Monday 24 May 2010

A Fantastic week: 21,650 Metres total ending in a fantastic swim @ Felixstowe in tropical conditions...

Above: Beccy: "Well Catherine, yes they are totally mad, but just think of the sun tan you'll be getting on a day like today".

Well this week was the best week of the season so far. Between Monday and Friday I completed some of the biggest sessions in the pool I have swum since my first English Channel swim in 2007. They were as follows:-

MON: 3,050 Metres
TUE: 3,100 Metres
WED: 6,100 Metres
FRI: 6,300 Metres

That's a total of 18,550 Metres in Culford pool, which was capped off by a simply superb day with the Suffolk Open Water Swimming Group on Sunday.

Above: Left to right - Nathan Pittam, Heidi Mcdowell and Donna Whelan on the beach at Felixstowe on a stunningly hot Suffolk day.

I had already set my goals for the day. These were to swim to the pier and back, and stay in the water for a minimum of 1 hour. After all, I have to keep up with Enda Kennedy in Ireland who already did an hour last week! This was a distance of 3,100 Metres round trip. If you look closely in the photo above, you will see the pier in the background.

Heidi, Nathan and Donna were desperate to get in, and as I prepared myself, 'Bury Boy' and 'Florrie's Mum' (well known local Bury St Edmunds bloggers) arrived on the beach for a chat.

I got in the 11 Degrees C water. Had a quick team talk, and off we all went. I headed for the pier and felt really good.

Above: Heading for Felixstowe Pier with two of the other swimmers in the shot also.

At about half way, I felt something brush into my leg and it felt like it had taken a nibble at me. It made me jump somewhat and sent shivers down my spine so I just swum faster to get away from this invisible underwater creature. I then started to think about seals and sharks, and every sail I could see on the horizon was a potential dorsal fin! I snapped out of it and carried on swimming.

Then it happened again. For a split second, I sandwiched something between my elbow and my rib cage. I have no idea what it was, but it felt hard and slimy. I sprinted even faster for the pier, and never did find out what it was.

I touched the pier and thought about the first time I did this swim on December 26, 2006. I had been barely unable to crawl out at that time I had been so cold. This time, I touched the pier, turned straight round and started the 1,550 Metre trek back.

Above: Heading back to the beach which was much easier on the way back as I was swimming with the tide.

I arrived back in 50 minutes, and spent 10 minutes gently swimming around in the beach area to complete the 1 hour in the water. Heidi was up on the beach enjoying the sun, having swum with Donna to The Spa Pavillion and back, and I persuaded Nathan to take his wetsuit of for a few minutes to acclimatise to the cold water. Everyone was really pleased with their achievements today, and already we can see steady progress both in time in the water and in distance. Well done everyone, and thanks to Beccy and Luca, Catherine and Donna's partner for their support on the beach.

It had been a fantastic day, and a fantastic week's swimming. I can't wait for next Sunday now when I will be going for the pier and back twice. If anyone wants to join us, then join the Facebook group for further information:-

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