5k Swimathon

Bump and I did it!!! 5k of swimming (actually 204 lengths of swimming as Chris lost count!!!) That’s like swimming the distance of your local park run! And at 3 stone heavier than normal with a baby on board I’ve got to admit I found the challenge hard!!!

It’s always nice giving something back.  Especially to a charity like Marie Curie which has touched my family’s heart first hand.  I’ve seen friends who have kicked cancer’s arse – more than once, friends who have been petrified and astoundingly courageous both at the same time, friends who have talked passionately about the work Marie Curie do. So I didn’t think twice about entering this swimathon back in January.  I didn’t even think twice about the distance (the 1k and 2.5k didn’t seem like an option – every ounce of my competitiveness wanted to do the 5k!).  Now; it’s not like I forgot that I would be 30 weeks pregnant by the time the swimathon came round, I just sort of….errr….massively underestimated it!
There were many reasons why back in January I shouldn’t have entered this swimathon:
Firstly – My chlorine allergy!!! This has meant I had to limit my swimming to a maximum of twice a week – and in hindsight I’m not sure my 2k swimming sessions quite equipped me for 5k all in one go!
Secondly – My swimming costume didn’t fit!  My shabangers kept bursting out! I did borrow mums but that didn’t quite fit either so on the day of the event I just had to tuck in my excess flab!!
Thirdly – In training I needed to stop  for a wee every ten lengths whilst the baby jumped around on my bladder! How can you possibly need a wee 60 seconds after just going for one?
Fourthly – I had slowed…..dramatically! My target time of 1 hour 15 changed to “finish before the pool closes at 8pm!”  Oh and tumble turns were also out the window after getting stuck half way through one a few weeks ago – this bump has a lot to answer for!
Finally – (as if there needed to be any more reasons) I am completely unfit. I never realised that just walking up the stairs would be so tiring!

But me, being me, saw the challenge and started to work out all the reasons why I should do it.  I remembered everything I’d heard about Marie Curie and did some more research on their fantastic work by clicking here  and that was all the motivation I needed;  swimming 200 lengths was the least I could do to raise some funds and awareness for this wonderful charity.

So at 3 stone heavier than normal, with a baby bump measuring larger than a football and a waddle that even a penguin would be jealous off, Bump and I set off to take on this 5k swim.  I opted to break the swim up into sections. I swam 60 lengths on my own with friends Caroline and Lenka in the lane next to me so I had other swimmers for company! At 45 lengths I had to jump out and waddle off for a quick loo break. At 60 lengths Jacqui jumped into my lane and we did another 60 lengths together (when I say together, I sat on her feet!). I jumped out for another loo break and then had a chat to Chris and his Mum and Dad who had come to cheer. Then I did another 40 lengths with Jacqui which seemed really hard and I had a bit of doubt set in as to whether I’d be able to finish or not!!!

“Just keep swimming”

Jacqui then jumped out and I just had 40 lengths to go (just!?!) I set off again on my own keeping Lenka and/or Caroline in sight in the other lane for company. With 18 lengths to go I had the most awful cramp in my toe and the arch of my foot (how do you stretch that out???!). So decided to just swim as quickly as I could and get the last few lengths done.  Everyone was cheering from the side, really rooting for me.  My arms felt like lead and my face was literally purple with the heat so when I finally finished I actually felt emotional!

Just finished my final length!!! YAY!!!

Messages from friends and family have just been fantastic.  It’s been great to raise nearly £600 for a fantastic cause.  It’s also been great to find a ‘piece of me’ again.  I’ve found the pregnancy really tough emotionally with my whole routine being completely changed, so to be able to still have a goal to aim for and feel like I’d achieved something really did give me a lift – thanks Mum for persuading me to do it and Chris for really believing I’d succeed!!!

I was lucky enough to be given two medals……so I’ll make sure I present the other one to the baby upon the baby’s arrival!  Thanks so much to everyone who’s helped and supported me. I’m looking forward to another sporting challenge in the future; although I think that will be a while off yet!!

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