Along with the rest of the world, we're not quite ready to let go of the Olympics just yet... So we met with the open-water champion and Olympic athlete Keri-Anne Payne to talk about the amazing last few weeks that were the London games and her upcoming nuptials to fellow swimmier, David Carry.
Two weeks after her brutal two-hour marathon swim in the murky waters of London's Serpentine lake, we sat down with the marathon swimmer and Links ambassador to talk about her top fitness tips, her pre-Olympics diet and her favourite bits of the whole wedding planning process…
Every competition is special, but what was it like to be an Olympian on home ground?
"It was amazing, everything about it - from seeing the change in London, to the home support, it was nothing like I expected it would be. The support, and the noise at the competitions was just bonkers. Usually, with the open water races you can't hear anything - the crowds are quite far away and there's water in your ears and stuff, but every now and then I heard the crowds, and it was just amazing. And [overall] how it [the games] brought the country together too, and to have been able to share it all with David, it was all really special."
LINKS had the official Team GB bracelets - What did they mean to you as an Olympic competitor to see so many people wearing them?
"It's been brilliant, seeing people in the hustle and bustle of getting to work and things like that and just clocking a Team GB band and having that knowledge that quietly they were supporting the team - it's been really special. Every single one of my family members, my dad and my brother included, really liked having them. But it's been amazing to have that 'quiet' support, as I call it."
The stress and expectation of the Olympics must have been huge ahead of the games, how did you deal with the pressure?
"Every single athlete that qualified for the home Olympics was always going to have that pressure, but as long as I had done all the training that I possibly could and had no regrets standing on the pontoon ready to go, then the expectation would have meant nothing. But away from training, I like to have projects on the go; before Beijing I planned a ball for my swimming club which was very successful, and before the [London] games I was planning our wedding, so that helps keep me busy too."
What is your training schedule like?
"Quite a busy one, we'll do 10 sessions in the pool, one open water and two gym cardiovascular sessions each week. But I also do two yoga sessions and run twice each week, so it's six days of land-based exercise as well as six days of swimming and training."
Do you follow a strict diet whist training?
"Not really, because we swim so much there isn't really that strictness; we burn so many calories. I'm probably allowed to eat less things now that I'm on a break than I was when I was swimming! But I do eat balanced meals, it's not like I can just eat chocolate all the time!"
Do you have any special pre-event rituals like listening to music before a competition?
"Not really, I guess my superstition is not to be superstition - I'm very forgetful and I think if I were to have any superstition I'd forget about it and then think the whole world was going to end, so I just avoid that sort of thing."
Do you have any tips for regular brides who want to get in shape ahead of their big day?
"I think it's about consistency and doing what is right for you. There is no point saying you are going to do six gym sessions each week if you only do that one week and then not the next week because you're too tired. You just have to be consistent and realistic."
Motivation is such a struggle for most brides too. How do you keep yourself motivated?
"My motivation comes from my love of swimming and training, maybe it's a weird athlete thing - but I love the hurt the next day. My advice for brides is to be consistent, but also to take someone with you; the motivation of having someone with you is huge. "
And your wedding day is right around the corner... Do you have everything set?
"I am so excited about the wedding, I almost wish it were tomorrow, but then if it were it would be over by then too, so at the same time I'm glad I still have time to really enjoy it all."
What have you most enjoyed of the whole 'wedmin' process?
"I think it was getting all the RSVPs back and just organizing this big party for our family and friends that I've most loved. We've been so busy swimming and training that this will be the first chance we get to really enjoy our friends and family. I can't wait!"
Keri-Anne Payne is an ambassador for Links of London and their official jewellery collection for London 2012, including the Team GB Band, which is a symbol of support for Team GB and a perfect memento of the Games. For more information visit www.linksoflondon.com/2012