Saturday 25 November 2017

7 degrees

This morning things were a little hectic at Hatfield as the 'winter swimmers' were doing a qualifier event for their Ice Mile. Working around them meant that the rest of us were a little delayed getting into the water, I was cold before getting wet! Anyway, that didn't seem to matter and I managed 4 small laps, which is around 1km in half an hour. As is so often the case, after one lap I nearly stopped due to feeling cold, tired and generally 'why bother?', but pushing-on gave a reward as I settled into the rhythm of the stroke, thought about hip rotation and set my sights on another few laps.

Once back in the cafe the sign noted a temperature of 7 degrees, over two degrees colder than last week.

Although my pace is ridiculously slow, at lunchtime I did reflect on this year's progress, 3km in the Mediterranean and 1km below 10 degrees, and both are within my comfort zone now.

Monday 20 November 2017

Four day fatigue

Today's (very short) swim was exceptionally hard work and characterised by slow length pace even with a high perceived effort. I've run for the preceding 3 days and suspect that I've built up a bit of fatigue. Also my swimming practice has been rather lacking lately so I can't expect much. I didn't have the pull buoy and throughout my legs felt tired and my usually ineffective kick was weaker than usual.

At least I tried to keep good form.

Saturday 11 November 2017

A bit chilled

It's the winter timetable at Hatfield from today and so I wasn't in the water until nearly 09:30. It was a lovely autumn morning with the pond surrounded by a palette of orange leaves and the water still, almost glass-like. This would have been a perfect day for some photographs but I've not really worked out how to do that safety (for me, the wetsuit and the camera), although there's a method here, it doesn't feel healthy for the wetsuit! Walking in was a bit of a shock, distinctly colder than last week's evening swim even though officially there's been only 1 degree reduction.

After a little breast stroke faffing I got my face in the water and completed 1km. I set off to do another small lap but decided that the cold was getting to me, my hands were stiffening and somehow the chill was penetrating. Previously I'd just felt superficially cold, but after the half hour it was feeling different. So I headed back to the beach and teetered back to the cafe and changing area.

It's possible I looked very wobbly as an assistant was dispatched with me to 'make sure I was OK' whilst getting tired and dressed. After a coffee and walk around the cafe I felt almost normal but wished that I'd taken my DryRobe. It's been a waste of time carrying it back and forth over the summer but now I do need it.

The heated seat in the car warmed me through on the drive home. I think that it's mild and consistent enough to complement the hot drink and give core warmth - showers are best avoided after a cold dip.

Some hardy should were swimming without wetsuits ('skins') in training for an ice mile, but that won't be me for a season or two...