First spring dip in the Neckar

Today was my first dip in the Neckar (or any kind of open water) since January – 17 min. in 8.5°C  (47/48 Fahrenheit), with the sun out! Only breaststroking in the yacky water on the spot against the current. I totally enjoyed it – thanks Pragya! I would love to do it everyday by myself, but I am afraid people will call the water police if there is noone to watch me and make sure I am fine.

It happened in winter – one Sunday I was almost determined to go in by myself after running, after a friend had not shown up, but on my run home along the Neckar I suddenly saw plenty of police and an ambulance, and when I asked what it was all about they said they were looking for a person in the water and asked if I had seen someone. A skipper had reported a person going into the water and suspected suicide. I asked if there were any clothes on the shore and when they said no, I said, well, probably someone went for a polar bear dip and had gone home by now.  But they were not convinced. A bit later at home, coming out of the shower, I heard helicopter noise right in front of the house over the Neckar – they were still searching! Imagine to have to pay for such a rescue operation!

Yesterday I was very inspired when I found a new Channel swimmer blog: by Carrol Wannell, an Australian lady and very strong swimmer, who had been a caravan neighbour with her husband at Varne Ridge last summer and was also unfortunate. She is determined to make it this year – way to go, Carrol! (And I am happy you liked the poems by Sri Chinmoy!)

A certain uncertainty – slight change of plans

A certain uncertainty – slight change of plans

Sorry for not updating my blog for so long. I am amazed at how many people are still looking at my old blog and wondering who they are!

So I skipped the 12 hour indoors swim in Zurich for several reasons (too little training, a slightly inflamed elbow, lots of work and little time), and even the 6 hour race in Nürnberg, and changed my plans a bit. I have been concentrating more on my work over the last few months, wanting to finance my project now more with my own funds, after friends and the team helped so much.  But I am not sure how much I will be able to save until summer.

Training has still been reduced. As soon as I am in the water and swimming or out running, I feel really good, but the warm pools are difficult and I do need more discipline. And the Neckar has not been inviting at all – it has been muddy ever since the snow melted. Some yoga – including my children yoga classes – and a little weight training at home help to keep my muscles up. My preferred pose, great for arm and shoulder training: the dolphin (video)!

Dolphin-asana          Moved to September

But August started to look more and more improbable and I had not even paid my full deposit – so I talked to my pilot and he agreed to move my 4th place slot to September – with the idea of maybe only doing another Channel solo this year, with a more comfortable amount of body fat, and postponing the triathlon project to 2010. That would allow me to do the Zurich lake swim beginning of August as a great training swim (instead of the 12 hours now in March) – and give me a good reason to keep training on a more intense level than I would otherwise and enjoy the way even longer. I often feel, sports can be like a spiritual sadhana – for others it may be art, music etc. (In a way I am quite grateful it didn’t happen last year – I feel there is much more to get out of the whole adventure, on many different levels.)

Should I win the lottery I might still concentrate more on the triathlon – only I am not buying any tickets. But right now, the idea of a second “training” Channel solo this year and returning to Dover again – where I had the greatest time last year –  in 2010 feels good. In Germany we have a saying: “Aller guten Dinge sind drei – all good things come in threes”. So I am trying to leave it up to a higher will.

Updates will be a bit more frequent now, I promise.