Friday, May 9, 2014

Invitation, review and plans

Hi everyone,

Whereas we've focused on either retrospectively looking back at the 2009 challenge, or at my training notes for the 2014 challenge in recent posts, in today's we'll review my journey so far and look forward to this year's challenge. But first, it's...

Over to you ~ an invitation
We've all got a story to tell and I'd love to help you share yours, or those of your loved ones with the readers of this blog.

~ Have you, or do you know anyone who has served in the military, however long ago it was?

~ Perhaps, with the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One approaching, you'd like to share something of that time, or of another conflict, of which we know there have been many

~ Have you overcome adversity in any way?

If you'd like to share anything, you can contact me either via my Facebook page, or by email to emlouisef {at} gmail {dot} com. The address is written in this way here so it's not picked up spam bots, so remember to remove the spaces and replace @ and .

Battling Back 2014 ~ Review and planning
It's now six weeks to the day since my first very tentative, 15 minute workout that left me exhausted. Those six weeks have seemingly flown by, at least they have for me. Here are a few questions that we'll use periodically to review and plan, a kind of interview with myself...

Did I truly realize then the enormity of the task at hand? Yes, I really was starting from the beginning, physically, so I knew it would be VERY tough, but as I've said before, if I'd not been mentally and spiritually ready, I couldn't have gotten even to this point.

Did I think I'd have progressed to the point I'm at now? No! Although I had a rough idea of how the training would progress, I really was taking baby steps and especially with not feeling well for the first few weeks, I've surprised myself so much.

Did I have any idea that in just five pool sessions, I'd have already swum seven and a half miles? NO WAY! See above answer.

What was my expected weight loss at this point? I honestly didn't have a target for this point. All I knew was that I'd have around 15 to 20 pounds to lose over the course of the journey. I'm very pleasantly surprised to have lost 9 pounds already.

How am I feeling? I'm feeling GREAT! I'm so much stronger, so much fitter, my posture has improved and I'm a lot more toned. I'm enjoying seeing and feeling the physical changes. I'm happier within myself too and can HONESTLY say I'm loving every aspect of my journey, be it the workouts/ training or the planning and organizational aspects of the challenge, of which there are many.

Are there any changes to the already announced challenge plans? YES! If you missed the amended distance in a previous post, this has gone up from the original 23+ miles to 26 miles 385 yards, or marathon distance. Because of this, I can now confirm the start date WILL be Friday, October 10, 2014 and there will be 17 individual swim sessions, every other day, until the already announced end date of Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

The individual sessions will be of varying length, with the absolute maximum distance to be 2 miles/ 96 laps of the pool.

As of today, there are 22 weeks until the start date!

What are the next steps? This last week I've changed my workout/ training routine up from what it was. Next week it will change again, exchanging one of the cardio sessions for another pool based session. Because of this, I now need to take more notice of my nutritional needs. I've been watching what I eat since I began, adding more protein and carbs and have, for example, stopped drinking soda in favor of a lot of water. From this point I'm also introducing protein and sports drinks pre and post workout, to ensure I'm at my best and can recover quickly. I will continue to give my all during each and every training session.

I've registered the event with the UK based charity, Help for Heroes, but I still need to confirm the US based charity that will benefit from the challenge and once that happens I'll truly begin my fundraising push. If in the meantime anyone would like to sponsor me, please contact me by the details above.

Anything else to add? Once again, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for all your support, encouragement and inspiration. Words cannot describe what it means to me. I thank God for each of you and for keeping me free of injury and safe during each session.

God bless,

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