Thursday, 30 June 2016

20 days done, 10 to go

20 consecutive marathon swims now completed. 2/3rds of ‪#‎30marathonswims30days‬ done. Feels like a different muscle group is complaining every day now. Some stats - 20 days, 200km swum, 4000 lengths of the 50m Sandford Parks Lido. Amount of weight loss - 0kg (I'm replacing calories very successfully). Number of lengths breaststroke = 0. Tomorrow is day 21 and is dedicated to the Black Rock Ice-Bergers in Melbourne. Too many English Channel swimmers to count, great bunch of cold water, long distance swimming enthusiasts. Led by the wonderful Albert Bardoel, if you want to get into open water swimming in Melbourne this is where to go to. Just leave your wetsuit at home.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

190km in, 30 x 300m is a great way to pass the time.

Day 19 today. This morning's exciting 10km set was a 1km warm up followed by 30 x 300m. Think I'm running out of imagination as the days go by. Thanks to Kim Boon for sticking out the majority of them and the lovely Vickie for jumping in at the end. Tomorrow is a milestone - day 20, 200km and 2/3rd distance. I'm dedicating tomorrow to a group of American long distance swimmers I met and swam with from Spain to Africa. Darren Miller, Jamie Patrick, Jen Schumacher, Kimberly Plewa and Michelle Nelson. Should be back in the water about 1pm tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Day 18 - is 6km a warm up?

It seemed to take me 6km just to get going today, finally the shoulders loosened up and the next 4kms felt quite good. I have a lot of built up muscle fatigue now. That's 3600 laps swum out of 6000 or 180km in 18days, just 12 more to go. Tomorrow's swim is another early 6.30am start and is dedicated to Simon Wintle. Simon is my personal soigneur! Apart from providing some much needed sports massage he was an absolutely critical part of our Arch to Arc team last year. If he didn't like swimming breaststroke so much he would be a really top bloke. See you tomorrow Simon, thanks again.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Day 17 - a struggle to get up this morning!

Day 17 and another 10km swim completed. Great work from David James who stuck in till the end this morning swimming with me. Back tomorrow at 9.30am for number 18. Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to the BLDSA - the British Long Distance Swim Association. Swimming in BLDSA events got me started in long distance swimming and I still love their races, the history and the camaraderie. If you want to get into open water swimming in the UK this is where it all began.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Day 16 - 3200 laps of swimming

Day 16. 160km swum, 3200 laps of the Sandford Lido. Lovely to see the Beechams and Briffetts at the end. Enjoyed swimming with Ade and Rhian, makes the kms tick over much more quickly! Back tomorrow morning at 6.30am for day 17 and another 10km of swimming. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to the Powerpoints Masters Swim Club. One of, if not the best masters swim club in Australia! Loved training with and being a member of Powerpoints. So many friendly, welcoming members and great swimmers. 30marathonswims30days.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Halfway! Only another 150km to go.

So another 10km swum, that's half way of my 30 marathon swims in 30 days. 150km in the last 15 days. Thanks to Kate Nimmo and Paul Bates who kept me company at the start and Gloucester Masters for the last 4km. Tomorrow I'll be starting at 11am for number 16. This is all in aid of and to raise money for the Sandford Parks Lido here in Cheltenham, a fantastic community facility that I hope will be around for another 80 years.

Tomorrow's swim is dedicated to Richard and Devon Clifford, a swimming dynasty in NY. Richard was my guide and paddle support when I set the Manhattan record and has an unparalleled record of swimming support in the open water swimming world. Devon is his lovely daughter and is swimming in the world famous 8 bridges swim starting tomorrow, good luck Devon, see you guys soon I hope.

Paul Bates and myself at the Lido. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Day 14 - 2 weeks in, unilateral breathing and more aching shoulders

Week 1 was about getting into a groove, getting that niggling rib injury to settle and trying not to get carried away. Week 2 has been about managing the increasingly achy shoulders and fatiguing body. I made what I thought was a sensible decision to do as much bilateral breathing as possible in the first week. Partly because I have always been nagged by various swim coaches that my one-sided breathing was the cause of various right shoulder issues, and partly because I was starting this 30 days of marathon swimming with an existing rib and back injury on my right side. So one week in I was pleased that the rib and back were settling but I was struggling big time with an increasingly painful left shoulder. The only thing I was doing differently was the bilateral breathing so I ditched it and went back to just breathing to the left side. Can't say the left shoulder is fixed but it has stopped getting worse so hopefully it will stay at this level for the next 2 weeks. On the plus side I'm starting to sleep better, I think that is the increasing fatigue catching up with me. Halfway tomorrow.

Day 14 update - Woke up to a bit of a shock this morning but still managed to swim another marathon - day 14 done, 140km swum in the last 2 weeks. That's most of the way from England to Brussels! Great support from Lisa Jones who swam another 10km with me. Tomorrow is half way - number 15. I'm dedicating number 15 to Rob Sheldon, Mike Beecham, Finn Fraser and Hugo Hedley. These great guys have supported me across the English Channel, along Windermere and across Torbay. Great support is vital to any successful swim, and I'm very grateful to all these guys.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 13………..

Fixed puppy's fractured leg, swam 10km and voted in the referendum, a good days work. I start again tomorrow for number 14 at 6.30am. Thanks to Jayne Ball and Joanne Duberley who joined me this afternoon, Jo swam the whole 10km for the 2nd time! Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to my parents; James and Helen. I never would have achieved anything in swimming without their unfailing support and encouragement. Mum has even jumped into the support boat on several occasions. Heck, without them I wouldn't have achieved much in life at all!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A dozen marathon swims completed

Number 12 completed this morning. That's 12 marathon swims in 12 days. 18 to go. Had some good company this morning all the way to 9am. Tomorrow is lucky number 13, plan to be starting about 1pm, just got to fix a broken puppy's leg first! I'm dedicating number 13 to Howard James. Howard is an amazing open water swimmer, he set a record this year for the earliest English Channel swim of the calendar year - crazy cold swim. The best thing about Howard is that he lets me beat him every time we race. See you soon buddy.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tired tonight!!

Day 11 of 30. Another 10km swum 2200 laps out of 6000. Starting to feel it, shoulders aching and physically exhausted tonight - 4.30am start yesterday might have something to do with it. Lovely to have Jayne Ball and Colin Stephenson join me at the start today and David Granger cheered me home. Another early start tomorrow, 6.30am, dedicated to Grant Bates. Grant was my cousin's husband and a truly inspiring man. He supported me on my very first swim marathon (2-way Windermere in 2009), his unfailing enthusiasm, energy and zest for life still inspire me today. He would think this little challenge was brilliant!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 10 and 100km swum!

Day 10 of 30marathonswims30days done. 100km now swum in 10days. Good 'fun' 10km today with a 5am start. Great support from Jon Rawlings, Jason Berry, Joanne Duberley, David James and Lisa Jones who all swum the 100 x 100m set with me. Tomorrow I'll be in at about 1pm for number 11, I'm dedicating number 11 to Craig Morgan. Craig is a Hawaiian Ironman Triathlete and friend from Melbourne. Craig was left a paraplegic after a hit and run last November. He's an amazingly positive and life-affirming individual despite all he's been through in the last 6months.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

9th marathon swim

9th consecutive swim marathon completed. Thanks to Maisie who joined me for the start and Vickie who kept me going at the end. Tomorrow is an early start - the sunrise swim so I'll be in the water by 4.55am! Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Penny Palfry and Chloe McCardel- two of my heroes of Australian long distance swimming. What these two ladies have done and continue to do is truly amazing, feel very fortunate to have swum with them both.
P.S. - thanks for the coffee Keith!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

80km done

Day 8 and 80km swum. Thanks to David James and David Shephard who joined me this morning, really appreciated the company. Tomorrow I'll start at 2pm. Tomorrow I'm dedicating to some of my support crew, Jane Rackham and Georgina Taft. Jane's sports massage & George's Physio have been vital in this and previous swims, everyone needs a great support crew to get them to the finish line.

Friday, 17 June 2016

1 week in - poor sleep and aching shoulders

So I've done 7 marathon swims now. My back, ribs and shoulders are aching about as much as to be expected after 70km of swimming in 7 days. The left shoulder is grumbling a little more than I'd like but still feels manageable at the moment and doesn't bother me while swimming, just afterwards. The most curious problem I have had is an inability to sleep well which I didn't expect. It's the one thing I thought I'd have no problems with, if anything I thought I'd be out like a light and struggling to get up in the mornings. Instead I find myself waking up throughout the night and wide awake before the alarm has gone off. Unlike the shoulders, I suspect as the month progresses this sleep problem will sort itself out.
That's 70km swum now in 7 days (23 to go). Thanks to David James and Lisa Jones who kept me company in the water. Thanks to Penny, Karen, Victoria and Antonia who hung around to cheer me at the end. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Ron Coltman aka Mr Lido. Ron was ever-present at the lido for decades and tomorrow is Ron's rescue day at the lido. I know he would have approved of this little fund-raising event for the Sandford Parks Lido

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Day 6, 60km in.

Day 6 and another 10km swim done. I'll be back in the water at 6.30am tomorrow for day 7. Tomorrow I'm dedicating the swim to Gloucester Masters Swim Club. I've been swimming for GM for about 16 years, ever since I first came to Cheltenham. Always important to find a club that is as welcoming and sociable as it is serious about swimming. See you all on Saturday.

1000 laps done.

Day 5 done - 1000 laps of the pool have now been swum. Only another 25 marathons to complete! I'm dedicating tomorrow's marathon swim to AndrewVidler and Michael Gregory aka AV and The Tractor. Two ordinary guys from Melbourne who have done some extraordinary swims. Totally inspiring and two nicer guys you'd struggle to meet.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Day 4 done

4th marathon swim completed, something quite nice about swimming in an outdoor pool in the driving rain. Number 5 tomorrow at 6.30am. Tomorrow I'm dedicated the swim to Mike Phelps, not the 18 time olympic gold medalist (although hats off to him), no I mean Mike Phelps the founder and long time coach of Gloucester masters swim club. Mike passed away in 2009 but not before he encouraged me in my very first English Channel swim. Great coach, lovely man.

30km done

3rd marathon swim out of 30 done. 30km swum. Thanks to John Myatt, Kate Nimmo and James who kept me company. Tomorrow I'll get in at 2pm for number 4. Tomorrow is dedicated to Nick Adams, a wonderfully generous and productive swimmer. His contribution to English Channel swimming and the channel community is immense. I'll be swimming like Nick tomorrow, but maybe without the credit card in my trunks.

Little video of me about 7km in yesterday 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Day 2, early days but so far so good.

2nd 10km marathon swim done of 30marathonswims30days. Thanks to Kate Nimmo, David James and Vickie who joined me for several kms. Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to Kim Boon and David Granger. Kim and Dave have both beaten cancer, showing the same bravery and determination in their individual battles as they do in their sport. They are both English Channel swimmers who do a tremendous amount locally for swimming and triathlon. Dave has crewed for me in Windermere and they have both supported many other channels swimmers, they are a great example of selfless contributors to our sport.
Kim Boon - mid-channel! 
Dave at Lake Zurich Marathon Swim 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

1 done 29 to go!

1st 10km swim marathon done, only 29 to go! Back niggle not as painful as I feared but ribs still quite sore so I guess that evens itself out. I'll be back in the pool tomorrow at 8.30am if anyone wants to join me for a few laps. Tomorrow's marathon swim is dedicated to my father-in-law Michael Freeman. Mike passed away a few months ago from pancreatic cancer. He was a huge support in many of my swims including across the English Channel and Manhattan Island. He was an inspiring man and a wonderful husband and father. He is hugely missed but if I can channel even just a little of his bravery and stoicism tomorrow will be a cruise.

Each swim I'm dedicating to a different person who has helped or inspired me in the sport of swimming. Today was for Steven Munatones, doyen of open water swimming and who recently had a major health scare. Wishing Steve all the best and thanks for all you do for our wonderful sport.
Mike Freeman 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

30marathonswims30days - starts on Saturday

So the countdown has begun, my 30 marathon swim challenge will start this Saturday the 11th of June and run until the 10th of July. I've just got back from Georgina the physio who has taped up my niggling back injury and given me a green light of sorts (well she didn't say not to!) to start my swims. The injury, rather frustratingly, has nothing to do with swimming. I played in an overly competitive game of football two weeks ago and coped a very pointy elbow to the ribs. I've cracked ribs before so the sensation and discomfort were worryingly familiar, and although the rib pain is settling it has triggered various back and neck spasms that have proven to be more painful than the rib injury. Still I've committed to the next month of swims and hopefully with a good bit of physical therapy from Simon and careful management, I'll hopefully find things will continue to settle down as the month progresses. I'll be starting at 9am on Saturday and I'll keep posting updates as the swims progress. See you all in the pool.