So I took myself back through a guided relaxation, suited up and rested before my buddy Andy came over to take me to my lane for the final swim. Unfortunately there was commotion in the lane immediately before my top with a competitor blacking out and being rescued. Again I just had to keep my head down and focus on my breath to avoid being freaked out. I also felt tired, so so tired. Andy reminded me that all my mono attempts had been late on Monday nights at our pool in Bristol, so this should feel like home.
I'd done around 155m in training so my plan was to try to replicate that dive and surface just after my third turn. I needed a few strong words and mantras to get myself to that point as many negative thoughts of tiredness and giving up crept into my mind. The apnea sprint training I'd done came to fruition at this point as I'd got accustomed to just putting my head down to keep on flapping.
I felt proud that my hard work, judgement and sacrifices I'd had to make had all paid off.
And so grateful to the people who helped me get there - coach and personal trainers, safety divers, advisors and supportive friends and family.
Thankfully I'd won a new Aquasphere wetsuit to replace my pool suit that was hanging together with Blackwitch glue! And for the international prize I also picked up a pair of carbon fibre Fins4U Pure Evolution bi-fins. What great sponsors!
After the prize presentation we all piled to the pub to gorge on pizza and beer - two of the foods I'd missed most during the austere weeks leading up to the competition eating leafy greens and sprouts! Everyone was in good spirits, celebrating our performances and laughing at funny moments and pictures taken over the weekend. Regardless of how well or badly our swims went, there's always something to keep working on to get better, and lessons to take away to stay positive.
My bed felt so good that night :-)