Vistied the GP this morning as a precaution. I am going for a fasting blood sugar test on Wednesday.
I know in my heart of hearts that I have not eaten enough fuel. I had the equivalent of a cycling “bonk” or a marathon runners “wall”.
Tom (my friends boss) advised the following. Drink a glass of water first thing. Then (having soaked the oats in apple juice the night before) add a splash of milk and nuke them til warm.
The weekend was the worst weekend training I have had. That said some valuable lessons learned (or I should say acknowledged)
Saturday 14 May – my plan was to do 2 x 2 hour efforts. The first 90 minutes was great. I was doing intervals (need to work on speed endurance) but the last 30 were a cramped up nightmare. In both calves. My mistake – not to take on any electrolytes. I finished the 2 hours but did not get back in for my second stint
Sunday 15 May was an event in itself. Set off strong for the first 30 minutes. Beat my best perimeter lap time by over a minute but the pace felt easy. So delighted with that. 40 minutes into the session the water appeared to be swirling around me. It felt like I was doing rotation drills. Ali stopped at a bouy and waited for me. She said she had become aware that something was not quite right. When I stopped to tread water the lake was spinning round (like when you have had too much to drink) and my eyes were like pinpricks. Ali suggested we went to the bank. I said I could not even see the bank. We did get to the bank and summoned assistance. A ride back to the pontoon in the safety boat was in order. Tim radioed ahead for hot chocolate and a mars bar. It was certainly a dip in blood sugar. 30 minutes later I was fine and an hour or so later I was back in the water for another lap.
That said it was a slog. I said to my swimming buddies that I hoped to feel only marginally worse at the end of the channel swim!
Lessons learned. More calories required to support the increase in distance and OW exposure.
Better quality food is also a must.
I had flirted with the idea of losing a bit of weight now the water was warmer. But I have decided to embrace the fact that I have the body of an Open Water endurance swimmer.
Wednesday 11 May saw me doing a 3 hour swim in the lake at Leybourne. Ali accompanied me for 2 hours worth and the last hour I carried on alone. I got into the zone and was swimming strong. A bit slow – approximately 6.4k over the three hours, apparently my lips were blue when I got out. I did not look dead though and felt good and surprisingly did not shiver. The air temp was approx 16 degrees and we estimated the lake to be around 14 degrees. I had been experimenting with how close I can eat before swimming. I had finished eating 1 hr 20 mins before getting into the water. I felt vaguely sick the whole 3 hours so it was a bit close.
Thursday 12 May again at the lake with an hour interval session planned. Who should be there waiting to swim but Jackie Cobell. Readers may be aware that Jackie swam the channel last year in the astonishing time of 28 hours. She said she did not know if it would count as she landed near Dunkirk and was in the North Sea. We chatted for a while. An inspiration. How glad I was that I chose open water – I nearly went to the pool for my intervals but am finding that much too warm now. A good session and it may be cummulative but I felt more tired after this effort compared to the three hours yesterday. Mind you I was trying. It seems alot of effort to cut 1 min off 450m. But that is 2 mins per 1K give or take which is 40 minutes over 40K. Loved it though and am pleased with this week so far.