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January Ice training

Sorry it's been a while since the last blog but as the saying goes "Life gets in the way while you are busy making other plans" or something like that....

This is my own personal adventure into the Ice. I'll make mistakes along the way but hopefully learn from them, one can only hope!

January has Been up and down for temps and for training. It's been an odd month.
My last 2 session at the pond haven't gone to plan and I've been berating myself ever since. I've been told to stop this by friends or there will be violence, Maddie has that gleam in her eye that she finally gets to crack me one and I'm not going into what sian on crutches can do iether!

Last Sunday I met Sian at the pond, she was helping me plot a course for Ice mile. We had done the Google map plotting distance and thought to see how swimming that course would work out. The temp today is 3.9 with that lazy wind again.  The initial faffing of where to start was interesting, Sian pointing with her crutches what I should do ( yes sergeant major😉) and where to swim . I thought we had it settled as less turning is better? So longer longer laps. It was funny Sian being there but not swimming, every so often she said something to me but I couldn't hear so I just gave a thumbs up. I'm swimming, my stroke is good and I can feel that ( thanks Sarah for the tips) , I'm concentrating on my swinger arms and trying to add those kicks in too. The concentration helps and stops me thinking I'm cold. My hands have gone thick and feel swollen and so have my feet. That icy wind has picked up and i can feel it every time I bring my arms out of the water. My arms are feeling it now and I know this is my trigger point of "I need to get out" , I don't need to get out yet and I know this but it's been hard learning to recognise when you're cold, really cold, bloody cold, fucking freezing and last one " yeah I'm cooked" . I carry on but know it's soon that I'll want to get out.
I'm cooked I say and get out. I get out  calmly and into van to dry and dress, as I'm dressing Phil asks if I'm ok, "I'm really good" I reply and it hits me then that I know I could have done more! I'm so angry at myself! I'm dressed now and Phil is handing me a hot chocolate and I'm barely shaking! I'm so cross with myself. Why did I get out?
Sian comes to van and we talk more about next time and how we are going to increase distance.
It was a good training session, I enjoyed it and having Sian there too, just need to work on that trigger point.

It's Monday and I'm determined to crack this beast. Maddie with me today and as I pull up to the pond it's still dusky so not s lot of light. I chuck the thermometer in the water and whilst that does it's thing I head into van and arrange my clothes Into the hot water bottles and lay them out accordingly to what I'll need first.
Maddie is here and temp is saying 3.8 . We've now got the course so I just have to follow it..... right?
I get into water and straight away no messing I'm on it today. my first lap is going as usual, Head slightly out the water till I ease into swimming. Not long and I'm fully into my stroke. I can see Maddie walking along the bank, I can see she's counting my stroke rate and every now and then she's giving me thumbs up to ask if I'm okay,I reply with a thumbs up back. I've done a few laps and everything is going to plan. I turn for another lap and get half way up the lap , I don't know what happens next but I'm adamant I need to turn back. I turn around and think just get back to the start and you can do another smaller lap just keep Im thinking that my head is slowly going and I'm starting to panic now, I've stopped swimming but manage to do a heads up breast stroke, Maddie's asking if I'm ok, I'm not responding I'm just stuttering. Maddie is saying to come to the edge now and I can feel I'm not right. I get out and can feel that panic is hitting me badly in recovery. I'm not drying and dressing as usual, my shivers have hit earlier than normal but think that's shock. I'm crying as I dress and Maddie is doing her best to direct me, "put your top on Bach". She's so good and knows exactly what I need. I like to dress myself and if she'd have started dressing me my brain would have started with alarm bells why I couldn't do it myself and she knows this instinctively.
All this is over within minutes. I feel such an idiot but it proves these things happen and you can recover quickly given the right support you have with you.
I honestly don't know why I panicked, maybe the longer laps? Will try to shorten it and see what happens.

My recoveries are getting shorter and shorter now, less shaking etc. I know that's my acclimatisation but now I need to start pushing. It's been tough as I always swim on my own. Yes I always have someone on shore but swimming solo is hard mentally and to stay in on your own is hard motivation in itself but I shall crack on!

I'm lucky I have support and greatfull for everyone that helps me ,a massive thank you XX


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