## Posts filed under ‘Week 01’

### 20/09/08 [06]: hello Jim!

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
6 days, 174 lengths, 1242 lengths to go, £33.00 sponsorship |

Today’s session in the pool counts as a bit of a bonus. Weekend sessions are likely to be a bit hit and miss as far as covering serious distance is concerned as I will most likely be doing them with family in tow (not literally of course) and the pool is likely to be busier than during early weekday mornings. I would have been happy with 10-12 lengths, so to cover **20 lengths **was excellent. Midway through my first length I realised that for the first time since I had started the challenge there was someone in the pool that I knew. I ended the length next to my ‘boss’ who seemed pretty surprised when he heard the words “Hello Jim” and then proceeded to put me to shame by sprinting elegantly away down the pool.

### 19/09/08 [05]: five in a row

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
5 days, 154 lengths, 1262 lengths to go, £30.00 sponsorship |

**30 lengths **today – a slightly shorter session than the last couple of days but I seem to be swimming a little more quickly which is encouraging. At the moment it looks like I am going to reach my target easily enough but this might be a bit of a false picture as I think that this week is going to be the only one that I can get to the pool every weekday morning. So, it’s “five in a row” for the first, and probably, last time. Still, it’s great to already be over 10% of the way across the “channel” – it gives me a useful early cushion as the average number of lengths that I need to swim each week is 118 lengths so I have 36 extra lengths in the bag (or should that be “in the pool”?).

### 18/09/08 [04]: lovely morning

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
4 days, 124 lengths, 1292 lengths to go, £20.00 sponsorship |

One advantage of getting up earlier than I used to so that I can complete this challenge is that I have been getting to be out and about on some beautiful mornings this week. There is something uplifting about waking up and getting out and about before most people and finding that the sky is blue and the light has that unique early morning crispness to it. I’d better make the most of it while it lasts mind you – I’ve been living in Plymouth long enough to know that it would be naive in the extreme to expect this to continue. I just hope that I can find a way to be equally positive when it is dark and pouring with rain… As far as the swimming is concerned I put in another **32 lengths **today – this seems to be my comfortable level of achievement within a ~45 minute timeslot in the pool. For homework, you can work out how fast that makes my average speed (the pool is 25m long) – who knows there might be a prize for the first correct answer!

### 17/09/08 [03]: slowly does it

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
3 days, 92 lengths, 1324 lengths to go, £0.00 sponsorship |

Another useful session this morning – **32 lengths** and no trouble with traffic on the way home (note to self – waking up at 06.45 really *is* worth it). Today I found the initial lengths easier which must be a good sign, and as with previous days, the later lengths are definitely the smoothest ones of all. It must be something like my joints needing lubrication before they move sweetly. I got into a good groove today, largely by focussing on slowing my stroke right down and trying to forget what I was up to really. One quick point to note – a work colleague was confused by yesterday’s entry and couldn’t work out how my description of ‘squeeze’ fitted with front crawl, so just to put the record straight, I am swimming my very own, fast developing, version of breast stroke – it’s very, very slow (there are people walking lengths faster than I swim at the moment) but it takes me forwards in a straight line so as long as I keep going I’ll get there in the end!

### 16/09/08 [02]: an earlier rise

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
2 days, 60 lengths, 1356 lengths to go, £0.00 sponsorship |

Wey hey! Look at that % swum bar racing out ahead of the % days one. I got up earlier today so that I was leaving home at 07.00 and racked up **34 more lengths** in the pool. Leaving early was well worth it as I managed to avoid most of the morning traffic rush. My swimming today followed a similar pattern to yesterday – the first dozen or so lengths were the hardest and then things seemed to click and everything flowed much more easily. Today I noticed that if I push my hands towards each other at the end of the hand-pull part of my stroke I get much better lift out of the water and so find it easier to take on air each stroke. I’m going to call this move the “squeeze” and experiment with it again tomorrow. Physically it makes sense – if I squeeze the water that I am pulling backwards together then the law of conservation of mass indicates that it has to go somewhere and the easiest place for it to go is downwards (and backwards) thereby pushing me upwards. More on this (!) in a future entry if it continues to seem like a good idea.

### 15/09/08 [01]: underway :)

% swum: |

% days: |

totals: |
1 day, 26 lengths, 1390 lengths to go, £0.00 sponsorship |

So that’s it, I am underway with an early morning, pre-work, trip to the pool during which I managed to fit in **26 lengths**. I’d like to be doing more than this each session but the key objective today was simply to get started, and by the looks of the progress bars (above) it looks like I am on course at the moment! The first half dozen lengths were easy enough but it was a bit of a struggle for the next ten until I hit my second wind (or perhaps simply relaxed).

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