Sand beneath your feet

Sometimes all you need is a little bit of sand between your feet and some fresh sea air.
This week my body has not been on the same page as my training schedule. I woke up on Monday morning with my body screaming no. My lats, triceps and chest were so incredibly tight and my nose was stuffy and it just was not a good idea to plunge myself into a pool and clock out 6.5km of mindless swimming. I slept in. Good call because Monday was a BUSY day at work- I was fully booked and was grateful I didn’t have that workload off the back of a long swim set.

Tuesday was mildly better when I woke up. I slept so heavily on Monday that not even my blankets were creased! I arrived at Pilates and mentioned how tight and stiff I felt to the instructor. We did an incredibly relaxed stretching and mobility session which again highlighted how stiff and tight my muscles were.

By the afternoon as much as my body was in no place to swim, I needed to feel the water on my feet and breathe in the salty sea air. I grabbed the gap I had and headed to the beach. As much as I really want to train and tick the boxes in my scheduled training program, I have realised that this time of rest and listening to my body, allowing it to recover with the help of some physio, Epson salts and breathing in the sea air as the waves wash sand over my feet is a vital part of my training.

On Wednesday there was a 50/50 chance of me doing a 20km training swim in the sea, an epic swim that would have been the first table of its kind. I was still not feeling 100’s but managed to train on Wednesday and started preparing my mind for a potential swim on Saturday. When it comes to ocean swimming, conditions are never all going to line up to the perfect time. I had a really busy work week and was fighting a cold the whole week. I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to be available to swim. I knew that if the swim was on, I was cutting it fine. I had no nutrition plan in place and very little time to get everything ready on Friday afternoon if it was on, but I was determined to be ready. One of my favourite quotes from Lewis Pugh is ‘When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.’ One of the challenges I enjoy about open water swimming is the unpredictability of it. You never know what marine life you might encounter, when the swell will pick up or when the current will switch. There are sites that monitor certain elements, but ultimately this is nature and it can do its own thing. I have a huge respect for the ocean and if the elements are not lined up enough before a big swim, I would rather respect the ocean and play on the safe side than take unnecessary risk.

Here is to a new week and new challenges and embracing the preparation

The swim ended up being called off due to the upcoming cold front and unpredictable weather patterns and to be honest I was relieved as I wasn’t 100% ready for the day, but I know that most likely timing will never be perfect and I need to be prepared for when the opportunity does present itself and embrace weeks like this where the elements were against me and use it to rest and recover and feel the sand beneath my feet rather than ploughing through mileage and risking weeks off training from over doing it.

So here is to a new week and new challenges and embracing the preparation (whether it is a recovery week or hard training) so that I will be able to grab opportunity when it does present itself.

Author: Jenni Petersen

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