Saturday, 20 April 2013

Going for a swim

On January 1st I decided to do a Polar Swim with Uswim - a sort of welcome in the new year by immersing yourself in freezing cold water experience. It was a great thing to be part of - lots of people joined in, hot bodies in bikinis, large bodies with Channel swimming protection and everyone in between. There were "skins" (people just in bathers) and "suits" taking to the FOUR degree water. 

I was pretty scared but in good company as old hands gave tips on getting in, controlling your breathing and giving it a go. Unfortunately I couldn't even make the first buoy as the pain in my head was too intense but as witnessed by Jon, I gave it a decent go and I can't think of a better thing to do on a New Year's morning. 

So here we are at the end of April and the "Summer" open water season has commenced. You need to be a bit flexible with descriptions here in the North. I wanted to get as much open water practice as I could before Mallorca, even though I will be in a warm and salty sea. I felt that weaning myself off lines in the pool and ends of the pool could only be a good thing but if I wanted to get the most out of the Summer season, I needed to start acclimatising as soon as it opened. 

So even though the official temp was only 4 degrees warmer than new year I tried to leap in this morning. It felt like my feet were burning. I could get my whole body in but the burn in my feet was awful. Then my hands, and oh my jaw, my ears, my head. Encouraged by Jon (and the wit of the Uswim crew) I kept making myself try a little harder each swim out to a buoy only 20 metres away. It took a while to get my  breathing under control, then to get my bilateral breathing going, then to stop my jaw from screaming. 

I was actually grateful to the bad traffic we had getting into Salford, which meant I only had 30 minutes of painful attempts before they closed. Box ticked on acclimitisation, I still need to do some serious miles for training. Perhaps Wednesday it will be 9 degrees and I can do a proper loop of the Quay. 
Above: being a big wuss. But I got in!

1 comment:

  1. That is a brilliant picture! Well done for doing it. I'm looking forward to getting to a lido now the weather's improving, but relieved I can leave it for a warmer day.