Let me begin by saying that a week has never, ever in my life progressed so slowly as this week. I barely remember what happened Monday because it seems like a month ago but I’m gonna tell you as best I can.
Monday was just a standard swim day: 8x500m every 500m something different.
Tuesday I swam one of Marcel’s programs: 9km with a lot of variation. I was in a lane with someone who was getting personal training. Near the end of his training he struck up a conversation with me: ‘You’re training to swim across the English Channel, right?’ I was slightly surprised by this but I thought that one of the trainers must’ve told him.
He also asked if I was also going to cross Het Ijsselmeer (a 22km Dutch Championship Marathon Swim). I was, in May, but the actual Championship is in August. Apparently he participated the first edition and won! He also won the second and seventh/eighth (if I’m not mistaken). He said he was going to participate in the 50th edition next year with a relay team and he also knew Marcel, my coach. It’s funny how you run in to people like that. Small world haha.
Wednesday was my ‘rest day’. So I followed a SWOD at SwimGym which was 2,5km. It’s nice to swim with other people sometimes and not always alone. I also had my regular appointments today.
Thursday I swam 5km of my own program and then went straight to work. We had a buffet for 150 people and I worked till 02:00am knowing that I had to swim another 5,5km tomorrow haha. Anyway I slept in so it was sort of fine. 😉
Friday: 20x200m which is exhausting because it’s repetitive. I went out to dinner in the evening with my brother and father. After that I could finally do nothing and sleep which I definitely did because I woke up at 11:00 the next morning hehe.
Saturday was the day of the test! I had to swim 5km in water which was 12,4 degrees Celsius. My mom and boyfriend came to support me! 🙂 I put on a wetsuit like most but a couple swam in just their swimwear. I have a lot of respect for them!
As I got in the water was cold but warmer than I expected. Most of the worry I had faded but as I began to swam I already knew this was going to be tough. My wetsuit was pressing down on my throat and I couldn’t move my arms very smoothly. In the first few turns I tried to loosen up my wetsuit which kind of worked but I just thought well never mind and kept swimming. It was only 100 laps of 50m..
In my head I was incredibly slow, people kept overtaking me and they kind of pushed me into the lane which was kind of rude but I just felt like a loser. I should’ve been swimming without wetsuit because I have to withstand the cold and because it’s just a lousy thing, I should be faster. I thought that I would take longer than 1,5 hours which is pretty unacceptable. Actually I wanted to stop because I had basically failed already but it was better to be slow and finish and to stop halfway.
So I just continued and eventually my hand began to feel numb. I wasn’t really cold but I was so done. When I got out I just couldn’t stop shaking though and I couldn’t stand straight. Apparently I had also swam 4 laps too. Oops. But too much is never bad and I still swam under 1,5 hours!
I took off my wetsuit under the shower but I just couldn’t stop trembling. I just kept pushing that button to keep the shower on. While you’re swimming you don’t notice you’re actually cold because you’re constantly moving. You only realise when you get out of the water. Once I had gotten dressed I felt a lot better (wearing two coats) and we talked with some people.
Albert, one of the guys in my lane was incredibly fast. He said it was partly because of his wetsuit and he had also noticed that I had a lousy Decathlon wetsuit. The wetsuit I had barely made a difference and I could’ve just as well not worn it haha.
I also talked to Marcel for a bit. He said that it might be good to switch it up a bit sometimes. That by cycling to the pool I could trade in some hours of swimming. Because I train alone it gets monotonous and there’s a greater chance of mental overtraining. Signs of that are tiredness and not feeling like doing anything. Well that sounds pretty relatable. So I’m going to switch it up a little the coming weeks. I’m sure that’ll help. 🙂
The next day we went to Willem, the owner of a restaurant/pub called the Green Duck in Abcoude. My dad knows he’s creative and has a lot of connections so it would be good idea to talk about ways to finance my Channel Swim. He said that we could organise an event with a lottery/bingo/auction at his restaurant. My brother could come play with his band, people could do races against me. We’d also make a folder with all the sponsors on it.
It sounds like a lot of work but also like a lot of fun and I’m pretty scared but also excited to get started. I have to find sponsors, people willing to donate a prize, I have to organise the event, make folders, get people to come. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort and I find it incredibly difficult to ask people for things/favours/help but I guess that’s just something I have to learn.
It was a great talk and I made the first step straight away. After my training at SwimGym I talked to one of the coaches. First about the Channel Swim in general and how it was going and then I told him about the event. He said I should just send Johan, the boss, an email because he made those decisions. I hope he’s willing to help! 🙂
So that’s my long week. I’m kind of glad it has finally come to an end because it just went on and on. And I actually swam 38km this week, even though I’m not entirely happy about the test I am kind of proud that I managed it. 🙂
I am a nineteen-year-old girl from Baambrugge, a tiny village near Amsterdam, with big ambitions. I like to set big goals for myself, I like to explore my own boundaries and see if I can expand them.