Jim 1: Channel 0. Now for the return match!

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by Monkey_Monkey_Underpants, 9 March 2011 Social URL.

  1. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Hi all

    As some of you may know, now that I'm no longer the lump of lard I once was, I'm planning on celebrating my life-changing slimming achievement by taking part in another (I hope) life-changing experince: next year I'm going to be trekking in Nepal (along with the Great And Glorious Capricorn!).

    This involves
    a) raising a lot of money for charity (you can see what a brilliant cause this on the Genesis Research Trust website), and
    b) getting pretty fit.

    So I've been coming up with various fund-raising ideas, and the first major thing I'm doing will, I hope, help with the fitness as well.

    In the course of Lent, I intend to swim the Channel.
    Well, not really. I'm going to swim the width of the Channel - the length of an official Channel Swim - but in my local pool.

    Ok, so it's not quite the same.
    Admittedly there are no ferries (or jellyfish) to dodge, and the danger of hypothermia, drowning, being run down by the rescue boat etc is minimal. Nor do I expect that goose grease will play a large part in the exercise.
    But on the other hand there isn't the benefit of the tide, so I will actually have to swim every stroke of the distance, with no drifting to help me.

    To be precise, this involves 1,416 x 25m lengths. Which is no small undertaking. I'm trying to break it up into manageable chunks, but I'll need to average about 30 lengths a day, for the entirety of Lent. And given that I can't actually get to the pool every single day, I'm going to have to do a few really big swims to make up for it!

    I decided to post this on here, because you, my good fellow slimmers, are my inspiration; you keep me going, and your moral support as I get to the low points when I never want to get in the water EVER again, are going to be vital if I'm going to achieve this!

    I'll be posting my progress, and please feel free to contribute with your supportive messages: they really do make a difference!

    Thank you.
     
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  3. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    I am full of admiration for what you are doing............just think of the calories you will burn of in the water.
     
  4. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    I know I've only just posted the introduction to this mammoth swim - but that's on account of certain technical difficulties. It was going to have been posted a couple of days ago, in advance of the start of Lent.
    Then today's post would purely have focussed on SWIM 1. But never mind.

    So anyway, down to business.
    At approximately 7.19 this morning I took to the waters for Episode 1 of my challenge.

    In my head, I was walking into the sea, at Samphire Hoe (just by Shakespeare's Cliffs) between Dover and Folkestone.
    In body, I dived into the Cripps pool, at Northampton General Hospital.
    The distinction is a fine one.

    It wasn't too bad a swim, actually. I hadn't been swimming for a while (my car's out of action, and I've been getting all my Body Magic from walking!), and I definitely felt it in my arms, but it was ok.
    I managed 49 lengths. Which is "acceptable", I'd say. More than the daily average I need, but not enough to be able to get it down to just 5 times a week, and particularly if I want to finish in advance of Holy Week, rather than just by Easter Day.

    It's going to take some time, anyway, to get into the swim (sorry!) of this, and to find out, not how much I can do in one session, but how much I can do when I've got to get back in the next day, and the next, and do it again. Stamina. That's what I need here!

    Cos going swimming once, or maybe twice, a week, with other sundry exercise sessions in between, is what I've been doing for a while now. (Apart from the last few, carless, weeks.) Swimming every day will be a different matter.

    Still - no pain, no gain. Or something.

    So at this moment I've reached just an nth more than 3/4 mile out from Samphire Hoe. The white cliffs are very close behind me, and out in front is nothing but grey sea. France is a VERY long way away!

    But, tomorrow is another day...
     
  5. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    I'm thinking of that, Sue.

    To be honest, I'm thinking of anything that will make this seem like a good idea, rather than stupidity!

    But if, with the help of this exercise, I can be at target by Easter, then all I can say is


    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!
     
  6. Maximus

    Maximus Gold Member

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    Most of the best ideas start off as stupid - or is it vice-versa. Often involving drink - that might just be me of course.

    I'm going to do a similar thing and that is walk/climb the Cairngorm mountain from bottom to top and back again in search of Dotterel and Ptarmigan which hang out there! (they are birds and i'm a bidwatcher).

    I'd previously given up the idea as I was too overweight/unfit. Now I'll be able to do it if I can fit it in (and weather permitting)

    Good luck with it. The mere thought of doing it is testimony to how far you've come.
     
  7. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Day 2: The full mile

    Urgghh. And ouch.

    That's all I can say.

    Actually it's not. I can say more:

    Ok - there are 2 really difficult times in the course of achieving a morning's swim. No, maybe 3.

    The first is actually getting out of bed, at the ridiculously early time it needs to be, when you have to walk to the pool for its opening time of 7 am. That's tough.
    Once that's done, the momentum kicks in, and getting down the road and into the water isn't a struggle.

    Problem 2 is carrying on after about the 40-length mark, which is pretty much my standard swim distance. My brain seems to be pre-programmed into knowing that that's time to stop. Turning around and keeping going, into the 50s and beyond, that's just not natural!

    And the 3rd - that's when cramp kicks in at around 60 lengths!

    But - I did it.
    Day 2. Tick.
    (And I thought diving in would be cheating, given that I'm technically mid-swim, so I just climbed in, at the shallow end, and went for it.)

    I'll have to look at my Channel map, to see whether there's a technical name for precisely where I am now, but for the moment, let's just call it 1.75 miles (or 2.825 km) out from Samphire Hoe. I can still see cliffs behind, but they're a bit further away. I still can't see anything ahead!
    But France will get nearer.
    And I will get fitter.

    I'm hoping this is a bit like Jillian, where it totally kills you for the first few days, just because of the relentlessness of it, but where after about Day 4, the sheer every-day-ness of it kicks in and you start, in a weird way, to enjoy it.
    I'm looking forward to that point, but it seems a long way away this morning. I'm just knackered!
     
  8. MadameLaMinx

    MadameLaMinx Gold Member

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    Well done Jimbob!!! Thats good swimmings.
     
  9. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    Fantastic !!!

    I am exhausted just reading your thread.
     
  10. hazysummer

    hazysummer Full Member

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    You are clearly :silly:
    :gen157:
    what a great imaginative challenge!
    I'd go insane going up and down so long 30 mins is my limit, and by then I'm singing in my head

    keep it up! what imaginary French goodies are you not going to eat when you don't make it to the other side???


     
  11. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Oooh, Hazy, that's something I hadn't thought about.
    Well, pain au chocolat for breakfast for a start. And bread. French bread with butter!

    I don't know how long I'll get to stay, before I have to hop into my support boat, and head back to Dover. But I'm sure I can plan for at least one decent meal, as well as breakfast. Now, let me think...

    Hmmm. Drooling in the pool isn't good, but at least you've given me something that will occupy my mind during tomorrow morning's mindless lengths.

    Thank you!
     
  12. Leapfrog

    Leapfrog Champion actifryer

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    I can recommend the coffee (syn free) :D
     
  13. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Sorry, Leapfrog, but I don't like coffee. :tear_drop:
    Not even French coffee. :tear_drop::tear_drop:

    But the patisserie.... :D:D:D

    I'm sure the syns won't count by the time I crawl out of the Channel onto the beach!

    Anyway - Day 3 done. Tick.

    And it was surprisingly ok. I knew I'd get through the initial "urggghh" and into a much better feeling phase, (and yes, I know that all too soon it'll be back to tthe urggghh, as I get tireder and tireder), but I really didn't expect to feel ok so quickly. All of my ad hoc bits of exercise must actually have been building up. I'm almost at risk of feeling actually quite fit!

    Anyway. 51 lengths today. (I needed to do an odd number, to make up for the odd number on Day 1!).

    [Also, just for your information, the pool opens 15 mins earlier on Mondays & Thursdays than it does the rest of the week, so it's likely to be only those days when you see a full mile added to my stats. Just because of logistics. So it's not that I was slacking off after yesterday!]

    So I'm now 4.1 km out into the channel. And more than 10% of the swim done. That feels good!

    I think I might have to go again tomorrow, although it's Saturday, as I don't really want a full 2-day break when I'm only 3 days in. I think that would probably undo today's good work.

    Now I need to set myself the challenge of devising some kind of summary sheet that will let me know what kind of average I need to keep up, on the basis of how many lengths I've done so far! (Yes, it's anal. But it keeps me amused!)
     
  14. constantlydizzy

    constantlydizzy Gold Member

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  15. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Right. Sorry I didn't get on over the weekend.

    But I did swim on Saturday.
    There were good and bad things about it:
    I had planned to try for a mile and a half, given that I wouldn't have the same time pressures as when I go first thing in the morning and then have to get to work. But when I got there, there was a notice to say that the pool was closed for an hour. There was a children's party on. Bum to it.
    So I toddled off for half an hour and came back. But then there was only an hour until it was due to close, so I couldn't fit my whole planned distance in. But I did 74 lengths, taking me to just under 6km out into the channel.
    And the little bit of good news was that the cramp didn't start until after 70 lengths. I had a bottle of water with me that I sipped at intervals, and I don't know whether it was that, or increased familiarity with distance, that helped.

    Sunday I had a day off. I just don't think it would be good to do it every day. So I'm aiming for 5 or 6 days a week: really trying for 6 some weeks, but I won't beat myself up if some weeks I only manage 5.

    But this morning was a normal day, so I was up at stupid o'clock, leaving the house at 6.40 for my brisk 20 minute walk and to be there when the pool opened at 7. Ugh.

    But - this morning I excelled myself. I really can only do about 48 (give or take just a few) on the mornings when the pool opens 15 minutes later, and so I'd set myself the target of a mile (64 lengths) on Mondays and Thursdays when it opens earlier. But it occurred to me that I don't only do 16 lengths in 15 minutes, so maybe I could keep going a little bit further, and do the full hour.
    This morning I did. And clocked up 80 lengths! And the cramp didn't kick in until the last 2. So that's good.
    While I was in there, I was fine, and felt I could have kept going.
    However, when I got out, my limbs just didn't want the effort of moving! And I'm still sitting here feeling a bit like a collapsed, energy-less blob. But I'm sure it will improve.

    And the stats look good! 5 swims done in 6 days, 7.95km clocked up. Over 22% of the distance under my belt in less than a week.
    (I know all of this because of my super-hyper-dooper spreadsheet wot I devised on Friday. What I can't seem to do is post an extract from it onto here, however!)

    At this rate, when I get to France I might have to turn around and set off on the return trip. Pausing for croissants, of course! I wouldn't make it all the way back, and I'm not challenging myself to do that yet, but it's certainly looking good for hitting Calais ahead of schedule. And at least that gives me some leeway if there is a problem with getting there absolutely every day.

    Right. Time to drag my weary body back to some work. A bientôt!
     
  16. lurverick

    lurverick Now to maintain.....

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    oooooo only just spotted this and seen what you are up too!!!
    fab stuff mrs......you really is a bit inspirational really arent you......ok well a lot inspirational!.
    go! go! go!
     
  17. cherry-pie

    cherry-pie Trying again in 2012

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    Oh my goodness, what an amazing personal challenge! Making excellent progress so far, although I'm tired just reading about it!!

    Happy swimming x
     
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  19. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Morning all. Swim 6 done. Tick.

    56 lengths this morning. Much less than yesterday, but with the pool opening 15 minutes later, that's fine. And I was really shattered yesterday, so I hope I should survive today a bit better, after a rather less strenuous swimming session!

    I'm now 9.4 km out into the Channel - with just over 1/4 of the distance done. It was quite foggy this morning, and I couldn't see the white cliffs, never mind France! That does make avoiding ferries a bit more difficult too, but I seem to be surviving them so far.

    ...
    ...

    And I've realised that I was being TOTALLY STUPID last week, and I deserved to feel as tired as I was.
    Classic error of the non-exercise- experienced person.
    I made my SW-day decisions on the basis that I always had, ie, what do I feel like doing, and what is likely to help my weight loss.
    Never having done anything really serious & sustained on the exercise front, I hadn't thought about needing to listen to my body.
    So - what did I do? Picked a fishy week - a RED week.
    What did my body want? Carbs, carbs, carbs, carbs and more carbs!!!
    So it's not at all surprising that a) I was knackered, and b) I didn't lose any weight, even on the fishy week. My muscles were probably screaming for carbs and therefore hanging on to every drop of water they could retain.

    Lesson learnt. Lots of GREEN days this week! If I want to eat fish, I'll go for EE, and keep the Carb total up.

    IDIOT!!!
     
  20. Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

    Monkey_Monkey_Underpants Well, hello...

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    Waving, not Drowning

    Hello all, from 11.4km out into the Channel!

    In a slight break with tradition, I didn't do my swim until lunchtime today. There were too many things to do at home before coming out this morning, so I wasn't going to make it in time for my normal 7.15 swim.

    But a change is as good as a rest, they say.
    Actually, that's rubbish. Swimming 80 lengths, even if it involves a change, is nothing like as good as a rest!
    Still, I did it. And it was useful to find out what the pool is like (in terms of busy-ness) at lunch time, in case I need to move my days around more often. And, if my car is EVER fixed, I will always struggle to do mornings on Wednesdays, so this will be a good alternative.

    It is getting a little monotonous now, this endless back and forth, back and forth - particularly now that I'm doing more lengths at a time. But certainly, when this is over, going back to my usual swim lengths will feel like a breeze!

    And actually I've done something this week that feels like a major mental breakthrough. It may seem a little thing to you, but I assure you it's a breakthrough!

    For as long as I can remember (probly ever since I could swim the 3 different strokes **) I've had exactly the same pattern to my swimming. I'm a creature of habit - to the point of compulsion when it involves certain things. (Swimming, playing patience, eating chicken.... Everything HAS to be done always in the same order. That's just how life is.) So, swimming has ALWAYS been 4 lengths front crawl, 4 lengths breast stroke, 4 lengths back stroke, 4 lengths breast stroke. Always. And unchangeably. On the basis of needing some less strenuous swimming as a breather in between bouts of the ones that are harder work.

    BUT - my breast stroke is pretty slow. And as I've been doing more swimming, and getting fitter, I've really wanted to improve my times (to get 40 lengths done in under 30 minutes, to start with, and then gradually to improve on that). And to push myself that bit further and further. And I wasn't going to get much faster by carrying on with quite as much breast stroke in the mix. But it occurred to me that I might be able to do more than 4 front crawl lengths in a row, now!

    So, on Saturday's swim I had semi-breakthrough No1: after 64 lengths of my usual 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 pattern, I did 16 lengths straight of crawl! Not ever so fast, but I did. I had to get past the mental barrier of "this is not how I do it", but I managed it.

    Then, yesterday morning, after my first 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 set, I made myself do 8 crawl, just 2 breast stroke, 4 back stroke, and then 2 more breast stroke. And I didn't die. So I did it again. And I still didn't die.

    So I decided it really wouldn't kill me to make this change. Gulp!

    Today I was on 8 - 2 - 4 - 2 sets all the way through, and then did 16 straight front crawl at the end too. And the whole 80 lengths were done in under an hour. Last week I was struggling to do 40 in half an hour. Result.

    And for a compulsive person, that's a big change!

    ** As opposed to "Diff'rent Strokes" which was a TV programme, and not the same thing at all!
     
  21. hazysummer

    hazysummer Full Member

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    No fair Jim, I now have the cheesy theme tune in my head

    Now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum,
    What might be right for you, may not be right for some.....
     
  22. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    You are just amazing. I am in awe of you and what you are doing.

    Your tenacity is something verging on unbelievable.
     
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