So, I started a new blog, full of good intentions to blog about my swimming in 2014 and then failed to post again. Over a month later, here I am for a bit of a catch up.
January was a good swimming month. I swam my biggest swimming month ever - 102.5km - which took me over 100km for only the second time (the first time was in April 2011 when I was training for my first 10k) which was pretty good. Normally January is the month where I try to ramp up distance in preparation for going to swim camp in Tenerife, but I'd already been doing well with my mileage in November and December so it was a chance to really get some in. I had 4 rest days.
January was not a very good month moodwise. It started with an assessment by the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) where initially they refused to give me any support until my number comes up for psychological treatment. This news, along with the weather, being back at work on full-time hours, and just the general time of year and general hopelessness meant that my mood continued to deteriorate. However, as we have hit February, I've been sent back to the CMHT by my GP and this time they have agreed to offer me some support for a limited period. So that is good news and I am hoping that will infiltrate my mood.
I started coaching at the tri club's Monday night swimming sessions in January which has been excellent. I have been pushed far beyond my comfort zones - not least being forced to go out and interact with people rather than stay at home on my sofa. But I am actually enjoying it. I have learnt a fair bit about swimming and it is good to be able to share that with people. I am still very much a beginner coach and benefitting greatly from the wisdom and experience of the Level 2 coach that I am working with - he is absolutely fantastic at helping the swimmers and I hope that I will be able to develop my skills along those lines too.
Less positively in the coaching area of my life, I had days 3 and 4 of my level 2 course in January. I really wasn't well enough to go for the weekend but there was no way around it (other than start at the beginning again next November/December and pay another £500...). I tried to ask for some support - I'd declared that I had a disability when I signed up - but it wasn't really very forthcoming. I've now been offered some 1:1 help to help me complete my portfolio, but I'm not feeling very confident about the sessions that I have to deliver before June in order to pass.
Next weekend I'll be heading off to Tenerife for the third time for swimming camp with Dan Bullock from Swim for Tri run by Martin from Tridynamic. I'm actually starting to let myself get a little bit excited about it. About a week ago I couldn't imagine going at all, but now that Mr Keep Swimming has helped me to get my suitcase packed and bought me a bit of extra weight allowance, and with some excitement from my friends who will be there too, I am looking forward to some sunshine and some swimming, and just being somewhere different for a week. I hope that my mood will be reasonable - I've reread my blog posts from last year's trip and there was a definite undercurrent of distress that I had forgotten about - but I hope that it might be boosted by the vitamin D and being able to take a bit of time for myself. I shall try to get back into doing some mindfulness and try to catch up on some sleep. And I shall try to use the time to write some blog posts (hopefully with pictures!)