Saturday, 28 March 2009

40km and 3rd for the Budgy Smugglers

The last two weeks have been all about the ocean swimming. The temperature has dropped down to 18 degrees (still very pleasant for swimming) and I have enjoyed doing laps of Brighton Marina - a 2.5km circuit. It has been fairly heavily frequented by jelly fish which adds to the obstacles along with all the fishing lines that I manage to snag with uncanny regularity. I like to think the fisherman are thinking 'Wow look at that guy fearlessly tearing through the open water', but I suspect the reality is more likely 'What is this twat doing swimming through our bloody fishing lines'.

Along with the club sessions and my own pool sets I have hit 40km this week - a weekly best so far. The culmination was the re-swim of the 1.2km bay race this morning. As with 2 weeks ago I rocked up early to get some extra kms in and had foregone the wetsuit in favour of the pink speedos. I was meeting Kevin, another channel swimmer there, however when he saw me I could tell he was in two minds whether or not to acknowledge me in my garish trunks. A small child did point and laugh at one stage, I suspect the rest just thought 'What is this twat doing swimming in those revolting dick togs'. Kevin and I swam the course backwards to the start and then I stood shivering on the beach while awaiting a significantly delayed start. Goose pimples, pink speedos and significant muscle tremors - what an inspiring sight!

The race was good fun though and I shot off just behind a pack of 3 wetsuited swimmers, after 500m I had hauled in one of them but the 2 leaders got out to a 30sec lead and that's where I finished. I suppose in a wetsuit I probably would have been 45s to a minute quicker over the distance but at the end of the day a 3rd place and a fun race will do. Another sign of the improved fitness was the comfort level and recovery at the end of the race. I was tempted to get back in and swim back again but work called and the pink smugglers had had more than enough exposure.

Two more weeks in Melbourne and I am looking forward to building the work load. It is just such a fantastic place to train. Pool swimming back in England is not going to be anywhere near as inspiring when I return. I do have the English open water swimming season to look forward to; Dover training starts at the beginning of May and the Cirencester lakes will be open for swimming. Somehow it doesn't quite have the same appeal like the bay and reef swimming in Melbourne. Time for the famous Aussie saying - 'Have a can of toughen up princess', seems appropriate for those that swim in pink bathers.

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