It’s been nearly three months, since my last post. Obviously, I have been very neglectful, of my blog, that’s not because I haven’t been swimming, far from it. I have been swimming lots…
There is little point in me doing, as originally planned a post about every single swim, for Arthritis Care, but I will summarise the past three months.
It’s been amazing!!!
On the 8th April, I partook in Marie Curie swimathon. My swim, though, didn’t go quite as I’d planned. On the day in question I woke with the start of, what wato transpire to be, a heavy cold which then developed in a chest infection and resulted in a severe exacerbation of my asthma, This swim, was to be my last swim, for three weeks. Despite this, I still swam it, in 1 hour 24 minutes and three seconds, smashing my previous PB for 2.5km and swimming nearly six minutes, under the time my coach, told me to aim for. My previous PB was 1 hour 50 minutes and 28 seconds.
I have my tee-shirt and my medal, the medal I display with pride and the T-shirt I wear with pride. Unfortunately, it’s white and on the first wearing, I dropped curry down it, no amount of soaking and washing, have shifted the stain!
Going back, to the swim itself. I swam it at “Chester le Street Pool” near Durham, the dated interior and freezing waters, where more than made up for, by the amazing staff. They shouted, cheered and hollered me, to the finish line.
I was the only one, taking part, but that didn’t stop them making an effort. My final lengths were swam with, “Calvin Harris, This is what you came for”, blasting out. it was particularly meaningful, as the pool who I had previously booked it, to swim it at, cancelled at the last minute “as not enough people “had signed up”.
Then, it was on to the next challenge.,,
This was planned, to start on the 13th April and was my much anticipated and planned “marathon challenge”. I reluctantly, had to pistpone this challenge, due to my asthma.
Finally, on the 4th May I started, only 5 days after my enforced 3 week break, on account of my asthma. It goes without saying, it was incredibly tough.
I had to make a lot of sacrifices and I hated, how it led to me feeling that I was putting swimming, before my friends. I had to be so focused and disciplined.
Arthritis Care Week was the 8th-14th May 2017, my plan was to swim at least 10km, during that week. This equates to an Olympic Swim Marathon-in the end I swam 13.1km during AC week.
The other aspect, of this challenge, was to swim the equivalent distance of the London Marathon, from the 4th May-4th June. Two and half weeks, into my challenge, I came into contact with two people, with colds. I knew a cold, would destroy any chance I might have of completing my challenge, so I made the decision to complete it as quick, as I could.
I pushed myself hard, to hard, swimming 15km in just 5 days. I also finished on Tuesday 30th May-5 days early. It was a brilliant evening , several members of the branch, sat at the side of the pool encouraging and supporting me to the end. Then the celebrations began, wine and procesco was drunk and congratulations given.
I totally crashed, after this. I slept much of the following and mt arthritis went into a massive flair up, but it was so worth it. The sense of achievement, is amazing.
My coach often states that we often don’t do things, because our mind tells us, we can’t, but often we are capable of doing far more than we believe we can. This was certainly true, of this challenge. Despite severe asthma, for which I’m on 10 different medications, polyarthalgia/osteoarthritis, gluteal neuropathy and significant muscle damage to my back, I swam over 26 miles (42200m) in three weeks and two days. I couldn’t, however of done it without the support of my friends and members of Arthritis Care.
During this challenge I threw in lots of micro challenges, I improved my front crawl distance, from 200m to 1500m and I am regularly doing half a mile, freestyle sets, now. My next plan, is to add tumble turns, into this.
My one mile PB is now 47 mins and a few seconds and my 2km PB sits at just over a hour, by a few seconds. Fourteen months ago, my one mile PB was one hour and 8 mins, so this represents, huge progress.
I also completed my longest distance swam, in one session, 4km. This wasn’t swam, without stopping, but only took 2 hours 50 mins to complete. My next aim, is 5km.
Then, finally, in the middle of May, I took part in the “mile in an hour challenge” for the Alzheimer’s Society. I swam this, un memory of my amazing grandma, who suffered (and I mean really suffered) from Alzheimers Disease, prior to her passing in 2003.
I was, initially, a little disappointed with my time of 50mins and 35 seconds. My total swim distance, in the hour was 1900m, I’d aimed for 2000m, however it was a tough swim. The pool lacked “anti-wave ropes’, with at least 12 people in the pool, it was, at best, choppy, making swimming harder work. It also meant, that when freestyle (frontcrawl) breathing, I was often hit, with a faceful of water.
It also didn’t help, that midway through, someone swam into me, head first, resulting insome minor bruising, it was more of a shock and took a while to get back into the pattern of swimming.
So that is currently, where I am up to. Hopefully, my next post will appear, a lot quicker than it took me to post this.