Friday, 10 August 2012

Monster Swim draws near... and don't forget the cycling!

I thought it was time for an August update!  In a few days time we leave for our mini holiday in Loch Ness, where we will be staying for just short of a week, and on Saturday 15th August I will be swimming in Loch Ness.  *Wibble*.    Have yet to decide how to deal with my nerves as the time draws closer.... I guess the distraction of being on holiday, in a beautiful place, with friends and their families will help.  We are staying on a lovely campsite with our family, and I am very much looking forward to being in a beautiful place with lovely friends and family.

(Am also a little distracted by the 400 mile journey, with my four children, in the car.  That in itself going to be a challenge and a half....)

My training for the swim has been going well, and I have been regularly swimming the distance in the pool and my stroke has become longer and stronger, though I still struggle to do the distance (1 mile) in less than 45 minutes.  I had hoped by now that would be achievable, but I do know my swim time at Loch Ness is likely to be a little quicker due to the wetsuit advantage. 

I watched Keri-Ann Payne swim the 10km Olympic swim yesterday.  Just HOW anyone can swim that distance is completely beyond me - and it took her TWO hours!  Amazing, inspiring.  I do vaguely keep having thoughts about training up to swimming two miles over the winter and entering a longer distance next year.  Just need to find a way to keep boredom at bay.  Thoughts about a waterproof MP3 player are popping into my head again....

And cycling - I really cannot remember when I last blogged about my wheels!  I have had no goals this year, no events entered.  I just see my bike as my way to escape on my own into the coutryside for a while and if I happen to boost my fitness levels along the way, then that is a bonus!  However, I finally seem to have found my cycling legs and I am now covering distances which seemed waaay to epic for me to consider regularly before now. 

I covered 27 miles last weekend and did a lovely circular route around the country lanes in North Yorkshire and the Selby area.  I have started taking note of my average speed (using both a manual bike odometer and Endomundo GPS tracking) and my aim a few week ago was to maintain more than 13mph, although both my recent rides have seen me maintaining 13.7mph over distances of 20miles+. In fact on my last ride I could see that after I had covered 16 miles, I was averaging 15mph so far.  There are several ways back into my village depending on my route... unfortunately they are all hilly and I often lose masses of average speed by ascents at the end of my ride when my legs are tired!  I am hoping to clock an average of 14mph+ over at least 20 miles before too long.

It took me two hours to cycle the 27 miles and it was a relatively flat route.  The biggest downside I encountered was stiffness/aching across my arms and shoulders.  I believe this is simply from being in the cycling position for that amount of time (I don't stop to drink anymore as I finally found the confidence to drink while I ride - only took me two years!). 

I have a vague cycling goal for 2013.  Dylan and I plan to cycle a circular route around the Isle of Angelsey.  It is 58 miles.  We planned it over two days.  But if things continue to go well, I wonder if doing it in a day might actually be achievable....