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so I can say I TRIed
so I can say I TRIed

Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012

charlieeliseby charlieeliseMay 27th 2012
A second dunking for the wetsuit, and a real challenge - would I survive a whole mile in open water? My training session two weeks ago went well but different conditions and having had a cold the weekend before I was seriously doubting myself. I tried to tell myself that I was probably in a stronger position than many and that if anything did go wrong, I could be fished out. The biggest damage that could occur today would be to my pride.
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
Thus buoyed up I posed for some photos and watched the first wave go off. The course looked rather long but by this time I was eager to get in the water. 18 degrees compared to 10 two weeks ago sounded balmy! 

The changing tent was surreal - lots of women chatting, everyone was very friendly, passing round lube and waterproof sun cream. 
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
I registered and had my timing chip checked. I got into my wetsuit and got into the acclimatisation zone - a fenced off area to help competitiors get used to the temperature, as it is a 'run in' rather than water start. 

There was a warm up which I performed rather unenthusiastically - I don't believe in stretching beforehand and considering I pinged a muscle or pinched a nerve or something doing Butterfly in the pool on Thursday, I wasn't risking any over-reaching injuries caused by my hypermobile shoulders. 
Then we were off! I positioned myself near the front with as I was hoping to draft off some faster people and didn't want to get stuck behind people walking into the water. I ran in and started swimming as soon as was possible. It was a bit thrashy but not too bad - I think I found it a bit overwhelming and difficult to hold my own, although I didn't drown or get my goggles knocked off. 

I got into a bit of a rhythm and it wasn't too bad. I think quite a few people sprinted at the start whereas I don't think I did, as I noticed people stopped overtaking me and I overtook a few people. I caught up with one poor red hatted soul who hadn't made it past the 200m mark. The sighting took a bit of getting used to, and I lost the leading group. I didn't have anyone to draft off for a long time, although a few people drafted off me for the beginning. However I usually find that at about 600m in I get into my stride, and I lost the drafters. 
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
I wasn't sure how far along I was but felt the water get suddenly colder. I passed under the shadow then the actual bridge, then headed for the last few buoys and the turn. By the turn I was neck and neck with another swimmer who I was drafting off quite effectively. It's amazing how different it feels. I could tell when he broke away from me instantly. 

Unfortunately he was going off course and I passed him as he stopped to orientate himself. A canoeist shouted that I needed to head right to the finish barrier so I swam at an angle to get just under and smacked the barrier with my hand as I came in! But that was it - I'd done it. Felt quite dizzy as I climbed out and gratefully took the hand of a man there to help people out. Apparently they said my name and announced I was just under 30 minutes but I didn't hear that. I beamed for the camera and picked up all my goodies - t shirt, flip flops, drinks and snacks - all vegan, plus an all-important medal!
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
All in all a wonderful day for it. I really enjoyed it and I wasn't too disappointed with my time of 29 minutes 46 seconds. I was aiming for 30 minutes but I knew that would involve no problems and keeping up my 400m pace. Turns out, I can. I wonder now how far I could swim?

If you were thinking of doing this event, I'd strongly encourage you to. I think I will be much more confident in my future events because of it. 
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
Race Report - Great London Swim 26 May 2012
TriRachby member: TriRach, Jun 9th 2012 05:41
Sounds great, my friend did the same race and enjoyed it also. Might think about it for next year.
charlieeliseby blog author: charlieelise, Jun 15th 2012 14:38
Rach - you should, it was fun!
 
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