After falling out of love with swimming I’m back to enjoying it more and more. This can be shown by the fact that on Tuesday I swam twice.
The first swim was a 6:30am start at a local lake next to Nottingham Sailing Club. They only opened for swimming last year, but it’s a great set up – especially as we have use of the sailing club showers and changing rooms. It makes for a perfect set up for a pre-work swim. The lake itself is set out as a c. 650m loop and I did 6 wide laps for a total of just over 4km in an hour and a quarter.
The second swim of the day was a charity event run by the excellent 100% Swimming up at the Activities Away lake. The idea was to predict how far you could swim in 20 minutes 17 seconds (20:17) and the closest to their prediction won. It was all organised in Aid of the Ethan Maull Foundation.
I predicted a total of 1,050m and decided to use it as a way to push myself as hard as I could for 20 minutes. About 300m in I got into rhythm with a wetsuited swimmer and we pushed each other around and I ended up just going past my prediction and finishing on about 1,060m.
It was a great event and hopefully it will be able to launch nationally next year. Thanks all for organising it.
I was in Ireland this weekend for a wedding in my girlfriend’s family (which was great by the way and it was lovely to meet all of the family), so I took the chance to do a bit of wild swimming.
I’m not normally a wild swimmer – my outdoor swimming is generally controlled in either events or round a training lake – but I had been inspired by this post about Petticoat Lucy’s lake by LoneSwimmer, so I gave it a go.
The story is that the lake is haunted by Petticoat Lucy and that she will grab the ankles of swimmers and pull them down to their death. You can probably tell by the fact that I am writing this that that didn’t happen! (More details of the legend of Petticoat Lucy can be found here).
In reality the lake is a small, peaty lake nestled in the Knockmealdown mountains. You park up near the road and walk down about half a mile to the lake. The footpath then continues around the edge of the lake, but there is a small “beach” area that I quickly got changed in. The water starts very shallow and the bottom is covered in rocks – many of which are quite sharp or jagged. So it took me a few minutes of very ungraceful walking before my feet hit the soft, squelchy ground and the water was deep enough to start swimming.
Although I didn’t believe the legend of Petticoat Lucy that first bit of swimming was certainly a bit quicker and more breathless than normal, but once I’d settled down it was lovely. The temperature was a balmy 18 degrees at a guess, and while the water was certainly very brown – with about one and half arms’ length visibility – it felt very clean.
I swam up the length of the lake while my girlfriend walked along the path that gently rises above the lake. So we had a chat with her standing about 15 feet above me once I’d reached the end. I then swam in the far corner and back to the start again along the other side of the lake. But don’t be fooled as that was only about 500m of swimming.
My exit was equally as ungraceful, which was disappointing as I’d attracted a couple of families who wanted to check I wasn’t completely mad I think.
A quick public change and then we went to visit more family for a cup of tea and some biscuits – lovely!