I enjoyed another poker night with the lads last night but found out that I had been targetted by one of my mates. Andy and I are doing the Great North Swim in September and he’s working really hard towards it As previously reported, at our Monday night Leigh swims Andy has strength and technique against my fitness and stamina and it’s interesting that we are attacking the same challenge from 2 different angles. He’s determined to beat me, which is nice, bless him but am I bovvered? Does this face look bovvered?
As with other challenges I’ve set myself I want to complete it and complete it comfortably, but in doing the Great North Run, London marathon and the sprint triathlon last year I only had myself and the clock to deal with despite there being thousands racing around me. Those thousands were all strangers though. Andy wasn’t toe to toe with me or in my face but last night, but he said that he wanted to beat me with some conviction. I think he wanted a reaction and although what he said registered with me, I didn’t react. It’s going to be great for him as gets fit, improves his diet, loses weight, regains the washboard stomache he had in his 20s and raises money for Barnardos in the process. He has the mental strength and past form (though distant) to convince me he will give it everything but as I’ve upped the training in the pool I haven’t got much quicker and my technique doesn’t seem to have improved. I haven’t being giving it 100% though. With swimming as with running and cycling I always leave a little in reserve and have never trained so hard that I have broken down or hit a wall.
Thinking about it in the bath this morning I realised that I’d feel much better about myself if I tried to compete and came second than if I didn’t take up the challenge and cruised around truely oblivious. Andy’s already lost a good chunk of weight and is dieting hard as well as exercising regularly. I don’t think there is any harm in focussing on my swimming for the next couple of month whilst the running and cycling just tick over. I want to stagger out of Windermere feeling exhausted, and whether I’m first or second doesn’t really matter, but knowing that have done everything to get to that point really does matter.