- 18 Aug 08, 03:11 PM
I'm gutted I couldn't at least emulate my Athens bronze four years ago but swimming two world-class 1500m times in 36 hours was too much of an ask.
My qualifying swim of 14 minutes 14 minutes 46.11 seconds was me at the top of my game.
Sadly I didn't have the recovery powers to better that time by four seconds, smashing my personal best in the process, in such a short space of time.
Now if I want to carry on in this event for another four years against physically bigger guys, I've got to find a way to do maxed out 1500m inside two days if I want to compete for medals.
But I must quickly recover from my pool disappointment and focus on my 10k Open Water bid on Thursday.
I must thank British Swimming for black-mailing into this event as it gives me a second chance to join in with Team GB's medal-winning party here in Beijing.
When the 10k swim became part of the Olympics programme, British swimming wanted some of its endurance athletes to give it a try.
The bosses said have a few weeks in South Africa to top up your tan and have a go at this new event.
I was told if you like it keep going, if not just get out.
I got a wicked tan and won my first 10k race, qualifying for the World Championships in Seville.
I then won silver in the Worlds and qualified for the Olympics.
I wasn't sure about taking on another tough challenge in case it affected my 1500m performances.
But I thought I'd give it a go as the 10k was a few days after my pool priorities, now I'm glad I did!
I've not altered my training for the Open Water event as I initially saw it as a little 'Brucey bonus.'
Now if I want to help Team GB and Wales' impressive medal haul in Beijing, then this is my last chance.
I am more suited longer distance swims and the 1500m is now pretty much a sprint, as silly that sounds.
The 10k event is a more endurance based event and I feel I can keep going for longer, although specialist Open Water athletes do double my 80k weekly training regime.
As I'm a rookie to these iron man-style swims, I'm under no pressure and I'm looking forward to see how I do.
As part of my recovery process since the 1500m final, I've had plenty of physio, massages, sleep and grub to ensure my body is fully refuelled for Thursday's step into the unknown for me.
I've left the Olympic Village now as the 10k swim is at the Shunyi rowing lake where Britain enjoyed plenty of success at this Olympics - I hope that's a positive omen.
The course seems to have ideal conditions for converted pool swimmers like me; it's very flat and calm. Effectively, it is a massive outside pool.
Swimming's version of the marathon is not just physically gruelling but tactically tough as because there are no lanes and you're swimming in a pack, I'll have to think on my feet.
If I want clear water, I'll have to move out wide.
I'll have to consider when I take on food and water because being two hours in a pool is a very long time especially when you're putting your body on the line.
Adapting will be the key word, not just to the race itself but to the conditions.
Luckily there'll be no local wildlife to worry about.
Some Open Water events have to start early so not to wake the alligators while others you spend half the time dodging the jellyfish.
You don't have to be mad to compete in the 10k, but if you are it helps.
However, this extra string to my bow has freshened up my career and given me a new lease of life.
Hopefully it'll give me an Olympic medal, too.
Wish me luck.
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