Sunday, 1 May 2011

What a difference a week makes...

It turns out that we had been lulled into a bit of a false sense of security by last week's toasty-warm water, and even though the weather has been unseasonably nice over the last week, lower temps, plus a brisk wind, meant that the water at Bosworth and Swan Pool has dropped back down a few degrees, hovering around 13-14. Not unmanageably cold, but certainly brisk. Nevertheless, it was the first open triathlon session at Bosworth on Saturday, and over 200 people went in during the two hours...although most only went in for a relatively short time, so it wasn't too crowded. An impressive amount of neoprene was on display - not just wetsuits, but hats, bootees etc. I'm not mocking - it's better to be in the water wearing whatever makes you comfortable than not being in at all. But I have to turn a bit of a blind eye, especially at the beginning of the swim - seeing people get all rubbered up makes me think about the cold too much. I did my two hours, followed by breakfast in the van with Peter, Penny and various others dropping in as soon as they spotted that we had pastries and coffee on board.

This morning, I drove over to Swan Pool for another 2 hours...but it was a tougher swim than yesterday - a bit cooler than Bosworth, as always, plus quite a stiff wind blowing across the top of the lake, chopping the water up and blowing cold across the shoulders. I managed the first hour just fine, but then had a bit of a dip - I felt tired, and then really cold, and then generally a bit sorry for myself and was even thinking about getting out. Whatever next. I reminded myself that there are no emergencies in long-distance swimming, and there's nothing so pressing that it can't bear a 30 minute wait and that's what I did. And time speeded up, the sun shone and all was well. So, that's a decent four hours this weekend ... a good start, ready for the May build-up (and warm up, hopefully).

It was great to meet the swimmers from the Big Rick's Channel Swim Team, who are training for a relay this summer. They're aiming to break the record for the fastest relay with an average age of 40+, and are a pretty speedy bunch with impressive swimming pedigrees. They lap me every so often, but I don't take it personally. Check out their website. I was delighted to see my square of carpet feature in last week's blog.... You may mock, guys, but you know you want one.

And finally, many congrats to everyone who did the insanely hard 2Swim4Life challenge - 24 miles in 24 hours, with each mile starting on the hour. Brutal. Well done to Mark Robson and everyone else who completed the event in Guildford, and to Donal Buckley, Lisa Cummins et al who did a parallel swim in Cork. Deeply impressive.

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