I really really enjoyed my swim last week with Sally as part of her 50 swims. And part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was the experience of trying out a new pool and swimming in ‘new’ water.
So when I found myself in Bristol this week visiting friends and colleagues I thought I’d try and swim here too.
We checked pools and there was one both near where we were working and near where they lived. Hmmm, decisions decisions. We couldn’t decide, so I decided to swim in both.
The lunchtime swim was at Bristol South Swimming Pool – a great, old-fashioned swimming hall. The paint was peeling, it needed a good spruce up, the changing cubicles on the side of the pool were cramped and in general it was a long way away from its former glory. But I loved it. It felt like ‘real’ swimming. And not only did I love it. All three of the lanes were full of swimmers – there were probably at least 30 people in the pool at the same time as me. But the lanes were wide enough to allow easy overtaking and I had a lovely swim.
After work I went to the pool local to the house. It couldn’t have been more different. A big, modern leisure centre – Horfield Leisure Centre – with lots of sporting facilities including an 8-lane 25m pool. It was bright and modern and brash with all mod cons, but not the same soul as the baths at lunchtime. However, it was equally (if not even more so) as busy and the water was still water, so I swam again.
And it’s funny isn’t it? Neither swim felt great in terms of the swimming, both felt a bit sluggish, but I enjoyed them for the experience. I timed them, not because I was after a good time, but more because I had my watch on anyway.
At lunchtime my mile was 32 minutes. A bit slow, but I could live with it. In the evening I actually felt more sluggish and as I was finishing I was thinking that if I’m going to start doing more than 32 minute miles then 2swim4life is going to be tough with very little rest between swims. So when I finished and realised that I’d done the evening swim in 29 minutes I was pleasantly surprised.