This weekend I will be spending a bit of time swimming – in fact almost 24 hours!
The time has finally come round for the 2swim4life event down in Guildford. Starting at 9:30am on Saturday morning I will be swimming one mile every hour for 24 miles / hours, so all being well I will set off at 8:30am on Sunday morning for my final hour. It’s fair to say that the current mood is a mixture of excitement and nerves.
I spent yesterday afternoon packing kit and trying to organise myself physically. I’ve packed about 8 towels and 6 sweatshirts, trousers, shorts (ever the optimist), shoes, gloves, hats, hoodies, my Dryrobe (which will be a vital bit of kit) and that doesn’t even include the actual swimming kit or the food!
I think packing the kit and knowing that that job is done has calmed the nerves a little bit.
Surprisingly, given the fact that I need to swim 24 miles, it’s not the swimming that is making me nervous. As always I’ve done as much training as I can – very possibly not quite as much as I should have done, but given all the other things going on in life as much as I can. In fact I had my last big training session on Friday last week and I did:
– 7am-9am – 5kms
– 10am-11am – 2.5kms
– 12noon-1:15pm – 3kms
– 5:20pm-6pm – 1.75kms
– Total – 12.25kms
In these sessions I was swimming 1km every 22 minutes. In this way I was able to give myself a few minutes rest before setting off for my next swim. What I wanted to do was practice the starting again as much as the actual swimming.
This week I have taken the taper to an extreme and haven’t had a swim all week (again partly life issues), but I went for a gentle dip this morning and just did 1km.
Another thing that I’ve been doing this week though is organising my swim hats.
I was inspired by my friend Emma’s long swims last year, where during here Channel swim and round Jersey swim she released biodegradable ribbons into the water that people could sponsor. So I’ve taken a ‘lite’ version of that and have asked people to send me any swim hats that they have – couple with a mile that they want to ‘sponsor’. I’m hoping that this will provide me with a constant stream of support and strength, knowing that I’m swimming each mile with the support of someone; plus add a bit of fun to the event for me and others, especially as some of the hats are … erm … noticeable.
I’ve talked in the past that I don’t necessarily do these challenges for charity. I’m motivated by my own desire to complete the challenge, not by the money I can raise. That’s my personal stance on it.
However, the 2swim4life team set up and run the event on a voluntary basis as a way of supporting their own local charity.
This year it is Place2Be – a charity that “provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools [working with] 94,000 children, helping them to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.”
I don’t know it personally, but the work they do sounds great. So if you do want to support this challenge of mine with a charity donation, please donate here.