Sunday, 15 November 2009

Back in the Swim

After a break of over two weeks - the longest break from swimming I've had this year - I got back in the pool and swam a mile yesterday. I've had a cold bug for the last fortnight which wiped me out, so I'd decided to give myself plenty of time to recover before getting back to it.

I certainly haven't missed the early morning starts as the weather has been depressingly cold and wet, but by yesterday I felt ready for a gentle afternoon reintroduction to the water. I wasn't as out of practice as I'd feared. My goal was 40 lengths which felt manageable, so I did another 10, then reasoned it would be a pity not to do another 14, to make a neat and tidy mile. Easy peasy! I find that swimming in blocks of 10x25m breaks the task into bite-sized chunks and also seems to free my mind up to muse about other things. I've been thinking about channel swimmers and how they occupy their minds during their marathon swims - real psychological stamina!

While on shore leave I've been reading The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer. It's about the early twentieth century race to be the first woman to swim the Channel. It's amazing to read what those gals achieved in the days before sophisticated weather forecasts, purpose-built swimwear and goggles etc etc. And all the while risking social disapproval by cutting their hair short and revealing their knees in outrageous woollen bathing costumes! What fantastic, determined young women! Here's Gertrude Ederle (first woman to swim Channel - August 6, 1926 - 14 hours 30 minutes):

1 comment:

  1. Again I take my hat off to you. I feel chuffed with myself if I manage twenty lengths. Wylie's Baths is too old to be metric, so that's only 20 x 50 yards of very slow breaststroke (front crawl if the waves are breaking into the pool - but then I only do 10). On a gorgeous sunny day, however, I sometimes feel like I'd like to keep swimming forever.