So last week I went for my first open water swim of the year… and it was cold. Well it didn’t put me off so I went again this week. Although this time it was even colder as I took my wetsuit off and did a lap in just my shorts. Brrr.
Apparently the water was a little warmer this week, it reached the dizzying heights of 13 degrees C (compared to 12.7 last week), but it was certainly colder out of the water and it was certainly colder without the wetsuit.
I did 3 laps with the wetsuit and realised that I had to just bite the bullet and get on with it. So out I got, off the wetsuit came and back in again I went. And it was cold, but actually it was great too. If I could have done so without swallowing water I would have been grinning all the way round, because I was actually doing it. I was actually swimming in a cold lake and was starting to achieve my goal of completing the swims. I was also thinking of my granddad and how proud he would be of me.
I only did one lap (800metres). I actually set off to do a second, but it didn’t feel right so I stopped, but at least I did a lap. Next week I’ll do at least two.
Once I was in the water and swimming it didn’t feel too cold. The great thing about being wetsuit free was that there was no hanging around once you stepped into the water. With no wetsuit to provide any protection you just wanted to get on with it.
As I got in a couple of people were getting out of the lake and I was told “You’re brave.” “More like stupid,” was my reply and that’s what it felt like until I actually got swimming. Then it felt great.
The actual swimming felt easier too. Without the restrictiveness of the wetsuit I was able to move my arms more freely and swim more naturally. The first half of the lap felt a lot quicker and I was up to the buoy before I even realised.
It was the getting out that was hard. The windy day meant that the air temperature was cold and I got cold very quickly. I obviously need a new strategy for when I get out and warm clothing and some food needs to part of that strategy. By the time I was dressed and had got into the car I was really cold and even with the car temperature turned all the way up I didn’t warm up and had to walk around with a blanket round my shoulders once I got home. Yet a cup of tea, some toast and a warm shower all helped and now I have a warm glow all over – partly from the satisfaction and partly because I’ve caught a terrible fever probably.