Posts filed under ‘Week 12’

02/12/08 [79]: j’arrive en france







% swum:  
% days:    
totals: 79 days, 1416 lengths, 0 lengths to go, £585.00 sponsorship

Well, that’s it – a simple 12 lengths tonight took me to the end of the challenge and, as you can tell from the tricouleur at the top of this entry, I have arrived in France (j’arrive en france). Strangely I am quite pleased to have ended the challenge on day 79, given that the number 79 is a prime number though for the life of me I no idea why this thought excites me. After completing the swim we had a celebratory meal out (just to provide a bit of geographical confusion this was pizza) and I have now had the pleasure of embibing a bottle of bubbly (not all by myself…) [so if there are more than the normal number of mis-typed words in this entry you will have to forgive me]. How do I feel? Well it’s a bit of a mixture really – I have a quiet feeling of satisfaction coupled with a certain amount of inevitable anti-climax and a dose of loss thrown in (the previous experience most like this that I have had was the day that I had my PhD viva). I certainly feel that I have to replace this challenge with a new one soon because without I will feel a little less complete. I had a great card from my family, which contained some brilliantly funny pictures by my eldest daughter and a certificate that my youngest daughter had produced on the computer (she’s the IT whiz in our family). I will scan in the pictures tomorrow (hopefully) because they really are worth seeing (there are three, one of me in 2007, one at the start of the challenge and one now which is really rather flattering from a physical perspective) and will probably put one or two other pictures up at the same time.

One thing is for sure, although I won’t have the swimming challenge to keep me going, I am definitely going to maintain some kind of blog because writing these entries has been great fun. Even though I know that there are only a few regular readers I also know that quite of few people have dipped in over the last 11 weeks (in fact there have been almost 2000 views of individual pages). So, watch this space… I just have to finalise the title of the new blog and then I can get cracking. There will still be a few timswim related entries as I adjust to finishing the challenge, tidy up loose ends and chase the sponsorship money so that should keep things going for a week or two.

For now though, it is time to say merci beaucoup, au revoir et bon nuit…


December 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

01/12/08 [78]: future challenges

% swum:    
% days:    
totals: 78 days, 1404 lengths, 12 lengths to go, £585.00 sponsorship

Ouch – 30 lengths this morning as planned, but boy does my left arm hurt now. I obviously did pull a muscle somewhere yesterday but unless something else happens to prevent me I will stick to my schedule, swim through the pain and finish off tomorrow. I can actually smell the faint aroma of cheese and garlic. One thing I do need to be careful of is that at the last minute I don’t get carried by a current to Belgium, but with only 300 metres to go this shouldn’t really be a problem.

Several people have asked me what my next challenge is going to be and this is something that I have given some thought to. Actually, before I started this swim I had planned to do some running with the aim of completing a 10k run sometime in the spring. Now I am wondering whether 10k is enough and whether I might not just as well do a half-marathon (the Plymouth half-marathon in May would do nicely). The problem is that I absolutely hate running – whenever I have tried to run (seriously) in the past I have simply found that it hurts too much. But this is really why I was thinking of running in the first place and I should be considerably fitter than I was three months ago, so perhaps now would be a good time to start. The other personal challenge I would like to take on is a long-distance walk. I would really like to walk the whole of the South-West coast path (over 650 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset) but this would require approximately six weeks and would be a massive logistical nightmare so I think it will have to wait. The other, smaller walk that I could take on is across Devon from the south coast at Wembury to the north coast at Lynmouth. I would really like to do this one by walking out of my front door one morning, down to the Barbican area, over the water taxi to Mountbatten, along the coast path to Wembury, turn left and then across Dartmoor and Exmoor to Lynmouth, turn right along the coast path to Minehead, catch the West Somerest Railway (steam train) to Bishop’s Lydeard, catch the bus to Taunton, catch the train back to Plymouth and walk back home and through the front door. It would probably take about a week but I love the idea that it can be door to door. I just need to make sure that I tell my family where I am going on the morning that I step outside… (“I’m just going outside for a walk, I won’t be long”).

December 1, 2008 at 11:40 am 1 comment

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