Last night I swam the furthest I’ve ever done – 4 1/2 miles. It was in training for the 6 mile swim I’ve got in a couple of weeks, as well as general training for Windermere. I’m glad I did it and the first few miles were nice and relaxed and I enjoyed them. The last mile or so was pretty tough though. What I did get from it however was a real sense of perspective on the whole thing.
1. It’s gonna be tough. I knew that anyway, but last night really brought it home. What I did last night was a lot less than half-way of the Windermere swim and that is an incredibly scary thought.
2. I WILL be able to do it. Before last night I thought 4 1/2 miles sounded tough – but now I’ve ticked that off and I’ll tick off other challenges as I progress. I felt like I could have done another 1/2 mile or so last night (but wanted to be able to use my arms today!), so there’s a still a bit left in the tank.
3. I need to speed up. I’ve gone on about this before, but it’s important. It’s important because there are entry criteria for first time swimmers of Windermere – you have to be able to swim 5 1/2 miles in 3 1/2 hours (I think). Last night I did 4 1/2 miles in 3 1/4 hours – so at this rate I won’t even be allowed to enter.
4. I still enjoy swimming. Despite the swim last night being hard work, overall I enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed much more than I would have done if I’d been running – and perhaps more importantly my body felt much better today than if I’d been running for 3 1/4 hours (just to put it in perspective, when I was running I would have done 20 miles in 3 1/4 hours).
So still a very long way to go to Windermere (metaphorically and literally), but I’m on track, kind of.