So, the main event for the week was the 10km qualifier for Rottnest. I was especially dreading this because I would barely have recovered from being sick, had spent a week out of the water (and would therefore be slow), and because it would take place in a pool with lots of much faster swimmers! The objective was to complete the 10km in less than 4 hours, including any breaks taken for food / drink. I had recovered from my ear / sinus infection in time to get back into the water on Thursday morning, so by the time Saturday arrived I'd done two squads and was actually feeling pretty healthy and energetic! The 10km was done as a pyramid 100m, 200m....upto 1,000m and back down again. This was great from my point of view as it nicely broke the monotony, and it gave us plenty of opportunity to change pace, rotate the leadership of the pelaton, and generally made life a bit more interesting. Bizarrely I felt I came into my own at about the 6km mark. I could sense others in the lane flagging and dropping off the pace, but I felt great! I had stuck religiously to the hydration and energy plan, feeding every half an hour, ad I am sure this was a major factor.
Amazingly (in my view) we completed the 10km in 3hrs 9 minutes. I was really pleased with this, but what was more important than the time was that I felt great throughout, my stoke only falling apart in the last 1km with Vlad yelling "go faster......."! Mentally I am really starting to believe that I can do these long swims, and all being well I should be ok for a 7 hour Rottnest crossing. Now we just need to lock in that boat (only 2 weeks to go!)
As it turns out I was exceptionally lucky to be able to do this swim on Saturday.........by Sunday afternoon I was struck down with a nasty kiddie vomit-bug which the girls had just had (and I thought I'd missed). I have to say Sunday night was probably the worst 12 hours of my entire life. It makes every other episode of food poisoning (even the mussels in France) look like a vague upset tummy.........perhaps that will be a useful memory to keep me going when the swims get tough.............."at least you're not lying on the bathroom floor under a damp towel!".