Very nice report Sarah, sorry Ultra Bookie. Still impressed that you made it.
They'll be other mundane outings Madbee, watch out for Zombies and night runs and other epic stuff. er other mundane stuff. Yawns.
Yes, you'll all be invited down once I have bought some land, bring your tens and expect to camp. Don't forget to pack a spade.
Just been on the phone to another agent, looks like the latest peice of land is looking good, bit expensive. gulps. But access issues appear to revolve around trucks being parked on someone elses land and horses being riden over the access route. There's a public footpath which should provide access. Goody.
Oh Zombie's can someone remind me if a team was entered this year? I think Linc runner did it but can't remember if there is a plan.
Last I knew, we had 10 places booked - with 3 spaces still to fill. That was a while ago, I've just posted on the original fb thread to see if we can update and get an event page started.
Give it a few years and those toenails will evolve into a sentient life form and hunt you for sport...
Where's the land Mousey? And what are you planning on doing with it?
Swim report - Abridged version. The full version will be on my blog
Thursday 1st August was Susan Taylors funeral. I went along and while I was there I promised her that I would get to France on her behalf and aasked her whether she wanted to come with me.
Just returned to work afterwards, and was entering the building when I get a phone call from my pilot - Did I want to swim at 4am the next morning? A few frantic phone calls to my support crew and then I was off to Dover.
The journey down was uneventful. Checked into the hotel, had dinner and waited for the rest of my crew to turn up. Bumped into my pilot, Paul and observer in the bar and was pleased to discover that I had an experienced observer who had completed the Channel herself and who I vaguely knew. Headed off to bed at about 11pm...
... to be rudely awakened by the alarm clock at 4am. Shovelled down some instant porridge that looked and tasted like wallpaper paste, joined my crew, got them to smother me with suncream and then Vaseline and headed off to find the boat.
Sister Bad habit met us at the marina (how does that girl look so good at 5am?) and took lots of photos before Paul brought the boat round and we loaded her up.
I was feeling amazingly calm and relaxed about it all. It all felt a bit of an anticlimax and I was apathetic about it. I'd done the training, the research, the prep, the organisation... did I really need to do the swim just to prove a point when in my head I had already done it a million times?
The boat headed off to Shakespeare Beach on a lovely sunny morning with not a wave in sight. I swam ashore, waved to the boat to tell them that I was ready, then got back in for the longest swim of my life.
I've only ever swum with a boat on my right before, so it was strange having it on my left, but that worked best for the pilot and the layout of the boat so we had agreed that I would give it a go and move across to the other side if I didn't get on with it. I struggled to maintain a consistant distance from the boat as the sun was behind it and it was hard to tell how far away it was, but after a couple of hours I began to get it sussed.
The first feed came quickly and I got my first ever attempt at feeding from a boat. We made a bit of a mess of it and I ended up with not enough slack in the line so the feed was being pulled away from me, and I hit myself hard in the mouth with my bottle a couple of times. I got a bit concerned about the sharks smelling the blood.
Second feed went a lot better and after that I seemed to get into a routine with the crew.
Got cramp but that's not new to me so I kept going without the use of my legs until it went away, but my support crew panicked and I had to stop to explain to them that I was alright and wasn't going to die.
There were a few Lion's Mane jellies on the English side, then I was in the first shipping lane. Not much to report really. No boats that close to me, water like glass, nothing to occupy my mind and after about the 4th feed I told my crew that I was bored. They responded by trying to entertain me with singing, dancing and swapping funny hats. I began to think that the sun had got to them.
A seagull tried to land on my head. I told it that I wasn't dead yet so it needed to look elsewhere for food. Then I was in the separation zone between the two shipping lanes. I knew this as it tends to be full of rubbish that has been thrown from boats, weed and jellies. At least this time they were the pretty Blue jellies and the prettiness makes up for the stings.
At some point my shoulders bgan to hurt so I asked for ibuprofen. Strawberry ibuprofen tastes horrible mixed with Maxim and Ribena. Luckily it sorted me out and I didn't need another dose.
Eventually I made it into the second shipping lane and got away from the debris. I could see France but I knew not to place any faith in that as often you can swim parallel to the shore for sveral horus without making much forward progress. The sight was then taken away from me as the sea got choppy and my horizon closed in to about 10 metres.
I wasn't enjoying it any more. The chop of the sea made it difficult to breathe and when I came in for my next feed it was all I could do to keep enough distance between me and the boat so that I didn't get squashed. My stomach had decided not to digest my feeds any more so I was feeling very sick and had to force the feed down while attempting to keep my head above water and prevent salt water from getting into my feed bottle.
With the feed over I was back to swimming, trying to breathe, belching and trying not to vomit all at the same time. Susan had been sitting on my shoulder all the way across, chatting constantly in my ear but now she straddled my neck, screamed at me and used the whip to prevent me from slowing down
Eventually the water calmed down and I could see the clifffs again, but with some detail on them this time. I came in for my next feed to be told that this was my last one and that all I had to do now was head for the cliffs. Kate and Plum were ready in swim gear to follow me into the beach. I spotted a smiley face in the greenery on the cliff and headed towards it until my fingers hit the bottom. I stood up and walked slowly up the beach, concentrating so that I wouldn't fall over on my jelly legs. I cleared the water, turned around and waved to the boat to tell them that I
Kate had brought a flower from the boat which I laid as a tribute to Susan on the beach, and by the time I had done that Plum was just emerging from the sea and he headed off to find each of us a huge rock to take back (most people settle for pebbles Plum ).
After a few minutes we all had to swim back to the boat. Tradition dictates that I had to swim butterfly so I gave it a go but stopped fairly quickly as we were heading through a mass of jellies and I didn't fancy washing my face in them. Poor Plum - not only do I force him to swim, but he had to do it in the sea, without a wetsuit and through jellies! Kate was alright. She's a women and used to adversity
Back on the boat I got dressed and we all went below deck to celebrate and gossip on the return to Dover. I was shortly above deck again, bringing up the undigested Maxim (which interestingly goes down pink but comes up brown/black). Sister Bad Habit met us again as we moored and I was pushed into a car back to the hotel and told to get in the shower.
Once dry I headed off down to the bar in time for last orders where the guys had got me a drink in, but I couldn't drink it as my mouth was so sore and everything tasted funny. Then back to bed for a sleepless night as my shoulders were too sore for me to get comfortable and the adrenaline wa buzzing through my veins.
Next morning we all headed into town for breakfast before going our own ways back to our homes. I stopped at every set of services and got a few minutes kip here and there but I wasn't really sleepy - physically shaattered and sore, but not sleepy. When I got home I crashed for two days and did nothing but eat and sleep.
Wow, amazing reports UltraBookie and SuperSwimmerCaz.Bookie, you are bonkers to be looking at more Ultras! How is the foot now?I was supposed to be going for a swim today but have lost my cossie since we decorated. Wondering where that's gone now.
loved the account of your swim SC!
Great report, so impressed with your swimming through the jellies.
(((SCaz))) Thanks for the report Caz, you're an absolute star.
Caz, I have no adequate words for how impressive that feat seems to me. So incredibly incredible. Great report and brilliant swim.
Just read back on Bookie's and Caz's reports and I feel like I've been on an emotional roller-coaster. Wow. Really really fabulously brilliantly well done all of you.
(((Hash))) *pours Twinings*
Excellent report Caz Amazing, fantastic, and far from mundane! We need a follow up report about the expedition of taking the bins to the kerb just to restore normality, if you please
KatieJane wrote (see)
Bookie, you are bonkers to be looking at more Ultras! How is the foot now?
Bookie, you are bonkers to be looking at more Ultras! How is the foot now?
Bonkers? Moi? Probably My foot isn't quite as sore today, so fingers crossed the bone is still intact!
In mundane news, I listened to a programme about lawns on Radio 4 this morning.
Morning all....in mundane news I have a new debit card from my bank...but no new pin so still unable to do much with it.
Can you call yourself an Ironman if you've done a branded 70,3?
Okay, restoring some mundanity and general crapness around here, laydees and gentlemen I give you my race report from this morning. *clears throat and grasps lapel*
The day dawned bright and early in the way that it normally does. Having been rattling round the house all night as usual, I staggered into the kitchen and made a pot Rosy Lee. It really is called that, it comes from the local butchers. As does our cheese. He does a really interesting range of cheeses, many of which contain garlic. The black bomber is pretty special too. Although I'd avoid the stinking bishop as it does what it says on the cassock and makes your fridge whiff too.
Before I knew it, it was time to lace up the running shoes and head for the hills. Unfortunately this being the fens there aren't too many of those, so I settled for the rugged terrain of Guilden Morden High Street instead. The first mile or so was a bit lumpy on account of having rather overdone the merlot last night, but after a while things settled down and I found my rhythm. Meanwhile, thanks to my illegal I-pod things were really hotting up in The Archers, with Matt Crawford having been scammed by some Russian bloke, and poor old Brenda's new squeeze turning out to be something dodgy too, not the junior architect she thought he was.
A swift left turn and it was into Church Lane, stopping at the phone box which has now become a book exchange on account of no longer having a phone in it. I toyed briefly with a Nick Hornby I haven't read, but on balance decided I'd give it a miss, as it was a larger sized paperback and carrying it back would have slowed me down. Even more.
Eventually the finish line came in sight and I noted with a fair amount of tutting that next door had already put their bins out, which is far too early as it's not bin day until tomorrow.
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