After doing my shoulder in in Lough Dan in early August, I was slowly trying to build back up. On 5th August, myself and Cameron McKeever headed down to Wicklow to enter the Wicklow Open. They always put on a good spread in Wicklow …
The Wicklow Open is not a race that I traditionally do well in. In fact, I think I came last in it one year. 2012 was my year though, as I ‘somehow’ managed to come in first place. That somehow is a reasonable swim on the day but also a generous handicap. Although I have a great cup to show off of the next year, what is really priceless is the memory of Cameron’s face when he came in 7th and found me at the finish waiting for him. When I told him that I won he nearly fell over. To add in insult to injury they placed up to 6th that day, so I technically forced Cameron out of a place (that’s the second time that’s happened, the first being the Copeland Island swim in 2010 (don’t mention the war… )). In fairness to Cameron he stuck around for the prize giving and got a special prize on the day too.
I reproduce this here only because I am never likely to see anything of its like again:
After having to pull out of Lough Dan in July, I had to re-evaluate my near term goals. I had hoped to enter the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA) 17km Irish Championships in Enniskillen in early August, but with my shoulder in tatters that was out. I went to Cameron McKeever at Protherapy in Greystones and he started work to try to fix the problem (impingement).
I also needed to recheck my swimming technique and start strengthening exercises. I set my sights on the 10km Camlough Ulster Championships, in late August, along with doing some shorter Leinster swims and pool work in the meantime.
Although I’d been working hard to increase my open water distances throughout the summer of 2012, training started in earnest for me in September 2012, mainly in the pool. In July, I had entered the Leinster 10k race in Lough Dan but had to pull out after around 6km after my shoulder packed in. (At least I lasted longer than my kayaking brother Shane though, who pulled out after about 10 mins with a bad back! Poor Shane.)
That was really a low point, and I really began to doubt if I could ramp up my distances. I had to undertake rehabilitation and strengthening work right over the summer to get it back on track, with the aim of being able to cover at least 10km by the end of the summer.