Friday, August 8, 2008

A Proper Update...

The one time I'm half way through a big long post and Firefox goes and crashes and loses it and Blogger hasn't autosaved it....ick! Golden rule...save often! So here goes again...

I've been swimming lots since I came back from Madrid. Mostly all in Sandycove, in differing temperatures...it got nice for a while but has been feeling cold again the past week or so, my watch is telling me that it's back down at about 14degrees C now...I'm sure that I'll be wishing for that temperature when winter sets in, but for now I'd prefer it to go back to 16 or so!

I've had a few swimming firsts in the past few weeks. One of these was my first time swimming in the Lee Swim, which I have already posted about. Another first was a jellyfish sting...I knew it was gonna happen sometime, I've been dreading it for so long! A couple of weeks ago I was coming to the end of a lap with Tadhg and we stopped to chat for a minute about something and while we were chatting I got stung on the arm...that set me swimming again pretty fast...anything to get out of there!! It wasn't so bad though...so much so that by the time I'd gotten to the slip the pain was more or less gone. I've had one pretty bad sting since, it was on the inside of my forearm and it left me with long red marks, I assume from the tentacles. I was swimming for an hour after and by the time I got out it was still sore. In fact, about 5 minutes before the end of that swim I got stung again on my ear and between my knees (by the same jellyfish!) and by the time I'd gotten to the slip those stings were gone but the earlier one still hurt like hell. I guess it depends on the type of jellyfish or maybe the length of contact time. I've also gotten stung across my face, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be either. It would be a hell of a lot worse without goggles I'd imagine!! So now I'm trying to convince myself that stings really aren't so bad and I need to get over my jellyfish fear...maybe I'll have gotten over it by next summer!!

We've had a couple more swimming events in the past few weeks. Two weeks ago we had a swim out in Gougane Barra, it was by far the most scenic 2km I've ever swum...it's really gorgeous there. I'd actually never been there before...another first for me...even though it's so close-shame on me! It's where the River Lee begins and where Saint Finbarr is said to have founded a monastery back in the 6th century. I can see why he would have wanted to live there anyway...it's so pretty! Here are a couple of photos that I've found online to show just how nice a place it is (I forgot my own camera that day!)....


After the swim we went back to Tadhg's relative's house for yummy dinner and a few hours of chatting before facing the road home...it was a nice end to a really fun day...thanks to Tadhg for the organisation and hospitality :)

Last weekend was the weekend of the Kinsale regatta, and the regatta committee organises a race-a lap of Sandycove. Since I was heading down for a swim anyway I figured I might as well take part! It was handicapped (slowest swimmers start first to give everyone a chance) and I was in the middle group to go, which is probably right...I'm faster than some swimmers down there but I'm slower than a lot of others too!! I swam it in 31:06 altogether and was the 10th person finished overall and the 3rd woman. Which meant that I got another medal :) I'm starting to like these medals...I know that the only reason that I'm winning any is because there are so few woman open water swimmers out there in comparison to the men...but the medals are still pretty!!

So now my next event is coming up this weekend-I'm swimming from Galway to Inishbofin...8 miles long...out in the Atlantic Ocean...off the west coast of Ireland. It's gonna be tough. But I can't wait! I've been training for it the past while...I did a 3 hour swim a few weeks back (the one where I got the horrible sting!) and that went well...thanks to Tadhg and Paul for swimming with me on that one...it was a dull and dreary evening and it was quite rough out there so I really appreciated the company :) I wasn't too cold or too sore after, which was good. Then this weekend just gone Niall, one of the other people doing the Bofin swim, was saying that he'd like to do a long swim on Sunday. So I said that I'd head down and swim with him-he was planning to do 6 laps in about 4 hours...I wasn't sure that I was going to do that much but I figured I'd swim as long as I felt comfortable and not push it too much with the swim itself coming up so soon. It was quite cold that afternoon...made a little more comfortable by the fact that the sun was shining but still enough to cause brain freeze for the first few minutes! We stopped after two laps to have some drinks (Niall had brought a "picnic" box over to the island...there's a little cove that people use to store a box with energy drinks and whatever else rather than having to head back in to the slip...very useful!)...and again after the 4th lap. At that stage I was still feeling good...cold but not enough to want to stop. And the hot drink really helped with that too! So we did the 5th lap and then made the decision to go for the final 6th lap...I'm not sure if it was a sensible decision on my part or not since I actually spent some of the lap shivering as I was swimming, but it felt good afterwards to have done it. It took us 3hrs 57mins to do the 6 laps (about 9km) so Niall's estimate was spot on! I recovered really quickly once I got warm clothes on and had a warm drink...I had stopped shivering before I even left Sandycove. So that was good! I'm pretty convinced that I'm ready for Bofin now...I'm sure that I'll question myself once I actually start swimming away from land towards something that I can't see tho! But it will be a good challenge, a good experience. And hopefully good fun too! Now let's start crossing our fingers that the weather allows it to go ahead :)

And my last update (I think) is that I'm heading to Dover on Sunday to crew for Joni Storer on his channel attempt next week. So I'm spending a week in Dover, and I'll get to put faces to some of the names that I've been hearing for so long! Mark has the same tide window so it will be great to see himself and Kelly again. And on top of all of that I'll hopefully get to do lots of swimming! I'm going to be Joni's support swimmer, so I'll not only be seeing the whole process as a crew member, I'll also be in the water with him if he needs me to give a bit of a push at any stage...the whole think will be a really good experience for me I think.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Galway so it's probably time to be getting to bed now...I've an exciting week ahead :) I'll update when I'm back from Dover and life is back to normal...

1 comment:

Tim said...

Congrads on the Channel swim, great achievement, fairplay!