Sunday, 6 May 2012

Open Water

Okay so the image and the words 'open water' strike fear into many with thoughts of an horrific abandonment out in the ocean... but not to me, well not any more! Whilst this blog is primarily about my running exploits I am having to expand my horizons a little now after a simply fantastic new experience on Sunday! I was asked to join my friend for an open water swim, either in a river or a lake and this seemed quite a sensible idea as I have signed up to the Great British Swim at the end of the month and so far (with the exception of when I was about 14 on holiday in the Lake District) I have never really swum anywhere other than a pool. We got to work hunting out possible locations on the internet and found a few suitable options. One required a pre swimming assessment, and reeked of good organisation which immediately appealed to me so we booked ourselves on. We arrived just on time after a few wring turns on route and were welcomed by a friendly bunch. We had a full safety briefing and before long we were in our wetsuits and on the edge of the lake ready to take the plunge.
There were a few yelps as we entered the water, although I can confidently say not me, I remembered the ice bath of two weeks previous and figured if I could handle that I could handle a lake! We had been told that the water temp was 12.5 degrees so was in fact warmer than the outdoors temp of 8 degrees.
We entered the water, slowly with our coach getting use to the temperature and floating around a little. we then did some swimming drills. I played safe as I am stronger at breast stroke and stuck to this, then I braved front crawl after a while... much easier in a wetsuit I found. We all exited the water completely elated and there were hugs and congratulations all around. As we made our way back to the changing hut I really wanted to get back in but wasn't sure if I should, the others were already half out of their wetsuits by now. Decision made I turned and went back to the jetty before I could change my mind again and got back into the water, slightly less tentatively this time. I staying in for another 10-15 minutes swimming around the buoys and avoiding the wildfowl. It was lovely.
We wrapped up the morning with a cuppa and a bacon roll, I will definitely be back for more!

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