A quick (although slightly slower than usual) 2-mile swim before breakfast rounded off week 7 of my #AspireChannelSwim week. It was a busy morning session right from the off at 7am and I was sharing a lane with 2 others for the first time in a while. Despite what I consider to be a slightly lackadaisical pace I was the fastest of the 3 and very grateful that they were quick to pause and step aside to let me past.
I haven’t been swimming at the weekends and I’m looking forward to 2 days of relative rest before getting back to it on Monday. Just another 5 weeks left until I can take a longer break. :¬)
Prior to this challenge, I was never much of a swimmer and I’d certainly not done any distance swimming like this since I got my 1 Mile Badge as a teenager. I struggled to swim for any period of time because I found it tedious and trying to count lengths meant my mind couldn’t relax and “zen-out”. 2 things have changed that for me.
- Buying a set of waterproof bone conduction headphones so I can listen to music. I bought a set of £30 Tayogo MP3 player headphones just to try out the principle and they work brilliantly. But I may well invest in some more expensive ones now I know it works.
- My Fitbit Ionic, which counts the lengths I do. This means I don’t have to try to remember how many lengths I’ve done or which one I’m on. I just swim in 15 or 20 minutes sets keeping an eye on the clock. During the lengths now I can just let my mind wander and embrace the slightly hypnotic swimming action.
My dalliance with a change of technique is faltering. The technique I was copying whilst it felt natural at first seems to fatigue specific muscles quite heavily and seems to slow my pace down. So I’ve been looking at a few more videos and I think I’m going to try incorporating this one into my style….
When I get home from an early swim I’ll quite often lean my chair back, put my feet up on the desk and close my eyes for 10 mins. Our youngest cat Jaspervark loves to join me, jumping up and settling down on my chest or my lap for a quick snooze. It seems to have become his fave part of the day and he gets quite insistent that we get a few Zs at some point in the morning. He also seems fascinated by the smell of chlorine on my beard.
I’m up to 15th on the leaderboard today. 14th place is 4 miles ahead of me so this might be the highest I climb. https://www.aspirechannelswim.co.uk/leaderboards/individuals/order/distance/p2#board
I’m doing this as a sponsored challenge for Aspire, who support people with Spinal Cord Injury to help them live full, independent lives. I’d love it if you’d support me at https://justgiving.com/fundraising/theaardvark-2019-channel-swim