First swimming race of the season this morning, and the first time my Mum has ever come along to watch me. I had a really bad case of nerves last night, I think because this season is the first time that I have been trying to get round as fast as I can, rather than merely finish, having had the training camp this year and been working really hard on both fitness and technique.
It actually went pretty well. The distance was 1500m which is actually 100m shorter than any swimming race I've ever done before, two laps of a 750m loop. There was a 750m race and a 5k race happening at the same time, so the water was quite busy at the start, but the 5kers had to go down to the end of the lake so they soon split out. I found it hard swimming at my fastest, and nearly threw up a couple of times; I'm used to longer distances and thus slower and steadier swimming, but I pushed on, and eventually was climbing out (that is the hardest bit, a finish up the bank). I had been hoping for a time of under 25 minutes, and was secretly hoping for a time for about 23 minutes, so I should have been pleased with my time of 22 minutes 3 seconds. However, I had asked my Mum and husband to count the number of female 1500m swimmers out before me, and they thought that I was the third female out. I was really excited as this would have meant that I would have won a prize, but unfortunately I was 4th, and came in 13 seconds off a podium place. Disappointing as comparing with last year's results, my time would have placed. Anyway, this is the first of a four series race, so I now have the time to beat, and fingers crossed maybe for a podium place at some point in this season.
Have been taking it easy for the rest of the day, as tomorrow I want to get my last cold water long swim in before I attempt to swim 10k at Eton's Dorney Lake next Sunday. I'm not nervous about the distance, but I am nervous about the cold. With the weather we've had this year so far, the lake is about 5 degrees colder than it was last year, and I am nervous that the cold may defeat me. We'll see.
In other news, obviously I am avidly following the start of the Torch Relay to try and get an idea of what I'll be doing on the 9th July. Not long to go!
Black Country Allotment Society ~ Susie Parr
3 hours ago