Wednesday 4 July 2007

Tapering down, preparing to swim the channel in just over a week...

Above: When we emerge from our training sessions, all our shoes are always neatly lined up waiting for us to step into them. 'Crocs' are obviously what the best dressed chanel swimmer is wearing this summer! Mine are the "Okey's" top right (NOTE - I must get fashinable and buy some Crocs).

Saturday June 30, and Sunday July 01, 2007 saw me start to taper the training down to a 3 hour training session each day. With just over a week to go before my channel swim attempt, it is important to keep my body fresh, and not overdo it, but to still keep training.

I did my 3 hours but throughout the session I kept thinking that I just wanted to swim the channel now. I felt ready. After about 30 minutes, I stumbled into Loraine Verghese and we did 3 widths of the harbour together (about 3,450 Metres). I found it really useful to swim alongside someone else who swims at the same pace as me. Loraine did exactly this, and on emerging out of the sea, I asked her if she would accompany me on my channel swim attempt as my "swim buddy". I was astonished when she immediately said "Yes, I'd love to". I was really pleased about this as I had been struggling to find anyone the same speed and who was prepared to do it. Loraine - "Thank you" and I look forward to seeing you on board the "Louise Jane" next week!

Above: Loraine Verghese and me prior to Sunday's training session. Loraine will be my "Swim Buddy" during the channel swim.

The Sunday swim, I found really boring. Having done a 7 hour and a 6 hour the week before, I really could think about nothing but the channel. I wanted to swim the channel I was fed up fannying around the harbour now, and so I decided at two hours I was going to get out. I spent the last 30 minutes thinking what I was going to tell Freda (The General).

"I'm ready now - I'm getting out". Mmmm. A bit weak.

"Freda - I don't care what you say, I'm ready now to swim the channel and I am getting out". But would she buy it? I doubt it.

I settled on "I'm bored now and want to get out". That would do it. She wouldn't stand a chance with that little beauty. She would be shaking in her boots when she heard that one. What could she possibly say to that one? This was going to work! Nothing she would say would stop me getting out!

Approaching swimmers beach, I started to break out into a cold swet as I saw her standing on the beach. I kept practising my lines over and over. Coming ashore, I knelt up and said "I'm getting out now I'm bored!". The roar nearly bowled me over in the water! "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE THEN? GET BACK IN THERE!" rooooAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! came the bold reply. I went rigid. Took my banana, ate it. Drunk my Maxim and swum away for my last hour with my tail between my legs.

Above: Feeding after my bollocking for asking to get out because I was bored.

Coming in after my 3 hours, I thanked Freda and we laughed. "You wouldn't get out if you only had an hour left to do in the channel would you?" she said. "No" I replied like a naughty schoolboy! Everything she says makes perfect sense, and you just can't help but see why she gets so many people across the channel.

Beccy was the puppy babysitter again this week for Sandy and Laura's puppy (our dog Casper has been sniffing that jacket all week).

Above: Beccy "puppy sits" Jessie the Jack Russel Puppy while we are swimming.

Well, I completed my two days, covering 17,900 Metres and it had been a successful weekend. Next weekend, I will be in Dover waiting to swim, covering just 1 hour per day until the swim. I will try to update this blog when I know I am swimming so watch this space...

I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who has helped me, trained me, supported me, and read this blog and who has made this whole experience something that I will remember for the rest of my life. It's been great fun, we've met some great people, and now we just have the big day to get through!

Kind regards.



Anonymous said...

text me when you get the go Paul, good luck mate
knock em dead slim

Hoffy Swims said...

Thanks Mark - Will do, and good luck with your Iron Man.

Christina S said...

Fantastic crocs picture, and yes, I definitely think you should get some. You need some for the big day itself, I reckon!!

Freda sounds brilliant. She should be a life coach. I can relate very well to "I'd quite like to stop now because I'm bored" - it happens to me with many things!! Good for her for bellowing at you to get back in the water.