Saturday, 7 May 2011

Open Water Swimming - 1st of year!

Three times? Maybe Four? That's the number of times I have been bothered to swim this year so far. Every time Ive gone there has been no motivation and once there I've ended up at the back or in a slow lane when I usually lead. When It was announced that Rochdale Tri Club had secured a new venue at Elton Sailing Club in Bury, Sat 9-10am,  there wasn't much hope of my good self bothering and am thinking of packing in triathlons for good. The last time I swam in a pool was only 2 weeks ago and that sparked a little renewed interest as I went fresh and despite my arms aching my general fitness/lungs were in top condition and I managed to do much better than anticipated.

The last time I donned my wet suit was August last year and remember the first session of 2010 in May. The water was 7-8 degrees and people were coming out of the water disorientated and blue. The air was warm and the wind was too today. There were around 30 of us, a good mixture of male and female. £5 for registration and first swim then £3 each week after. Open to non-members too. Got there early to allow for wet suit fitting time. The organisation was top class. Everyone needed to register, sign in/sign out and wear a numbered fluorescent wrist band. There were 4 canoeist  to keep an eye on everyone and we were all briefed on the course and what to do if we needed assistance. Water temperature was announced as 14-15 degrees.

Before setting off we were kinda grouped and I thought I would draft Jamie as he has been very strong in training. Setting off, over taking a few, I found myself in the lead and I expected people to come past. I aimed for the bouys. White one then orange one then white one etc....By the forth where we were going to regoup I stopped briefly and saw myself 'miles' ahead so carried on. The reservoir was quite shallow due to lack of rain and you could quite easily stand up where ever you were. Doing one lap which someone measured using a GPS watch was 2km. We set off at 9am and when I reached the finish I shouted what time was it? 9.30! Hmmm that was quick. I felt very quick, the wetsuit fitted as if it was a second skin. Compared to Cowm Res in Whitworth the water at Bury was lovely and calm and flat. Perfect open water conditions. My missus shouted at me to carry on and do another lap so off I went. Arms hurting a little but the legs propelling me forward with ease. The arm issue ill disappear with practice. The second lap was a little faster. I messed about a bit after the first lap deciding/arguing whether to go again and the time I got back was 9.58. There were quite a few dog walkers and Im sure I was swimming faster than they walked. Thats 4km (verification required) in an hour ish taking away the time I needed to remove seaweed, get organised and 2nd lap deliberation.

Everyone else had got out after one lap. There was a guy who I over took on my 2nd lap, doing breast stroke. It was his first time and the canoeists were there to make sure he was safely home which I was pleased with. Cuppa and Bacon butty finished off the morning. My' love' of swimming has been reingnited. Ever since I was 5 I have swam, which helps. Just wish I started that early with my cycling.

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