I went to sleep on New Years Eve 2010 thinking when I wake up in the morning my English Channel attempt will be NEXT YEAR…. wow that sounds so close.
I have been training for one year, I am 1003 miles closer than I was at the start of 2010. With 2010 coming to a close it was time for me to size up what was on the cards for 2011.
Not burning out
Continuing Cold Water Acclimatization
More feeding experimentation
Setting a monthly Training schedule
Annual Plan: Training Distances and events
Booking Accommodation and Travel to Dover in 2012
Phew, I finally have my 2011 plan laid out, as with all plans it may be modified as the year progresses, I learnt a hard lesson last year during my ” freak out swim” on how important it is to check in with yourself and evaluate how things are going, to check that the short term goals are challenging enough to keep you engaged but not so big as to be overwhelming and ” freak you out of contention”.
So here is my training plan for January, February and March, it involves a lot of pool swimming, 40,000 meters a week to be exact, it includes strength training 2 days, 2 short 15 minute sessions of Core exercises, 3 sessions of Yoga for flexibility and inner calm and finally some Nordic skiing. I started XC skiing last year, it is not only a great workout but very soothing to get out in the woods, I go 2 afternoons a week at 3:30pm and ski until just after dark at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.
I ski with my friend Margaret, we usually have some pretty good discussions while we climb up the Vermont Hills on our Nordic skis and one particular day late in December after our climb up to the Trapp family lodge Cabin we paused during the downhill for a chat about technical racing suits. I had just finished researching the statistics on how much faster the now banned race suits are and why they are faster, I had blogged about it and was filling Margaret in on what I had discovered.
Well the day was pristine and we were enjoying an extended break to chat while the snow silently and gracefully fell on us, during our chat we heard a third voice join in the conversation, a male voice with an English accent, he offered his input on the banned swim suit controversy, we had a spirited discussion, during the conversation my blog came up and he asked the address, I told him and he asked ” what does EC Kiwi stand for?” I replied ” I am training for an attempt on the English Channel in 2012 and this is a blog about my training adventures and all the great people I meet”.
He looked beside himself with excitement as he said ” You know there is a girl in Stowe who is training for the English Channel you should get in touch with her” “No way!” I replied truly excited at the thought that there was someone else out there like me who I could share some of those long pool swims with, those chilly cold water dips and share experiences of what works and what doesn’t! How could I have missed that,I wonder.
” I didn’t know that”, I told him and he replied, ” She is going to be swimming the butterfly” , “WOW” I replied, this girl is a legend in my book. He continued on ” I am surprised you haven’t bumped into her, she trains at the local pool, you should stop by there and ask them, they are sure to know about her, I read all about her in the local paper a few months ago”
“Oh I will check it out “, I quietly replied, my heart sank as I realized that he may just be talking about me, I work at the local pool and sadly have not seen anyone quite like the girl he is describing.
Neither Margaret or I say a word to him or to each other, we politely say our goodbyes and push off downhill to ski back to the lodge, Margaret is skiing in front and our new friend continues on up the trails, after a few minutes I shout forward to Margaret, ” Well looks like I may be swimming the butterfly in the Channel , I better cut back on all that Freestyle I’m swimming!” We both roar with laughter.
Margaret has seen Butterfly guy a few times over the season while she has been skiing, we did enjoy chatting with him, he was super friendly and just like us enjoying being out in the woods, taking in the scenery and sharing experiences with others, it was fun!
USMS ONE HOUR SWIM 2011: Event # 1:
First event up was early in January, that is the United States Masters One Hour Swim, it is a National Event that involves swimming the most distance you can cover in one hour, a timer and verifier list your 50 split times and verify your swim, this has to be completed in the month of January, I was planning to swim this late in January but on Friday January 7th, 2011, Paula my swim buddy and training crew member asked me if I wanted to swim the one hour swim with her the next day at 7:00am, ” Brilliant ” I blurted out before considering that I had already swum 32,000 meters this week and the swim was the next day, ” oh well, no resting up for this one, I’ll be good and tired” I thought to myself.
I bounced up the next morning and galloped down to the pool, I have 32,000 meters under my belt this week and I am excited to go under the stop watch and see what I can pump out today.
Paula and I wish each other good luck and we are off, lap after lap we thundered up and down the pool, I was cooking like a lobster in the 82 degree water, before you know it Deb who was our counter and verifer gave us the sign that our hour was up and we stopped. The distance covered was 4716 yards, last year I swam 4,686 I am pleased and it is enough distance to sang me 5th place in the National event in my age group, I am thrilled with myself and feel elated after the swim until the grim reality sinks in that I still have another 4000 meters to swim to wrap up my training goal for the week, WOW this is going to be grim, I push off the wall and feel heavy and slow for the next 1000 meters and then a funny thing happens, I relax, my mind lets go and I swim on instinct, my pace picks up and the next 3000 meters is some good quality 100’s the last one is a beat the tide sprint and I feel good, a long but bennifical 2.5 hour outing in the pool both mentally and physically.
WANT TO SWIM?…
So what comes next, you read the training plan…..40, 000 meters each week indoors, no outdoor adventures to jazz me up just the hard slog of up, down, up, down, fast, slow, fast, slow…..the next few months feel like I am a fish rickashading off the end of a fish tank, swimming to the other end and back again and again and again, I swim with our Masters group and I swim alone, sometimes I feel starved for company in the pool and look to swim with others as much as I can, I have a great support of swimmers, often swim buddies will join me for part of my workout, I may rotate through 2-3 swimmers during my 8-10,000 meter sessions. Sometimes my swim buds are set up in advance to swim with me, other times I will spy someone getting in the pool and pounce….. ” Hey want to swim a set?”, I am like a dolphin ready to play. As I am swimming I can see everything in and out of the water, I watch who is getting in and out and can sense by the look on their face and their body language if they are up for company or if they have that look on their face that says” oh crap there she is, I just want a cruise today maybe she won’t see me”, to them I look more like a menacing shark than a playfull Dolphin…..I understand sometimes a relaxing stretch out is delicious and swimming with me doesn’t often pan out that way.
|Long Pool Swims fuelled by Carbo Drink and Water|
January whizzed by, February I started to slow down in the water, long slow workouts and when I tried to hit my beat the tide pace from just a month before I stumbled, it felt like I was swimming so hard, yet I was swimming slower. I have read that is is not unusual to experience periods of this, I continue to train, ignore the extreme tiredness and busy myself with logging my training, planning my workouts and putting some new short term goals on the horizon to give me something to be jazzed up about.
First up, a family trip to Florida February 24th, 4 days in Orlando, surely they have lakes there, right! They do, there is one just outside the door of the complex we are staying in, perfect I call up them up and ask about swimming in the lake, a hands down NO is the answer I get over the phone, hmmm.
I reserach a pool to swim in and discover an organised Lake Swim: ” Lucky’s Lake swim”, only 25-30 minutes from where I am staying, I pack my bags for Florida excited about the prospect of swimming outdoors after 4 months penned up inside. According to my wise sources Gators may be an issue in the lakes in Florida, hmmmm hadn’t considered that one, I read on the English Channel chatgroup that I am a member of and see some questions posetd about swimming in waters where Aligators hang. One question asked went something like this,” Does anyone have any tips on swimming in a river with Aligators”, the answer summed it up:
” I asked a guy and he said ” don’t do it”, he had one leg!”
Will I swim in an indoor pool or venture outdoors while I am in Florida? I’ll keep you posted ( maybe this photo will give you a clue)
|Lucky’s Swim Lake|