En Route To France Part 8 … 3 weeks to go
This weekend sees a change of venue.
On Friday 29th we had the privilege of seeing our enormously talented daughter graduate
( VERY proud and not at all biased!!)
It was promising to be a very hot weekend, and we had a 4 star hotel organised on the cliff top for a fab mini break. Except swim training stops for nothing. I’d pre-organised to meet up with the Durley Swimmers. I was looking forward a different location and a SANDY beach!!
By this stage in my training I have prep down to military precision.
I line up all my drink and feed bottles the night before. Ready for filling at 6am the following morning. I take seasick tabs with 2 cups of tea. Walk the dog. Drink low carbohydrate strawberry smoothie on the M20 listening to Tony Blackburn- Sounds of the 60’s. He may be cheesy, but we are best mates now! By the time I get to Dover, I’m ready for a comfort stop in the seafront Premier inn. Thank you for never stopping me JUST using your loo!! I live I fear of starting a swim needing a poo! There are no bushes in the English Channel, so doing a Paula Radcliffe is not an option.
No familiar routine for me on this glorious Saturday morning. We reconnoitred the beach the night before… so at least I knew where the loos were. Everything else was upside down.
Hotel breakfast didn’t start in time, they tried very hard to accommodate me, but just couldn’t understand that I didn’t want a mountain of carbs. So I managed with a chopped apple and some very sour natural yoghurt. Not a patch on my full fat yummy smoothies.
I will do a blog just on food. I get loads of questions about it. We all differ, there is no right or wrong, but my way works for me….
More on that another time
After a very pleasant early morning stroll along an empty seafront I was the first to arrive and I still managed to be the last one ready! I realised at the last minute that I had not taken the travel sickness pills- I was distracted by the granny smith- So I took them just before I got in.
Oh how different it is to Dover harbour. The waves lift you all the way up and then drop you all the way down again. Great fun! Except the visibility was soooo wonderful that I had an amplified sea bed rushing towards me and the zooming away seconds later. It was thrilling, but the effect on my insides was potentially disasterous, so I tried swimming with my eyes Closed. I don’t recommend this.
Thankfully the tablets kept my stomach contents on the inside and I had a wonderful 4 hours swimming up to the pier and back. Forgot the Vaseline and had my first experience of chaffing. Not funny!
After the swim was a channel training first for me…..It was soooo warm I didn’t need the eskimo fancy dress costume. What a delight to enjoy the sunshine and sand after a swim. Very little thawing out required.
We rushed back to Kent with a tired daughter, and half her worldly goods preparing to invade us.
Back in time for my familiar routine prep for a Dover swim. I had a lift this Sunday from 2 of the 3 deaf penguins… a relay team from South Africa.
I was expecting a 3 hour and was quite surprised to be given 5. Emma said with a big smile… ‘I’m messing with your head’. It’ll happen on the day… dig deep and keep swimming.
A quick conflab with my driver… they 3 a triple dip! So, I could do my 5.
Half way through the swim a delicious Israeli gentleman swam alongside me. We got into a gentle rhythm together. It really is a pleasure swimming with someone who matches your pace. I learned later he is called Bambi- because his real name is un pronounceable. Sadly, he’s gone home so I won’t get to swim with him again.
It was pure luxury being driven, I fell asleep in the back of the car coming home.
My swim buddies can be very cruel. There is photographic evidence… but I’m not daft enough to show it to you lot!