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Lily's Masters Challenge Part Three

Following the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 where I witnessed some of my friends compete for their respective home nations (sounds a little cliche), I was given the challenge by a colleague (Sharon Lock, the ASA’s newly appointed Masters Officer) to make a return to the sport and compete at the British Gas ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships 2014, 24 – 26 October 2014.

One week to go…

As this was the final week of preparation it was important to make sure I was eating, drinking and sleeping enough to minimise any risk of getting ill. This was extremely challenging as everyone in the office seemed to be coming down with the dreaded office cold.

Luckily no germs were caught!

I did start having several niggling doubts in my mind, but I knew I had done all that I could and there was not much more I could do now. It was now taper time – the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition’.

Despite reducing my training workload (no land work and just a few gentle paddles in the pool), I still managed to fill the extra hours with less strenuous activities! Those that know me know I’m not very good at switching off and relaxing!

I had become accustomed to my lunchtime swims with the ‘Loughborough Lunchtime Crew’ and had found myself looking forward to lunchtimes. It also meant the 3pm slump didn’t hit like a hard brick wall anymore!

I was extremely lucky to have had the support of the ‘Loughborough Lunchtime Crew’ on hand to answer any burning questions I had about competition preparation and the competition itself.

A few of the members created a ‘packing list’ which was extremely useful. I also used some of the articles available on based on nutrition and what to eat during a competition.

Right Lily smash it the next couple of days. Swim til you can’t swim any more… Best of luck!

It had never occurred to me that people would be interested in my swimming achievements.

Final day at work before the competition

But during my final day at work before the competition, I had a fair few colleagues coming up to me wishing me ‘good luck’ for the weekend.

Looks like people had been noticing my constant ‘wet hair’ look and ‘eau de chlorine’. The pressure was starting to mount.

I not only hoped to achieve my own personal goals, but now people in the office were also now aware of the challenge I had embarked on.

So this was it… time to reap the rewards of all the hard training I had put in over the last two months and make a return to competitive swimming!