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The Results

Tweet Okay, well I’m back from the swim and sipping a lovely coffee before going and having a shower to clean up. It’s been a morning of lessons for me, and I have to say first up “I’m happy with my achievement – gutted, but happy”. I arrived at the start and realised the vast majority [...]

Okay, well I’m back from the swim and sipping a lovely coffee before going and having a shower to clean up. It’s been a morning of lessons for me, and I have to say first up “I’m happy with my achievement – gutted, but happy”.

I arrived at the start and realised the vast majority of people where in wetsuits. Standing in my swimming shorts & rash top I had an inkling I was under dressed for the event. However I did see others in swim suits and even a brave couple in bikini’s. 

While I knew it was a deep water start, I didn’t realise the start line would be a wee way (maybe 50 to 100mtrs) off shore. We were instructed if unsure swimmers, we should hold back – which I did. Not realising that I was only halfway to the start when the start hooter went off. Panicking a bit I picked up the pace (mistake number 1 or is it 2). 

The water was far colder than I anticipated, which meant I was cold and struggled to relax to breath. I also made the mistake of swimming with the goggles they gave us rather than my usual ones. I actually felt claustrophobic swimming in these ones – maybe they have smaller lenses than my usuals.

So, about 300mtrs in, struggling to relax into a rhythm, unable to bring up my body temp and just completely overwhelmed, I raised my hand and took a lovely cruise on the harbor – along with a blanket & a hot drink. I had plenty of company – I wasn’t the only one on the boat.

Summary

While I am completely gutted I didn’t even make the first 400mtrs, I am stoked that I gave it a shot. Here are some lessons I learned for me to apply in 2009

  • Swim in the right gear: If the water is warm a rash suit may do, but if it’s cold you need a full length wetsuit.
  • Practice in your gear: It was my first time in my goggles & suit. Wasn’t expecting the tightness the suit gave nor the subtleties of vision with these particular goggles 
  • Learn to relax: (practice in the sea) They say to get up to distance in a pool. This is all good and well but pool water is clear, the bottom is just there & it’s usually smooth. Swimming in the sea is disconcerting because the water is not (usually) clear, their is a swell to deal with and if you get a mouthful it’s salty.
Will I do it again? You can (almost) bet on it. Now that I have a little more knowledge of what to expect, and a year to get into shape – I think I will give it another go. I think however I’d like to find someone to do it with, someone you can swim along side.
Big thanks go out to the organisers and the life guards. The entire team where so friendly, so encouraging – Well Done to you all.
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