Half Way There – 3 weeks to go

14413498448_9e5ace4ca7_o
What a Sunday 11.5 mile swim in 7 hours, I decided to watch the Netherlands v Costa Rica game to the bitter end, not one of my best decisions i realised as i reached over to switch off my alarm at 4.05am.
With my car packed the night before, i dashed down stairs, made my porridge (What else when you are about to swim beneath the “Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond”) and headed out the door to meet Big Chris my usual sole accomplice, however today we were accompanied by Cammie in the water (he is also looking to complete the feat in August as well) Dave and Stevie who had so kindly volunteered to give us boat cover for this important training swim.
We parked one of the cars at Luss and headed back to the starting point at Balloch, chosen due to the southerly wind direction that morning. What a stunning morning greeted us.

14413475750_68816fcf8d_o
Setting off with a planned route and stops, i have to say that we kept to this plan practically to the letter. Balloch to Inchmurren (2.8 miles) food stop, Inchmurren passed Loch Lomond Golf Course, another stop at the start of the Channel to Luss (3 miles) through to Luss (2.2 miles) then onwards and upwards to Inverbeg.
7 hours in the water and your mind goes to several places, i have to admit i was expecting to head to the dungeon that i encountered 15 miles into the Ironman run 3 years ago, this place can never be explained, if you’ve been there you will understand.
To anyone who has read my blurb previously i like to detail all elements of the day, good or bad. When you get up so early on the morning, lets just say that your body and your “Morning constitutional” may not realise you are up yet.
Everyone has heard of the saying “Does a bear shit in the woods” well you can now expand that saying to “Does a bear, Chris and Cammie shit in the woods” as we have photographic evidence to prove this. I just hope not many people actually set foot on Inchtavannach island.

Bog Roll
I have to say that we were advised by James (one of the swimmers that holds the world record) that the Luss to Inverbeg was the longest stretch visually in the Loch and he wasn’t wrong, i felt like the treadmill nightmare where you can see where you want to be but it never gets any closer.

But we made it in the end, the route can be seen by my much ridiculed “Mapmyrun” device on my iPhone

MapMyRun Swim 11.52 miles

 

 

I am pleased to say we have decided not to go any longer than this until the big day, hopefully this experience will put us in good stead to now look at tapering down over the coming weeks, an 8 miler is planned for tomorrow – alarm is set!!

On the big day in August hopefully we will have the same look of satisfaction with completing the full Loch

14577132526_0b443c693c_o

Controlling the Controllables

Controlling the Controllables

Just when you think you are getting there with the training, you are reminded how weak we can be psychologically.
I’m preparing for the 24 mile swim and all the variables are taken into account, I call this “Controlling the controllables” there are so many factors that make up the whole event and I was faced with one of the Uncontrollables this morning.
With 2 x 8 miler swims in the bag we plan on reaching a 11-13 mile swim on Sunday so I decided to head to Loch Lomond this morning for an hour swim with the troops for a loosener – 1.6 miles later the doubts were abundant!!
In the space of 5 days the Loch temperature had plummeted. From a balmy 17-18 degrees to what felt like more in the region of 13 degrees.
These temperatures are ok for shorter bursts however we plan to be in the water for 8-9 hours on Sunday and as I look out the window the rain and wind is in full swing so I can’t see any great increase before Sunday.
No turning back though, the support boat along with two willing volunteers is booked for Sunday morning for a 5.30am departure. Big Shoulders and I are heading into the unknown distances.
I’ll report back post swim, hopefully the Uncontrollables don’t ruin our day