Red sky in the morning, Dawlish aquathlon

February 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Maybe I need to work on the rhyming of post titles, but I need to work on my swimming even more.

Driving to Dawlish in the early Sunday dawn, the rising sun made the sea look a more inviting prospect than 24 lengths in the leisure centre pool. At least, until I thought about the temperature; nice as sea-swimming is, the solar heating thing just isn’t quite at its best yet.

When I slightly reluctantly began swimming five years ago, I had high hopes. With my running and biking, there has always been some sort of relationship between how hard I have trained and how fast I have raced. So, I planned to apply this transactional approach to swimming – do a bit of training, get a bit quicker, and repeat.

Five years ago this month, I almost-enthusiastically splashed my way through my first swim-run aquathlon. Camel-like, limbs in all directions and spraying spectators in the café with water as I thrashed up and down, I was fifth from last overall in the swim (which at least gave me plenty of people to catch on the run).

Thousands of training lengths and several sinky triathlons later (and even some swimming lessons with mystified instructors), how did I do in my second-ever aquathlon at Dawlish on Sunday? Well I’d like to say it went just swimmingly, but it might be better to talk about sinking feelings…

My stroke has undeniably got much smoother. The writhing has mainly gone, and I glide happily(ish) along like an otter with a slight limp.

After all this training and sneezing though, it’s more than a slight disappointment that I’ve actually got even slower. The extra 30 seconds I took meant that I was now fourth-from-last instead (is that an improvement?) – at least it made my run look comparatively better. Hey ho.

A slight issue remains, in that when I kick, I go backwards. This seems to be because of some sort of design flaw with my feet, and I have some exercises to do for them just as soon as I can be bothered, and when I’ve stopped twisting my ankle.

The good thing though, and it makes me smile when writing it, is that on a fraction of the training Becki did the novice event. She pretty much whupped my arse on the swim, given that her breaststroke was almost beating my crawling crawl, and came proportionately higher in her event after the run. It is irkng, yes, but in rather a nice way.

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