Wednesday, 29 September 2010

My swim

I apologise for the delay in letting you know how my swim went, perhaps unsurprisingly, since I set out with a sore throat on Sunday morning, I came down with a truly horrible cold and spent all of Monday in bed listening to Enid Blyton audiobooks. I have just about dried out now, but am still sneezing and coughing profusely!

I did survive the swim, but it was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. Having trained to swim a mile, having to do 2.25 miles was a bit like suddenly taking on a marathon rather than a 10K, and the lateness of the date meant that it was far colder at Dorney Lake than it would have been at Lake Winderemere – the water was 15C and the air temperature 10C with a strong northerly wind which created quite a current. The Aqua Sphere “Long Swim”s are really aimed at the serious athlete, so I had to contend with swimming most of the course without any other swimmers in sight – most of them were getting out, just as I was about to embark on my third and final lap, by which time my hands, feet and face were completely numb. I am very proud of the fact that I was able to persevere to the end, and whilst I finished 121st out of 130 swimmers, we think nearly 50 people did not complete the swim as it was so cold. Goodness knows how an Ironman triathlete then goes on to complete a long bike ride and a marathon after that - I was grateful for a sit down and warm up!

Thank you very much to those of you who sponsored me, especially those of you who didn't leave your email address for me to thank. With your help, I've raised £1,157.27 online for Mind - The Mental Health Charity so far (plus more money offline, to take me to a total of £1244.27), in memory of my dear friend Emily Riall. I'm hoping that as more people hear about my swim (and how gruelling it was!), I may be able to raise even more - so please do send my JustGiving page on to anyone else who might like to donate - , and if you haven't donated, please consider doing so, as Mind is an extremely important charity and I absolutely definitely earned every penny of sponsorship that I raised and more...

Next year, the obvious thing to do is swim the Channel, but I’m not quite sure I’m up for that yet – I might do all four of the Aqua Sphere Long Swims, or I may just hold a tea afternoon instead…

Hope to resume blogging service soon but head is a bit stuffy so think posts on comfort reading may be coming up...


  1. Well Done! I think I might stick to swimming my 50 lengths in the pool twice a week! I am building up to the 64 which is a mile!

    But struck down with a cold and think swimming will not help me!

    What an excellent charity as well, I have donated in the past and they provide some good services.

  2. Oh well done, Verity! What an achievement! You should be so proud. Sorry you got ill afterwards though. A few days in bed is what you need!

    I think what you're doing to raise money in your friend's memory is wonderful. I'd love to donate and will do tonight when I can get to my English card - remind me if I haven't, honestly - I have a memory like a sieve but I very much want to support what you've done!

  3. Well done and so sorry you now have the sniffles. Get well soon and happy comfort reading in the mean time.

  4. Congratulations - that sounds just awful to me so I'm well impressed that you managed to do it with so little time to do extra preperation. You raised so much money, I hope you're feeling happy around the stuffy illness brought on by the swim.

  5. I've just realised that I didn't even mention that I was in the water for 1 hour 25 minutes!

    Jo - I think it will feel like swimming in a bath when I next go to the indoor pool. 50 lengths is impressive.

    Rachel - I have emailed you to remind you :) You are very kind.

    Joan - thanks - still coughing and spluttering but hopefully on the mend.

    Jodie - it was just awful, and thnak you again for sponsoring me.

  6. You are amazing, Verity! To keep going when you weren't feeling well shows immense spirit and dedication to your cause.

    Rest up and feel better soon!


Do leave a comment - I love to hear from people who read my blog.