Well what an exciting week! Not only did I finally manage to introduce a fourth sport into my challenge, but I also got to play with my new birthday toy.....my GoPro!
But before I literally fill this blog with excitement about that, over to the logistics of the challenge....
The past seven days have seemed quite full on in terms of training, but of course not all disciplines are equal and the water based activities take a lot more time. I covered at total distance of 201.7km. The breakdown is looking like this:
I reduced my running this week as my Achilles was up to it's old niggling tricks, but a bit of downtime usually sees that right. In another change to the norm, I also took the opportunity to book a swim session at my local indoor pool. When I say 'took the opportunity' Coach Tom actually told me to do it to get an accurate check on my current swim speed. I am pleased to say that all of my open water winter training has paid off as I haven't lost my swim fitness at all. Not so pleased to report however that I found the whole experience not that pleasurable. From the booking system and Covid rules in place, to the fact that there is always someone swimming slow breaststroke in the fast lane, it just wasn't that much fun.
I realised that swimming indoors now just doesn't bring me the same joy as my open water pursuits. Happily, now that the temperature is steadily going up, currently at a balmy 12.5deg, so I am able to do some swim sessions in the Serpentine which are over 1,000m. So, open water swimming will go on the list as one of my 'Covid Keepers'.
Having completed a total of over 2,500km, I would now have just passed the city of Barranca in Peru. Just north of Lima, this is a small coastal port with its economy largely based on fishing and agriculture. It is also host to the Albuferas del medio Mundo -coastal lagoons with high bird populations & rustic restaurants which run along a beach which is several kilometers long.
So it is very fitting that I would be in a location dominated by it's site on the coast of the Pacific Ocean as I enter a very 'watery week'. Not only has my swimming distance increased, but I managed to partake in the 'Paddle and Pick' session which had been rescheduled from a frosty 2 weeks ago. It was very poignant that we did this on World Earth Day as it involved paddling along the Thames around the Kew Bridge area and clearing. up the plastic and litter along the shores and water. I was amazed to see the effect of things like plastic bags on the environment, wrapping themselves tightly around tree branches, and stubbornly entrenched in the ground around them.
In fact we got so distracted that our attention was broken by a passing rower who alerted us to the turning tide which was moving some of our paddle boards from the shore. And guess who's had actually drifted out into the Thames? Doh! Thanks to the nice rower who rescued it for me 'as a thank you for the work you are doing'.
It was such an amazing time to be on the river though as the sun was going down, and there was such a wonderful feeling of calm. The silence was possibly only broken by me trying out my new voice activated gadget with commands of 'GoPro, start recording' and 'GoPro, take a photo'.
And of course I had to share a little video of the paddle. Some adjustments need to be done to where I have the camera from my various box of attachments, and the 'slo mo' section wasn't intentional, but I kind of like it.
Of course I couldn't resist also taking it out on my weekend bike ride with my cycling buddies. I will spare you the endless videos of that, but I am super impressed with the quality of the images it captures and am loving my new toy! Next challenge is to try it out during my open water swimming....
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.