Required distance: 22 miles
Actual distance covered: 37.4 miles
A few weeks P.I. (post injury), I realized that I was going to have to make some drastic changes to my weekly workouts that were:
a.) not running, therefor possible for me to actually do; and
b.) taxing enough to burn enough calories to stop me from tormenting defenseless buttons once more:
After deciding on swimming, I became that person who gets involved in every possible forum that has to do with swimming. This is where I stumbled upon a thread on the Fetch website dedicated to the Aspire Channel Swim challenge. Despite already being two weeks into the 8 week challenge, I signed up, because all finishers’ were promised a medal, and I am weak.
Although not exactly challenging – you just swim a total of 22 miles in any pool, in however many sessions it takes you, at whatever pace suits you – it was still a size-able distance to swim, and I’m not sure I would have made the time to complete it if I still had running. It did, however, create a spark of enjoyment for swimming because I was working towards something instead of just treading water with my training until I could run again.
Well, despite my complaints about swimming laps being about as interesting as watching someone in a coma attempt to knit a scarf, it turns out it ain’t half bad when you’re with other people. And there I was thinking swimming couldn’t be a social thing.
Since the Channel Swim I’ve joined the local triathlon club that runs the lessons I’ve been going to twice a week, and I’ve started to notice some improvements in speed. In December, my average 1000 meters would take around 20 minutes, and my fastest 5k swim was 1:42:00. Yesterday, I swam 4k after work and was pleasantly surprised to see 1:13:39 come up as my total time. Even if I took a full 25 minutes to swim another 1000 meters, I would have ended up with a 1:3x:xx time for my 5k. Clear progress!
I’ve also joined a new ‘Fetch challenge’ to swim the length of the Thames – 210 miles – in 2015. I’m at just over 65 miles so far, so definitely on track.
As concrete proof that I’ve taken swimming on as a steady mistress, Ian pulled through on his birthday promise, and my very first wetsuit arrived recently. I’m pretty attached to it already, partly because the brand happens to be my childhood swim team’s name. It’s totally normal to wear a wetsuit as lounge-wear, right? Don’t answer that.
Although I doubt my love for swimming will ever eclipse my love for running, I will openly admit that I am warming to it. And speaking of eclipses, we were lucky enough in Scotland to be treated to a 94% solar eclipse yesterday morning. I let my class out of the fire escape to soak up the experience, and managed to snap a single photo in between
shouting calmly advising everyone not to look directly at the sun, despite no less that 15 reminders before we had even left the classroom… Although my shot is very atmospheric, and caught the parking lot lights on because it was so dark, it sadly did not capture the natural beauty of this significant event.
Luckily, everyone took it upon themselves to upload half a million or so photos onto Facebook for my benefit. I have no idea who took this photo, I just downloaded it because I liked it, and now I can’t find it anywhere to add a source, so if it’s yours, sorry.
Maybe it’s about time to mount my medal rack in my new flat.