buddy and crew member Ali. The water is still very choppy, and I’m not at all disappointed when she decides for me that it’s not worth going in. Usually I would argue, but not today. Still feeling battered from the CofC’s.
It wasn’t a completely wasted journey, we collected our team hoodies.
On the return journey it was agreed… I would go home for a nap and Ali would go and swim a Union Jack!
So what have I learnt so far on his crazy journey?
- I get sea sick even when I’m swimming
- Fatigue is a stage of motion sickness
- Caffeine makes me more tired not more energetic
- It’s a great time to start menopause! Cold water and night sweats…My thermostat is completely knackered.
- Hairspray stops your swim hat from moving.
- Manuka honey relieves salt mouth.
- Foggies are THE best anti fog wipes for ya goggles.
- You cannot do this thing without friends.
Saturday morning is an optional 7am start. I know it will be best for me to get on with it but I’m anxious. This weekend is time for the next big milestone: Back to back big swims.
Signing in Emma says 6 or 7 (hours) followed by “You will be doing a 7 this weekend… you choose, today or tomorrow?” I admit how nervous I am, having had a rubbish recovery from last week’s Industrial wash at the Champion of Champions. Emma simply ‘You can do it’
I had taken my seasick tablets. I’d fuelled properly,applied sun lotion and the appropriate quantities of swimmer’s lube! The sea was behaving itself and I was flippin’ well going to give it my best shot!
Brain! … how to engage brain so I don’t think myself out of a good swim? I’m not proud… the only songs I could remember the words to were nursery rhymes. But it gave me the most wonderful memories of Mum singing to me. I was in my happy place swimming from feed to wonderful feed.
At the 5 hour feed I bumped into Hayley. We have swum together before and are a similar pace. We swim the next hour together, which was her 4th, my 6th. It so lovely to swim with someone, as Hay said… ‘It makes it feel like you are actually moving!’
We stop for our next feed. Hayley was due to stop at 4 hours, but she offered to do another hour keep me company.. BLESS HER COTTON SOCKS!
My last hour flew by, shoulders feeling strong, but very happy to finish. Hayley forgot to get out!… I’m on my way up the beach feeling proper chuffed with my 7 hours- expecting Hayley to be behind me. But no, she carried on. Now I feel bad for not keeping her company! Hayley’s 4 hour turned into a six, and her solo isn’t until next year! With that attitude she is going to be awesome!
By 5pm I was lying on Debs couch having the most wonderful massage. It was halfway between recovery and preparation because tomorrow I was going to do it all again.
On Sunday I had Pam there for morale support. Pam is another of my crew, tried and tested! She takes no prisoners- there at every feed telling me to ‘get on with it!’ On the day I will just be swimming to the next feed. The art apparently is to switch your brain off, keep your arms turning until you run out of sea!
I was delighted to finish my first back to back. Injury free and feeling so much better, than I usually do after long swims. Windermere 2012, Torbay 2017, CofCs 2018 and my first 6 hour swim, all ended in me with my head in a bucket. Previously I blamed it on ‘Poweraid’ sports drink. Can’t touch the stuff now. But what a difference the travel sickness pills have made. I can even dress myself!! No more vomiting on the beach for this little swimmer!!