Friday, 8 May 2009

Open Water Swimming

Today I managed to get the first open water swim of the year under my belt. I expect to be able to feel my feet again in a day or two.

After work today I met up with my sea swimming buddy Alex and we headed down to Weymouth. A couple of other guys were sheltering in their car when we arrived. To be honest, I was freezing while we were standing around chatting and I don’t think any of us were really looking forward to getting in the sea. We all knew it was going to be cold.

Getting into my wetsuit was a slow as ever. I don’t know whether it is me or something about my suit but everyone else seems much quicker getting ready. Eventually, after much tugging and pulling, I was ready and we walked over to the beach, feeling quite warm at this point. The stones and shells that make up the Weymouth beach have not got any softer over the winter so with a chorus of “ohs” and “ahs” we reached the waters edge.

As we entered the water we went through the traditional comments of “it is not actually that cold” and “it is alright once you are in”. Before agreeing it is freezing so lets get on with it. The first half of the swim was fairly horrible. We were heading out against the wind and waves and, while not really rough, it was a bit choppy. The ice-cream headache didn’t help either. I found it quite difficult to get any sort of rhythm going to begin however as the swim wore on I got my breathing under control and managed to get into the groove.

Once we turned back to head for home, with the wind and waves following us, I was actually quite enjoying it. My feet didn’t feel too cold as they had gone numb, though the lack of control of my fingers was slightly disconcerting. In particular the little finger on my right hand, which has never been right since I dislocated it, was moving around all over the place as I swam. Very strange.

It wasn’t a long swim and it was nice to get back in the sea. It will be even nicer when it is warm though.

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