22nd July 2007: Dover Training
I kept out of the pool during the week to enable my shoulder to recover as quickly as possible. It seemed to be healing well, and by the time I saw the chiropractor on Friday it felt close to normal.
"6 hours" said Freda on Saturday morning, with the only possible response being "OK". Mentally I was totally 'up for it' having worked on mental and well as physical healing during the week. The water looked nice and flat and apart from a big downpour at the beginning, the sun was out and warm. Looks can be deceptive though - the washing machine end (ferry wall) was very, very choppy with very strong currents. The currents were so strong at one point that it took an hour to do a distance that normally took about 40 minutes. My shoulders hurt from the word go, I had some Ibuprofen after 3 hours, and it didn't feel like it made any difference, until near the end when it had worn off!! Despite all this, there was never any doubt - I would finish this swim - this weekend's word would be success, not failure.
I expected my shoulders to cease up like last week during the evening, and although they were sore, I retained mobility.
Sunday morning "6 hours" said Freda. "OK" I replied. Shoulders were sore to start with, but soon warmed up. The water was glassy smooth with no strong currents, and although the sun took a while to show - the conditions are what you would pray for on a crossing. The first two hours are always the worst mentally. After that it's down to mental games 'on the next feed it'll be half way'; 'after the next feed it will be the last feed'; etc. It was a shame that the glassy smooth water didn't last - it was too good to be true, but once again I was not going to give up. Close the end of the 6 hours I swam past a small sailing dinghy and noticed a fairly young child waving his arms and calling for help. I went over to him and it appears he'd got stuck and was heading for some rocks, poor thing was scared silly and couldn't get the attention of the rescue boat. I stayed with him and calmed him down until help arrived. It was a welcome distraction - the last hour always drags.
I don't think I'm quite ready for the big swim, but this weekend is as close asI have been. I still have a 7 and 6 hour weekend to look forward to.