Para swimmer Ellen Keane works hard at Irish Open Championships in Dublin
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 03/04/19 1:54pm
Competing so hard you're almost sick, and battling up and down a 50m pool in front of your screaming home fans is not for the faint-hearted.
But that was life for Irish Para swimmer Ellen Keane, competing at the Irish Open Championships in Dublin.
These are challenging times. There were no Para finals at the event, so it was just heats, plus there's the uncertainty over this summer's World Para Championships - still without a host after Malaysia was stripped of duties in January.
And there's the small factor of becoming "officially old!" - Ellen's words!
With the British International Meet later in April, the 23-year-old Sky Sports Scholar just has to get her head down, crank up the training, and be ready...
"The championships in Dublin were all about training all the way through and getting in some race practice.
I started with 100m breaststroke, which will be my main event. I produced a really good time and I'm so happy with it.
Technically it was good, my warm-up as well, and it was just a really solid training time. Although only being able to swim heats was a bit frustrating.
Next was the 200m breaststroke, which I hadn't done for four years! It didn't go too well, and I hadn't been training for it.
It really hurt, and I felt so sick afterwards. I was working really hard during the race, but I was just staying in the same place! The time was very slow, and it took me a long time to get over that traumatic experience.
On Friday, I had a rest day, but I was still training in the pool and gym. Some rest for me!
I was in the 50m breaststroke on the Saturday, where I was trying to get speed into my stroke. I beat my personal best, so I was really happy with that and seeing it all work out.
Last up on the Sunday was the 200m Individual Medley, which was OK and not my fastest swim, but it was the end of a really hard training week.
It's tough, though, because I'm just in limbo, waiting to see where our World Championships will be held and when.
It's been difficult to plan, especially with the British Meet in Glasgow on April 25-28. I just don't know what the plan is, but I'm concentrating on getting ready for Scotland.
I've also got work to finish up for university, and I just have to focus on having a good time. It's also my birthday in April, when I turn 24.
I'm officially old, but I'm just trying to live my best young life!