Sea Swims in June

Sunday June 3rd 1030

1:19:13   2.3 miles

Perfect conditions, beautiful, calm sunny day,  with a planned three hour swim but as I swam back towards WBSS I spied these three Musketeers, our grandchildren, on the beach.  Went to say hello and got out to join them for their first trip to the beach this year.

How could I swim past them? Yes – identical triplets!
I enjoyed the rest of the day with them. Eventually removing my DryRobe as I warmed up.

Monday June 4th 1515

2:06:44  3.2 miles

Tower,2nd Red Stick & back

The three hour swim I had planned for the previous day but a fight against the waves, the drift and a cold wind too boot!

No surprise that the beach and the sea were now empty.  It was cold and windy.  I chose to swim in the afternoon, as the wind often dies down and the bay can be like a mill pond late afternoon and evening.  Not so this day.  If anything the wind had picked during the afternoon, so I called it a day at two hours.

My Garmin recorded a rate of 1:43/100yds as I headed south and but 2:47/100yds against the drift going north.

I had to dig deep to get back round the Tower and the groynes at the 1st and 2nd Red Sticks.

Friday 8th June 1400

4:00:32  6.5 miles

Four hours planned, conditions seemed good.  In the past I used to try to get from marker to marker as quickly as I could.  Now with my Ironman hat on and relishing distances and time, I wanted each circuit to be as long as possible.  I hugged the shore line trying to eek it out as much as possible, hoping to only need to do one circuit of the bay.

Out to the Tower, down to the shoreline beyond Bowlease Pier, but I still had to do a fairly large loop at the end to make up the time.

The swim was reasonable, but I was not too happy as it wasn’t feeling ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed’.  Also my eye sockets had started to feel uncomfortable in my ROKA goggles, would I need to go back to my large Aqua Sphere ones? Way to go yet!

Sunday 10th June Weymouth Half Marathon

Not planned but the event was cancelled in March due to snow !  Surprised myself by running it in sub 2 hours.

Monday 11th June 1100

0:35:00   1 mile

Just a short swim to stretch out my arms, still feeling the effects of the half marathon the day before.

Friday 15th June 1220

5:00:33   7.8 miles

Hubby Nic on shore to pass me my feeds – no I didn’t walk inland, he paddled out!

A planned six hour swim, not ideal conditions as it was windy, but realistic.  Also it was low water and the wind was whipping up lots of small waves right across the bay.

Husband Nic was on the shore ready for my feeds, one hour then every forty-five minutes, or thereabouts.  Swimming down towards Bowlease the water became more and more turbulent.  I always wear my googles under my hat, just as well as the force of the waves crashing over my head would certainly have taken them off.  I quite enjoy swimming in the waves, but it’s tiring and was pleased I wouldn’t have to swim down that end again.

As I swam back to WBSS the Friday crowd was just getting in and I had intended to join them for the last hour but the wind had picked up even more and I decided to call it a day at five hours.

Also my back had started to play up slightly and I was wiggling in the water to try to ease it.  I had noticed this on my four and a half hour swim in Croatia.  I know I usually swim with my head too high, but thought I had corrected that, perhaps it needs to be even lower. Something to work on.

Sunday 17th June 0930

1:09:32       1.9 miles

As I was only going to do an hour or possibly two, I told Nic I didn’t need him.  How wrong could I be?

Wow, as we entered the water we couldn’t believe how cold it was.  Down to 14 degrees or lower, and no ‘warm’ patches.  Swimming south and against the drift we headed to the Weymouth Clock and despite the cold decided to go on to the Pavillion assuming we would ‘fly’ back but it made little or no difference, just slightly easier to swim going with the small waves rather than against them.  I maintained my stroke until close back WBSS  when my fingers gave up.

As it was going to be a relatively ‘short’ swim I hadn’t donned my neoprene hat.  Also I was practicing getting my head lower in the water.  Boy was it cold on the top of that head !

I came out far colder than I had for the previous five hour swim and returned home a shivering wreck!

Tuesday 19th June 1500

0:53:21   1.6 miles

Tuesday is my normal running night with Edgon Harriers but I decided to pop down just for a short dip.

I was pleasantly surprised as how nice it was.  I had the beach and the sea completely to myself.  I could see the bottom as I swam directly to the Tower and back.  A bit of a drift  2:02/100ft going and 1:48/100ft coming back but an almost calm sea.  A cracking swim !

Friday 22nd June

6:01:18    10 miles

Swim suit I hope to wear for the Channel attempt

Needed to get the qualifying swim done before the water warms up too much in the bay.  I was going to do it the previous day but there had been a bitter northerly wind.  Only problem was I had promised myself to join Sandsfoot Castle cyclists to meet a couple of guys who were finishing their ‘Rock to Rock’ cycle challenge (Gibraltar to Portland!) so ended up with a 20 miles cycle ride in the morning.  Probably accounts for the cramps I kept getting in my calves during the swim!

Set off for the tower, then down to Bowlease.  Had thought of just doing loops to the tower but once I get going I don’t really stop till I hit something !  Anyway, the temperature of the water in the bay is beginning to warm up whereas Bowlease is still rather ‘chilly’ and more realistic in that it’s always lumpy down there.

Hubby Nic was on the beach to feed me every 45-60 minutes or thereabouts.

One happy swimmer !

I deliberately set out at a steady pace as I was determined to do the time, if not the distance.  As always a bit of a drift, north-south today.  Unfortunately my Garmin 920XT, which has been remarkably reliable for my open water swims, decided not to record two legs of the swim.  However, I calculated my pace was just over 2min/100ft which makes for just over a 36min/mile.  Would like to keep under a 35min/mile, but I did keep the steady pace throughout.

Happy with that, felt good, no problems with my shoulders or my back and my ROKA goggles were fine.    All bodes well !!

Monday 25th June

1:06:46    2 miles

Just as well I managed six hours on Friday, with full sun over the weekend, the water has warmed up considerably and is above the 16 degrees, or below, needed for the qualifying swim.

Cadence  of 30 (strokes per minute), pace of 1:54min/100yds, making  33 min/mile.   This won’t be my Channel pace, but varied training is necessary if I am to sustain a steady pace for the whole swim.

Next session bilateral breathing?  I can, but I don’t, and it may be necessary with changing wind and tides as to which side of the boat I swim on.  So, practice, I must.

Thursday 28th June

2:15:56    3.5 miles

The waves were bigger than they look

Arrived at the beach ready for a long swim and decided to start early at 0700.  When we left home the air temperature was only 14 degrees and arriving at the beach the wind, as predicted, was fairly strong, from the west and cold.  The sea was lumpy with waves crashing on the shore line and further out as the tide dropped.

I got it, felt comfortable, not cold at all and I headed to the Pavilion.  Time and distance passed so quickly – I was ‘flying’ with the southerly drift – 1:47min/100yds south. Turned round and a battle against the waves – and drift – 2:33min/100yds north, but time and distance still seemed to pass quickly.  Still on for a long swim.  Down to the 2nd Red Stick and when I turned round, felt awful and cold despite going with the drift, somehow not as easy as against the waves.  Also the wind across my back had had it’s effect.   In addition I had forgotten to put in my ear plugs and my hat had ridden up which probably had something to do with how I was feeling, my head was not too comfortable from the outset.  Eventually back past WBSS to Nic at the Spire, who was by now fairly cold and told him I’d call it a day.

It was a strong swim for an hour and a half against the elements and apart from my head, felt good and I enjoyed it.  Interesting how the time and distances are melting away.

As with all things it’s 80% mental – and only 20% left for training and preparation.

Friday 29th  June

1:05:28      2.1 miles

Last swim of June, good strong swim, 32 minute mile.

In the pool the next morning I did a 1:29 for 100m.  Haven’t done that since my breast cancer five years ago !!!  All this swimming is paying off, might have a go at getting the British record for 1500m for the next age group up, 70-74, later this year, already got it for 65-69.

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