Last week, for about 24 hours, I considered moving my English Channel swim to August 2017, rather than July 2018. A swimmer had cancelled, leaving a slot open on a very good tide. I would have been able to travel to the UK at the same time as a friend, and the prospect of getting it over and done with was appealing. But I had to consider my ability to train enough in the next eight months, family commitments, holidays, work etc. Before I knew it, the decision was taken out of my hands, and the slot had been filled. It's for the best. I don't need to rush this. It was a good exercise in taking stock of where I'm at, and where I want to be.
I've read and listened to some interesting stuff recently.
- A piece on why open water swimming is good for your health.
- A fabulous man has done some stats on English Channel swims. I've been looking (not very hard) for combined CSA and CS&PF stats. Also of note: the water temp in early July has been about 16c for the past three years.
- This week's TED Radio Hour features Dame Ellen MacArthur, a long-distance yachtswoman. Hoo boy, her stories of sailing are terrifying! There's a discussion about bravery which stuck with me: she doesn't consider herself to be brave, because she chooses to take on these crazy adventures. She says that brave people are those that have challenges thrown at them. I agree. You can prepare for adventures / endurance events etc, and that makes them a lot less scary.
- Freakonomics re-ran How to Become Great at Just About Anything, with a good discussion of deliberate practice, which made me a bit more enthusiastic about doing drills.
Getting back to squad last week was hard. I swam slowly, and I got tired. That's what two weeks off will do. Mental note: never stop swimming again. Ever. But, three sessions on, and I'm starting to feel OK again. Vlad took a nice video of squad this morning.
We swam at Bondi on Saturday. There was a bit too much aquatic life for my liking. Loads of seals, dolphins and quite a few bluebottles. We've got some long long swims coming up in the next month, and I know I'm going to get stung, but I'd really like to minimise my exposure. After a little tickle, I was pretty keen to jump out, but I knew that I had to do the distance. Bondi offers a convenient alternative RIGHT THERE, free from nasties, so after 1.5km in the ocean, we did another 6.5km at Icebergs. It was a great swim. I felt reasonably energetic, but having analysed my food (are gels food? not really) intake during the session, I think I should increase my consumption a bit. I'll give it a go this week.