Nobody Told Me About The Weeds!
by rikSep 3rd 2010
I did it.. I went and did an open swim in a wet suit for the first time. It was a warm and sunny day so I had to go for it. I thought I had arrived early only to discover that all the wet suits had been hired out. After a short wait, a size medium-long turned up so I nabbed it. Now I've been concerned with getting out of a wet suit (for transition) rather than putting one on but I couldn't get in the thing. After wandering around in circles pulling the zip up at the back with the pull string for 10 minutes I managed to squeeze into it. Then on with the accessories: nose clip, ear plugs, swimming cap, goggles... check.
The lake had been mapped out with a 400m circuit, so twice around there would cover my distance. First of all the water wasn't cold as I was expecting and I reckon the wetsuit was helping here. So I set off.. a few minutes later I looked up to find I had swam 100m in the wrong direction and I was in the middle of the circuit! I constantly swam off course the whole way round adding considerably to the 400m loop. It's just very difficult to have any sense of direction without following lines on the bottom of a pool.. admittedly I'd left out my contact lenses and my goggles were steaming up but still I think this is going to be an issue for the event.
I've no idea how deep the lake is but the weeds were constantly round my armpits, in my face and attacking my feet. Perhaps this is because I swam off course but it was really irritating. I stood up after the first lap looking like I was wearing a ghilli suit. Undeterred I set off for another lap.
Having tried swimming the distance, without pausing at each end of a pool, I'm now resigned to occasionally resorting to breast stroke. Fortunately, I can manage a good deal more front crawl than I thought so this isn't too bad given my lack of training. After battling round the second lap my shoulder was starting to go again so I stopped, happy that I had completed over 750m.
Now I'm curious as to the attributes of Tatton Lake. Have they drawn lines on the bottom?. I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks... hopefully wearing a wet suit that fits.
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