…and still no jellies…..

At the weekend I did the Bustinskin Weymouth Sprint event. I know it’s close to ‘THE BIG ONE’ but I felt I needed to have a go at a sea swim in a competition. I’ve been training in the sea, but only shared my space with me.

2015-08-23 06.21.38
Mark’s parting shot before sending us on our way was that there were jellies out there, but the basking shark had moved on…. Basking Shark….. Jellies …. Bloody Great…..

2015-08-23 06.23.23
I’m really glad I did decide to it though, because it was a fairly overwhelming experience. Before I even got to the first buoy I was in a state of panic & thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. The sea was a bit choppy and everyone else zoomed off leaving me floundering (I could probably have stood up if I’d thought about it, I was that close into the shore)
Anyhoo, I gave up any thought of swimming front crawl decided I’d get to the first buoy and see how I felt then. Then I decided to get to the second buoy and to try some front crawl. I was getting very puffed out, though so went back to breast stroke. By now there were 3 of us stragglers and I’m fairly sure one of them was just behind me. Heading up to the third buoy I thought maybe I would get to finish after all and besides it looked easier going back.

I realised I was getting puffed because I was kicking my legs far too vigorously, so I calmed myself down (mentally) and had another go at front crawl. I was still just ‘not the last one’ and very aware of the support crew. They’ve got the patience of saints & were brilliant. I was trying really hard you see & I hope they could see that. I was extremely slow – but trying hard.
I settled into a bit of a rhythm of a bit of front crawl & a bit of breast stroke and made it to the middle buoy and then to the last buoy. I was determined to not be the last out of the sea & I was so glad to get out and run to transition.

A few hardy supporters had remained to see me haul myself out. It was chucking it down and they were soaked.
I ran to transition and even managed to get out of the wetsuit without too much of an ordeal, if anyone has seen me trying (and failing) to get out of my wetsuit…well, it’s a sight to behold, usually involving the husband yanking the thing off cos it’s got stuck at some part of my anatomy 🙂

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I was going down the first hill when I realised I’d left my glasses behind. Oh well – off I went, with the rain pattering on my eyeballs 🙂
Coombe Valley Road was my time to reflect back on the swim (I’m slow and do a lot of thinking when I go up hills) I was quite proud of myself, that I’d got round the course and not completely flapped – it was close – but I didn’t.
The ride could have been nicer– the weather almost looked like it was going to show off and be nice & then decided to be grumpy and miserable. The puddle (read ‘flood’) at the bottom of the hill just before Broadmayne made me suddenly wonder what I should do when you hit that amount of water?

  • do you aquaplane on a bike?
  • will it stop you dead?
  • do I brake?

I opted for squealing a little and holding my breath – it seemed to work….

Despite the rain (and wind when we turned for home) I quite enjoyed the bike bit – back into transition & off on my run. Legs felt a bit odd initially but then I settled into a rhythm & got round. I felt ok until the bottom of the hill. I decided it was probably quicker to walk up than pretend to run up.
I really, really want to say thank you to all the marshals and supporters because it’s a tough job to do when it’s ‘damp’ (read “biblical downpour”) To keep so cheerful & positive and supportive when you’re soaked through 3 layers and on your feet for hours & all you want to do is sit in the warm with a warm drink. It is appreciated.

I did everything in the time I thought I would (I even got some PR’s on the bike bit) and left clutching my ‘bling’ and feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I genuinely enjoyed myself – yes it was wet and cold but I felt I’d achieved something.

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When I saw the official results I sunk a bit inside. I finished 55 out of 57 (number 57 was a dnf)


Whenever I take part in anything I always start at the bottom and work back – it’s quicker :-/ I don’t have any illusions about my ability. I always try my hardest & believe me it is always hard. But it’s still tough to see it in black and white.

Things I learnt from this event
1. I’d like someone to braid my hair before I do ‘THE BIG ONE’
2. I need to calm down in the water & take as long as I need to. Not to compare myself with the others because I’m never going to be able to compete with them.
3. I’m still slow – but very, very bloody minded – I will do my best not to let anything beat me – even if it does involve big jelly fish…..

……which you’d be pleased to hear – I didn’t see any 


10 thoughts on “…and still no jellies…..

  1. Lovely write up Cathy. Just remember that the other 99.9% of women our age can only dream of what you are accomplishing.
    I can braid hair into French Plaits but I’d have to do it on 12th as I will be too shaky on the morning of 13th!

    • thanks Barbara – I’m sure you will be shaky on the 13th – I have every confidence that you will rock challenge 🙂
      Besides you’re a Northern Lass & northern lasses don’t get beaten 😉

  2. If I ever get the urge to start – I read your blog and remember fondly why I don’t partake in all that exercise malarkey. All I would say is don’t forget that some poor soul was last and is probably thinking “at least I finished”! Good luck next month we are routing for you.

    • it’s not meant to put you off Laura – it’s meant to show that even us ladies of a certain age can do stuff that challenges the mind, body & soul. I genuinely don’t care if I am last because I know the journey I have been on just to get to this stage.

  3. When I am struggling to keep going I count steps/strokes to motivate myself. Every 50 or 100 that I do is that many less to go before I can stop! Good luck next week. I don’t envy you that swim! If you ever want to another Half come to California, at least it is warm and sunny!

  4. Pingback: I did it for the bling…. | My Middle-aged Meanderings

  5. A great read again as always Cathy. Really useful to read just before my turn tomorrow and I will be happy to finish in the very good time that you did xxx

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