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.