I went swimming last night, no ordinary swimming, but open water swimming. Every other Monday, Preston Tri Club meet up at the Lake near Carnforth for an hours training session. First mistake of the evening was being at the wrong lake, I’d gone to Pine Lake when the session was actually next door in the Lake at the Leisure village. Anyways I get there to be greeted by the sight of 30 odd rubber clad serious looking athletes, I’d seen more body fat on Posh Spice after a detox !!
Suck the stomach in whilst I put on my orca, no changing rooms so just wrapped a towel round me to preserve my modesty whilst I changed. Was talking to a few of the guys, a couple had done Skipton and are doing Chester. Anyways a quick safety briefing explainining the triangular course, water quality, temperature, and how to signal the safety canoes and we were off.
It was very very cold to start with, took a few minutes for my body to adjust and I was grateful for my natural insulation and that of the wetsuit. It felt weird being in a pack of people, never really experienced that before because last year at Cockerham I started at the back and stayed there. The fast swimmers just went away from me like they were on jet skis…..wow !! There was a group of four of us all swimming together and it felt really good, water visibility was poor but I did see a couple of big fish as I was looking under water, thankfully they didn’t bite !
I struggled a bit on my third and final lap, having zig zagged my way around most of the course, and I was the last one out of the water by a good 50 metres. Most of them were stood on the bank fully dressed, dry and having a brew ! But they all said well done which made me feel great. I emerged from the water and I felt great, no dizziness etc…however my neck was killing me. It was then that I realised that I’d made a schoolboy error…..I forgot to put lubricant on my neck and the rubber and velcro and been constantly rubbing on it, whilst swimming the cold had stopped me from feeling it but on dry land I was on fire !
Anyways for my first open water swim I managed 1700m without any rest in 41:43, I know its slow but if I can keep that up or improve slightly with a straighter swim then come the ironman I’ll be getting out of the water a) in one piece and b) in hopefully under 1:45, thus setting me up for a good crack at the bike.
Got home and alarmed Em with the fact that my neck looked like someone had tryed to decapitate me, put lots of very strong antibiotic cream on it and slept on my front. Had to come in the car today and abandon my ride because there was no way I could put my rucksack on without aggrevating it. Does feel a bit better today though, so rest assured I won’t be making that schoolboy error again !!