Monday, June 25, 2012

Great North Swim Overview

Sorry for my absence this weekend - I hope you all had a great one.

I'm finally back in the real world after my Great North Swim weekend.
The weather this weekend was terrible - so much so that my swim on the Friday afternoon was postponed until Sunday afternoon - the weather was so bad that the Saturday races were cancelled all together so I'm very glad that mine was rearranged and I actually managed to get my swim over with.

The weekend didn't get off to the greatest of starts as we managed to burst a tyre on my car on the way down to the Lake District and Paul was a star and managed to change it in the pouring rain while the car was stranded on a hill!! We were both soaked after that especially since the roads had turned to rivers in the rain!

Me ready to go...

I managed the two mile swim in 1 hour 39 minutes and 22 seconds
This, I'll admit was longer than I'd have liked but my aim was 1 hour 30 minutes so I wasn't too far out of that and considering the conditions I'm just glad I made it round!
The water was, according to a board on the shore, 14 degrees so my feet and hands were freezing all the way round and the water especially on the outward leg was very choppy and the waves seemed to batter me back to the start on every stroke!

The start was a bit hectic too - someone managed to kick me in the shoulder which knocked me a bit and I swallowed and choked on more water than I want to think about at the moment.

The cold also made catching my breath hard too - I felt like my lungs wouldn't open up enough for me to get enough air to do anything and I felt like I was going to be sick after one particularly large gulp of water.

The course - to give you a bit of perspective, if you look really closely in the distance you can see a tiny triangular orange speck - that's the half mile buoy. I passed that twice!!

The outward leg had us going out into the centre of the Lake which is where the water was at its most choppy and the buoy that marked 1/4 mile didn't seem like I was getting any closer to me - I honestly thought I was going to have to call it a day but I decided to try to make it to the quarter of a mile before I quit. That allowed me to see the half mile buoy in the distance and I figured I would rather quit at half a mile than a quarter of a mile and the half mile buoy was closer to the shore so I figured it would be easier for the safety canoeists to pull me out over there too!! After I passed the half mile buoy the water got a bit calmer and my breathing levelled off enough for me to put in a few decent strokes and before I knew it I was at the 3/4 mile buoy so I figured I'd do a mile and then get out instead of heading back out to do my second lap.
However something happened and I found myself turning around to head back out again and that's when the reality hit me that I'd have to face those dreaded waves again!! Also because it had taken me just over 45 minutes to complete my first mile, I was surrounded by new swimmers from the race behind me too just starting their first lap of the course.
Once again I got battered by the waves and this leg felt like I couldn't go on again - but I reminded myself that I'd been here before and being more used to the water my breathing was better this time around. The knowledge that the water was a lot calmer on the other side of the half mile buoy also kept me going and before I knew it I'd reached the half mile for the second and final time and I was heading to shore.
This seemed to take forever - I once again kept reminding myself that I'd been here before and I'd gotten past it because at one point I felt like I was swimming but not getting anywhere!!
My goggles also kept steaming up and I kept having to stop to rinse them out so in the end I stopped wearing them all together - this didn't do my eyes very much good but it meant that I could go for longer than five minutes before having to de-mist them.

I was so happy to get out of the water - it was one of the hardest things I've ever done and by no means any reflection on pool swimming - I think I'd be lucky if I managed a quarter of a mile in front crawl the rest of it, because of the waves and not being able to catch my breath, was done in breaststroke.

Finished!! My face was so cold that it went all wonky when I tried to smile!!
Although I said that I'd never do it again to my Mum and Dad and Paul when I got out, looking back on it I wouldnt rule it out. As a perfectionist I'd would like to 'master' open water swimming and I'd like to better my time although I think the 1 mile event might be enough for me!!
I'm very proud of my accomplishment especially for not quitting when it was the only thing I wanted to do and good time or bad time - I'm pleased to say that I made round.

Everyone that finishes gets a goody bag with lots of yummy treats and a finishers badge in it.
This is currently being proudly displayed on my bedroom wall

The goody bag also included a t-shirt but I was so tired when I got back last night (about quarter to eleven) and I have work today that I didn't have the energy to get the t-shirt out of its wrapper!!

I also bought a hoodie that had this embroidered on it - while in the middle of the swim I'd have given anything for walls, lanes and chlorine and it was anything but 'the great outdoors'!!

I thought I'd also include some photos of me doing the 1 mile race three years ago - not to be too big headed but the difference in me is crazy!!
I didn't think I was that fat when I did the swim the first time around - now when I look at myself I just looked like a big black rubber ball!!

Me on the left looking shocking next to my beautiful work collegues Laura (middle) and Carole (right)

Me and Laura after we finished

Me, Laura and her husband Dave on the way to the swim

Marathon Weight Loss Update

So as a bit of an aside to the above excitement I weighed in for the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge
I'm a bit upset to say that I have put on two pounds :-( although I think (no excuses just trying to find an explanation) this might be due to carb loading for the Friday race that didn't happen and then again for the Sunday race. I knew leading up to my race that I wouldn't be looking at my calories too hard because I just wanted to give myself enough energy to get round the course (which as you can read above I barely did anyways!!)

So I'm still hopeful for my 13 pound loss and I'm glad that this race came at the start of the challenge when I have time to make up this hiccup.
I'm feeling positive today (and tired) and I'm going to make sure that I'm good with my diet and exercise from now on.
I have my gym bag packed ready for tonight at the gym - my first session without my trainer Tom so wish me luck for that!!

How is everyone else doing on their Marathon Weight Loss Challenge?
How do you get back on track after a gain?
Is there a race / event you would really like to take part in?

No comments:

Post a Comment