Sunday, May 09, 2010

First Lake Swim of the year and a Run

This weekend I did my first Open Water (OW = Lake Swim) of the year, this was at a different lake. The lake was a 360m loop which was a clockwise loop with 4 buoys marking the route.

What concerned me as I was getting ready to go in people come back was saying it was cold. At the lake side I was told it was 12c (53F), I was glad I had my new thicker swim hat with me to try for the first time.

When I stepped in it was still a bit of a shock how cold it was. I got my body in the water few a few seconds before starting to swim keeping my head out of the water. After a few strokes I decided to put my face in the water which was cold. I used my breathing per stroke than normal to get my face used to the cold and cloudy water. By the time I got 20m from the start I was thinking about turning back as my hands and feet were really cold but my head was not (usually would have been).
However I carried on and by the time I got to the other end of the lake I was starting to feel a bit warmer and carried on round to complete a lap in about 8 minutes. I thought I would carry on for another lap, the extra heat source kicked in on the second lap and managed this lap in about 8 minutes as well. As I had time before the run I thought I would do another lap which was also 8 minutes.

For the swim I was glad of the extra thick swim cap and my pace was even and faster than in the pool. Also my sighting in the lake was a lot better than normal as I did not go that much off course. It was quite strange as while swimming you would sometimes see a aeroplane taking off for the nearby airport.

I then had a quick walk back to the club house to dry off a bit before getting ready to run. However as I kept my tri suit on that kept my legs a bit cold, so for the run I had to go fast just to keep my legs warm. I had a few layers and cap on so the rest of me was not that cold.

The parkrun 5km was a 2 lap around a country park on gravel footpaths, grass and crossed a mini steam railway track. You had to concentrate on your route as there was a few undulations and ruts in the route and places it narrowed done to one person wide.
I went off at a fast pace that I could maintain for the distance with my cold legs. When I was getting in to my stride at about 1km we had to wait for a mini steam train to go past before we could cross over !!! At least it gave us a breather before going off fast again, luckily none of the other crossing for the run we did not have to wait at. For the last 100m along the gravel path I was able to pick up my pace a bit but I was not able to over take the people in front of me. I managed it in a bit over 22 minutes which was about 30 seconds outside my other course PBs. There was even a cafe on site afterwards to post exercise "recovery" food.

I think I would be back again to do the swim and run later in the year.

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