I have been avoiding my blog. Hiding from the fact that things haven't been going as I originally planned back before Christmas.
There is no getting away from the fact that the training is just not getting done.
Over the last month I have spent a lot of time thinking and talking to people close to me about the main issues and it boiled down to one thing.
I have too much on my plate.
I have been working full time for an events company, whilst running my own business, looking after 2 children, fundraising and attempting to train for a very large and scary challenge.
Sure, I love to be busy and push myself, but when I sat down and actually looked at what I was doing, even I had to admit that something had to give.
So I have made the tough decision that the 'proper job' had to go. As a single parent, it has been a 'lying awake at night' kind of decision and I haven't only been struggling with the financial side of things either. I am leaving a company I love and have invested a lot in. I have also met and grown very fond of a fantastic group of people there. But I know that in order to really succeed at something you have to give it the attention it truly deserves. You have to have the guts to really get out there and go for it.
Brutal Events and the Brutal Deca deserves my 100% focus and I am now looking forward to taking them to the next level (whilst living on value Baked Beans and Pasta that is).
Last weekend was my first visit to Dover as an actual 'Channel Swimmer
in Training'. I have been there before as Arch to Arc crew, so I knew
my way around. As we gathered on the stoney beach, we were told by The
Channel General - Freda Streeter (google this amazing lady) that we
were required to swim for 30 minutes. I was apprehensive as I always
am of any open water swimming, but didn't feel stupidly scared due to
the work I had done with Gone Swimming recently (See short film here...).
As I started swimming it was pretty evident that I wasn't fast enough, but I told my negative thoughts where to go and swam on. As time went by (30 minutes in chilly water is a veeeery long time!) I started to feel the familiar panic creeping in and I dealt with this by swimming inshore slightly and doing a short spells of breaststroke to calm my breathing down. I was determined to do my 30 minutes in the water, no matter what.
As I reached the shore, I was already shivering but didn't feel too bad. As soon as I stood up though, it hit me and I knew I was in trouble. I don't remember much about the next 45 minutes, as it was a blur of confusion, shivering and panic. I have experienced Hyperthermia a lot since I started in Triathlon in 2006 and have an understanding of the various stages and my own symptoms - it is a necessary evil in long distance swimming - but I have to say that this was the worst I have had it to date and it was pretty scary.
I do remember sprinting up the (very stony) beach wondering why everyone put their shoes by the water's edge. It didn't hurt at all! Later that day, I looked at the soles of my feet and was surprised that they were covered in bruises! Apparently, having a conversation with me was interesting, as I wasn't exactly present and I threw hot tea over anyone remotely close. I was really looked after by my team though, lots of hugs by future channel swimmers (thank you Ray and Nick) and support from people who have seen it all before! My next Channel training weekend is in my home town, Bournemouth in a few weeks and I intend to swim the Pier to Pier as training before that.
This weekend as a measure of my training (or lack of) I am attempting the Enduroman Double Ironman (which luckily happens to be 5 minutes from my house). I came second in the first ever Double way back in 2008 (ok, so there was only 4 women in the event, but still...) and it was a big turning point in my life, so it's kind of weird to be doing it again.
Am I ready for it? Honestly... no, I'm not but I need to work on my mental strength and this is certainly going to test that! My only expectation for this weekend is to finish the event with a smile.