Friday, 18 July 2014

Boscombe and Brownsea

Bit behind with the blog and haven't written a weekly update post for last week.  I suppose I'm keeping things ticking over and waiting to resume some long distance work ahead of the first weekend in September.  No point wearing myself too thin as I do want to do a fair amount of swimming in the first few weeks of August.  I've still got a bit of niggle in my upper right arm, down to the elbow and I haven't yet been able to get anyone to fix it - osteopath has been short of appointments and sports massage lady has been on hols.  Osteopath is booked for Thursday next week at least, and if the sports massage lady is available maybe I'll get one of those next week too.  Mood is pretty low so it's all a bit of a struggle at the moment.

Last weekend we went down to the south coast for two swims.  The first was at Boscombe on a beautifully hot day.  I really wasn't feeling in the mood but decided since we were there anyway (Mr Just Keep Swimming was also entered as he needs to practice his sea swimming ahead of Challenge Weymouth...) I would get in and swim.  I would not even attempt to race, but just get in and do some sea swimming practice, particularly ahead of the following day.  Although I swam in the sea in Tenerife, I don't think I have swum in the sea in the UK since 2012!  The conditions were somewhat deceptive, about 50m from shore where the first buoy was, was actually fairly rough, and we turned out to be fighting the tide as well.  I was pleased that I wasn't racing as I would have started to feel stressed about my slow time, and instead I tried to enjoy the different experience of swimming in the sea with the water moving my body about a lot more than in the lake, and of the sun on my back.  It was very warm in the water so I definitely didn't need a wetsuit.  Eventually got back in just under 58 minutes which is very very slow for a 2.5k swim.  Was pleased that hadn't decided to step up to the 3.8 or that would have been a personal worst!  We enjoyed sitting in the sun for a while and then went to the hotel before heading out to Pizza Express where I proved myself a proper marathon swimmer by having two main courses.  During the meal I got a message to say that I was actually second lady back in the swim and had won another t-shirt for the collection.

On Sunday, we were up at 6.30 to head over to Sandbanks for me to register for the Brownsea Island swim.  At 8am I was on the ferry and then sat on the island waiting for the start at 9.30.  It was a bit cloudier than Saturday but still very pleasant temperature.  I wanted to wuss out and wear my wetsuit but the wetsuit/non wetsuit waves were colour coded by hat colour so I would have looked a bit odd.  Had to woman up and get on with it, and actually it was mostly fine!  The first half of the swim was pretty choppy and I swallowed an enormous amount of sea water.  It seemed to take forever to get to the halfway point (there was also a half way only option) and I was getting pretty fed up.  Fortunately, Mr Just Keep Swimming was there at the half way point, and managed to follow the course for a bit, so seeing him carrying his flourescent yellow cycling jacket (which he always has handy to help me spot him without my glasses..) cheered me up a bit.  The conditions improved greatly as we turned around onto the other side of the island which was nice, and pretty soon I was round the final corner.  At this point you had to swim against the tide into the finish chute, which was a little entertaining, it was like trying to beat an endless pool to complete your swim!  In the end I was about 1h 53 minutes for the 6.5k which wasn't too bad given the first half - I was hoping for under 2 hours.  And the exertion of the last bit meant that I wasn't even cold when I got out!


  1. I’ve been reading your blogs ever since the bookish ones and have not commented before, but I have to say how amazing you are - I can imagine as well that just under 58 minutes for a 2.5k is not at all slow for UK sea water, roughness, against tide and saltwater bouncing you about - excellent acquisition of the t-shirt! Have a great time heading into September … your blog is wonderful!

  2. It was lovely to come back and read this after having been down that way last week: I thought of you when we were in Boscombe and Poole Harbour and told my cousin I had a friend who did epic swims there!