So the majority of my swim season is done, one more big swim to come – Windermere, but before I get to that – a recap on the year so far….
Jun – Great East Swim 2016 – 5k (http://www.greatrun.org/great-swim/great-east-swim#about)
A great season opener – all the Great Swim series swims are enjoyably and well run. They have chip timing and normally a good mix of abilities. This time there was most of the Cambridge Tri Club including pro athletes like Lucy Gossage – great swimmer. A relatively uneventful race and it felt fast – all the base training over the winter and in the early season paid off. If it had not been for my lack of ability to count the number of buoys I would have been faster…I turned on the buoy for 1200m not 1400m on lap2…as a result I thought it was really quiet…sadly not, I was on my own and dropped about 400m on the pack I was with…
Once I was back with the correct course I got back into the swimming hard, this resulted in a good time/place for me – 2nd in AG in 1:23:35 and 31st overall…I was really happy…race 1 done:
A new wetsuit – Yonda Ghost
Just after the Great East 5k I noticed that the under arm area on one side of my wetsuit was wearing heavily – after discussions with Wiggle they agreed to take it back, upon examination it needed to go back to Orca, I am still waiting for the outcome of their review….
I needed a new wetsuit and fast, in the past I have tried: Orca (2 types of Alpha), Huub (Archimedes I and a prototype of the II), I have tried on Zone3 and ROKA – both too tight. After looking through the various forum sites and magazines I emailed Yonda, a small startup from Yorkshire, who only have one wetsuit, the Ghost. This has got very good reviews and after a few emails Angus, the company owner, sent me a suit to try.
Wetsuit fit is a really personal matter, I have tried loads of suits and none have fitted quite right – this one is perfect, well almost, a little tight on the neck and long in the arm but the chest/body length is perfect. Also in testing in the lake it came out much faster than the previous Orca and Huub suits – over 10s/100m faster….
Aug – Inn to Inn Swim 2016 – 2.8k (http://www.nearwaterevents.co.uk/inn-inn-swim)
The next swim in the diary was the Inn to Inn – a fabulous local swim in Cornwall from one pub to another. Tapering for this was a challenge as the day after this was planned I had the Bridge to Bridge (14km swim) so I just planned this in a pre race set. My taper during this week was:
Sat – last long set (not really long – 3k – I did 110x100yd in the lido on the Tue before)
M0n – 3k in the pool
Wed – 2k in the lake
Fri 1.5k in the pool
On the Wed I swam at the fabulous Kernow Open Water Swimming Centre (http://www.kernowadventurepark.com/open-water-swimming) – the water is crystal clear and the staff so friendly – a great build swim:
So race morning arrived and it was really lovely to have both Dad and Anja take me to the registration 🙂
The swim itself was a fabulous down river sprint – approx 2.7k from the Devoran Old Quay Inn (well the Quay down the hill) to the Pandora Inn. It is a small local event but with lots of good swimmers as you would expect from a Cornish race!
This is the swim start – beautiful:
The race went 100% to plan – get out hard and keep a fast pace – I had my new Yonda wetsuit (more on that later) on and felt fast – I kept the lead pack in sight for the entire swim but could not bridge so settled with a slightly low spot that I think I could have got…
Coming in to the finish at the pub it was great to see the family 🙂 a fab race – and I came 9th!! Swimming it in 35:16 – four mins faster than 2yrs ago – quite T-Shirt as the moment…it really is very bright…
Aug – Thames Marathon 2016 – 14.8k (http://henleyswim.com/events/bridge-to-bridge/)
The next day was the first of the ‘big’ swims – the newly named Thames marathon – or the former Bridge to Bridge, approx 14+km of swimming from Henley Leander Rowing Club to Marlow Rowing club (or now the park opposite).
A fantastic swim, only three locks to navigate on the banks. The first 4k stretch is fast and furious in the pink wave as everyone ‘shakes out’ into their own place based on pace. In years past (I have done this twice before) the 4k mark was where you were put into pods – this year it was down to you if you wanted to swim alone or together, I tried to get a pod together and run it as a chain gang with each swimmer taking time on the front, but only 3 of us did this before it fell apart – as a result I swim the longest stretch of 6k on my own, cramping 40mins out from the next feed stop (at 10k) in both the from and back of my calves. I had to stop for 7mins to try and get rid of it, eventually I accepted that I could not free it up totally and started swimming again, having watched all those I had passed go ahead of me. The last 4km passed quickly and I overtook 10 people in the last 2.5km stretch before turning on the last buoy and reaching the park. I finished in 3:23:57, coming 91st – last year the time would have put me in the top 20…a lot of quick swimmers this year, but still a 14min PB!! Happy with that…
Since the B2B I have been recovering – all was looking good until about Thur and then I began to develop nausea/vertigo and muscle aches, by today this has developed into lower back pain – I fear I may have succumbed like may this year to what looks like Leptospirosis, common in rivers and lakes – hopefully it will pass soon as I don’t want it to develop into Weil’s Disease, which could have me out of action for some time, particularly as my next race is the main event for the year:
4th Sept – Windermere One Way 2016 – 16k (http://www.windermereoneway.co.uk)