So it was the regular Saturday morning pain and suffering swim session this weekend. In the pool for 7.30am to cover swim four miles or so.
I've been improving quickly since I altered my stroke and these sessions have reminded me how to really push it. My body has actually changed shape, the shoulders are broader, the arm muscles longer,tougher, but smaller; little things like that.
This one was special. There's a pecking order of lanes, with the top two for people who can really motor. I tried one these lanes a couple of weeks ago and my body caved in, but I was made to try it again.
Last time, there was point when it began to hurt and I dug in to find nothing. Quite the opposite, I seized up. This time that point took longer to arrive and when it did I found another gear. I wasn't just living with the other swimmers, I was challenging them.
Oh, and my body remembered to pull with it's forewarms, not it's hands. Another bad habit I'd picked up.
It's an amazing feeling to reach into yourself and find something extra there. When you can't do anymore and you just want to give in, going that little bit further pulls something out of you'd forgotten was there.
It felt good. I still won't do as well at The Great North Swim as I wanted, but I need to feel that gear again. So I'll be carrying on training at this pace when it's all over. Addicted I'm afraid.