For those that are curious about my story about the sponsored swim, here it is!

The short version and all the facts/details is here!

Preparations:

The preparations had all gone well, I hadn’t done quite as much training as I’d have liked.  However, I had the support of an amazing group of people around me. 

The morning started off really well.  I was a couple of minutes late in the pool at Arundel Lido which was a little frustrating; I felt a little rushed and wanted to get some filming done (which we did but it wasn’t as informative as I would have liked – did you see Isaac’s lack on Instagram skills?!).  My tail was just gorgeous – and I managed the whole swim in the FinFun Monofin Pro!

Luckily, I had amazing people that helped me and who ensured the event ran smoothly!

Anna's FinFun mermaid tail in front of Arundel Castle at Arundel Lido.
Just look at that FinFun Tail!

The start:

I started off with a complete adrenalin high – which showed in my distance! 

I then calmed down, took the advice of Isaac and Nikki and listened to some Harry Potter. I purchased the first three Harry Potter books on audio CD then popped them on my waterproof mp3 player from Decathalon. This was so good as I really focused on the words, meaning I focused on swimming, not chatting!

Hour 2 was slower (and slower than my average).  Hours 3 – 6 were fairly average.  I got a little cold around lunch and drank a hot chocolate while swimming – not the easiest!

I then got a little giggly and was told to focus on my swimming – which I did! I popped my headphones in and focused a little more.

Half Way:

Hour 7 – I really slowed down! I had a chat to everyone around – swam on my back for ages which was a much needed rest.  I got a little giggly and delirious so knocked down with my headphones on.  Hour 8 wasn’t too bad. 

Hour 9 – I got horrendous cramp.  I was really annoyed that I had to get out of the pool to stretch as it was pushing the time which I would eventually get out of the pool and I REALLY didn’t want to be in there longer than 7:30pm. 

At 3:23pm - Just over 4 hours to go (8 hours done)
Anna swimming for 12 hours in a mermaid tail – this was taken around hour 8!

Breaking point:

The hardest hour by far, was hour 10.  

Everyone cheered when I finished 1000 lengths of the pool.  I smiled and pretended to be happy.  Inside I was NOT happy.  I was cursing (sometimes out loud, sometimes under my breath!).  

I couldn’t cope with celebrating when (I felt) I was so far from the end…. 

Lucklily, a friend of mine who had come to watch, gave me a pep talk.  

I remember sobbing – ‘I don’t want them to cheer, I’m still so far away’.  She told me that everyone was happy for me.  To which I replied – ‘it’s not about them, it’s about me!’  She then put me in my place (quite rightly) and told me it wasn’t about me either – I had to focus on the fact that I was swimming for those charities!  

Everyone has that friend, I’m sure – the one who can say pretty much anything to you – brutally honest… I needed that in that moment, and thank goodness she was there. 

I’m not saying I sorted myself out quickly (it might have taken an hour) but I did sort myself out, and even giggled at how ridiculous I had been. Not that it changed how I felt at that moment – the feelings were still real, but being able to see things externally was helpful to gain some perspective; I was tired and aching and I just wanted to be finished!

The end:

Hour 11 wasn’t too bad… I chatted to some people, I ate a little bit more (even though I didn’t want to… I think I had another little cry!)

Finally, Hour 12…. Uggghhhh…. 

Because I started at 7am, and all my swimmers got out at 7pm, the last half hour was a killer.  It was the right decision

I put my headphones in and wouldn’t talk to anyone (I apologise if you came to cheer me on near the end of the day!). 

The last 15 minutes were so hard.  Every time I asked the time, I lost the plot (and maybe said a few bad words under my breath)….

However, I finished! I was so proud and so relieved to be done!

Anna swimming - last few minutes of 12 hour world record sponsored swim
Final 15 minutes of the sponsored swim

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