Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Farewell Melbourne/feats of madness

So that's it, a month of antipodean culture and sunshine has come to an end, and what an end! Nearly 4 hours in the bay this morning with Kevin and Paul (fellow channel swimming aspirees). I think about 16km in total, not quite half way across the channel but not too far off it! Water temp 17.4 degrees (63 degrees Farenheit for those stuck in the dark ages). Cool but not unpleasantly so and although the muscles were tired by the end it was not exhausting.

A little over 30km in the last 3 days is a good finish to my Melbourne stint. I was a little worried at the start of this trip that work might seriously impact on how much training I could do but fortunately the boss was able to give me enough time off to fit in a good deal of training (the benefit of being self-employed).

One of the sunbathers at the Brighton sea baths was very complimentary of my swimming as I launched myself in for my final 2.7km lap, apparently I had been spotted churning up the waters these last few days and had been suspected of training for a channel crossing. Most people (me included) think swimming the channel is a pretty wild thing to attempt. It seems to be one step beyond the sort of feats of endurance that people would consider laudable and possibly 'if only I was fit enough I would like to attempt such a thing'. Instead it falls into the realms of why on earth would you do something so daft?

Maybe that's part of the appeal, to achieve something that is so beyond your own and most people's expectations that you fall into the niche of madness or incredible or possibly incredibly mad. Whichever I am I hope I can rise to the challenge, better to attempt at madness than to be left wondering if you ever tested the limit of your sanity...................maybe.

(Check out the link to the aerial photo of Brighton sea baths and marina - below right)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

March Stats

So the stats for March are in:

Total Kms swum = 152.65km

Ave Kms/day = 4.92km

Most Kms in a day/week = 11km/40km

Weight at end of March = 78kg

Total weight gain since Jan = 0kg........damn

Number of nights gone to bed feeling like I'm going to throw up from vast quantity of food eaten = at least 20

Moments of worry about lack of weight gain and possible channel hypothermia = lots and lots

It might be argued that trying to gain weight on a vegan diet while burning vast quantities of energy training madly is probably not a formula for getting fat. I had a discussion with a channel swimmer last week who cheerfully informed me he had lost 13kgs during his channel swim. Great, I do not have 13kg to lose right now. It also seems that everyone I have chatted about this has the same three comments; no 1) drink lots of beer (cause that will fit in really well with my training schedule) no 2) what do you expect on your diet and no 3) I wish I had your problem.

April has arrived and the end of my Melbourne stint is just over a week away. The next month will bring cold water training in the UK, something I'm not really looking forward to but at least will give me a greater awareness of the challenge I face in September. I shall persevere with the attempted weight gain - more soy icecream, more protein shakes, more olive oil drizzled over my food until it looks more like a soup than the pasta it was intended to be. More nuts, avocado and dark chocolate. There are worse diets, I am aware of this. I just fear that all this training will be for nought if my internal thermoregulation gives up in the Northwest shipping lane. Never let it be said that I didn't try to eat my way across the English Channel. 'Never save anything for the swim back' or for tomorrow's leftovers either.