Thank goodness that is over!
I think it's safe to say that I have been apprehensive about attending Cold Water Camp since I signed up for the English Channel 10 months ago. It did not disappoint. It was challenging, cold and tiring. But that is the point.
Coming from QLD it is difficult to find open water cold enough to prepare your body for the temperate waters between England and France. Ideally you train in water a few degrees colder than what you are expecting to swim in so your body and mind know how to tolerate it. This was my first exposure to swimming for long periods in water below 18 degrees and it was confronting.
I was lucky this year, there were 8 Brisbane swimmers attending the camp. Karlie, Brittney, Anna, Dan, Micheal, Mal, Lynton and myself. I had met them all, trained regularly with them and really enjoyed their company. The first swim was 1.5hrs which I managed well, followed by a night swim for 1hr in the marina. We all wore flashing head lights and glow sticks on our togs for safety reasons and also to try and avoid head-on collisions with other swimmers. I really enjoyed the night swim. It was something I hadn't done before and swimming into seaweed in the dark and grabbing random feet that swam by provided some light entertainment.
I felt chilly the whole time and I couldn't feel my toes but by maintaining a good stroke rate around 64 strokes per minute this was about as bad as it got. I tried to keep a smile on my face and think happy thoughts and this really seemed to help. The 3 hours flew and I didn't feel physically fatigued but I was well aware that the following day I would be swimming at least double to tackle the English Channel qualifying swim of 6-8hrs, which was rather daunting. That same afternoon we had another 1hr swim and I realised that my body was beginning to warm itself up post swim a lot quicker than it had previously. I still got the shakes five minutes after getting out when the cold blood from the periphery reached the core but once I was dry and dressed they had dramatically reduced.
My nutrition plan could not have gone better thanks to my sports dietitian Tara Diversi. After battling bloating, nausea and vomiting during my Rottnest Channel swim, I was so excited that I tolerated all my feeds and finished the swim with plenty of energy and recovered really well. My body is also holding up brilliantly post long training swims with no injuries or muscle fatigue, thanks to the careful and considered approach of my coach Trent Grimsey and soft tissue therapist Julian Smith from Myo Motion.
Thank you to all of you who have already donated to Swimming 4 Jess. Our fundraising tally for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is also looking healthy at $24 955, with a sizeable contribution on it's way from the annual Collier's Charity Lunch, so very exciting.
If you have not yet donated perhaps you would like to attend our Swimming 4 Jess Charity Lunch in Brisbane on Friday 27th May 2016.
Individual tickets are $170 each with 100% of all money raised from the day going to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
For further details or to book a ticket contact Campbell via email- email@example.com or call 0407650743