New Year Swimming Blog
I like to write a blog at the turn of the year, to review what went before, and to set down goals for the year to come.
This time last year I had a mixed bag to report on. I didn’t manage the 20k pool swim I had wanted to do, nor had I ….. , but the one-way Windermere swim I had slated did come off, and in less-than-ideal conditions, a valuable confidence-booster going in to what promised to be a challenging 2014.
For 2014, while there were multiple challenges to be sure, there was only one big objective, which was to swim from England to France, according to the rules set out by the CS&PF. As regular readers will know, after a lot of hard training, in the pool and in the open water, this dream came to fruition, one fine day at the end of July. Sunny, lumpy at times, dark and windswept at the finish, mentally challenging, highly rewarding, and achieved only with the help and support of many people: on the boat, the beach, at home, at work, and in training at home and overseas.
I also got the chance to do my first piece of crewing for another swimmer, supporting Helen as she bolted stylishly across the Catalina Channel in mid October.
The iconic million metres was achieved somewhere in late November. It’s just a number, but it’s a jolly big one.
So what about 2015? What might it hold?
Well here, dear reader, are the new term’s goals!
20 km pool swim. There it is again! People ask me why I would bother to do such a thing. Mainly because this is a 2 year old objective I never nailed. Not because it is ground breaking or even the most challenging, but because annoyingly it is still there…..
1 km Endurance Challenge in Windermere in February. This is not going to be an easy one, not least because I have yet to do my cold water qualifier. Strangely it is not the swim I am worried about, as I have an idea it should be OK. What daunts me is the unpleasant recovery, working through afterdrop and all that entails. This is a big challenge.
Gibraltar Straits swim. Helen has been working on getting a slot for this for a couple of years. Now finally we have a slot to swim in tandem from Europe to Africa, at the end of May. On paper, this is a 4-5 hour swim from Spain to Morocco, but depends a lot on the vagaries of the wind.
2-Way Catalina Channel swim. A BIG swim, and one that will almost certainly be a massive challenge. 40 Miles from LA over to Catalina and back, now booked for the middle of September, with John Pittman on Outrider, the same pilot and boat combo which Helen had in her October crossing last year. Much I have yet to understand about the swim, but I hope to have some of the key people there for it who were instrumental in my and Helen’s swims this year: Helen, Dan Simonelli, Tom Hecker. John and his crew.
There is a lot of training to be done in preparation for this swim. Who knows what lunacy Freda and Co will have in store for me in Dover Harbour while training for a double? Who knows how my body and mind will hold up as I launch into a 4th year of ‘a lot of swimming’? How will the impressive combined demands of a personal life, a work life, and a gnarly training schedule affect me?
Watch this space.