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.
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 🙂
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.
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