It's now seven days since the Great North Swim - what a great swim, and a wonderful day! It's been a strange week without training for the event that's been like a lodestar through the whole spring and summer. That watery mile was the beacon that dictated pilgrimages to various lakes, pools, the coast - regardless of the weather. It prescribed the purchase of swimsuits, wetsuits, goggles and masks, swimming hats - latex and silicone, earplugs, anti-chlorine, anti-frizz hair products, books and magazines about wild and pool swimming. It put stroke technique on the agenda as a daily topic of conversation and stirred up a frenzy of internet activity - visits to aqua-related websites, forums and blogs. It stimulated the creation of this blog. Now I'm sad it's all over. Well, for this year at least.