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Broken foot, swimming, triathlon

Open water win!

cedwardsby cedwardsAug 9th 2013
So Blenheim Triathlon went well. The swim was ok, was in 3rd place in my wave in the swim but then lost the feet in front and swam a bit off course. Also set off too hard, so in the end the swim (despite being minutes faster than when I did it in 2006), was a bit of a disappointment. However I improved on swim, t1, bike, t2 and run and obviously overall time, so chuffed with that!

Since Blenheim at the beginning of June I've solely been swimming and really loving it. I'm following a lot of the advice on swim smooth, and even had some video coaching with one of their coaches. I have had some niggles in my right shoulder, which occasionally needs icing and rest for a day or two. Hopefully that won't develop into anything more.

My critical swim speed has gone from 108s/100m in February this year to 93s/100m and I still feel I could go faster. It's so exciting to see consistent progress. My 400m time has gone from 7min7sec to 6min3sec and I'm really hoping at the next test I'll get under the 6 minute mark in the next few weeks.

So with my big A race this year looming (10km swim at Eton Dorney Lake with F3 festival of sport) in 2 weeks time, I entered one of openwaterswim.co.uk races last week as a warm up. It was 3.8km around a lake just off the Thames at Marlow. My brother lives nearby so despite it being 1 1/2hr drive for an evening race I got to see him and have a dinner so it seemed a good deal. It was a lovely evening sunny but not too hot and the water temperature was about 20C.

There were 3 distances - 750m (small lap), 1500m (big lap) and 3800m (2 big laps and 1 small lap) and we all set off together. There were about 30 of us but not sure how many were doing each distance. There were meant to be 22 in the 3.8km wave but I know some people didn't make it as they were stuck in a traffic jam (full results aren't out yet!).

One of the key things I wanted to do during this race was practice not setting off too hard, so I just kept thinking steady, steady, steady at the start. The other thing was to practice a bit of drafting. So we set off, and I settled into an easy steady stroke. I sat behind 2 people and during sighting there didn't seem to be anyone ahead of them. When we reached the first buoy I decided to up the pace a little, I thought I could always drop back behind them again if I needed to. However half way down the next stretch I realized the two I'd originally been drafting probably set off too hard and they had dropped back significantly. There was someone else ahead off me, but by that stage too far off to catch. I kept going, getting the occasional increased heart rate as I spotted something under the water (always just a weed - but my mind plays games!) but generally in a nice rhythm.

The first 1500m I checked my watch - 24:19 excellent, keep going. 2nd 1500m lap 24:33. I was pleased the pace hadn't changed dramatically. The last 750m lap I upped the pace a bit more and came out of the water at 01:01:20 in 2nd place! First female! I was so chuffed! I know it was only a small race, but it was my first open water swim (without being in a triathlon), and felt so good. It felt like the days when I used to win races as a teenager.

So now I'm very excited about my 10km!
 
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