Obviously I was extremely tired after a weekend like that, nevertheless I still went swimming Monday morning including cycling there and back. I know, crazy.. And it’s not like I could just swim slow and take it easy because I had an hour test.. (swim as many laps as you can in an hour) Surprisingly enough I did quite well: 4025m in one hour (4050m in one hour and twelve seconds). Which means I can finally swim an average of 4km/hour as my endurance pace! Woohoo!
Unsurprisingly enough, when I got home I was exhausted. I didn’t feel like doing anything so I just slept for three hours. Which I really needed and in the evening we went to a Dutch talkshow about sports called Peptalk. My dad sort of knows one of the hosts so we got front row seats. Afterwards the host, Frank Evenblij, came back to have a chat with us.
Of course I told him about my Channel Swim and the things I needed some help with. Meeting professional swimmers and hearing about their experiences would help. He said he knew a few people and he would put me into contact with me. I just had to message him the next day. It was great to talk to him, he was extremely friendly, helpful and nice to talk to. 🙂
Tuesday sucked.. I had to call a bunch of people and visit shops to ask them if they wanted to donate things/coupons for the event on 2nd of June. I hate calling people I don’t know, I hate asking people for stuff, especially when it’s money related and talking to strangers scares me.
This year is all about crossing boundaries, learning to do new things, learning stuff about yourself, learning life lessons and growing as a person. I just didn’t think it would mean talking to a bunch of strangers and asking them if they want to help and support me. Loads of people agreed though which is awesome! I’m grateful that so many people are willing to donate but it’s talking to all of them is exhausting to me..
At least now I could enjoy a well deserved break: meeting up with a loved one, then all my weekly appointments, yoga in the evening. I also got an email from Nick Driebergen (a former Dutch Olympic swimmer who Frank had put me into contact with) saying he was willing to help me! He would put me in contact with a long distance Olympic swimmer and a nutrition specialist, one from the national swim team. Pretty cool! All I have to do is wait for a reply now..
Thursday I swam 10km: 6x1500m, every 1500m 10 seconds faster. I wasn’t very precise but I got the gist of it. 😉 And again I did pretty alright! 🙂 Afterwards I had to work, on Kingsnight, the evening before Kingsday when everyone starts partying. So that kind of sucked. Especially because I also couldn’t enjoy Kingsday.. Guess why; yes, I had to swim!
I felt pretty miserable on Kingsday. I really wanted to join my friends who went to a festival but instead I had to swim in the cold water outside (all the pools were closed).. That brought me down quite a bit. I was really upset that I had given up so much for the Channel Swim. I had turned down so many parties, chillings and other fun things because I was too exhausted or because I had to swim the next day. So yes I was pretty upset that everyone was having a great time, again, and that I had to give that up, again..
It was sweet that my parents went into the little rubber boat to go down the Angstel with me. We went to the little bridge, put the boat in the water. It was busy in the street so people were staring and wondering what we were doing. I started undressing and putting on my swimcap and a few kids asked: ‘Are you really going to swim?’ I guess that was a little bit of good publicity. 😉
The trip, on the other hand, was hellish. It was cool that people were staring (also kind of awkward) but I did not enjoy the swim. It was cold, eventually I started shaking really bad.. I had to experiment with food, which is also not pleasurable. You have to get a small bite and chew while you’re swimming on your back which is just stupid. And I still haven’t gotten over my fear of open water swimming. These weird images keep popping up into my head and it scares me. I keep thinking that some mutated crocodile head is going to suddenly appear and bite my face off. Not too great when you’re lying in the water haha.
I did manage to swim from Baambrugge to Abcoude: 6km in water of (probably) 12-13 degrees Celsius without a wetsuit. We had put the car at Abcoudermeer so I could warm up straight away and get home quickly. At home I took a hot bath and put on a movie. It was too late to really do anything unfortunately. My parents did go for a drink where the ‘party’ in our village was. I just stayed at home watching my movie, feeling miserable and alone. I guess it was necessary though, if I had gone out to party I would definitely have fucked up my test on Saturday.
In the outside pool of De Waterdam in Edam/Volendam was a 10km test, the water being 15,6 degrees Celsius (so no wetsuit). I had loads of support with me: my parents, Toine and, as a surprise, my grandma. The support definitely helps! 🙂 I shared my lane with Albert, someone who has been to all of the same tests since the 6x1mile in September and it’s nice to swim with someone familiar. 🙂
Feeding at the right time is important. Since I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit I thought it best to take a gel and a few sips of sportsdrink every 2km which is 40 laps (in a 50m pool). That went really well! I was never exhausted, just cold haha. After 2km I was cold, after 4km my feet were numb and I thought Marcel might see that I was shaking and would get me out.
I at least wanted to go to 6km. I started thinking of warmth: cuddling up on the couch watching a movie with some hot chocolate and marshmallows or whipped cream, next to the fireplace, wrapped in a blanket. The ambience in my thoughts were warm and nice. 🙂 And it actually helped! I was still cold, but not unbearably. I also thought, if I can make it to 6km, I can make it to 8km. It’s kind of pathetic not to finish the 10km then so I did! 🙂
I wasn’t too cold when I get out, not as shaky as the 5km test. A warm shower wouldn’t hurt though. 😉 And I was well taken care of afterwards! 🙂 Thank god I didn’t have to swim the next day! Rest is appreciated! And though I wasn’t too fast, I’m still quite proud for finishing this distance in this temperature. 🙂
On Sunday I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time! It was great to catch up! I was extremely tired so we ended up watching a movie. I also met with Willem of the Green Duck again to discuss the event. He gave e a few more tips, a few more people to call, a few more ideas. In other words, the workload has increased.. Soo tired.. But now the course of action is more clear. Get more sponsors, spread the word.
So please, if you have ideas, things for the auction or lottery, don’t hesitate to tell me (you can comment down below, fill in a contact sheet and my number is also on the website). And if you’re from around then come to the event on 2nd June! I would like that. 🙂
You can see more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1969217213112967/
And help is always appreciated! 😉
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.